Boosting Revenues: The Taliban have Imposed High Tariffs for Registering Right-Hand Drive Vehicles

Several drivers in Ghazni province are voicing their dissatisfaction with the steep tariffs imposed by the Taliban for registering “one-key” vehicles imported from Pakistan. According to them, the cost of registering each vehicle and acquiring a temporary license plate ranges from 20,000 to 40,000 Afghanis. These drivers stress that they are unable to bear such a substantial financial burden given the current circumstances, and they criticize the Taliban for prioritizing revenue generation without taking into account the hardships faced by the people.

Officials in the previous government had introduced a plan to register Pakistani vehicles, which included the issuance of temporary stickers upon registration. Unfortunately, this initiative was left incomplete after the republic’s collapse. However, the Traffic Department of the Taliban in Kabul has recently announced that all owners of right-hand drive (Pakistani) vehicles in the city and provinces must register their vehicles with the department within a three-month timeframe. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the denial of driving privileges for the vehicle owners.

The Taliban’s Traffic Management in Ghazni province has set up a registration center in the Jaghori district specifically for right-hand drive vehicles to streamline the process. However, there has been a low turnout of vehicle owners at these centers. Owners of Pakistani vehicles are urging the Taliban’s Traffic Department to lower the fees for documentation and three-year temporary license plates. In an interview with Hasht-e Subh Daily, some drivers who use right-hand drive vehicles for urban routes expressed their financial hardships, emphasizing that they cannot afford to pay tens of thousands of Afghanis for vehicle registration and document processing.

Mohammad Baqir, a taxi driver in the city of Ghazni, resides in the Jaghatu district of Ghazni province and operates a right-hand drive vehicle. According to him, the weak economy, poverty, and unemployment have left people without enough money to purchase the required vehicle documents. He mentions that the paperwork for these vehicles typically amounts to approximately 25,000 to 30,000 Afghanis.

Juma Khan, a resident of Ghazni province’s Jaghori district, has arrived at the registration center for his right-hand drive vehicle. Speaking to the Hasht-e Subh Daily, he explains that his home is located several kilometers away from the district center, and he had to purchase a right-hand drive vehicle at an affordable price to commute to the center for work and support his family. However, he now finds himself unable to afford the high cost of obtaining the three-year vehicle documents. Juma Khan further states, “I bought this vehicle two years ago for 100,000 Afghanis. Now, upon calculation, it costs 25,000 Afghanis just to acquire a three-year temporary license plate. It’s expensive.”

According to a source in Ghazni province’s Traffic Management, the Taliban’s registration program for right-hand drive vehicles is a replica of the plan implemented during the republic regime, albeit with a substantial increase in tariffs. The source reveals that under the previous government’s plan, costs were determined based on the vehicle’s type and production year. However, the Taliban have introduced an additional factor, taking into account the number of cylinders in the vehicle when setting tariffs. As a result, vehicle owners are now facing prices that have multiplied four to six times.

Based on the Hasht-e Subh Daily’s investigation, it has been revealed that over the past two months, approximately five thousand right-hand drive vehicles from Pakistan have completed the initial documentation process and obtained temporary license plates at Ghazni province’s traffic management. However, sources within the management indicate that the actual number of Pakistani vehicles operating in the province is considerably higher than this reported figure. Despite the impending deadline of less than a month, vehicle owners have yet to approach the management for registration, as stated by the sources.

The Taliban’s General Traffic Administration plan categorizes vehicles for registration purposes. High-speed vehicles manufactured between 2000 and 2010 are charged a fee based on the number of cylinders, which amounts to 5,400 Afghanis. Vehicles from model years 2011 to 2022 are required to pay 7,400 Afghanis per cylinder. It is important to note that all types of these vehicles typically have four to six cylinders. Freight vehicles, which usually have more cylinders, incur an additional fee of up to 8,900 Afghanis per cylinder during the documentation process. Additionally, vehicle owners must separately cover the cost of a travel permit booklet, a number plate, and biometric registration.

It is worth noting that over the past three decades, tens of thousands of second-hand right-hand drive vehicles have been imported into Afghanistan via Arab countries. These vehicles are primarily used for transportation between the border provinces with Pakistan and are currently found in numerous provinces throughout the country.

Residents of numerous provinces have previously complained about the high price tariffs imposed on right-hand drive vehicles. However, according to citizens, the Taliban, in their pursuit of increasing revenue, have shown an unwillingness to heed the concerns of the Afghan people.