Top 5 Tips for Saving Money on Taxes and Duties When Importing a Car to Kenya

Importing a car into Kenya comes with its fair share of challenges, particularly regarding taxes and duties. At UK RoadRunner, we recognise the importance of financial prudence in the car importation process.  In this blog post, we’ll share five valuable tips to help Kenyan car importers save money on taxes and duties while making the process smoother and more cost-effective.

1. Choose the Right Age and Engine Size:

The car’s age and engine capacity heavily influence Kenya’s import taxes. Cars older than 8 years face a ban, while younger vehicles attract progressive duty rates based on age. Similarly, large-engine cars (above 3,000cc) incur the highest duty rates. For instance, you can opt for a fuel-efficient car under 3,000cc and within the 3-5-year age bracket for significant savings. 

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A Range Rover Discovery Imported to Kenya by UK RoadRunner

2. Declare the Correct Value:

It’s tempting to under-declare the car’s value to avoid taxes, but don’t! KRA has sophisticated mechanisms to detect discrepancies. Under-declaration can lead to hefty fines and confiscation, ultimately costing you more. Be honest and transparent to avoid unnecessary headaches when importing your car to Kenya.

3. Time Your Import:

Cars “depreciate” in value every month, meaning lower import duties. Time your arrival to coincide with its registration date for maximum savings. So, the ideal scenario is to import a car just after it passes its registration anniversary. This way, you benefit from the lower duty rate.  Importing a car just before its registration date means you pay the higher duty rate for another year. This can significantly impact your overall import costs. Keep an eye on Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) updates. Sometimes, duty rates change, so planning your import to Kenya strategically can be advantageous.

4. Consider Duty-Free Options:

If eligible, utilizing diplomatic status can exempt you from import duties. However, if you’re importing a car for a short stay, temporary import permits offer an alternative path. These permits often involve reduced duties and taxes for a specified period, but strict compliance with the regulations is crucial. By exploring this option, you can ensure a smooth and cost-effective experience. 

5. Seek Professional Guidance

Choose a company with a proven track record of successful car imports to Kenya. UK RoadRunner is here to guide you every step of the way! We’ll handle the paperwork, navigate the complexities, and ensure you get the best possible deal. Partnering with a reputable customs clearing agent can also be invaluable. At UK RoadRunner we have partnered with experienced clearing agents to ensure our clients are saving time and money in the process of importing your car.

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A Range Rover sport Imported To Kenya by UK RoadRunner


Importing a car into Kenya requires careful consideration and strategic planning to minimize taxes and duties. Remember, saving on taxes and duties doesn’t just put more money in your pocket.  It also allows you to invest in a higher-quality car or splurge on those essential accessories. 

At UK RoadRunner, we’re dedicated to supporting your journey towards cost-effective and efficient car importation.  Therefore, contact UK RoadRunner today for a free quote and let’s make your car import smooth, efficient, and cost-effective!

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