Car shopping: week one

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.

12 thoughts on “Car shopping: week one

  1. Mimmz

    First and foremost, I completely sympathize with your spam atack. I’ve been going through teh same thing.

    Next, I’m car shopping too. New cars are great because of warranty. Newer cars are better if you ask me because you avoid teh new car sales tax and all that uncle Sam’s crap but you still get the remaining warranty on the car. Anyway, I’ve not enjoyed the experience. My best moment was some sales guy upselling some 2004 camry to me at ‘the lowest price’ of $19,000. Same car was advertized on the net for $15,995. The look on his face was priceless when I pointed that fact out. Stupid fools think if you’re black and female you can’t spell internet.
    I’m still getting calls from the sales people I’ve met. I’m waiting on one from like a personal dealer I’ve used twice before. I have to get a car today, worst case tomorrow. Good luck on this ardous task!

  2. kipepeo

    car shopping. i so know bout not finding parts for cars. my mum had a fiat and a small part stalled and she hasnt been able to find the part in kenya at all and importing the part is so expensive, she was better off buying a new car. but good luck and hope you find a decent machine! im sure you will

  3. bankelele

    Mimmz: internet dealers here are mostly importers who quote prices ex-duty, Mombasa. I think i’ll just avoid the tax-hassle and buy a local car in the city

    Kipepeo: thanks, but it’s taking a long time, as I have to visit so many dealers – and I still don’t know car I want.

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