How to bring your car to Nepal

Hello everybody,

If you exported your car to Nepal, were there any formalities that needed to be completed beforehand? What were they?

What is the best way to export your car? Is there a limit on the number of vehicles, or perhaps the age of the vehicle? Are there limits on emissions or emission controls in Nepal?

What are the expected costs of exporting a car? In your opinion, is it worth it?

Once you arrived in Nepal, what were the applicable taxes? What was the customs process like?

How do you go about registering an imported car in Nepal?

Is it best to buy a car once you have arrived or to bring your car with you, in your opinion?

We look forward to hearing from you!


Of the different options mentioned by the moderator, buying the car after one arrives in Nepal would be my best advice. Only last month, the press (February 27, 2017) reported here that more than 3000 brand new cars from Maruti to Hyundai all imported from India were gathering dust at the Birgunj Customs Yard on Nepal border. Therefore, I cannot guarantee success, but who knows, you may well be able to take advantage of the oversupply of cars already in the country (read with badly sagging sales), to get a good price particularly for yourself -  and if you are an expat with a flair for bargaining, this is your golden opportunity to have a go at it, in the knowledge that the odds are your favor in the current situation, or at least as long as the car market stays distorted, with falling sales, etc. the way it is going now.
If you buy a new car in Nepal, however you should do so in the knowledge that you will have to pay the car dealer nepalese import duties running as high as a whopping 240% on that new vehicle. Therefore, if you might well consider another option, which is buying a good second car again after your arrival here,  thus sidestepping those taxes, and here I am thinking of a 1 or 2 year old low mileage vehicle of your choice. (Take a good mechanic with you, to help you make the right choice) This will be a lot cheaper for you.
If you need financing, you should know that as a direct result of this credit squeeze imposed on the lending institutions, margin money requirements on car purchases have jumped from 10 to 20% last year to 50% down, presently. The other advantage of a 1 - 2 year old car is that it is definitely finance able whereas much older cars are not.
Personally, I would never consider importing a car from my home country. Apart from import duties and all the rest of the hassle, administrative headaches, you name it, not to mention those high import duties,  remember that Nepal is a land locked country. So depending on which country you are from, the car from your home country may well have to be shipped, first by sea to Calcutta Port which is not next door! (allow 1-2 months) And after your car is cleared there by Indian customs, the car has first to be transported from Calcutta to Birgunj in Nepal by rail, and then from Birgung to Kathmandu by land/truck. Customs time again in Kathmandu!

Hi TheoauNepal,

Thank you very much for your informative post.

All the best,

Hello Guys. I read and heard in many places, to import cars we need to pay 300 - 400 % tax. I understood but what is the formalities? where do we go and ask the details?  I went to customs duty website and read that the import duty for cars is 80% only. what are the other formalities? Do you know any one who can help me with getting my car from Japan to Nepal ?

I think you'll find that bringing a car into Nepal will, like you seem to indicate, to be a pretty expensive proposition. But if you are intent on doing so and ready to pay up front, what you want to look for is a reliable international freight forwarder.They do exist in Kathmandu but what you want to do is to find an honest one (which is the difficult part).
As a starting point, I would suggest you ask around and talk to expats who've been down that road before! See what names they put forward?
Were I in your shoes, I  would not hesitate to contact Capital Cargo. The man's name is Bharat Dahal.
I know that this guy does a lot of social work, helping some 300 children etc.  and he has a good reputation. I don't think my name will mean anything to him, but you can say I am a friend of Theo, and that should suffice to open the doors for you! You'll find Bharat office in the center of Thamel, on the same street as where the Thamel branch of Nepal Investment Bank is located, near JP Road there.
Best of luck in your endeavour.

Thank you very much friend. I will try to find him.

I knew someone who brought a car from India. It cost so much they had to send the driver back with the car before the first 30 days were up. When they say 80% I think it's 80% of the value of the car. You can easily get a driver with a car already in Nepal and save a lot of money.

I can definitely see the appeal of bringing your own vehicle.

And if it's used perhaps it makes sense?

A motorcycle that is about 1 to $2,000 in the US is about 7,000 in Kathmandu.

Do you got any idea to import a car from japan.