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The headache of buying an old car

The other day I accompanied by friend to look for a car. He had visited this website where “everything sells” and had taken the contacts of the seller. I must say, am very critical when it comes to second hand cars. Unless I know the owner very well and I have driven the car in the past, I don’t trust that anyone would sell a second hand vehicle when it is in its best condition.

With this mind set, we drove to the place where this car was parked. After inspecting it we asked a few questions. Important to me was the owner’s career since it will give an indication of how the vehicle was used. If the owner is a land valuer like me or a land surveyor, then that’s a vehicle to avoid. The kind of work we do inspecting land all over this country will not leave the vehicle in any good shape. It might appear new but if the car was to talk, it would be stressed from overwork and rough roads.

The next concern was if the vehicle was used as a taxi or for car hire. It’s said that vehicles that are hired out are normally used, misused and abused. The owners want to sell them off quite fast before they break down on them.

I had asked our Taxi guy sometime back about old cars. He advised me, “ Gari ni Body” (The body of the car is more important than the engine). Another person told me, “Gari ni Engine”( A car’s Engine is more important than the body). Now these two statements contradict each other. I wonder, is there a standard of doing due diligence when it comes to buying cars?

My friend wants to send his mechanic to check out the car. I doubt the mechanics’ competence in doing vehicle diagnosis especially since he has no machines. He said he will “listen” to the car and tell if it’s okay or not. If he advices my friend to buy the car, then a week later the car breaks down and needs a complete engine over whole, can my friend sue the mechanic for negligence? I guess not. After all, that was the mechanic’s opinion and he doesn’t give any guarantee.

In buying land, don’t risk your hard earned cash in a gamble. There is a process clearly outlined in the book, “The ABC of REAL estate investment in Kenya” that will help you know if a plot is genuine or not.

Order a copy of the book by sending an email to  info@kariukiwaweru.com


Kariuki Waweru

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