Import of Passenger Automobiles to India

Navigating the Complexities of Car Import to India
 

Car

India, with its sprawling landscapes and burgeoning economy, presents a lucrative market and a diverse terrain for car enthusiasts and expatriates considering bringing a vehicle into the country. However, importing a car to India is not without its challenges and complexities. Stringent regulations, hefty duties, and a meticulous process govern the import of vehicles to ensure compliance with environmental and safety standards. This article aims to demystify the process of car import to India, highlighting the key regulations, duties involved, and practical advice for a smooth experience.

Understanding the Regulations

The Indian government permits the import of cars and other vehicles, subject to specific conditions designed to protect local industry and environment. Here are the primary regulations to keep in mind:

Eligibility: Import of new cars is allowed without restriction to individuals or entities. However, the import of used cars is restricted and can only be done by Indian nationals returning to India after a stay of two years or more abroad, and the car must have been in the owner's possession for at least one year.

Right-Hand Drive: India mandates that all vehicles imported into the country must be right-hand drive to comply with its traffic regulations.

Emission Standards: Imported vehicles must adhere to the Bharat Stage (BS) emission standards, which are aligned with European emission standards, to ensure they meet India's environmental regulations.

BMW



Customs Duty and Taxes

One of the most daunting aspects of importing a car to India is the customs duty and taxes imposed on the imported vehicle, which can significantly increase the total cost:

Customs Duty: The duty on imported cars in India is notably high, typically ranging from 60% to 100% of the car’s cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value, depending on the engine size and type (new or used). This high duty rate is intended to discourage imports and protect the domestic automobile industry.

Additional Taxes: Besides customs duty, additional taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and cess are applicable, further elevating the cost.

The Import Process

The process of importing a car to India involves several steps, from obtaining approvals to clearing customs:

Approval and Documentation: Obtain prior approval from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and ensure all documentation, including the original purchase invoice, shipping bill, and insurance papers, are in order.

Shipping: Choose a reliable international shipping company experienced in vehicle imports to India. The car must be shipped to the nearest port of entry where customs clearance will take place.

Customs Clearance: Upon arrival, the vehicle goes through customs clearance, where all duties and taxes must be paid. It’s advisable to hire a customs clearing agent to navigate the complex customs process.

Registration: After clearing customs, the vehicle must be registered with the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in India. The car will be inspected, and upon meeting all requirements, a registration number will be issued.

Practical Advice for Importing a Car to India
Consider the Total Cost: Evaluate the total cost of importing, including purchase price, shipping, insurance, customs duty, and taxes, to assess the financial viability.

Compliance: Ensure the vehicle complies with Indian regulations regarding emissions, safety, and right-hand drive configuration before shipping.

Documentation: Keep all documents related to the purchase, shipping, and insurance of the vehicle readily available to facilitate smooth customs clearance.

Professional Assistance: Given the complexities involved, consider engaging a professional customs clearing agent and an international shipping company specializing in vehicle imports.

Importing a car to India involves navigating a maze of regulations, duties, and procedural steps. While the process may seem daunting, thorough preparation, understanding of the regulations, and professional assistance can make it manageable. Whether it's the desire to bring a piece of home for expatriates or the passion for a unique foreign car, understanding the intricacies of car import to India is the first step toward realizing that dream.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Should NRI'S staying abroad over two years & returning back to India still have to pay custom's duty on used cars???

Anonymous said...

Looks like, even for Used cars, NRIs should pay 120% customs duty. I am so disappointed, I am returning India in few months after 10yr of staying in US. I think paying 120% is just ridiculous. Who would in their right mind, bring car from US? This is so unfair.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I want to ship a brand new All terrain vehicle to India (i.e.Desert bike,quad bike)?
How much custom duty should i pay?
is it same as motor cycle or?

Anonymous said...

its simply unacceptable paying 141% duty of second hand car from overseas. i think it time to change some 1940-50 rules. make some adjustment to it as time required. i wanted gift the car to my father and i cant afford to pay those ridiculous taxes.

Anonymous said...

You dont have to pay 120% of the total purchase value for the car. Customs will calculate the depreciation value of the car every year. You will be paying 120% of the current value for the car.

Panliner Logistics said...

Actual effective rate of Duty when worked out as per customs calculataion would be on new cars @ 104% and on used cars after deducting depeciation would be @ 152%
t/r Pan Liner Logistics

Anonymous said...

