Buying a car is a dream of many Kenyans either for luxury or business purposes. It is also a capital-intensive investment that requires proper planning and considerations to undertake. This article will focus on the top 10 factors to consider when buying a car in Kenya.
These factors are necessary to ensure you buy a car that suits your needs, is of good quality, and is easy to maintain. Whether you are buying a new car or an old car, these factors apply evenly.
Top 10 factors to consider when buying a car in Kenya.
Below is a breakdown of the top 10 factors to consider when buying a car in Kenya.
1. Price of the car
It all starts at the price level when buying a car in Kenya. The price is crucial because it determines whether you can afford it or not. Various elements determine the price of the car such as age, size, and brand.
Newer cars tend to cost more than old cars and so is big cars. Hence always get the price details from the seller to evaluate whether it is worth the money. To know if the price is fair, you can engage a professional for guidance or do a valuation from authorized valuers in the country.
2. Fuel consumption
Fuel is one of the biggest costs in maintaining a car. Bigger cars will consume more fuel resulting in higher fuel costs. With the price of fuel remaining high, you need to get a car that is low on consumption if your pockets are not very deep.
Mostly, fuel consumption is measured on the number of Kilometers per liter, what determines this is the engine capacity. The higher the engine capacity, the higher the fuel consumption. You will find the engine capacity defined in CC such as 1000 cc, 1500 cc, 2000 cc, and many more.
Alternatively, you can enquire about the fuel consumption levels of another person who owns a similar car such as the one you are buying.
3. Availability of spare parts
Due to the mechanical nature of cars, they are bound to break down from time to time. Once this happens, you need to do repairs in various repair garages across the country.
This repair sometimes involves having to change some parts creating the need for spare parts. You should strive to buy a car whose spare parts are readily available and affordable. This is the case with the most common car brands in the country such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda.
However, if you chose to buy a car that is rare in the country, getting a spare part will become a challenge requiring you to import most of the time. Even if you find it locally, the costs will be high increasing your car maintenance costs.
Hence, you should make this a key consideration before buying a car in Kenya. To get more details on the subject, you can engage spare parts sellers and mechanics on their availability.
4. Car model
There are various car models and brands that you can buy in Kenya. It all depends on your preference and other factors such as brand loyalty, availability, and price.
Although most people ignore this factor, it goes a long way in determining some key elements such as car safety. Based on statistics, some car models are more susceptible to theft than others. Others have a reputation for breaking down more often than others.
Hence, you have to get the right model if you want to enjoy the benefits of owning a car in Kenya.
5. Use of the car
As mentioned earlier, people buy cars for different uses. Some of these could either be for personal or commercial uses. Hence, you need to buy a car that suits your needs.
As an example, if you are buying a car for passenger transport, you need to focus on high-capacity cars such as vans and buses. If You want to buy a personal car, then a smaller car such as a saloon will suffice.
There are also those cars whose use is for tour services across the vast Kenyan parks. Due to the nature of the terrain, you should get a car that is hardy and high. Otherwise, a small car will not suffice for this use.
The bottom line is you need to clearly define the use of the car when buying.
6. Driving experience
Driving is a core function when you own a car. As a driver, you need to get a good driving experience to enjoy the journey. Some of the things to look out for in the driving experience is whether the car is automatic or manual driven.
Others include driving stability, speed, and comfortability. However, it also depends on the price of the car because some low-end ones could sacrifice some of these elements.
The best approach is to take a driving test with a similar car to find out if it suits your needs. This you can borrow from a friend or hire one.
7. Financing options
This mostly applies when you are buying a car on credit. Some financial institutions limit the type of cars to finance or the maximum amount you can get.
Some of them have partnerships with car dealers to finance specific cars. An example is the online taxi business where there are partnerships between car dealers and financial institutions.
On the amount, there could be limits as to the maximum amount of financing you can get. In such a case, you will be limited to buying a car that fits within the financing range.
There are also new rules regarding the financing of both electric and combustion engine cars. Soon, this will be a big thing in the country as the world pushes to clean energy.
8. Availability of mechanics
Just like the spare parts, you need to buy a car that has readily available mechanics. This is because, at one time when It breaks down, you will need someone to fix it.
There are a lot of mechanics for the common brands in the country hence you won’t have challenges with fixing your car. However, those cars without demand in the country have very few qualified mechanics.
Buying a car that has few people with the skills to fix it makes it costly and inconvenient if the mechanic is far from your location.
9. Age of the car
In most cases, the age of a car has a direct relationship to its price and condition. It is expected that newer cars will be in better condition than the old ones. There is also a government limitation on the age of a car that you can import. According to Kenyan laws, you can’t import a car that is more than 7 years old.
Older cars also rely on old technology that could not relevant today. Buying such will give you challenges in driving and maintenance.
The advantage of old cars is they tend to be more affordable as compared to newer ones. If you decide to buy one, you should undertake a thorough check to ensure it is in good condition.
10. Legal status
This is a key factor to consider when buying a car in Kenya. In understanding the legal status, you want to find out who is the registered owner of the car, is the car legal in Kenya, does it have any pending disputes or if has it complied with the duty payments.
Only buy a car that is legally clean to avoid getting into challenges later after buying it. To understand more about this, you should search on the National Transport and Safety Authority TIMS portal.
The search will give you details such as the history of car owners, car registration number, and duty payment status.
Below is a recap of the top 10 factors to consider when buying a car in Kenya.
- Price of the car
- Fuel consumption
- Availability of spare parts
- Car model
- Use of the car
- Driving experience
- Financing options
- Availability of mechanics
- Age of the car
- Legal status