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Kenya to reduce second hand car imports

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The Kenyan government plans to lower the age limit for second hand car imports from eight to five years.

They intend to switch to a five-year import limit in one smooth operation from July 1 2019. However commentators have said that this is unrealistic; the country relies heavily on imported vehicles as they are much cheaper than locally assembled vehicles.

Kenya imports 7,600 vehicles per month on average, compared with the 430 units which can be put together locally over the same period.

Kenya is in a free trade area with its five East African neighbours so that enforcement of an age limit can only succeed if undertaken across the region. If a five-year age limit is imposed in Kenya when neighours are free to import eight and 10-year old vehicles, this will only boost cross-border smuggling.