7 Steps to Buying a Used Car In Kenya Without Breaking a Sweat

The car sales figures in Kenya have been rising each year. Although most of these cars are inexpensive, second-hand imports from various countries (mostly from Japan), it indicates a steady economical state and a rising economically-stable middle class. But, buying a used car in Kenya needs the buyer to be cautious and knowledge about used vehicles to get the best value for money.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Used Car in Kenya

A second-hand car can turn into a money pit if you have not done your homework well. You are likely to spend way more than you have intended at the time of making the purchase. So, follow these steps while buying a used car in Kenya to avoid scams and get the best value:

1. Imported or Locally Used?

That’s a dilemma you have to solve before deciding on other things. An imported second-hand car will get the upper hand given that it is cheaper even with the added taxes. However, it could be frustrating to wait for months for the car to get cleared through the ports.

buying a used car in kenya
Imported vehicles are cheaper than the locally-used ones. Source: Pixabay

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A locally used car will cost higher but you can get your hands on it almost immediately. Although, be careful that it is not stolen or in a bad shape that needs lots of repair work.

2. Spare Parts Availability

The condition of the Kenyan roads have improved a lot compared to the past decades but they are nothing compared to the roads in the developed countries. The rural tracks are mostly unpaved and even a good number of city streets have potholes. Bumpy rides will damage several components of your car and a secondhand car will deteriorate even faster. So, it’s necessary to choose a model that has spare parts available at local car shops and garages.

In that case, going with Toyota will be the safest option. You can also choose the popular models of Nissan, VW, Range Rover, KIA, and Subaru.

3. The Budget

The budget is actually not about how much you can spend but what should be the right price for a used car that can meet your needs. Visiting several car dealers and comparing the prices for your desired model is a good idea. Plenty of secondhand car dealers sell their products through websites. So, an online search may produce fruitful results with the possibility of scoring a car at a price cheaper than your expectation.

Also, do be afraid of bargaining given the age and other conditions of the car. You can score a lower price if you have a good negotiation skill.

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4. Check the Car Thoroughly

You can never be sloppy with the inspection while buying a used car in Kenya. Whether the seller is a car dealer or an individual person, you cannot just take every word coming out of the seller’s mouth as truth.

It’s better if you have enough knowledge about car mechanism to perform the inspection. Otherwise, hire an experienced mechanic to do the job. Some companies also provide professional evaluation services. Their experts will spot the technical issues and give you an estimated figure of the car’s worth.

5. Check the Paperwork

Be thorough with the paperwork to make sure that you are legally clear to purchase that car. If the seller is an individual or a private organization, they should provide the proof of ownership by handing a copy of the Original Logbook. An online search with the car’s registration number will give you details that you can verify the information on the Logbook. You can check whether the previous owner has paid the due fees in full and has not forged the chassis or the engine numbers.

6. Documents and Payments

Follow the right process when creating all the necessary documents and clearing the payments. Make sure that the Sales Agreement Contract includes the details and signatures of you, the selling party, and a third-party witness. Also, the seller has to initiate an Online Transfer of Ownership by using the NTSA TIMS portal. You, as the buyer, have to pay the transfer fees and purchase tax through the TIMS website.

buying a used car in kenya
Check the paperwork to make sure that the car is not stolen. Source: Kenya Car Bazaar

Also, clear the payment through bank transfer or a cheque. You will get a receipt for using such a transaction medium, which can be used as a proof of payment.

7. An Insurance Policy

There are several renowned insurance companies in Kenya that provide auto insurance policies. You should compare the policies and choose one that fits your requirements and budget. Many people think of saving money by not opting for a policy, which is a big mistake. The costs of liability and collisions are likely to be double when you are buying a used car in Kenya instead of a brand new model. An insurance will save you from being in debt in case the car is involved in an accident.

Hopefully this article will help you have a right decision when buying a used car in Kenya. If you have any question or need support from us, feel free to give us a comment on the box below.