Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Doesn't a high-end car or a bike on the road fascinate you? Almost everyone dreams of driving or riding it everyday, but the obstacles in the automobile segment has made people give up on this idea.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Vehicles from renowned brands such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, MV Agusta, Ducati have become a far-fetched dream for most automotive enthusiasts. These manufacturers have launched their high-end vehicles in India either by themselves or by forming joint ventures.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

But the sales figures of such vehicles struggle to peak in India although they see a future in this market. General Motors in India had to give up on their existence in India recently because of low sales. It is the reason why you cannot find many foreign vehicle brands in our nation. Apart from that, the Indian roads and international regulations also do not go well with the manufacturers.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Also, the Indian government supports for manufacturing the automobile locally. Since the import duties are more, it discourages importing it as a CBU (Completely Built Unit) or assembling it locally through the CKD (Completely Knocked-Down) route. If you are a millionaire who is capable of spending huge amounts of money on import and customs duties, you can go ahead with this plan.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

It has made most of the millionaires to import the cars by paying a hefty amount on all the external duties. Therefore, it is necessary to think twice before one decides to import the vehicle from foreign countries.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Apart from spending a tremendous amount of money on importing the vehicle, one has to also take care of many other factors such as service network, repair charges, etc. Besides, you may also have to struggle with the availability of high octane fuel which is not readily available in most fuel stations.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

These luxury cars use 98 octane fuel and not standard unleaded petrol which we use on local brands. If one is not able to find 98 Octane, he/she may have to compromise by using 93 octane which might damage the engine and will not allow you to use the vehicle to its full potential.

Regardless of these hassles, if one wishes to import a car or bike in India, here is how one can do it:

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Procedures And Regulations To Import A Car Or Bike To India:

The provisions laid by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) are as follows:

1) The imported car is only the ones that

A. Indian companies do not manufacture
B. Do not fall under loaned or leased or sold category before importing.
C. Are not registered with any foreign countries according to their laws before the importation process.

2. The speedometer in the car or bike must follow metric units (Km/h) instead of the Imperial unit (Mp/h).

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

3. The steering and controls must be located on the right-hand side. That is, the vehicle should be Right Hand Drive. This rule is not applicable for bikes.

4. Apart from that, the headlamps must support the ‘keep left' traffic in India.

5. The car or motorcycle of your choice must be imported from the manufacturer's country. If the vehicles are stored in some other nation, then they must have sufficient sources as well as a document to track the shipment of the transported vehicle from its homeland to India.

6. The car should obey the provision and rules of Motor Vehicle Act 1988.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

7. If it is imported via an importer or dealer,

A. It should follow the Homologation Process. That is, when you import a car or bike, the importation certificate must be compliant with rule 126 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 which is issued by any of the testing agencies. In short, you must get the Road Worthiness Certificate which is issued by any of the testing agency in the country.

B. The Importer holds all the responsibility of the provisions given to the manufacturer according to Rules 122 & 138 of CMVR, 1989.

C. Also, you must take written proof stating that the evidence of compliance with the conformity of production as per Rule 126A of CMVR will be submitted within six months of the importation process. If you fail to do so, then any import of new vehicles from that brand will not be allowed from then.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

8. The import process is only permitted through the custom ports of Delhi Air Cargo, Nhava Sheva, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, Chennai, and Inland Container Depot - Tughlakabad.

9. The condition 1 and 2 specified above will not hold valid in the following circumstances:

A. If the vehicle is imported for Defense Requirements

B. If the vehicle is imported for R&D purposes

C. For the NRIs through The Transfer of Residence Scheme in which he/she is coming to India for permanent residency after the completion of two years' stay abroad. The car or bike in question must have been under their possession for a minimum period of one year abroad

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

D. If you are residing in India and if you win this luxury imported vehicle as an award in any competition or event

E. If it belonged to any of deceased relative who was residing abroad and the vehicle was brought back to India through legal heirs/successors

F. If you are a differently abled person

G. Any religious or charitable institute working for a community benefit registered with the Indian Government is subject to clearance under Foreign Contribution Act, 1976

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

H. If you belong to Foreign Embassies, Bureaucrats, or Diplomats who are having a recommendation of the Government of India

I. If you are a news Reporter from any foreign news agency, that is approved by the Government of India

J. Indian company with foreign participation or having a branch office of any international industry in India

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

10. The categories specified in the above point holds valid only for the right hand driven cars.

11. Also, those categories are allowed to import only one vehicle. But the point 9(J), that is, an Indian company with foreign participation or a branch office of any international industry in India can import a maximum of 3 vehicles.

12. Also, the category J. of point 9 is given the leisure to import only Special Vehicles.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

13. But the DGFT has all the right to relax the above rule under special conditions.

15. Besides, the category H of point 9 who are excused from paying customs duty are also exempted from conditions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Important Things to Consider Before Importing A Car Or Bike Into India:

The imported vehicles are exempted from the Homologation process if they belong to the following categories -

  1. Cars with Petrol engine having a capacity of 3000cc or above and also a Diesel engine with a capacity of 2500cc or more
  2. Superbikes with engine capacity of 800cc or above
  3. Besides, the vehicles with FOB (Freight On Board) or CIF (Cost + Insurance + Freight) value of $40000 or above do not have to be a part of this procedure.

These vehicles still require a certification from an authorized testing agency such as ECE, NCAP before it is exported from the manufacturer's country.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Import Duty Applicable On Cars And Bikes:

- The Import duty for the luxurious Cars is 165% of the CIF value

- For bikes, it is 116% of the CIF value.

Apart from this, the registration cost with the RTO will also be applied by the State Government as per the state government's tax slabs.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

Thoughts On Import Of Cars And Bikes In India:

Once one realizes the amount of effort required to import that dream car or bike, they might consider dropping the plan. Still, the conditions, as well as infrastructure in India, are not exactly favourable for your luxurious imported vehicles.

Importing A Car Or Bike In India — Everything You Need To Know

It is always a good option to consider the car or bike with the same level of performance or luxury that is available in India instead of going after the wealthy imported segment. One will not have to face as much as hassles regarding the car's body parts, maintenance and also warranties of these expensive vehicles in India.

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