Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen on Monday disclosed plans to hike the charges for acquiring number plates.
Murkomen, while speaking during an interview with Citizen TV’s Trevor Ombija, attributed the planned increase to the hiked cost of the metal plate and the need to support the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in delivering on its mandate.
According to the CS, Kenyans seeking to acquire new number plates may have to pay a higher amount, up to an excess of Ksh10,000, from the current Ksh3,000.
“If I bought a car for 1 million and I am told only Ksh10,000 for the number plate, I don’t think that is too much for it,” noted the CS.
A photo of samples of the new generation number plates displayed during their launch in October 2022.
Ministry of Interior
“The cost of the metal plate has gone high. You cannot continue charging 1,000 that was charged maybe 10 years ago,” he added and divulged that he had formally tabled his proposal in Parliament, but it was yet to be subjected to public participation.
Currently, the NTSA charges car owners Ksh3,050 for new plates and Ksh1,550 for a motorcycle.
Why Increase Number Plate Charges?
The CS and Ombija were debating on the charges of vehicle maintenance, with the latter stating that motorists can spend up to Ksh80,000 to change the colour of a car.
In the analogy, Murkomen added that a motorist who considers changing the paint colour and spending money on what he argued was a luxury can afford to pay for hiked number plate charges.
“By the time somebody has the luxury to change the colour of a vehicle, that person has the resources,” Murkomen claimed, adding that motorists pay for number plates once.
However, Ombija argued that a motorist can also incur charges when transferring ownership of the vehicle, to which Murkomen differed, stating that there was a need to improve service delivery.
“Change of ownership… the same. It’s like a transfer. If you were to buy land today, you are going to pay 4 per cent in Nairobi to do something called stamp duty. In the same manner, I don’t know why it would be difficult for a person who was able to change ownership of a vehicle to pay a transfer fee.
“All these things are meant to make sure the services that are provided by NTSA in terms of safety, registration and supporting the technology that we have employed to make sure people can get car searches in good time. All these services require resources. We don’t want NTSA to go back to the Treasury and tax the same people (motorists) and all Kenyans, including mama mboga, for a service consumed by a specific number of people.”
Murkomen further argued that NTSA charges cannot remain constant for 10 years and there was a need to adjust, based on different factors.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen at NTSA offices on September 22, 2023.