Guide to buying a car in Kenya

Guide to buying a car in Kenya

Buying a car can be an exciting and challenging experience. As it is, owning a brand new car, for business or personal use, is a dream shared by millions of people across the country. However, not all get to own one in their lifetime. Some opt to buy used or second-hand cars sourced locally or abroad presumably because they are more affordable. Buying a car is not as complicated when you know the rights steps to take. It’s good to take time and think intensely as it’s one of the most expensive purchases you will make. Thus, how can you make sure that investment you make is the right one?

Here are the steps you must follow when buying a car in Kenya.

In the article

1. Determine your car needs

We all plan to buy our dream car, but planning for a Chrysler or an Audi should not be the main focus. Think about the major needs for which you have decided to buy a car. For instance, if you want it for leisure then choosing Toyota is a perfect choice but if you are buying it for daily usage, then the car with the best mileage will be the ideal choice.

2. Read reviews from experts

You may come up with a number of choices but to make a wise purchase, you must know the cons and pros of the vehicle you want. In this context, you can check out different online car websites in Kenya. You can also talk to your friends or relatives. For instance – if you are willing to buy a Toyota Corolla, you can ask a friend who already owns it. That friend can better guide you on whether you should opt to get it or not.

3. Figure out your best trade-in

When you visit a used car dealer in Kenya, you can’t predict if it’s the best deal that you are offered but you must know that the trade-in you are planning to invest in is worth it or not. You will want to know as much information as possible before setting any deal but never let your wishes set a price. Try to figure out what’s the best option for your price goal, not vice versa.

4. Understand your affordability

Choosing the car is not enough, it is also required that you get it under your budget. Different shoppers have made different car buying strategies so if you are financing your car or leasing it, you need to first create a budget and figure out monthly payments before heading to the dealership. Secondly, make sure you make savings so that when you have decided to buy, you can pay without breaking the bank.

5. Choose the car you want to purchase

Now when you are all set to acquire the car, take a glance at a few things – final price, latest model, popular dealers in the market where you can get the car, any special offers etc. In case, the model you want is sold, you can think about other options. You can try with some other dealer or you can look for another car from the list.

6. Compare prices

If you drive around Nairobi for a day, you will find numerous used car dealers. It may seem tempting if you spot the car you crave and thereafter begin the purchase process; but you know, this is not a smart approach. Instead how exactly you should approach is to visit several car dealers and compare the prices you get. This way you will find that the price at which you buy your first car will be much cheaper than the original quotation you got.

7. A long test drive

Once you decide the make and model you want to buy, the next important step is to go for a test drive. Remember, it’s you who has to buy a car, and invest in your purchase so never settle down for a short drive even if the salesman asks for a short route. Take a long drive and observe the fuel efficiency, mileage, and other interior features. If you are not satisfied or making a decision in a rush, it is completely fine to say ‘No’ and opt for other cars for a test drive. But never settle down in a rush so that your decision results in the regression for your purchase.

8. Time to negotiate

When you visit the dealer for making a purchase, they never come up with the best price. Although you will be offered offer one price it can be negotiated if a buyer tries. Thus, to make it the best deal, firstly, be firm with the price which you want. Secondly, if the dealer doesn’t accept it, even then don’t agree for the price you aren’t comfortable with. If not happy, you can walk out the door any time. This is the biggest chip you will ever get from a purchase as if the dealer will be interested he will get ready for your price otherwise you have already got a list of a number of cars you can choose from.

9. Read the buyer’s order carefully

This is a final document that will drive you to purchase. Go through the document thoroughly. Check out the price of each and everything listed in the document, from the car’s original price to taxes incurred. If you are not sure about something included in the document, now’s the last chance to ask. Further, when you sign the buyer’s order, there is a pretty good chance that the dealer will offer you special add-ons but be careful before choosing one. It may end up costing a lot while paying monthly.

10. Buying a car insurance

Now here comes the additional expense that befalls with every car purchase. Being a Kenyan native, you need to buy the minimum coverage for your car i.e. liability insurance if you want to drive your vehicle on road. But this is not the only car insurance you can buy. In fact, you can take fully comprehensive car insurance Kenya coverage for overall protection for both parties as well. You can compare the car insurance quotes from all top insurance providers and then choose the one that suits your budget as well as your needs.


Buying a car is a huge investment and a challenging one for that matter, especially for first time potential car owners. Each of the above-mentioned tips is extremely important to make the best decision on your vehicle investment and therefore do not skip any of them as you start the process of buying your first car.

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Written by Victor Mochere

Victor Mochere is a blogger, social media influencer, and a netpreneur creating and marketing digital content.

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