Importing a Used Car in Kenya – Rules & Regulations

If you are planning to import a used car in Kenya then you need to know these rules for importing used Japanese cars in Kenya in order to buy a suitable used car as per your needs.

The rules are listed below:

  1. Cars should not be more than 8 years old. The law is very strict about this, according to the Kenya Bureau of Standards KS 1515:2000.
  2. There is one port of entry for imported used cars from Japan or other countries, and the Port is Mombasa. You will have to pay an import declaration fee (IDF) of KSH 5000/= or 2.25%, whichever is higher, of the CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value paid on the vehicle. Customs will then calculate the custom rates applicable depending on the value of the vehicle.
  3. The car imported in Kenya must be the Right-hand drive. Left-hand drive vehicles are not allowed for registration
  4. The used car must pass a safety and mechanical inspection.

What to Consider when Buying a Second Hand Car in Kenya


It is not about how much you can spend but the reasonable price of the car that meets your needs.

Therefore, it is important to visit various car dealers  to compare the car prices and make the best decision on the market value of the particular car.

You can also check the car prices online from various car dealers who have their products on their website.

It is advisable to bargain depending on the age and conditions of the car, you can purchase it at a lower price if you have the negotiation skills.

Imported or Locally Used?

That’s a dilemma you have to solve before deciding on other things. An imported second-hand car will get the upper hand given that it is cheaper even with the added taxes. However, it could be frustrating to wait for months for the car to get cleared through the ports.

A locally used car will cost higher but you can get your hands on it almost immediately. Although, be careful that it is not stolen or in a bad shape that needs lots of repair work.

Availability of Spare Parts

It will be less stressful when you choose a  car model that has spare parts available at the local car dealer shops or garage.

If your choice is Toyota, it will be better for you to choose the following models; Nissan, Volkswagen, Range Rover, KIA or Subaru.

Paperwork Details

It is important for you to check the  paperwork, It will be critical for you  to know the details of the previous car owner.

Conducting car online search and verifying the information on the logbook , gives you a stress free process of you buying  the second hand car from the car supermarket.

The car dealer will help  you in accessing the vehicle search history report, which will indicate if the car has a car ownership mishap.

Test Drive

It is advisable for you to take the car for a test drive.

While doing the drive, check for these key things;

  • Are the seats comfortable?
  • Is it possible to adjust the seat easily?
  • How is the mirror visibility?
  • Do you have enough legroom?
  • How much cargo space is there ?
  • The backs seats, are they comfortable?
  • Do you hear any weird noises coming from the car?