Second-hand cars to get more expensive in new EAC age limit

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Kenyans may have to dig deeper into their pockets to buy second-hand cars popular with the majority if proposals to lower the age limit for used-vehicle imports are implemented.

A report has recommended the slashing of the age limit for imported cars to five years by 2021, in a raft of measures intended to promote local assembly in the region.


Kenya only allows imports of second-hand cars not older than eight years while Tanzania has set its limit at 10 years.

Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan do not have any such limits.

On average, cars in the region are 15 to 20 years old.

Second-hand imports are highly popular with a majority of middle-income Kenyans as they are cheaper.

New cars are out of reach for the majority, with most dealers only focusing on a few wealthy buyers, the government, big companies and aid agencies.


The EAC report argues that the disjointed policies on age limits among the EAC member states are flooding regional markets with old cars and stifling the growth of new car manufacturing.


“Lack of clear policy on age limits has been identified as a factor contributing to increased imports of used vehicles, while also posing adverse impact on environment, safety and health,” states a policy brief on the report that was submitted to a summit of the EAC heads of state last week.

Under the proposals, EAC countries would harmonise the age limits for used car imports at eight years by 2019.

This limit would then be lowered to five years by 2021.

Imported used cars make up about 85 per cent of the 2.2 million on the road in the region.

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