Used car importers flood Mombasa port to beat 8-year rule deadline
The importers of secondhand cars have flooded Port of Mombasa to clear their units ahead of December 31, 2021 deadline.
The deadline is under Kenya’s eight-year rule where starting January 1, 2022, only vehicles first registered on January 1, 2015, will be allowed into the country.
“We wish to notify all importers of used/secondhand motor vehicles that in observance of clause 2.5 of KS 1515:2000 on the eight-year age limit requirement, only Right Hand Drive motor vehicles whose Year of First Registration is from 1st January 2015 and later shall be allowed into the country,” says Kenya Bureau of Stands (KEBS) Managing Director Bernard Njiraini.
The directive means that any car registered the year 2014 backward and is not cleared at the port by December 31, 2021, shall be rejected at the importer’s expense.
However, there is a push by the East African Community (EAC) to reduce the importation age limit of secondhand cars to five years.
This has created a tug of war since the idea of reducing the age limit is being pushed by importers of new cars much more than the association of secondhand car importers.
A five-year age bracket would force Kenyans to dig deeper into their pockets, but experts argue that the asset being newer would outlive the loan tenure.
“A car will have a longer life and in terms of financial institution perspective, the funds will be more secured because being newer, if properly maintained would outlive the loan,” says Bilha Muriithi, Autochek Africa.
Autochek Africa operates in five countries in Africa, including Nigeria, Uganda, Code d’IVore, Uganda and Kenya. Autochek has built in-house digital solutions such as Dealer Management Systems offering services like vehicle financing, inspection, valuation, and inventory management.
Out of these countries, Autochek says Kenyans which has a credit penetration rate of 27.5 percent import cars even more than Nigeria at 5 percent.
“If there is faster adoption for this is Kenya more than any of these other markets which we operate in.”
On average, Kenya imports an average of 8,000 units every month making it around 100,000 units annually.
Kenyans prefer to import used vehicles from Japan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and South Africa.