Commercial car dealers and individual buyers are engaged in a rush to beat the December 31 cut-off date for units assembled eight years ago.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) prohibits the importation of vehicles aged more than eight years from the date of manufacture.
The Car Importers Association of Kenya (CIAK) said while importers are rushing to beat the eight-year rule, which has traditionally driven up numbers as the year closes, a shortage of dollars has affected imports in the last three months this year.
“We have many importers bringing more cars this month of December to comply with the eight-year rule but numbers of imports are not as many as in previous years due to inflation and shortage of dollars,” said CIAK chairman Peter Otieno.
He added; "We are rushing against time so that traders with 2016 registered vehicles are not locked out leading to losses of millions of shillings.”
The eight-year rule once caught up with importers in 2014 when more than 2,000 used motor vehicles were locked out of the country.
This week, Kebs indicated that from January 1, 2024, only second-hand vehicles that were registered from January 1, 2017, will be allowed in.
The standards agency said the guidelines are in line with the eight-year age limit that was imposed on the importation of used cars.
"We wish to notify all importers of used/second-hand motor vehicles, including returning residents, diplomatic staff, and the general public, that in observance of clause 2.5 of KS 1515:2000 on the eight (8) year age limit requirement, only right-hand drive motor vehicles whose Year of First Registration is from January 1, 2017 and later shall be allowed into the country effective 1st January 2024.