Alistair Benn
By Alistair Benn

Understand how the car import process works from the UK all the way to collection in Kampala with our set by step guide covering car sourcing, shipping, transport, costs, customs clearing and registration in Uganda

Buying new and used cars from the UK

Our car sourcing specialists have unparalleled trade networks and experience to find your perfect car at the best price worldwide. We strive to source VAT qualifying cars if buying from the UK and process the VAT in your behalf. You will not need to cover the VAT whilst we reclaim it. You can enjoy the discount in your purchase price from us.

We provide a highly professional car import service which is flexible so we can be involved as much or as little as you need. Choose from our door to door service from Japan or the UK to Kampala, or a scaled back CIF service to Mombasa.

Car import services

UK car sourcing with door to door shipping to Kampala, Uganda.

Most of our clients are keen for our buying specialists to source their new car from the UK, negotiate the purchase and import the car carefully to Uganda. This provides you with everything you need and the peace of mind that every detail is taken care of, leaving you to simply collect it Kampala.

We are partnered with Upstream, a sister company of Mitchell Cotts, who provide highly professional import and clearing for all cars destined for Kampala.

Car sourcing from Japan or Australia with door to door shipping to Kampala, Uganda.

We frequently source cars from Japan or Australia and import them to Mombasa and Kampala. This gives you the benefit of buying your ideal specification at the best price worldwide. Our Japanese website provides more details regarding this service.

UK car sourcing and shipping CIF to Uganda

Here we will source your car and import it to Kampala Bond, Uganda where your clearing agent will complete the import on your behalf.

Shipping from the UK to Uganda

If you have found the car you want to buy in the UK, we are happy to manage the transaction and provide our import service from the UK to either Mombasa or onward to Kampala.

Simply talk to the team and they will be happy to help you.

Payment process for UK cars shipping to Uganda.

Assuming you are choosing our door to door import service to Kampala, the payment process for cars shipping to Uganda breaks down into three parts:

• Our CIF service to Mombasa is paid for in the UK, before your car is delivered to the UK port.

• A separate payment is made to Upstream, our clearing partner in Uganda, for their clearing services and the transport to Kampala Bond.

• A direct payment on the Ugandan Revenue Authority online system for your car’s duty.

Shipping a used car to Uganda

Shipping options to Kampala.

Vehicles can be shipped via Roll on – Roll off services or in secure containers.

Roll on Roll off shipping; This is the cheapest method for shipping cars to Mombasa which makes it the most popular choice. Cars are driven onto the ship’s deck and secured deck with large straps before leaving for Mombasa.

Container shipping; This is a popular choice for high value cars as it is the most secure. Cars are carefully loaded into either single 20ft containers or a shared 40ft container where they are secured prior to locking the container. Additional items can be shipped in the container too such as accessories or household items. This is a more expensive method of shipping but the security it provides give peace of mind.

Shipping process – How to book

Our team take care of this for you as part of our service.

Vehicle collection in the UK and delivery to the port

Our experienced team of drivers, collect your car, and drive it back to our offices for photographing and preparation you may request such as window tinting, accessories and alloys.

Vehicle shipping from the UK

When your car is ready to leave, our team drive it to the port. This ensures that the car’s battery is fully charged before spending 25 days in transit to Mombasa.

How much does it cost to ship a car from the UK to Uganda?

The shipping costs from the UK to Mombasa are as follows:

Shipping costs to Mombasa from the UK (June 2021)

Port charges, clearing services and transport costs for Uganda

Depending on your vehicle, you can expect to pay between $2,500 - $3,500 USD for professional clearing services. This includes port charges in Mombasa, transport to Kampala Bond, clearing fees excluding duty and registration.

Choice of transport from Mombasa to Kampala.

Your car can be carried via a car transporter or remain in its shipping container. The more expensive vehicles often remain in their containers safe transit until released at Kampala.

All our cars are transported by Upstream, for professional care is our top priority. We are very careful not to have our cars driven by a hired driver.

Inspection of motor vehicles

Prior to export, each car must undergo a roadworthiness inspection. These are carried out by either the Ugandan National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) or QISJ. It is important to note that UNBS are the official inspectors but QISJ are also authorised to provide a official inspection which is valid in Uganda. We book and manage the inspections for all our clients.

The price for a UNBS or QISJ is £180 if the vehicle is inspected on their site. The price increases to £250 per vehicle if the inspector carries out the inspection at a site of your choosing.

Vehicle conformity criteria for Uganda

It is important to understand that all motor vehicles being imported to Uganda meet the Uganda Standard KS 1515:2000 before leaving the country of origin. The key requirements are:

Age: Motor vehicles must be less than 15 years from the year of registration.

Drive: Motor vehicles can only by Right Hand Drive (RHD)

Road-worthiness: All vehicles must have the required road-worthiness certification as mentioned above.

Radioactive contamination inspection: All vehicles being imported to Uganda from Japan must have a radioactive contamination inspection and appropriate certification prior to leaving Japan.

How is import duty calculated on a car in Uganda?

Import duty for second hand motor vehicles is calculated using the following rates:

Import duty = 25% of the customs value of the vehicle*

Excise duty = 20% of (CIF invoice + Import duty)

VAT = 16% (CIF value + import duty + excise duty)

These are calculated cumulatively and in that order.

* customs value of the vehicle is determined using the CIF invoice which includes the cost of the car + marine insurance + shipping and transport charges. So typically you can expect to pay 25% of your CIF invoice for your import duty.

Additional vehicle import costs

If you are importing your car yourself, you should also expect to pay for the following additional charges. We incorporate all these additional costs into your original quote, so you can feel confident you have understood all costs from the beginning.

Environmental Levy (for cars over 8 years old) • Infrastructure Levy • Vehicle registration. • Bond charges in Kampala. • Pre-delivery inspection & full valet. •

The Import Declaration Fee (IDF) is also required. This is 2.25% of the CIF invoice subject to a minimum of Ksh. 5,000 payable in advance on application.

If you are unsure whether you should pay any of these costs, talk to our team and they will advise you.

Documents needed to import your car into Uganda.

The original CIF invoice.

The original Bill of Lading.

The Import Declaration Form (IDF) issued by Ugandan Customs.

The Original Logbook from the country of origin.

Clearance through customs

Our clearing agent will set up the customs clearance on your behalf and check the calculation for you. Once they are happy, they send the link to you for payment for you to make directly to URA.

Registering and collecting your car.

As the owner, you are required to register your car in person. This is a simple process which you can complete online at or in person at a regional office.

Vehicle registration costs in Uganda

Vehicle registration costs Uganda

Personalised number plates can be bought. These cost 20,000,000 for motor vehicles and 1,500,000 for motorcycles.

Vehicle import timings to Uganda

How long does it take to import a car to Uganda

Car collection in Kampala

Once you have the required registration documentation you can collect your car from the Kampala Bond.

Guide to Importing a car from the UK to Uganda

Watch this step by step guide to car importing to Uganda in the accompanying video below.

Get in touch about importing your next car