EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of our Money254 Partner Series produced in partnership with Peach Cars.
The journey to find a locally used car can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. Traditionally, used cars are often sought after for their affordability, reliability, and overall value.
However, as with any significant purchase, the process has its challenges. Undisclosed mechanical issues, legal disputes that delay the transfer of the logbook, fair pricing concerns, and the absence of post-purchase support are common hurdles that prospective buyers face. It's a potential minefield for those unaware of the pitfalls.
You need a strategic approach to navigate these challenges, starting with finding a reliable partner in your car-buying journey. This is where Peach Car comes into play. Choosing the right platform to purchase your locally used car ensures a smooth and satisfying experience.
The locally-used cars market has been growing in Kenya due to a number of factors which we will discuss below:
Affordability: Locally used cars are not subjected to 35% import duties, freight charges (CIF), 2% import declaration fees, a 1.5% railway development levy, and other costs associated with importing foreign used cars. Avoiding these costs can save you hundreds of thousands of shillings.
Faster Process: Finding, buying, importing, and registering a foreign used car can take months. Meanwhile, the process of purchasing a locally-used vehicle is much easier and can be a matter of days.
No Age Restriction: While there is no age restriction on the car you can drive in Kenya, importing a foreign-used vehicle older than eight years from the date of manufacture is illegal. This law locks out people looking to import foreign-used classic cars or old cars for a project.
More Financing Options: Locally used cars are often perceived as having more stable market values, making financial institutions more willing to extend loans for their purchase. When looking to buy a foreign-used car, the pool of lenders offering import financing is small compared to those offering traditional car financing.
You Buy What You See: Unlike foreign-used imported vehicles, where the purchase might be based on limited information and online assessments, buying a locally used car allows you to scrutinise and evaluate the vehicle's actual condition before buying. Using car-selling platforms like Peach Car will also help you conduct thorough verification to avoid scams.
Peach Cars is a marketplace that started its operations in 2020 with the intention of building an alternative solution for those looking to buy and sell locally used vehicles in Kenya.
Peach Cars offers a platform to connect local car sellers and buyers and oversee the process to ensure convenience, speed, and quality control.
Peach Cars offers a marketplace for locally-used vehicles and applies a rigorous inspection process to all cars sold through their pipeline to ensure buyers have full information, get fair pricing, and avoid all the challenges car buyers traditionally faced.
Peach Cars also has professional and technical staff who understand vehicle maintenance and evaluation to help you with aftersale services such as sale agreements, NTSA logbook transfers, and related services.
Finding a trouble-free used car has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with conducting a thorough inspection.
The biggest problem you will face when buying a locally used car is knowing how to spot potential issues and determining how reliable the car is. If you are buying from a private seller or car showroom, you will have two options. Take them for their word or pay extra cash and hire an independent mechanic to inspect the vehicle if the seller allows it.
Peach Cars takes a different approach. Before they list a vehicle for sale, it must undergo a detailed 255-point inspection that indicates the condition of the car's mechanical systems, such as engine, suspension, transmission, and brakes. They also use an OBD diagnostics tool and conduct a battery multimeter check to provide you with a complete vehicle diagnostic report.
A comprehensive inspection is conducted on a vehicle to evaluate its overall condition, identify any potential issues or concerns, assess mechanical integrity, evaluate maintenance history, and determine the car's value.
After the inspection, sellers submit the required documentation, such as a copy of the car logbook, for verification. The verification involves checking if the information in the logbook matches those in the NTSA’s Transport Integrated Management System (TIMS) records, if there is any undisclosed encumbrances to the vehicle.
Next, Peach Cars will also verify the genuine mileage of the car before putting it on the market. This is typically done by running the chassis number through relevant international databases.
During the purchase process, you will receive proof of the inspection and verifications. Additionally, if the car has been involved in an accident before or has any issues, you will be informed so that you can make buying decisions based on transparency.
Peach Cars distinguishes itself in the used car market by offering a comprehensive and transparent approach to pricing, ensuring both buyers and sellers benefit from fair and accurate assessments.
Central to this commitment is Peach Cars' reliance on valuable market insights, knowledgeable staff, and a thorough evaluation of each vehicle's condition during the inspection process. This wealth of information empowers Peach Cars to provide sellers with a realistic and fair vehicle price range.
Instead of engaging in ad hoc negotiations that often characterize in traditional peer-to-peer transactions in the used car market, buyers can trust Peach Cars to provide a fair and verifiable value for the vehicle they want.
If you already have a specific car make and model in mind but cannot find it at Peach Cars or other sellers, worry not. Peach Cars has an extensive market network within the auto industry, allowing them to leverage their connections and sources to locate your desired car.
This sourcing process expedites the acquisition of your dream car and provides valuable market insights, ensuring you know all available options that match your criteria.
And if you haven't yet decided on a specific car model, Peach Cars' knowledgeable and experienced team will guide you through the decision-making process. Using your preferences, lifestyle, and budget, they will present you with a curated selection of options that align with your needs. You will be provided with the best choices available, considering factors such as fuel efficiency, performance, safety features, and other features that matter the most to you.
Locally used car buyers often encounter a significant challenge in the form of fraudulent sellers. These scammers typically request deposits, fuel money, or facilitation fees to arrange a viewing of the car. Once the unsuspecting buyer sends the money, the fraudsters vanish.
In worse-case scenarios, the deceitful sellers may refuse to release the purchased car after receiving full payment.
To address these challenges, Peach Cars employs a unique approach that ensures the security of your transaction. Unlike conventional methods where buyers directly pay sellers, Peach Car acts as a trusted intermediary. They use escrow accounts to ensure you never pay for a car you won't receive. Here's how it works:
But it doesn't stop there. Peach Car goes the extra mile to assist you in various administrative tasks related to car ownership, such as drafting sales agreements, creating a TIMs account, and navigating other NTSA services, such as logbook transfer.
Additionally, Peach Cars will help you buy car insurance (comprehensive and third-party), get loans using your car, and their automative experts will always be around to answer any question after buying the car.
You may not have sufficient financing to cross the finish line and pay for your dream car in cash, or you may prefer the convenience of auto loans. Whatever your case, Peach Cars will leverage its networks in the auto lenders to help you get the financing you need to purchase your car.
They work with reputable financial institutions to secure competitive interest rates and favorable terms, ensuring you find an auto loan that suits your needs and one you can afford and aligns with your budget.
And if you are already a car owner looking to upgrade or switch to a different model, Peach Cars also accepts trade-ins. You can walk into their yard, identify your desired car, and start the process.
The process involves assessing your car's condition, mileage, and overall value to ensure a fair and accurate appraisal. Once your vehicle successfully passes the inspection process, they'll engage you in a discussion about the top-up price – the additional amount you may need to pay or receive for trading in your car.
Buying a locally used car comes with several risks to consider, but you can minimize those risks by being vigilant throughout the process. Even one with a good reliability record can have hidden mechanical issues, undisclosed problems, or issues with the logbook.
If you are buying your first car or aren't well-versed in matters automotive, consider tagging your car expert friend along the way or hiring a mechanic to inspect the car for you.
Another foolproof way of minimising the risks associated with buying locally used vehicles is to use trustworthy intermediaries like Peach Cars, who employ best practices to safeguard both the legit seller and buyer from fraud.