While a number of factors like for example the make of the car affects the duty payable to the government of Kenya, the frequency of importation for the make, among other things, the age of the car is one of the most powerful determinants. The Kenya government have put it such that the younger the car, the higher the amount of taxes payable to import it. Some figures are even outrageously exaggerated to equal or surpass the actual value of the car. Why?

The argument might be that if one can afford to import an almost brand new car, then by all means, they are more than capable of handling the heavy duty that comes with it. What the government misses is that these new-car importers are already a blessing to their countries without including the generous tax payments.


New cars, developed with better technology are more fuel efficient translating to more responsible use of energy i.e fuel. They also have less CO 2 emissions which reduces the strain on our already struggling environmental state. Despite all these, our governments seem oblivious to the fact that encouraging importation of newer cars might actually be the best choice.

Or is it? Like every fair case, there are two sides of the story. For developing countries, I doubt that the environmental state of their countries is a priority. If you have your eyes on developing your country, then you ought to look past the thousands of industries and vehicles coughing up pollution.
This however, is open to critical debate. The development of a country also relies heavily on all the taxes it can squeeze out of its citizens to ensure that their ultimate goal – being developed – is achieved. So maybe it’s not so wrong to let the rich 2015 Mercedes Benz S500 owner contribute a little more to the country’s cause than the farmer importing a 2010 Toyota Probox to help him move his produce from the farm to the market.


The middle ground for all these matters is where the government equates the 2017 Toyota Probox duty to a 2010 equivalent. This is a win – win situation. The government gets to keep its good revenue since new-car sales will plummet through the roof and also have the environment catered for and the farmer on the other side can get the most energy efficient car for the most affordable duty.

The solution is not always on enforcing restricting laws but creating a situation where nothing can possibly go wrong. Equate the taxes and let the car importers decide whether they want a beat down 2010 car or a 2017 brand new car for a little more cash.

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