Car dealers worry over plates delay

Motor vehicle importers have raised concern over losses resulting from what they say is a delay in issuance of registration number plates for vehicles by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). Through the Car Importers Association of Kenya (CIAK) about 6,400 imported vehicles are stuck at various Container Freight Stations (CFS) because they have not be issued with the registration numbers.

In an interview with The Nairobi Observer on Friday, CIAK chairman Peter Otieno said that currently more than 6,400 vehicles which have already been registered are yet to get their number plates translating to Sh19.4 million loss daily. Otieno said the idea of registration of vehicles before taking them to show rooms has brought more harm than good in the car business adding once a vehicle with registration number stays in the showroom for three months, it is rendered old and its value goes down. “NTSA needs to understand that most car buyers look at the number plates and not the vehicles. Without a number plate the vehicle is not bought and therefore its value depreciates.

By the time the plate arrives the vehicle value has gone down and that is a big loss,” he said adding that the problem has affected the sector for long. Otieno was concerned that car importers have paid all required charges and but NTSA is yet to issue registration number plates. To avoid further loss, he suggested that car dealers be provided with unique registration numbers given exclusively for showroom operators to allow them move their vehicles from the CFS to the showrooms.