For most Kenyans, car importation is a tantalizing idea. You get to shop for a car out there in the rest of the world. Get the perfect car and get it shipped to Kenya. However after this there comes the murky area of what happens next, will it pass the port or get rejected? How do I ship it? Is the person I am buying from trustworthy? Will the car be in good condition when I get it here or am I buying a lemon? How much tax will I pay?
I have decided to share with you the intricacies of importing your dream car to help most of you understand the methodology behind it.
Car importation is pretty straightforward, the trick is getting the right car. Sourcing starts with vehicle identification. You have to go through a host of sites and sometimes even visiting a few showrooms in these countries (where possible) to get the right car. Once this is done then the cost issues start.
1. Make a call and or video call with the seller and request to view the vehicle in question. Once you are happy with the car, pay for it. With our team, we have partners who visit the seller and verify the vehicle and test drive it before making the purchase. This ensures you get what you are paying for.
2. The car has to get to port. Depending on how far it is, there is a cost to drive it or carry it to the port. This cost depends on distance to the port and country.
3. Pre-shipment inspection. This is a requirement by the Kenyan Government that all goods that cost more than KES 500,000 be inspected at the country of origin before they are shipped to Kenya. Various companies have been mandated to carry out this exercise by KRA. This cost and service is country dependent. Some countries like Singapore don’t offer this service and all their cars are inspected on arrival. This does not exempt them however, they are still inspected on arrival before you pay Duty
4. Shipping. Again the price ranges on size of vehicle, bikes are cheapest, then cars, SUVs , trucks and larger machinery in that order. Distance to Mombasa also plays a part and lastly whether its shipped RORO (Roll On Roll Out- car is driven in and out) or inside a container which is a bit more costly.
5. Mombasa – port charges. Most cost cater to about 21 days at the port to facilitate clearance. Additional costs apply for any extra days past that.
6. Customs – This is dependent on type of vehicle and year. It’s tabulated based on existing price of the car when new (CRSP) and you can download this and the “Valuation template” from KRA website. The costs change periodically and it’s important for you to keep checking to ensure you have the most current version of the documents. It is also important to note that not all makes and models are represented and for those models that are not, the Duty will be tabulated once the vehicle gets to Mombasa
7. Delivery to you. Depending on where you stay, there are additional charges to drive or truck the car to you.
8. Additional costs. This may include insurance, identity labelling, buying fire extinguishers, first aid and reflectors.
Lastly, you are welcome to use professional importers like myself (ABC Motors) to get this done for you hassle free. We have partners in most import countries who verify the vehicle and test before purchase. Further to this we facilitate the entire process right to your door. Check us out on Facebook @abcmotorsltd or www.abcmotors.co.ke.