I have finally gotten serious about looking for a car. My Budget is low but my goal is to get a trouble free used car, clean with spares readily available, easily serviceable and fuel efficient, to run-around town – for less than 300,000 shillings.
Stats from week one:
Private sellers I called: 4
Dealers I talked to: 1
Cars I looked at: 2
Expenses to date: 2,000 for my mechanic to inspect one promising car
Banks I talked to: 3
Lessons I learnt:
1. Banks usually don’t lend for car buying, unless it’s a new car and expensive or a fleet (that’s what we call asset finance)
2. I may have to get a personal loan, but interest rates are now around 20% for those and you have to have a history (operate and account and process your salary there) with most banks.
3. New cars can be very problematic – because of all the computer and electronic gizmos they have. My mechanic told me about cars in his yard that owners have temporarily abandoned because neither he, nor the authorized local dealers, have been able to diagnose or fix an electronic engine problem. So older–era cars are ok, i.e. pre-Y2K
4. Many good buy cars have problematic logbooks, and dubious ownership histories.
5. Kenya is Toyota country, and half the cars being sold in the newspaper classified are 5- to 10-year-old Toyota’s that sell from 500,000- 800,000.