• Posted by Ben on 24 May 2011

In mid March (two weeks before we left) I ordered a minivan from Japan to be shipped to Kenya. It finally arrived at our doorstep last night! The process was fairly smooth:

  1. Pick out a car
  2. wire them some money
  3. get told your car is now on a ship
  4. wire them the rest of the money
  5. receive documents in the mail for this imaginary vehicle
  6. send friend to Mombasa to pick up said vehicle
  7. friend gets delayed for 6 days while KRA computer systems are “upgraded”
  8. send another friend to Nairobi to drive the car to Eldoret
  9. Done!

The Kenyan fees were the lowest I could get, but were still substantial: the van was only 2 months younger than the max age they allow to be imported. The older the car the lower the fees (fee starts at 100% of value and goes down to our 30%). It also helped that the agent importing it was a friend of a friend, so no gouging and making up of new fees! Overall the cost of buying + shipping was only 60% of the total price.

Its a neat little car, a Nissan Liberty. Its small for a minivan, but will still seat all Wolfes comfortably (plus some guests). It has a navigation system (in japanese), a dvd player (in japanese), a backup camera, automatic sliding doors, and plenty of other bells and whistles! Meghan is determined to drive here now, so will take some “lessons” from a friend here. Not sure why she doesn’t want to learn from me, I’m a great Kenyan driver (read: willing to squeeze into tight places, drive in crowds, sneak between traffic, and generally be overly aggressive)!

The best news, though, is that that I already have 4 people lined up wanting to buy it when we leave. 😀 I’m thinking of starting the bidding now.

We were so excited to drive it to lunch today (a whole 2 minutes in the car) that we forgot to take some cute pictures. We’ll take some and post them tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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