Why Buying Locally Available Cars in Kenya Makes Financial Sense

by Business Watch Team

Owning a car in Kenya is a dream for many of us. The freedom and convenience it offers are hard to match. But when it comes to acquiring that dream car, you face a dilemma: Should you self-import a vehicle or opt for one that’s already on the local market, readily available for inspection?

Let’s talk money. Choosing locally available cars is not just a smart move; it’s a financial lifeline. This is especially true in Kenya, a country where exchange rates have been unpredictable and where recent economic developments have made self-importing a more costly endeavor.

First, consider the state of the Kenyan shilling which has recently been weakening against the US dollar, making the cost of importing a vehicle soar. In this case, buying locally available cars becomes not just a reasonable choice but an economically sensible one. Cars that were imported before the shilling’s decline are now available at significantly better prices compared to importing one now under the current exchange rate.

The recent increase in car import duties by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to 35% from 25% amid the weakening shilling has forced car dealers to adjust prices of cars imported from August this year up to recoup their expenses and protect their margins,” explains Henry Mbugua, Autochek Kenya Country Manager. “The 10% increase in import duties has in turn increased other car taxes such as excise duty and Value Added Tax (VAT).

This increase in import duties and the subsequent hike in other taxes create a scenario where self-importing has become a costly affair. On the other hand, locally used cars and those that had been imported before the new tax regime came into play are priced far more favorably. With this shift in dynamics, you can now find well-maintained vehicles without incurring extra costs, a fact that should be music to the ears of budget-conscious car buyers.

Apart from the financial benefits, there are other compelling reasons to choose locally available cars in Kenya. One such reason is financing. When you opt for a locally available vehicle, you often have the opportunity to pay as little as a 30% deposit, making car ownership more accessible than ever. Find out how much financing you will qualify for.

What’s more, local cars often come with warranties and after-sales support from nearby dealerships. This local support can be a lifeline when it comes to repairs and maintenance, which might be more challenging with an imported vehicle. For those watching their budget, having access to a network of local support means avoiding unexpected repair bills, a real blessing in disguise.

In essence, when you’re watching your wallet, choosing locally available cars is the wisest choice. It’s about making a decision that aligns with both your dreams and your financial well-being.

So, don’t let high exchange rates stand in the way of your dream of owning a car. By exploring vehicles that have been freshly imported or locally used from trusted car yards, you can still enjoy the perks of car ownership without breaking the bank or postponing your dream of owning a car. Henry Mbugua‘s insights make it clear that the financial advantages of buying locally are not just a fleeting trend but a wise and stable choice. Make your dream of owning a car in Kenya a reality without the heavy financial burden that self-importing can bring.

Let’s take a quick dive into why choosing locally available cars is the way to go. To begin with, buying from local dealerships or private sellers has its own set of advantages. Firstly, you have the opportunity to physically inspect the vehicle before making a purchase. This hands-on approach allows you to scrutinize the car’s condition, take it for a test drive, and ensure it meets your expectations. Such a level of transparency is often not possible when you’re dealing with an imported vehicle.

Another advantage of buying locally is the wide range of options available. Kenya’s automotive market is diverse, with various makes and models readily available. Whether you’re looking for a small fuel-efficient car, a family SUV, the new cross-over options, or a minivan that you could use to shuttle your family or for business, the local market offers choices that can cater to your specific needs.

Moreover, when you buy a car from a local dealer, you can tap into their knowledge and expertise. They can guide you through the purchasing process, help you understand your financing options, and provide valuable insights about the vehicle you’re interested in.

Additionally, when you choose to buy locally, you may benefit from special promotions, discounts, or packages offered by dealerships like a first free service, fuel vouchers, and cash discounts. These incentives can significantly improve your buying experience and at times reduce the overall cost of ownership, making it even more affordable compared to self-importing.

Car ownership is no longer just about mobility; it’s an investment in your future. The ability to move around conveniently, access job opportunities, and explore the beautiful landscapes that Kenya has to offer is a lifestyle enhancement that many aspire to. It’s about making a choice that aligns with your budget, your dreams, and the current financial landscape.

So, whether you’re a first-time car buyer or looking to upgrade your current vehicle, consider the smart move—buy from trusted and verified car dealers. Don’t let high exchange rates or new automotive taxes stand in the way of your dream of owning a car in Kenya. By opting for a locally available vehicle, you’re not only making a financially sound decision but also ensuring a smoother, more reliable, and cost-effective journey to car ownership and there’s no better time than now to make that investment.

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