What are custom duty charges for an AUDI A4 2 ltr. engine(2nd hand)?For various imported cars were would I find its custom duty tarrif chart.

Panliner Logistics said...

Actual effective rate of Duty when worked out as per customs calculataion would be on new cars @ 104% and on used cars after deducting depeciation would be @ 152%
t/r Pan Liner Logistics

Anonymous said...

forget the 1950 rules, we need to change the babus and the ministers who are charging so much customs on cars and bikes, i wonder how much did maruti pay under the table to promote this crap.!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

when a guy sells his gurgaon property for RS 1.2 crores and shows only a RS 35lakh sale, there is hardly any tax levied, but when NRIs try to bring in a safe car to india for own use, you levy them 125% tax, you guys should be in gemini circus as jokers!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

just i want to say
am not indian
but am i have company in bangalore
if some one want to look good
to ride good
to be actually good
india goverment should beat him with thier taxes
unbelivable taxes
really that's shame

Anonymous said...

Hi i have a new HARLEY DAVIDSON purchased in dubai its 09 model so can any one tell me the exact details of customs duty plse

Anonymous said...

The FM should be more considerate to the NRI`s when the want to import used cars. Why should the Duty be so much....we are the ones that are bringing in the FOREX for the country. It is very unfair...If we try and sell our cars before we return we do not get the right price hence we bring it back to India anyways as then we do not require to buy another car in India....Please Mr.FM make it nil duty for used cars.

Anonymous said...

Khuram

I am so surprised to see the tax chart made by our own govt, while the govt minister drives in their lexury vehicles and imposing senctions on people like us, this is definetly a bihari circus.

Anonymous said...

I m working in Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, Here TATA cars are available. I m planning to purchase the same. If, I bring this car to India during my exit, will it attract the import duty by customs. I believe , being an Indian, purchasing an Indian Product in a foriegn country and bringing it to India upon my exit, should not attract any kind of Customs duty.

Kindly clarify me in this regard.

Anonymous said...

HI IAM PLANNING TO BRING A NEW TOYOTA AURION TO INDIA HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY IN TAXES IF ITS WORTH RS 1400000.

Anonymous said...

Hi i am coming 1 month holiday to india, and i am bringing my mercides 1998 reg am i allowed to bring it with me? is there any duty or charges?

samjee53 said...

people living in india cannot afford the luxury of foreign cars, hence the politicians wants the NRIs to pay thru their noses if they want to import a new or used car.So all NRIs stop complaining, this is India and taxes are required for policy makers to have a ball when they rule...Hence NRIs enjoy while living abroad and buy maruti 800 when you return to India

Unknown said...

I am leaving from Japan after 3 and half years of my stay. I have never availed this relaxation in custom duty earlier.
I have a digital keyboard worth JPY 45000 (eqqual to about Rs. 23000). I have sent it by EMS. The rules clearly mention that a family (myself and my husband) can carry atleast one such item and the cost should not exceed 1.5 lakhs. So I decided to send this. But today I got a phone call that I have to pay Rs. 12000 as custom duty for this keyboard worth of Rs. 23000. Why?

Anonymous said...

i am leaving from australia and i have the second hand toyota avalon 2004 model then how much i pay for the tax?

Anonymous said...

Hello I own a Mahindra scorpio abroad and plan to get it down after using it for 5 yrs, Do i need to pay customs or any other fees rather than freight.

Appreciate if my Qurey is answered.

Thanks !!

MOHAJER Accounting & Bookkeeping said...

Lately I was thinking to bring in my Honda City to India, well after looking at this chart I prefer not to.

So Silly and useless ministry.

Priya peter

Ranga give to get Raj said...

Will Importing Furniture to the Value of Euros 70 and Used Bicycle valued Euros 50 attatrct any duty.

Anonymous said...

I m working in Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, Here TATA cars are available. I m planning to purchase the same. If, I bring this car to India during my exit, will it attract the import duty by customs. I believe , being an Indian, purchasing an Indian Product in a foriegn country and bringing it to India upon my exit, should not attract any kind of Customs duty.

Unknown said...

I am NRI returning back to india on permanant residance.i want to bring my SUV PRADO to india ,its 1998 model registered registered on my name for two year.
Do i have to pay duity or any other taxes .if yes then how much send in detail pls.

Unknown said...

