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Motor repairers eye lucrative 2.5 million vehicles inspection business

By Patrick Alushula | Published Tue, July 18th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 17th 2017 at 20:07 GMT +3

 

A National Transport and Safety Authority official inspects a public service vehicle. Only State-owned entities are licensed to conduct inspection. [File, Standard]

Garage owners are pushing to be allowed to conduct motor vehicle inspections as the Government opens the role up to the private sector.

The Kenya Motor Repairers Association (Kemra), an umbrella body for garage owners in the country, wants the draft Motor Vehicle Inspections Regulations 2016 amended to allow its members to inspect vehicles.

The draft regulations prepared by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) currently provide that persons carrying out motor vehicle repairs will not be licensed to carry out vehicle inspection.

However, in a study commissioned by Kemra to provide a comparative analysis of the proposed law with what happens in other countries such as the UK, Canada and the US, the lobby wants the clause reviewed.

“The clause fails to recognise that there are many motor vehicle repairing centres that have invested equipment and systems for motor vehicle inspection since they inspect them prior to repairing,” reads their research in part.

According to Kemra Chairman Bernard Ngore, if local garage owners are denied the role, the growth of the industry will stagnate, leading to job losses.

“If the inspection role is given to foreigners, the revenue will be expatriated and the local garage owners will not even be able to create jobs,” he said.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics puts the number of vehicles in the country at above 2.5 million, with the majority (35 per cent) being cars. These are currently served by 18 Government-owned inspection centres.

According to the draft, annual periodic inspection of motorcycles will cost Sh1,300 while three-wheelers (tuk tuks) and vehicles up to 3,000cc will set owners back by Sh2,600. Owners of vehicles above this capacity will be charged between Sh3,900 and Sh4,600.

Accident inspections will cost between Sh1,000 and Sh3,000.