How to Import a Car to Kenya
Have you ever wanted to import a car in Kenya but you don’t know where to start? Most Kenyans buy their cars through middlemen who import them from Japan or Europe. While this is convenient, you end up spending an exorbitant amount of money compared to importing a car directly. The process might seem complicated but with the right information, it’s a smooth and simple procedure. Additionally, there are other reasons why importation is the best option. Here’s some information on how to import a car in Kenya.
According to a study by the UN Environment, nearly 96% of imported cars in Kenya are used cars. These cars are usually obtained by auction from Japanese auction sites. They usually provide affordable cars in pristine conditions hence their popularity. If they have any defects, this is indicated in the auction sheet which we’ll discuss in detail. Additionally, Japanese auction sites have a wide selection of cars and you’re likely to find exactly what you’re looking for from these sites. Therefore, it’s advantageous to familiarize yourself with the auction process.
The first step when importing a car from Japan is to find the car in the numerous Japanese auction sites. there are over 30 reputable auction groups, 200 auction locations and over 50,000 cars lined up every day. It’s important to buy from a well-known auction location as you’re guaranteed high-quality services and cars.
Auctions are usually held on working hours from Monday to Saturday with exceptions of national holidays. As mentioned, there’s a huge pool of vehicles in the Japanese market. Therefore, to hasten the process of finding the right car, it’s advisable to select an auction consultant who’ll help with the auction process. The consultant will help identify a car that’s suitable for you.
Every vehicle has an auction sheet after inspection by the auction house. It’s important to go through the auction sheet thoroughly as it provides the condition of the vehicle. Additionally, the auction house is not liable for any defects stated in the auction sheet.
The auction sheet includes a detailed outline of the car such as;
- Vehicle Grade
- Year of First Registration
- Engine Capacity (CC)
- Fuel Type
- Seating Capacity
- Chassis Number
It also includes the necessary information to determine whether the car is purchasable like scratches, dents, changed parts, rust and paint chips. Some damages are repairable hence shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. However, in some cases, the damage may be more than what the buyer is willing to handle. In this case, you can look through the auction site for another car.
Once you find a car that meets your requirements, you have to make a deposit so as to bid on the car. The deposit is done through a wire transfer. If you win the bid, then you have to send the balance and consultant fees if any. If the bid wasn’t successful, the deposit amount will be refunded or allocated to another vehicle depending on your preference.
It’s possible to buy a car from Japan without going through the auction system. Just like In Kenya, there are individuals and dealerships selling cars every day. You can visit a Japanese car website and check which vehicle fits your preference. Once you find a car that you like, you can request an invoice from the dealership or individual together with your contact details so they will be able to reach you. Make sure you state that you’re planning on importing the car so they give you a comprehensive quote.
If you’re satisfied with the price, let them know and start the payment process. It’s important to be prompt to ensure the car isn’t sold to someone else. Most dealerships use wire transfer as a payment method although others accept PayPal method. When you’ve made the transfer, send the receipt to the car seller as proof of payment who will then send you a confirmation email and commence the shipping process.
This method is easier than the auction method since it’s less complicated and the options are narrowed down. Additionally, you’re dealing with one person or company so, in case the transaction goes wrong, it’s easier to trace them.
Buying A Car From Europe
The process is pretty much the same as explained above. There are important things to note while importing a car to ensure a safe and smooth importation process. These are;
- Bill Of Landing certificate – this comes from the seller and it shows that you’re the rightful owner of the car
- Logbook – this is another crucial document that shows that you’re responsible for registering and taxing the car.
- Pre-Inspection Certificate – No Vehicle can come into the port without a Pre-Inspection certificate. Ensure you get it from the seller before importation.