Utility vehicles, besides electric cars receive preferential treatment and fiscal incentives from the government. In fact, shortly after the government imposed a complete ban on import of vehicles, it re-opened the import of utility vehicles and electric cars in 2013.
Utility vehicles are four wheel drive pickups like Mahindra Bolero and Tata Xenon. Generally, Utility vehicles are defined as vehicles that can carry out tasks effectively better than other normal vehicles. It can be used in transporting
Utility vehicles can be imported only by select individuals like farmers, rural businesses and farmer’s cooperatives. Today, the government is in the process of rolling out their plans to provide one utility vehicle to every gewog in the country.
This move from the government although aimed at rural development has received strong criticism particularly from the opposition who expressed that gewogs will be obligated to donors who are funding the utility vehicles.
According to government policy, the price of utility vehicle shall not exceed more than Nu 800,000. Which means pickup trucks that cost more than Nu 800,000 cannot be categorized as a utility vehicle and relevant taxes will apply.
Utility vehicles are exempt from customs duty and are imposed a concessional sales tax and green tax. They are taxed based on the gross vehicle weight. Its taxes, including both green tax and sales tax average about 15 percent in total. Electric cars are absolutely tax free.
However, like any other fuel run cars, utility vehicles are also taxed a five percent fuel tax which is embedded in the price of fuel.
A person looking to buy a utility vehicle can buy only one vehicle for a period of five years. Also, a buyer should not own have a vehicle registered in his name, while buying a utility vehicle. The road safety and transport authority will be responsible for issuing the clearance.
Therefore, it is important to access clearance from RSTA and seek an import permit from the department of trade after which the revenue and customs office will facilitate the import of your utility vehicle.
Once you have bought your utility vehicle, you will not be allowed to transfer its ownership within a five year time frame. Ownership can be transferred only after five years.