How Much Duty will I Pay to Import a Car to Kenya? How KRA Calculates Car Import Taxes

Import Mazda CX5


If you are planning to import a car from Japan, the UK, or elsewhere, one of your biggest concerns will be the cost. There is the actual cost of buying the vehicle, often referred to as CIF (Cost, Insurance & Freight) in import lingo. Basically, this covers the value of the car to the port of Mombasa.  This part is easy to understand, but it is the second part that most people find complicated and even confusing- import taxes.

How exactly do import agents arrive at the taxes payable? In this article, we will break down exactly how car import taxes in Kenya are calculated.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is the body tasked with determining how much taxes you pay for importing a car, and to whom these taxes are paid.

KRA uses what is called a Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP), a database that lists the showroom (brand-new) costs of various models of cars. The CRSP prices are what form a basis of taxing second-hand imports based on a depreciation model.

Please note- you will not pay taxes based on how much you paid for your car  (purchase invoice) but rather, by the CRSP.

Before we explain how CRSP depreciation works, it is important to note that other factors will affect the total cost of a used car. These include:

  • Make- e.g., Subaru, Toyota, Nissan
  • Model- e.g., Forester, Prado, Juke
  • Year and month of manufacture, e.g., Nov 2014
  • Engine transmission- e.g., automatic, manual
  • Engine capacity-e.g. 1600cc, 1800cc, 2000cc
  • Fuel type- e.g., petrol, diesel
  • Class – e.g., wagon, hatchback, sedan

**What is a bad month?

As noted above, the month and year of manufacturer/ registration is crucial in determining taxes payable. The month, particularly, is something that you should pay attention to as there is what is called ‘a bad month’.

A bad month refers to importing a vehicle and having it arrive in Mombasa before its month of manufacturer or registration for the year in question. For example, if you buy a December 2014 Mazda CX5 but have it arrive in Mombasa in October 2021, this is a bad month and you will pay taxes for the year 2015 (which are higher). It is therefore important to consult with your import agent to ensure that you get the right car.


CRSP Depreciation

KRA depreciates the CRSP price of a car by 10% per year (since the year of manufacture) to which then adds the insurance and freight costs to arrive at the customs value.

For instance, if you import a 2014 Mazda CX5, the CRSP price will depreciate by 70%, the year 2015 will depreciate by 60%, 2016 by 50%, and so forth. This means that unlike other countries, in Kenya, the older a car is, the cheaper it is, and the newer a vehicle is, the more expensive it is.

The customs value we mentioned will then be subjected to several charges as follows:

  • Import duty- 25%
  • Excise value- 20% + import duty
  • Value added tax – 16% + import duty + excise duty
  • IDF (Import declaration fee)-3.5%
  • Railway Development Levy-2%
  • Additional charges- Marine Levy & Radiation Check

Let us look at a practical example. Let us say you want to import a 2000cc, petrol engine, 2014 Mazda CX5. This is how your import duty will be calculated.

Current Retail Selling Price 4,495,000.00
Depreciation 70%
Extra Depreciation 0%
Customs value                     605,642
Import Duty 25%                     151,411
Excise Value                     757,053
Excise Duty 25%               189,263.16
VAT Value                     946,316
VAT 16%                     151,411
RDL 2%                       12,113
IDF Fees 3.5%                       21,197
Grand Total                     525,395

This means the total import duty you will pay for a 2000cc 2014 Mazda CX5 is 525,000kes.

***These figures are meant as a guideline and are not absolute. KRA may change the CRSP without notice.
Mazda CX5

Metallic Blue Mazda CX5

Other Importation Costs

Now that you have an idea of how KRA arrives at taxes, it is time to look at other costs that you will incur at the port of Mombasa. These include:

  • Port charges– This is paid to the CFS (container freight station) where your car is being stored and varies based on the size of your vehicle
  • Shipping– This is paid to the shipping line that shipped your car
  • Registration fee– Paid to NTSA for registration & physical plates
  • Import agency fee– This is the fee agreed upon with your import agent for handling the whole import process on your behalf.
  • Clearance fees– Fees paid to the clearing & forwarding company that will clear your car from the port
  • Transportation to your location (either by road or car carrier)- You can choose to drive your car/ have it driven from Mombasa or use a car carrier
  • Insurance– This will be issued by your preferred insurance agent

Here is an example of local costs such as the ones mentioned above:

2000cc 2014 Mazda CX5
IMPORT DUTY   525,000kes
Port Charges 28,000  
Shipping 9,600  
Facilitation Fees 3,000  
Agent fees 10,000  
MSS Levy 1,900  
Radiation 1,000  
Third Sticker 750  
TOTAL 54,250  
*These costs are an example and actual costs may vary    

As stated, the above costs are just an example and will vary based on the size of your car, your contract with our agent and other factors. If you decide to transport your car via car carrier, you may end up paying another 20,000-25,000kes. There is also the cost of insurance, and we recommend that you take a comprehensive insurance cover.

Finally, to get a rough estimate of the total cost of your car, add the CIF cost, import duty and local expenses.



If you are looking to import a clean, low mileage vehicle  from Japan hassle free, speak to us today!



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How much is duty for a BMW 2014 Z4 roadster?

Jac Maingi
Jac Maingi

Thank you for this information, i was so confused i thought i would calculate the taxes from the value i would have purchased the car. Let me ask what is estimate of importing a subaru forester? as in the whole process. Thanks in advance


How much do I need to import a vw touran/tiguan 2015/2013 respectively.


What if i have tax exemption certificate from kra


whats the total cost of importing a honda fit or mazda demio i.e all costs are considered
how much doi need to have

Reply to  Croton Motors

okay, will be waiting


what is the cost of duty 2014 vitz 1300cc good month

Samson agallo
Samson agallo
Reply to  Croton Motors

How much do ipay for importing atoyota aqua 450,000 crps 2014 engine cap 1490 cc

James Kimani
James Kimani

How much would it cost to import 2014 Toyota tactics with low mileage (approx. 35000km).


Hi there,
Wish to get total estimates for toyota hilux double cab 2019

Mr. Brown
Mr. Brown

Thanks for the info it is so enlightening, kind request how much will it cost me to import a Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI station wagon 2014, thanks

Eric kinyua
Eric kinyua

I already talked to my dealer at thiland for a Ford double cab @ 19700$ engine size 3200 cc year/month 2014/ 4 diesel how would they tax me till I get that car

Sharon k
Sharon k

Thanks for this insightful information on importation. I would like to know the total taxes i will incur when importing Fielder Hybrid 2015.

Stephen Pilkington
Stephen Pilkington

I’m thinking of buying a 7.5t lorry/truck in uk and bringing it with me to Kenya. The value of the truck in the UK would be around 1.5m Kenyan shillings. And age around 2014
How much would I pay by the time it is all finished and able to drive on Kenya roads