Things You Need to Know While Importing a Car in India


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Updated on Aug 25, 2023

Apart from the cost of importing a car from the USA to India there are a few other important things to know when you import a car into the country.

The rules and regulations, in this case, have been laid down by the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade). You must follow these when you are importing a car in India. It is not just enough to know how much it costs to import a car. Are you a car enthusiast – an individual who spends countless hours admiring the best cars from all around the world? Is there any specific model that you like – a vintage or a luxury one – which is not available in India yet?

You need not worry because you can always buy a car and import it to India. You can drive your dream car here in India as well! Having a car insurance policy would also be of great importance in this case as it would offer you the financial protection that you need with such high-value vehicles. This way, if you lose it or if it suffers any damage owing to an emergency you would at least have some safety net to fall back on. So, here are the rules and regulations that you need to know in this context.

The situations under which you can import a car

There are certain situations where you would be allowed to import a car. The first of these is when the car has not been made by an Indian company. If the car is not registered in any other country according to relevant laws over there you can import a car. You would also be allowed to do this when you have not leased or loaned the car when you are importing the same.       

The ports through which you can import a car in India

You may already know how much it costs to import a car in India but that is not the only thing that you need to know in this context. You should know that you would not be allowed to do so at every port in the country. There are only a few custom ports that allow such imports. They may be enumerated as below:

  • Mumbai
  • Kolkata
  • Nhava Sheva
  • Cochin
  • Delhi Air Cargo
  • Tughlakabad
  • Chennai

In this context, it is also important to know if it is cheaper to import a caror not.

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Things to note while importing a car through a dealer

You may know the cost to import a car from the USA to India but it is only an important part of the entire process – not the be all and end all of the same. You can always avail the help of dealers to import a car in India. You can be sure that with a good dealer the process would also be a lot quicker and easier. In this context, you would also need car insurance so that you stay protected against various emergencies that may arise in these cases.

It is obviously important to know how much it costs to import a car but there are also a few guidelines that you need to follow here. For starters, you would need a Road Worthiness Certificate from a proper testing agency of the country from where you are importing the car. This will make sure the importation certificate complies with Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. When you are importing a car you have to submit written proof that would serve as the confirmation that you would be submitting the compliance certificate within six months of the process of importation.

This is a requirement as per Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

Import duties on cars

If you know how much it costs to import a car in India you should also know that it is going to be one of the major areas of concern for you in this regard. Let us talk about the import duty on cars in india rates in this case. If it is a used car you would have to pay an import duty of 125%. If the CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value of your car CBU (completely built-up) is more than 40,000 dollars you would have to pay an import duty of 100%.

This is for cars with greater than 3000 cc (cubic capacity) petrol engines and 2500 cc diesel engines. In case the CIF value of your car CBU is less than 40,000 dollars you would have to pay an import duty of 60%. In this case, the capacity of your petrol engine must be lower than 3000 cc and that of your diesel engine should be lower than 2500 cc. So, these are a few things that you need to know apart from the cost to import a car from the USA to India.

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Exceptions to these rules

Following are the exceptions in these cases:

  • In case you are an NRI (non-resident Indian)
  • If you are differently abled
  • In case the car belonged to a deceased person who lived abroad
  • If the car has been awarded to a religious or charitable institution
  • If the car has been awarded or won in a competition or event

These are the situations where it is cheaper to import a car.

Things to keep in mind in this regard

Some certain terms and conditions have to be fulfilled in this case apart from merely knowing how much it costs to import a car. We have listed most of them already in the piece. However, you need to know some more of them before you proceed further. You have to ensure that the car satisfies all the provisions stated in the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. You must ensure that you are not importing a vehicle that is banned in India. You should also consider factors such as the availability of the high-octane fuel and service network needed to operate the same over here.


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