Are you considering buying a used car in Kenya? Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to upgrade your current vehicle, there are essential truths you should be aware of to make a well-informed decision.
In this article, we’ll delve into key insights shared by Alasiri Motors on Twitter to help you navigate the car-buying process in Kenya.
Location Matters: Mombasa vs. Nairobi
The first truth to keep in mind is that the choice of location can significantly impact your car-buying experience in Kenya. Mombasa is an excellent destination for foreign used vehicles, especially if you’re seeking imported cars.
However, it’s crucial to note that Mombasa’s salty coastal conditions can lead to accelerated corrosion and rusting of vehicle parts, particularly for locally used units that have been in the city for more than five years. The water used for underwashing vehicles exacerbates this issue.
On the other hand, Nairobi is a preferred location for second-hand cars due to its more favourable weather and less corrosive water conditions. Nevertheless, a potential challenge in Nairobi is the risk of being sold a salvage car misrepresented as a non-accident vehicle.
To mitigate this risk, it’s advisable to conduct background checks through AKI IMIDS, where vehicles with a history of accidents are recorded. Local insurance companies can help you access this crucial data.
Beware of Salvaged Cars from Abroad
A startling revelation shared by Alasiri Motors is that some high-end cars sold in Nairobi are actually salvaged accident vehicles from Australia.
These cars are shipped to the UAE, where they undergo reconditioning before being sold in African markets to unsuspecting buyers.
If you come across a vehicle inspection report that mentions UAE on the QISJ website, exercise caution. It’s essential to avoid such cars unless you are willing to buy a salvaged accident vehicle knowingly.
Over time, owners of these reconditioned vehicles often face unexpected issues. Front grills and side components of high-end luxury cars, such as the Land Cruiser ZX series and the Lexus LX570, have been known to fall off months after purchase.
To prevent falling victim to such scams, do your due diligence and research before making a purchase.
Mileage Matters, But Be Cautious
While assessing a foreign used car in Kenya, mileage is an essential factor to consider, but it’s not as straightforward as it may seem.
Low Mileage Red Flags
Low mileage may raise a red flag. Some foreign-used cars with low mileage in Kenya may have stalled for extended periods in Japan due to unresolved mechanical problems.
Once partially fixed, they are exported to African markets and advertised as low-mileage vehicles. While these cars might seem like a steal, they often come with hidden issues that can be expensive to repair.
High Mileage Isn’t Necessarily Bad
Conversely, high mileage isn’t always a deal-breaker. In Kenya, it’s acceptable to consider cars with reasonable mileage.
For petrol and hybrid vehicles, anything below 150,000 kilometres is generally considered reasonable. Diesel cars can be considered if they have mileage below 300,000 kilometres.
Remember the key takeaways: consider the location, be cautious of salvaged cars, and don’t be deceived by mileage alone.
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