Flavia Ntambi Lwanga from Uganda message
My view of Cars from Japan!!!
My very first car was a Toyota Corolla. I bought it on the local market, but from someone who had bought it from Japan as a used car.
I loved that car, and I remember driving it 21 kilometres to work every morning, and another 21km in the evening after work.
Whilst it was a used car, and I picked it up as a second hand car, it served me well because I never had a breakdown the whole time I owned that car.
I remember that at the time, that type of car was highly sought for by many, including car thieves. I was chased twice for that car, but on both occasions, I managed to get away – I believe this car was better than that of my chasers – I did not pay attention to what cars my chasers were driving, because I was more concerned about my safety and security of my car.
Why I loved that car to bits is – it never broke down, it manoeuvred quite well, its acceleration and breaking functionalities were impressive, and its fuel consumption was reasonable.
When my husband considered buying a car, I convinced him to buy a car from Japan, because I was convinced that we would get a good deal, and much as the order would be on line, we were sure to receive the car. I was sure of this, because I had consulted with a few friends and relatives who had bought their cars online straight from Japan, and had no regrets.
I remember sitting with my husband by my laptop one Saturday afternoon, and we went directly onto a Japanese Car Website. The responses from the vendors was very impressive, for example, they were able to reply to our queries within minimum time which enabled us make decisions quickly, they also agreed to reduce the price of the car we finally zeroed on. That really dazzled us. We thought that the price provided on the website was fixed, but were surprised to find that as a customer, we had a right to bargain, and there was also the possibility of getting a better price that what was on the website.
The website was soo clear and easy to work with because it provided various payment modalities, all of which we found were user friendly. We chose to do TTs, and the website supported us through that, because they shared with us the specific Banks they were dealing with. This automatically saved us a lot of time that would have been wasted if all the relevant information were not provided by the vendor.
The car my husband bought is a Golf, and he still owns it – 3 years down the road. I was privileged to drive that car for over a year, and I am happy he made that choice.
Ugandans prefer Toyotas, and because our roads are relatively bumpy, Toyotas tend to perform best on them, hence my choice to consider obtaining a Toyota from Japan.
That notwithstanding, I love a good car (condition, model, design and performance on the road), so any brand that satisfies that initial desire will have a chance with me.
Most of the cars driven in Uganda both used and brand new are shipped from Japan. Its considered the most affordable vendor, and also a trusted vendor that understands African needs, and hence creates models that are suitable for our market.
More still, the spare parts from Japan are always readily available – this speaks to the demand from the cars that are shipped from there.
The affordability of decent vehicles from Japan has boosted out people’s ability to own cars. Many people have always dreamt of owning cars, but this dream was only realized and gradually when Uganda started receiving reconditioned but decent cars from Japan.
Being a lady, and because I take good care of any vehicle in my possession, it is easy for people to want to buy a car I have been driving. I have had situations where people ask me when I intend to release a car that I am driving, and they literally book the car.
One day when I asked why someone needed to buy the car I was driving, he told me that he trusted my driving skills, he knew that I service the car regularly and that he can tell that I generally maintain the car in good condition.
I started driving about 16 years ago – using other people’s cars for the start, until I bought my own car.
For all the years I have been driving, I have never knocked anyone, and I can count the few times my car has been knocked by another road user. I feel proud about myself, and I hope I never get into a situation where I mess up another road user due to irresponsible driving.
My husband told me once that he trusts my driving, and I believe him, because whenever we have to do relatively longer trips, I always take the steering wheel, and a few times, I have watched him drift off to sleep in the co-drivers sit. That is something I rarely do, because I understand the dangers we face on the road all the time.
I have noticed that on average the reconditioned car can be driven for over 15 years with none or more transfers of ownership. If we had better roads, I believe the life-span of these cars on the road would double. of course this has to be coupled with proper maintenance of the car at all times.
If I am favoured with a free car from Japan, I will be most appreciative, I will take such good care of it, and for as long as I am alive, I will maintain it well, and keep it as my operational souvenir. I want to test how long I can keep it on the road and in perfect condition.
Whilst I made a choice of a Toyota Premio, I am happy to take any other car you may want to monitor if at all that is an idea you are considering.
I know you will not have made a mistake, neither will you regret the decision.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soonest.