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Before buying your first car, you must have dreamt about it and even decided on the color and model.

However when buying a second hand car, the condition of the vehicle is what informs your decision. A large percentage of Kenyans buy Second hand cars since they are affordable. Most of them buy them as their first cars, you either buy one that has been imported but never used in the country or one that has already been used in the country(usually from the 1st,2nd or 3rd buyer according to the logbook and records from KRA/NTSA). If not careful, you may end up buying a problematic car from a previous owner. Here are some tips that can help you to save time and money on your purchase.


  1. Have a checklist of the most common things to inspect

  • Rust damage that is visible on the body
  • Brake and transmission dragging or failure
  • Interior wear and tear (carpets, door panels, door locks,dashboard,seats etc)
  • Dents on the bodies and uneven paint on the body
  • Worn out tires, worn out or bent rims
  • Engine rattling and temperature rise of engine when driven
  • Leaking from underneath the engine when parked (very critical)
  • Windshield condition


  2. Research on the vehicle model of interest

  • Start by checking out online forums on facebook or blogs of car owners. For example in Kenya, VW Owners club is for those who own Volkswagen. You can get information there like best mechanics, places to get parts etc. Don’t stay in the dark.
  • Talk to other vehicle owners in person. Ask them about their cars(always talk to the ones who have a similar model to one you may be interested in).
  • Visit car dealerships to have a closer look of the car and even book a test drive with them if possible.

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3.  Book a test drive from a seller/dealership

  • The only way you can know if a vehicle is worth your money is by giving it a test drive. It’s like going out on your first date. You will be nervous but it will be fun.
  • Make sure you go in the company of a friend so that you can take turns to drive and then you can also feel the drive from a passenger angle.

4. Final Steps

  • Check on any warranty for parts recently bought.
  • Check if any service history is included, like receipts for last service done.
  • Check on ownership of the vehicle on
  • If satisfied with the verification, draft a sales agreement and agree on the price and terms of sale of the vehicle with the owner.
  • Pay through a banker’s cheque, this will be used as a receipt.
  • Visit NTSA to finalize on logbook transfer.
  • The most important last step is to purchase insurance for your vehicle. You will get the best rates, claims support and dedicated customer care only on Afrinsure.