Easy Guide to Importing a Car from Japan to Kenya

According to a survey done by Insure The Gap, 74% of people said that having a car is essential to their everyday life. I couldn’t agree more! And given how unreliable public transport in Kenya can be, having a set of wheels for yourself would be great. Also, besides being essential for everyday life, a vehicle makes traveling and exploring easy for the wanderlust. Recently I came across an Instagram page (Vanlife East Africa) and immediately got an urge for a van and a road trip!

Buying a car in Kenya is easy; all you need is to walk into a dealership or yard and drive out. However, for those out there who prefer the adventure of “do-it-yourself”, here is a quick guide on how to go about it.

Easy guide to importing a car from Japan to Kenya

Are you a Kenyan who wants to pursue your dreams of owning a Japanese car? Then you are in the right place for it!

Japan is the source of most vehicles imported to Kenya. In 2021, the main imports were personal cars and commercial vehicles. That said many citizens have not acknowledged the rules and regulations of how to import a car from Japan to Kenya. So, they end up waiting for a long period and in some cases getting nothing!

If you decide to go the “DIY” way, it is always good to do some research on the rules and regulations, importation process, and the expected timelines.

Rules and Regulations for the importation of Japanese cars

If you want to import a car from Japan, there are certain rules and regulations regarding Japanese used cars in Kenya. They are enforced by the Standards of Kenya Imports Order.

  • Only right-hand vehicles are allowed; you can’t import left-hand drive vehicles.
  • All vehicles must be inspected by a KEBS-appointed agent in Kenya for safer road drive.


The imported Japanese used cars in Kenya must not be older than eight years from the date of manufacture and the new rule of five years restrictions will be set out soon.

Documentations Required

Here are the documents required when clearing your car at the port.

  • Original bill of lading.
  • The Inspection certificate by JEMVIC from Japan.
  • Ownership proof. The foreign vehicle logbook.
  • The Import duty receipt and import declaration form.
  • Insurance Cover.

The cost

You need to know all the taxes. So, later on, you won’t be grousing about the cost. Here we have listed the cost of importing Japanese cars to Kenya.

  • A 25% import duty on Japanese cars, and Excise duty varies.
  • There is a value-added tax of 14%.
  • There is a railway development levy (1.5%).
  • At last, import declaration charges of 2%.

Vital Tips for importing a car from Japan

We have followed crucial tips for you, which will help in buying a car from Japan.

  • Find a respectable, trustworthy, and experienced trader from Japan.
  • Choose your vehicle according to your budget. Don’t bite more than you can chew.
  • Pay the price for the vehicle before the deadline, or else you will lose your vehicle.
  • The shipment process begins.
  • Hire a port cleaning agent.

Japanese used cars in Kenya are indeed some of the most affordable cars you can buy today. Moreover, they are reliable, durable, classic, and simple in design.

Featured Photo: By Bestami Sarıkaya on Unsplash

Related Post: Resources for Travelers.




Your advice is very informative


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