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All You Need to Know About Logbook Loans in Kenya
Logbook Loans

All You Need to Know About Logbook Loans in Kenya

If you have been cash-strapped and in urgent need of a loan, you might have thought of putting your car on the line to get a loan. Logbook loans have risen in popularity over the years in Kenya with multiple lenders including banks and microfinance institutions offering this secured loan option. 

If you are considering putting your car as collateral to quickly access a loan for a personal or business need, you need to be armed with all the information you need to help you make an informed decision. 

This article works as a guide to give you all the essential information you need about logbook loans in Kenya. 

Also, if you want to compare logbook loans, we’ve got you covered. Visit our logbook loan comparisons page to see some of the main lenders in the market today. 

What Is a Logbook Loan?

A logbook loan is a type of loan that uses your motor vehicle as security - a car, van, tractor, or motorbike. It allows you to borrow an agreed amount from the lender against the value of your vehicle. In return, the vehicle ownership is temporarily transferred into joint ownership with the lender until you fully repay the loan plus interest.

To secure the loan, you provide the lender with the vehicle ownership documents - the logbook. During the loan period, you can continue using the vehicle normally. 

However, a logbook loan should not be confused with a vehicle loan (asset financing). A vehicle loan is a loan that allows you to finance the purchase of a vehicle (if you can’t afford it or are not willing to purchase it in cash). In contrast, a logbook loan allows you to take a loan using an existing vehicle as collateral. 

Who Offers Logbook Loans in Kenya?

Logbook loans are offered by a wide range of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and are also beginning to be offered by some commercial banks. Many of these MFIs have branches all across Kenya. 

You can visit our logbook loan comparison page to see some of the current main logbook loan lenders in Kenya, their eligibility requirements, interest rates, and fees. 

Advantages of Taking a Logbook Loan

There are many reasons why logbook loans are persistently gaining popularity currently. These include:

  • Accessibility. In Kenya, logbook loan lenders are currently sprouting up everywhere. So if you urgently need cash and have a vehicle, you just need to find a lender, check your eligibility, and your loan will be with you as quickly as possible - Some lenders process the loan within 24 hours.
  • Simple approval process. Your loan will be approved and processed swiftly with the correct requirements and documents. Most logbook loans in Kenya offer a 24-hour turnaround from application to approval. 
  • Flexible loan amount. The loan is based on the value of your vehicle, and you can therefore borrow as much as you need up to the value of the vehicle - depending on the lender. In general, the minimum loan size is as low as Ksh50,000  and the maximum for some providers goes to Ksh25M- depending on your car value. Usually, you can borrow somewhere between 50-80% of your car value. 
  • No credit check. For most loan types such as unsecured personal loans, a lender will typically use your credit history to determine your creditworthiness. However, for a logbook loan, the proof of ownership of the vehicle and the fact that it passes a valuation assessment that satisfies the conditions of the lender is enough to get you approved for the loan. Note that some lenders will, nevertheless, check your credit history. 
  • Use as you want. Unlike other loan types such as business loans, logbook loans do not have limitations on what the funds can be used for. You can use it to cover whatever costs you need to, provided you have a plan to repay it in full.

Considerations Before Taking a Logbook Loan

  • Think about what you need the money for - Logbook loans are helpful for taking advantage of quick opportunities such as buying land, etc., dealing with an emergency, or growing your business but before you decide to take a logbook loan, you should first think about why you need the money and what for.
  • High upfront fees  - Nearly all logbook loan providers will charge an applicant upfront fees that have to be paid before the loan is disbursed. Since these fees can significantly raise the total cost of the loan, it is important to do the math, compare options and only make a decision when you are confident of the facts.  
  • The value of your vehicle -  The qualifying loan amount is pegged on a percentage of the vehicle’s forced sale value (FSV). FSV is the amount the car would sell at if needed to be sold. So 50% of FSV means if your car's FSV is Ksh600,000 you can only get up to Ksh300,000.  
  • Repayment period. In most cases, the repayment period is determined by the lender. The lender might ask you for a weekly payment.
  • Penalty. There are penalties for missed payments. Also, you might get a penalty for clearing the loan too quickly without a prior discussion with the lender. 

