Today, no one can move without a car for shopping or for travelling from one place to another. Those who do not yet have a car dream of owning one as quickly as possible. However, it is important first to understand the structure of taxes on vehicles imported into Malawi.

The categories of vehicles imported into Malawi

There are roughly two categories of vehicles imported into Malawi each year:

  • vehicles manufactured for the transport of persons
  • vehicles manufactured for the carriage of goods

A brief overview of these two categories gives us interesting information about the taxes that govern the field.

Vehicles specialized in the transport of persons

They are also divided into two sub-groups consisting of vehicles with a maximum of 9 seats, such as saloons and wagon stations, and vehicles with 10 or more seats, including the driver. The amount of taxes depends on factors such as the year of manufacture, size and power of the engine.

Thus, older vehicles (more than eight years of age) and the most powerful vehicles (more than 1500 cc) will be subject to higher taxes than others will. Similarly, large buses carrying large numbers of people will pay taxes that are smaller than others are.

Vehicles specializing in the carriage of goods

In this category, the taxes are calculated according to the age of the vehicle and the tonnage. Therefore, vehicles with large tonnages and at least 15 years of age are considered new and pay taxes lower than the others of the same category. This is because they facilitate the transportation of food in large quantities and create employment.

As exceptions to these laws are vehicles coming from the SABC, which enjoy special status and are exempt from duties. Minibuses and buses, also do not pay taxes during the first 5 years of operation.


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