Why don't we NRI's or NORKA insist the Indian Government & Finance Minister to relax tax when NRI bring used card to India those who reside abroad minimum 10 years continuously? Indian Government must consider these NRI's who bring foreign currency to India for the last 10 years. What recognition is giving by the Indian Government to NRI's? The stupidity of imposing / planning TAX on NRI funds also to be stopped. This is our hard earning money. We recomend the Indian Ministry must study the NRI's how they live in abroad and how they earning this money? We noticed most of the Indian government representatives visiting Gulf, they lived in 5 star hotel & enjoyed their days with luxurious places, instead please come down to our places / accommodations, stay with us minimum 2 weeks, be one of us, on the extreme weather (hot sun), then they will realize what is the colour of our hard earning money.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyway that we can awake the relevant department that they have to change the RULES which are so OLD and have no Values atttached.

Sri

angadi said...

I am an indian and retired from service recently. I have a 1993 Honda Accord which was damaged in 2005 floods in Bombay.Our claim is still pending and from my side plenty of correspondence with regd AD.As I was serving the same company I cld not fight with anyone.It was a total loss claim.However, now my son is London and a similar vehicle can be bought their dirt cheap which I can use only for parts. I have all the documentary evidence about the genuineeness of my need. Can I import this way.The cost of such a vehicle may not be more than Rs 50,000

Anonymous said...

India is a poor third world country. Dont carry
lighter to hell.if ur AC
works without electricity
it is recommended .
NRI's standard of living is higher than resident indians. in rome live like romans.Our india is great
when we r in india.
A Keralite

Anonymous said...

Indians have the fatalistic attitude. Why should Indians have to remain poor for ever? So stupid! Everything is "karma". That's why Kerala has not changed one bit. People have to change this attitude. Accepting the status quo will not do much. China has transformed itself because they wanted to. Without will & determination nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

A customs official or any other govt. official is not from any other planet. He is one among us. But the nature of any govt. official is that they are entitled to get bribe. They can be greedy and they do not think of NRI as a revenue earner for India. They are jealous of NRIs. That is the main problem. And the politicians never think about the common people of India let alone NRIs, their main agenda for 5years is to loot the tax money paid by you and me.

Anonymous said...

How the tax is calculated, and on what basis for a second hand car ? Is it calculated on the new price of the car or on the price, which the second buyer had bought for ?

Indian said...

Can nyone help me i need some guidence.I am in Uk and want to get my subaru impreza wrx 2004 reg to India as i am coming back to my country for good.I baught this car for £ 5000 so can nyone guide me the whole procedure hot to get it from UK to INDIA and wat will be frieght charges and custom duty and registeration charges and how much i will be ending up paying thanks

Unknown said...

Hi sir i would like to import a car the price of car is 20 laks but the seller is selling it for 10 laks to me so when i am importing a car with shipping cost 1 laks totally i will pay the seller 11 laks > Now my doubt after reaching the India shore how much more do i have to pay to get the car in my hand. they saying for used car it is 105%. 105% tax of 10 laks or 20 laks. can you clear my doubt please thank you

Shajahan said...

i have a Toyota Camry 2009 model car in UAE.it's cost in 77,000.00 i can convert it fron LH to RH. woild you please let me know how much duty i will pay.

Deepak's page said...

i want take car from dubai to india my vacation period and bring it back

edwin walser said...

I have 2003 GMC Yukon I want to take to India as a returing NRI to live in India, after paying the cost of LH to RH drive, how much more taxes and fees I would have to pay in India? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify at the onset that I am in US currently. I know its woefully painful when we look at the taxes/custom duties. The reason this is done is so that the vehicle being brought doesn't compete with the locally mfg/assembled in India and thus hurt their sales. This same policy is applicable to hondas and Toyotas and Audis in India. Govt tries to make it cost prohibitive so that those companies bring investment to India by way of opening new mgf plants thus opening up job opportunities. No system is fool proof but the intent is pretty sound here.

Also note that bk home in India you don't need anything bigger than a mid-size sedans, much less an SUV. You would go for those large vehicles if you really are into some adventure sports or just love the convenience of owning such a vehicle. Nothing that can't be achieved using a mahindra or a TATA product. Just my 2 cents/1 Rupee.. :)

nissan ny said...

I have to agree that those old rules need to be tweaked. I also find it absurd to have to pay such high fees for even a second hand car.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the import duty is very high but why not sell your car/automobiles in the country you are in now and buy a new one in India? All this hassle will go away.

Unknown said...

I have 2005 Beetle care which is LHD(Left Hand Drive).I have been using my car for past 1 year.Is there any complication If I pay 100% duty and bring it to kerala for registration.

VK

Anonymous said...

i have a toyota corrolla 2013 car in uae . can i export my car to india for a few months . what is the charges for it . anybody can answer me

Anonymous said...

I own a Nissan Sunny 2002, left hand drive, since the price I get by selling it over here is less I am thinking of shipping it to my hometown ie: Ernakulam,Kerala, could anyone advise me the customs duty

Anonymous said...

I own a Nissan Sunny 2002, left hand drive, since the price I get by selling it over here is less I am thinking of shipping it to my hometown ie: Ernakulam,Kerala, could anyone advise me the customs duty

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I have a Honda CRV 2013 model registered in my name. what if i want to use my car atleast for 2 months in india . any one knows the policy.

Unknown said...

I want to take one 2012 landcruiser to india how mmuch I need to pay as customs

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am having Toyota Prado, 2009 GX. I want to take it to India while my exit. Please anybody inform me what is procedure and how much tax to pay and transport from Saudi Arabia?

Anonymous said...

I have Toyota Prado 2013 Model car, I am planning to export to india. how much I have to pay for customs duty and etc.

please clarify on this.

Akmal Ahamed said...

Akmal Ahamed-UAE

Hi, I have a Toyota-CAMRY 2008 Model & i am the first owner.
I need to shift this car to India (Bangalore), can anybody clarify to me how much will be the customs & procedure.
awaiting eagerly for your valuable reply.

Regards

Anonymous said...

Indian Government is doing the right thing by taxing NRI's. I wish they tax NRI's on their remittances or based on what asset's they own in India. They want to show off by importing their cheap foreign cars to India. If you can afford a Range Rover overseas why not in India NRI's lolz coz you cannot afford in India. As of now you guys enjoy enough benefits stop demanding more.

Anonymous said...

I think Indian Government is right in taxing NRI's. If this taxation is relaxed all Foreign cars will rule Indian roads which hurts others emotionally. Why do NRI's need special treatment. Screw that. But a Car in India as you are NRI's with loads of money. You can afford it. Since its cheap overseas you want to bring it for show off purposes screw that. In fact your earnings must be taxed in India as your origin is India. Please consider taxing NRI remittances.

Unknown said...

I Am living in Malaysia and I am using mahendra scorpio for an year now . Now I want to return back to india - so my question,- if I want to bring the scorpio to india I have to pay duty for it( because mahendra is an indian company) Please suggest.

Unknown said...


How i can export my Honda CBR-600RR 2008 model bike from dubai to cochin.i bought it AED-11000
last year .how much will come the total amount of the tax indian money.pls need a good answer

Anonymous said...

Im having a yamaha tmax maxi scooter i wanted it to take it to india hw much tax should i hve to pay nd the procedures

Anonymous said...

Gents i have Toyota Land cruiser ( Right Hand Drive ) 3 years old ( 2013 Feb model) nd am returning to India in TR after my 20 yers of service abroad. if it import it how much have to pay as customs duty ? Any other charges than customsduty ? any body can help me

Unknown said...

i bought a range rover at the cost of 7 lakhs rupees..now i want return back to india with my car,then how much amount of custom charges should i pay?

Unknown said...

I have one 2007 model corolla american..i wish to take this car to my home permanently in kerala.how much i need to pay..hope somebody will answer my question..

Unknown said...

Hi,
I have a Toyota Corolla 2011 Model car in UAE , am travelling to India for 19 AUG to 16 Sep (Cochin Port).
Please let me know the total Charges and also the Taxes in India

Anis

Unknown said...

How much is that 120% as you said above..?

mohamed said...

Hi,
I have a Toyota Corolla 2007 Model car in UAE , am travelling to India on Mid of 2017(Cochin Port).
Please let me know the total Charges and also the Taxes in India


Mohamed

Sandhu said...

hi,
Can i import my Nissan skyline year 1998 to india. i m permanent resident in australia.
How much i have to pay in custom duties.
Thanks

Unknown said...

Hi,
I am an Indian and I want my bike permanently transfer to Bangladesh is it possible plz reply me and what are the rules and regulations.
?

fyzrhmn said...

If not please reply too

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