Though it is much easier and significantly less expensive to purchase a car once you reach Bangalore, it is possible to import your existing car into India for a hefty fee. It is not advisable to attempt this without the help of a shipping agent, as the red tape involved can be considerable, and rules constantly change.Customs fees for importing new cars into India are about 180% of the car’s list price. If you have owned your car for more than one year, the customs duty is reduced to about 100%. You will require proof of purchase – the date of which will decide the customs fee levied.If you will be “permanently residing” in India (after more than two years out of the country), you will not be required to obtain an import license but the same customs fees apply. Such individuals are allowed to import one vehicle without the import license, while foreign firms with offices in India are permitted to import up to three. Should you require an import license, you must contact a customs house agent, though your shipping company can handle this headache on your behalf. The customs house agent will also check to ensure your vehicle meets all requirements upon entry, which will also be handled by your broker.

The vehicle must meet the provisions set out in the Motor Vehicles Act (1988), which requires that the vehicle is equipped with right-hand steering, is less than three years old, has a speedometer indicating km/hr and suitable headlamps. The complete Motor Vehicles Act can be viewed online at:

The import of vehicles is permitted only through the customs ports in Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, and you would then need to have the vehicle shipped or driven to Bangalore. Chennai is about six hours by road, and the closest customs port to Bangalore.

Contact a car shipping company below for a quote and for an up-to-date list of the documents you need to provide: