Kenya BodaBoda imports drop by 53 percent on costly dollar

The number of newly registered motorcycles fell by more than half (53.5 percent) last year from 291,553 in 2021 to 135,514 as Kenyans cut motor imports on expensive dollar.

The sharp decline in the country’s currency has made imports very expensive with the shilling declining nine percent from 113.1 in January to 123.3 against the US dollar in December last year. The shilling has continued to depreciate to 136.1 against the greenback.

The shilling depreciation has made imports expensive especially oil, machinery and motor vehicle which analysts predicted would discourage imports.

Economic Survey data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the value of road motor vehicles dipped from Kes99.4 billion to Kes84.9 billion.

Motorcycle imports may also have been affected by a plans to raise motorbike taxes to 15 percent of the value of a unit from a fixed charge of Sh11,608 that which failed after MPs rejected the proposal mid last year.

While boda boda imports took the largest hit, the country cut down on luxury vehicles with only busses, lorries and pick-ups witnessing an increase in exports.

Read also: Kenya economic growth halves on poor agriculture output

The total number of newly registered motor vehicles recorded a decrease of 7.6 per cent from 107,499 in 2021 to 99,365 in 2022.

Only 6,350 saloon cars were imported into the country down from 8,170 while station wagons were own from 64,350 to 55,004 signaling the reduced number of consumptive imports. 

There was an uptick on vehicles typically used for business like busses and lorries. The number of newly registered buses and coaches more than doubled from 893 units in 2021 to 2,173 in 2022. 

Similarly, there was a significant rise in the number of newly registered panel vans and pick-ups from 5,986 units in 2021 to 10,901 units in 2022. 

The number of lorries/trucks, minibuses/matatus and trailers rose by 42.5, 10.3 and 8.5 per cent, respectively.

[email protected]

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.