Comprehensive Guide to Importing a Car from the UK to Kenya:

Importing a car to Kenya from the UK can be a complex process, but understanding the steps involved and the costs can make the process smoother. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through this process, including examples of duties and other charges you might encounter.

Step 1: Eligibility and Requirements

  1. Age of the Vehicle: Kenya allows the importation of vehicles that are eight years old or newer from the year of manufacture. For instance, in 2024, you can only import vehicles manufactured in 2017 and onwards.
  2. Roadworthiness: Vehicles must pass a roadworthiness inspection prior to shipping. In the UK, this can be done through agencies like JEVIC (Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center) or QISJ (Quality Inspection Services Japan).

Step 2: Selecting and Buying a Vehicle

  1. Choose a reputable dealer or auction site in the UK.We can also assist with sourcing and purchasing cars, more information on our car sourcing page
  2. Ensure the vehicle meets Kenya’s import requirements.
  3. Obtain a vehicle logbook and any other relevant documentation from the seller.

Step 3: Shipping

  1. RoRo Shipping Costs: Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) is a popular shipping method where vehicles are driven on and off the ship.
    • Saloon Cars: Approximately £1150
    • 4×4 Vehicles: Approximately £1250
  2. Container Shipping: An alternative is container shipping, which can be more secure- Approximately £1500
  3. Insurance and Freight (CIF): Calculate the CIF value, which is the sum of the cost of the car, insurance, and freight to Mombasa.

Step 4: Clearing and Forwarding

  1. Engage a Clearing Agent: Choose a KRA-approved clearing agent to handle customs clearance in Kenya.
  2. Documents Required:
    • Original Bill of Lading
    • Original logbook from the UK
    • Pre-shipment inspection certificate
    • KRA PIN and ID/Passport

Step 5: Paying Duties and Taxes

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) calculates duties and taxes based on the CIF value. The charges include:

  1. Import Duty: 25% of the CIF value
  2. Excise Duty: Varies based on the vehicle’s engine size and age. Typically, it’s 20% for vehicles under 1500cc and 30% for those above 1500cc.
  3. Value Added Tax (VAT): 16% of the sum of the CIF value, Import Duty, and Excise Duty.
  4. Railway Development Levy (RDL): 1.5% of the CIF value.
  5. Import Declaration Fee (IDF): 2.25% of the CIF value or a minimum of Ksh. 5,000.

Example Calculation:

Let’s assume you’re importing a saloon car with a CIF value of £10,000 (approximately Ksh 1,400,000).

  • Import Duty: 25% of Ksh 1,400,000 = Ksh 350,000
  • Excise Duty: 20% of Ksh 1,400,000 = Ksh 280,000 (assuming it’s below 1500cc)
  • VAT: 16% of (Ksh 1,400,000 + Ksh 350,000 + Ksh 280,000) = Ksh 331,200
  • RDL: 1.5% of Ksh 1,400,000 = Ksh 21,000
  • IDF: 2.25% of Ksh 1,400,000 = Ksh 31,500 (assuming it’s more than the minimum)

Total Charges: Ksh 350,000 + Ksh 280,000 + Ksh 331,200 + Ksh 21,000 + Ksh 31,500 = Ksh 1,013,700

Step 6: Registration and Compliance

Once all duties and taxes are paid, and the vehicle is cleared through customs, you’ll need to register it with the Kenyan authorities. This involves obtaining Kenyan license plates and a logbook.

Step 7: Compliance with NTSA

Ensure the vehicle is compliant with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) regulations, which may include obtaining a new vehicle inspection report for Kenyan roads.

Tips for a Smooth Process:

  • Verify all information with updated sources or consult with a professional, as regulations and fees can change.
  • Keep a close eye on exchange rates, as they can significantly affect your total costs.
  • Consider the total cost of ownership, including maintenance and insurance, in Kenya.

By understanding these steps and preparing accordingly, you can navigate the process of importing a car from the UK to Kenya more effectively and avoid unexpected surprises.

If you have any questions on need assistance with sourcing a UK vehicle as well as shipping, please contact us by submitting below enquiry form, or message us on Whatsapp by clicking the Whatsapp icon.


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Fastlane Forwarding Services ltd is a UK based shipping and export company. We can source new and used cars all over the UK, and assist with purchase and shipping worldwide.
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