How to Import Vehicles to India

If you liked a car or a bike not manufactured in India and wish to get it imported, then there are certain rules and regulations you must be aware of. Importing vehicles to India can be costly and it is important to know that you will have to spend a substantial amount of money for it. However, there are various criteria you must fulfill in order to get vehicles imported to India.

Rules to Follow when Importing new Vehicles to India

  • The vehicle can only be imported from the country where it was manufactured or assembled.
  • The vehicle must have been built and developed overseas.
  • If you are importing a car, then it should be a right-hand drive.
  • The vehicle must be brand new and should not have any history of being rented, used, or given out on lease.
  • In case of imported cars, it can enter legally through one of the three naval docks i.e., Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.
  • The speedometer of your car or bike should display the statistic in kilometers per hour.
  • The headlights on your vehicle must be placed in such a way that it properly illuminates the left-hand side of the road.

Rules to Follow when Importing used Vehicles to India

  1. The used vehicle that you are looking to import must not be older than 3 years. It is important you check the manufacturing date before getting it imported.
  2. In case of importing a card, it should be a right-hand drive.
  3. The vehicle must not have been rented, leased, or sold to other parties previously.
  4. The headlights on your vehicle must be placed in a way that it properly illuminates the left side of the road.
  5. Used vehicles also can enter India legally through one of the three naval docks i.e., Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai.
  6. You can drive a used vehicle only if it is roadworthy to be driven on Indian roads. Hence, you will have to obtain a roadworthy certificate which must be valid for at least five years and states that the vehicle is safe to be driven on Indian roads.
  7. The speedometer of your vehicle must display the statistics in kilometers per hour.

Who can Import Vehicles to India

  • Multinational companies who have their offices in India.
  • Physically challenged people.
  • Honorary consulate members can also import a vehicle provided they have obtained a permission from the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • If you have a relative living abroad from whom you can inherit the vehicle.
  • Companies that operate out of India but deal with foreign equities.
  • Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who have not stayed in India for at least two years before the vehicle is imported to the country.
  • Religious bodies and charitable trusts can also get vehicles imported provided they have proper vehicle registration documents.
  • Journalists can also get vehicles imported provided they have a proper accreditation certificate from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Rules for NRIs looking to Import their Vehicle to India

  • If you are an NRI, then you must have resided in India for at least two years before you are eligible to get your vehicle imported.
  • You also need to plan to stay in India for one more year after having spent two years already to be able to import your vehicle to India successfully.
  • Once you have shifted base, the transfer of your vehicle must take place within six months of your shifting.
  • You must not have undertaken a transfer from your current base for at least three years.
  • If the engine capacity of your vehicle is between 75cc and 500cc, then all the rules pertaining to new and used vehicles are not considered.
  • Once the vehicle is imported, you can sell it for another two years.
  • Only a single family member can undertake the transfer procedure.

Documents Required

  • Bank draft.
  • Vehicle’s insurance policy papers.
  • Vehicle’s purchase order or letter of credit.
  • GATT declaration which is the declaration by Customs regarding the cost of the imported car.
  • Import license.
  • Loding bill which is an official document stating that the vehicle has been received for shipment.
  • Duty Exemption Entitlement Certificate, Duty Entitlement Pass Book, etc. are some of the other certificates you will be required to submit

Custom Duty to be paid on Imported Vehicles

  1. For new vehicles, you will be required to pay custom duty ranging between 60% - 100% of the cost. For used cars, the duty may go up to 125%.
  2. Vehicles which are priced $4,000 and above will attract a custom duty charge of 100%. However, if your vehicle is priced below $4,000 then you will have to pay a custom duty charge of only 60%.
  3. The total charges for a four-wheeler vehicle can be 165% if you take into consideration the insurance, cost of the vehicle, and CIF value. Similarly, the total charges for two-wheelers may go up to 116%. You will also have to bear the cost of registration.

FAQs on How to Import vehicles to India

  1. Who can import left-hand driving cars to India?

    Only car manufacturers can import left-hand driving cars to India.

  2. Can I import vintage cars manufactured in 1920s to India?

    No, you can only import vehicles manufactured on or after 1 January, 1950. Hence, vehicles manufactured in 1920s cannot be imported.

  3. I am an NRI who stayed in India for only one year. Can I get my car imported to India?

    You must have resided in India for at least two years in order to get your car imported. Since you do not meet the criteria, you cannot get your vehicle imported to India.

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