What do you need to know while importing foreign vehicles to India


31 Jul 2023

Read about What do you need to know while importing foreign vehicles to India? For more information, check out the car insurance policy from Kotak General Insurance.

You might have seen luxury cars on TV that are not manufactured or available in India. You might wonder how the elites get their hands on these premium cars. Although a slightly complicated and expensive process, it is possible to import cars from other countries.

Premium models of cars like Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Mercedes are often imported by celebrities and the rich class. Importing cars may be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it is certainly possible & worthwhile for many.

Here are a few things you must know if you are thinking to import cars to India.

Regulations for importing new vehicles:

1. Imported cars need to be assembled or manufactured outside of India.

2. The imported car must be manufactured in the same country from where it is being imported.

3. The car must have bright headlights suitable for illuminating the left side of the road.

4. The car must have the steering wheel on its right side for Indian driving.

5. The car must have a speedometer that displays the distance in kilometers and not in miles.

In addition to these rules, if you want to import a used car:

1. You must ensure that the car is not more than three years old.

2. The car must have a Roadworthiness certificate with at least five years of validity.

If you want to import cars, whether used or new, it is important to note that cars can only be imported through naval docks situated in Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

Banned vehicles to import into India

Also, one must keep in mind that certain vehicles are prohibited by Indian law from being imported. These include

1. Scooters with 250cc to 800cc capacity engines.

2. Heavy-duty, two-wheelers or bikes with 50cc to 500cc capacity engines.

3. Cars with 1,000cc to 2,500cc capacity engines.

What do you need to import vehicles to India?

You will need to have the necessary documents if you want to import cars or any other vehicle to India. These include:

• Bank Draft

• Bill of Lading

Car insurance policy

• DEEC (Duty Exemption Entitlement Certificate) or DEPB (Duty Entitlement Passbook), or ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India)

• GATT Declaration

• Import License

• Invoice of the vehicle

• Purchase Order/ Letter of Credit

• Test report

Two-wheeler insurance in case importing two-wheelers

Things to consider before deciding to import any vehicle

If you are thinking of importing a vehicle to India, make sure you are aware of the following:

1. You will need to pay import duty, which considerably increases the cost of the vehicle.
• For bikes, approximately 116% of the bike’s cost, freight (CIF) value, and insurance. • For cars, approximately 165% of the car’s cost, freight (CIF) value, and insurance must be paid as import duty.

2. You need to pay the extra cost at the RTO for the registration of the vehicle.

3. Do not be hasty, as importing any vehicle to India will be a time-consuming process.


Importing cars or bikes is not a new trend, but there are new trends in the rules & regulations applicable to the process. So, make sure you consider all the above things mentioned and import the vehicles from foreign countries while complying with the set protocols.

Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.