How money254 Helps You Compare and Choose a Logbook Loan

We have already done the research for you and pulled together a list of credible logbook loan providers in Kenya, their logbook loan product details, fees, repayment plans, and all the information that helps you get a full picture of the product you are considering.

Once you enter the loan amount you are looking for and confirm that you have the vehicle logbook in your name, Money254 will return a list of all the logbook loans that you qualify for. Please note that lenders will only give you a certain percentage (typically between 60% and 80%) of the valued amount of your car.

On Money254, you can compare each of the logbook loans available to you on interest rates, fees including disbursement and processing fees, interest rate structure (flat or reducing balance), maximum and minimum tenure as well as any bespoke eligibility requirements.

Visit our logbook loan comparisons page to view, compare and choose a logbook loan that matches your needs. 

Click on the 'Easy Apply Only' option to apply directly for the loan and get contacted by the lender swiftly to process your application.

Fees Associated With Logbook Loans

In addition to the quoted interest rate to the loan, other common fees to have in mind include:

  • Processing Fee (2.5% and above depending on the lender)
  • Valuation (Charged upfront before the loan is approved. Note if the loan is not approved, the valuation fee is not refundable)
  • Logbook Search + Discharge (fees associated with the National Transport Authority (NTSA) search and transfer)
  • Car Tracker (this must always be fitted at the borrower’s expense)
  • Comprehensive insurance cover - if your car only has the basic third-party insurance policy, you will need to take a comprehensive cover at your own cost before you can qualify for a logbook loan. 

These are the common fees across all lenders, however, some firms have additional fees, such as legal fees.

Risks Associated With Logbook Loans

Although a logbook loan might come in handy when you need it, they carry a few risks and may not be your first option when you are looking to borrow urgently. The risks include:

They can be expensive 

Logbook loans may charge a higher interest rate than other personal loan types, potentially making them some of the most expensive loans in the market today. 

As such, you might need to dig a lot deeper in your pocket to repay the loan. 

That said, a logbook loan may be the only option for someone to get at least more than Ksh50,000 in under 24 hours if they do not have a relationship with a lender for a period of at least 6 months.

One of the quickest loan options is a digital loan. But the amounts start from as low as Ksh500 and take you a while to raise your limit. 

So, if you do not have a bank account with an appropriate balance for about six months, are not a Sacco member, do not have a big loan limit with a digital lender, etc, a logbook loan may be the fastest way to get a large amount of money. 

Loss of vehicle 

Like any other secured loan, the lender has the right to repossess the collateral in the event that you default on your repayments. This is because the minute you sign the loan agreement, you temporarily jointly own the vehicle with the lender. 

This means that the lender has the bill of sale to your car and the right to repossess the vehicle if you fail to repay the loan - If you miss payments for a predetermined number of successive months. 

If you feel like you are struggling to repay, you can always reach out to your lender and work with them on a repayment plan to avoid losing your car. 

Additional charges

The lender has the right to charge you a penalty if you miss a payment. This is to cover for the inconveniences of the repayments missed. 

To find out the rates for the penalty, ensure to carefully read the fine prints on the loan agreement before you sign. 

Important Terms

Logbook - A document that tracks vehicle ownership (registration and taxation history of a specific vehicle). 

Repossess - Where the lender takes your vehicle away or auctions it after the borrower fails to honour the repayment terms of the loan.  

Logbook Loans FAQs

How much can I get for my car?

Logbook loan terms vary from lender to lender to lender. The amount the lender is willing to loan you depends on the value of your car and the percentage of the value the lender is willing to offer. 

But in general, the higher the value of your car, the higher the amount you are eligible for. Most lenders will request you get your car valued by a third party (In most cases the valuer is predetermined by the lender) before lending you the money.

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Doris is a finance professional, freelance writer and SEO expert. She has experience helping businesses of all sizes create content that helps improve their site quality and increase their online traffic. She is a personal finance and wealth creation enthusiast and a frequent contributor to Money254. Visit Doris' personal website to learn more about her work.

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