How Long Does It Take To Import A Car To Kenya From The Uk?

Jan 20, 2021

Import a Car to Kenya from the UK

Answering this question is simple. The shipping journey from the UK to Kenya takes 25-29 days. But that is only part of the car import procedure. When you buy a vehicle from the UK and have it imported to Mombasa, this will take 40 days. And if you want it registered and transported to Nairobi then we’re talking 50-60 days. This may sound like a long time, but when you understand the steps needed to import your vehicle, you will feel much more comfortable with how it works and the realistic expectation of the time it takes.

How Long Does it Take to Import a Car to Kenya from the UK?

Importing a vehicle from the UK to Kenya – C&F

The cheapest way to import your vehicle is a C&F service to Mombasa. This means your car import company sources and imports your vehicle to Mombasa. You then take care of the marine insurance, clearing and registration when it arrives.

It takes 40 days from the moment you deposit on the car in the UK to it reaching Mombasa port.* Let’s break that down into steps: This realistic time frame allows you 10 days for you to pay your deposit and your balance, the car to be viewed, paperwork and history checked, inspected thoroughly, collected within the UK, delivered to your import company for any modifications to be made, inspected by QISJ, booked onto the next ship for Kenya and delivered to the port. On reaching the port, it can take a number of days for the vehicle to be loaded. We like to deliver our cars a few days ahead of the ship leaving to be sure it is processed in plenty of time for the ship we have booked it for. When you consider the number of procedures required, you can see that 10 days is a quick turnaround. And in all honesty a faster turnaround risks missing an important step; wouldn’t you want your importer to take the time to complete a thorough inspection of all of the paperwork, history and test drive your car before it is transported to the UK port?

Shipping your vehicle from the UK to Kenya

Once the ship departs, the journey to Mombasa port takes between 25-29 days. To assist, a diagram of the stages of the vehicle import process are provided below.

How Long Does It Take To Ship A Car to Kenya From UK

Clearing and registering your vehicle in Mombasa

When your vehicle reaches Mombasa port it will need to be unloaded, cleared through customs and registered in Kenya before you can drive it away. This is typically managed by a licensed clearing agent. You should expect clearing and registering to take from a few days up to 2 weeks depending on your clearing agent and whether the duty value for your vehicle is easily identified in the CRSP by the KRA. To understand more about calculating your car import duty please read our blog about it here (insert link)

At this point, many people are happy to collect their car from Mombasa, but one of our most popular import services includes the cars being delivered to Nairobi for a personal handover by our team. This includes a few more steps to deliver your car with care.

Transporting your vehicle import from Mombasa to Nairobi

We always transport our cars on a car transporter managed by Mitchell Cotts because we have always believed it too risky to allow agency drivers to drive the cars to Nairobi for us. Mitchell Cotts provides us with complete confidence that all our cars are completely secure throughout their journey and whilst this takes a little extra time, we believe peace of mind with high value cars is invaluable. Once a car carrier is fully loaded you can expect your car to reach Nairobi within a day. However, carriers will only leave once they are fully loaded and so you should expect to wait a few days for them to be ready to depart.

Once your vehicle has reached Nairobi, it is moved to our preparation partner for a professional valet and a mechanical check over to ensure your car is ready to showroom standard before you receive it. This is simply half a day so you can expect to be receiving your car imminently. Our operations manager will contact you to arrange the most convenient time we can deliver your car to you.

To import your car from the UK and have it on your drive in Nairobi, the best case scenario is 45 days. However, there are many variables which can slow this slightly which are not in the control of the supplier. It is prudent to expect a delay of some sort. Typically, we can import our cars paid for c with ash buyers within 55 days. But there are also common pinch points in the process which will push those timings back. The most common pinch points include shipping schedules, clearing and customs and transport to Nairobi. To help you visualise the complete process, broken down into key steps we have provided the diagram below. These are the maximum timings we would expect a car to take to be imported to Nairobi.

How Long Does It Take To Ship A Car To Kenya From The UK- Delivered To Nairobi

The best suppliers take the time to import your car with the greatest care. Rather than cutting corners and taking risks, timings might be delayed to ensure everything is completed properly and mistakes are not made. In the long run more haste less speed is usually the case. So, we would always stress the importance of choosing an experienced importer who will take care of all the details in the right way and avoid those who will cut corners and risk incomplete paperwork or worse. Afterall, when you are making a purchase as significant as a car, you need to know that your new car has been imported correctly, supported with accurate paperwork and arrives in pristine condition for you to enjoy.

Note to reader*

It’s important to bear in mind that all timings are based on average timings but are subject changes in shipping schedules. These can be affected by weather, high traffic at the port and public holidays, but are usually very smooth.

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