Kenya Car Import Guide

As a car dealer or private car buyer, you can now easily import a secondhand car directly from Japan. However, there several import steps that you need to understand for a smooth import process. It is important that you understand how to source a car from Japan while avoiding internet fraud and imports of lemon vehicles. Autoassista.com�s car import guide aims at helping car importers learn how to buy vehicles from Japan smoothly. The import guide has information on various topics such as Car auctions, Car dealers, and vehicle inspection.


Japanese Used Car Market

In Japan, End users purchases New cars from various new car dealership centers that are located in practically all towns. The new car buyer will receive rebate if he/she has a used car that he plans to dispose off. Most people in Japan use their car for between 5 to 8 years before purchasing new car. However, this trend is rapidly changing due to the changing economic conditions.

Unlike in Kenya, all cars in Japan must undergo car inspection (known as Shaken in Japanese) every two years. This inspection is to ensure that all the automobiles comply with vehicular emission laws and other automobile rules. The inspection ensures that all cars driven on Japanese roads are road worthy.

Once the car dealer in Japan acquires used car from the end user, the cars are mainly taken to �used car auctions� located in various parts of Japan. Dealer from various parts of Japan can access the auction bidding system through the internet or visit the auction house to bid for a car. Alternatively, some used car dealers in the domestic market resell the used cars to user or to vehicle exporters. These cars are then exported to various destinations in the world. Currently, Africa and the Latin America are gaining momentum as the major export markets for.

Japanese Used Car Auction

Japanese car auctions are exclusive used car auction houses where dealers buy and sell vehicles. Most of the used auctions have computerized bidding systems accessible through the internet. Access to car auctions is restricted to paid members who are mainly used car exporters and domestic car dealers. There are however many used car importer who travel to Japan and visit car auctions to buy cars. The biggest car auction is USS (used car system solutions) and has branches in many Tokyo, Chiba, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Sapporo, Kyushu (Fukuoka), shizuoka, Okayama and other locations. We have membership in all auction houses.

Japanese Car Dealers

There are more than 10,000 cars (domestic and car exporters) dealers in Japan. Many used cars dealers are located around Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Aichi, Kobe and Chiba and in other major cities. The used car exporters mainly buy export cars from used car auctions, other dealers or from end users. Almost all dealers have website where car buyer can see cars on offer. In the recent past B t B websites such as tradecarview have developed as business platform for used car importers and exporters.

Most car dealers in Japan are Genuine and trustworthy but there has been an increase in fraud cases involving unscrupulous car dealers. It is advisable to do some background research on an exporter that you intend to work with. Ask friends for advice, search for the dealer name on search engine for any clues and check affiliation with accredited dealership.


Used Car Import Regulation in Kenya

For a used car to be imported from Japan to Kenya, it must be in compliance with the following used car import requirement set by Kenya Bureau of Standards.

  1. The vehicle must not be more than 8 years old from the year of first registration. The difference between the date of registration and the date of manufacture shall not be more than one year.
  2. All vehicles imported to Kenya must right hand drive (RHD) except for special vehicles such as ambulance and fire engine.
  3. All vehicles must undergo car inspection before being shipped to Kenya. KEBS issues a vehicle roadworthiness certificate which is necessary when clearing the imported car from the port of Mombasa

Shipping a Car to Kenya

Your car will either be shipped on RO-RO or in a container. Almost all used car bound for Africa are shipped on RO-RO basis. Ro-Ro means the cars are put on the deck of the vessel. Though more expensive, a car can also be shipped in either 20 feet or 40 feet container. One container can carry several units depending on the size. It takes roughly three to four weeks to ship a car from port in Japan to East and Southern Africa.

All used car to Africa must be shipped on CIF or C&F bases. Many shipping companies do not allow inner cargo in cars bound for Africa. If you need spare parts for your, car they must be shipped independently. The Japanese used car dealers will do all the paper work necessary in shipping a car and will arrange for delivery of necessary documents such as the Bill of Landing, insurance policy, invoice and vehicles export certificate. These documents will be required when clearing the vehicle at the port of Mombasa.


Reading the auction sheet

Car auction sheet is a document prepared by the auction house to inform car dealers about the condition of a vehicle. The car auction sheet contains all the information that a dealer may need to know about the vehicle such as; Year of registration, mileage, color, vehicle make and model, grade, chassis number, Vin, vehicle condition etc. The auction sheet is only available in Japanese language. Below is as detailed explanation of how to read the Japanese car auction sheet.

Japan Car Auction Sheet

1. Auction lot number
2. Date of first registration in Japan
3. Car model
4. Number of doors
5. The vehicle engine size (cc)
6. Vehicle chassis number
7. The vehicle grade
8. 2WD or 4Wd
9. Auction grade / Rating (0 to 6)
10. Rating for interior condition of the car (A to E)
11. Vehicle Transmission
12. Vehicle specifications
13. Mileage covered
14. Air conditioner
15. Exterior color
16. Fuel type
17. Drive (Right hand drive (RHD) or Left hand drive (LHD))
18. Vehicle sales points
19. Capacity (persons)
20. Vehicle identification number (VIN)
21. Car condition
Car condition explanation