By Resian Leteipan
The locally-used second-hand car market in Kenya is experiencing a high uptake as demand for second-hand is at an all-time high. This is mainly driven by a combination of a low number of imports from the international market and the preference to use private means of transport as a measure of keeping safe from COVID-19 by avoiding public transport.
On average, Kenya imports close to 20,000 car units every quarter to meet the demand by car buyers locally. Due to restrictions caused by the pandemic, car importation, like many other sectors has suffered a major slump creating a high demand for used cars in the market as most Kenyans now look for private means of transport.
Locally- used car dealers are experiencing a high demand from buyers searching for cars as many people are also disposing of their cars as financial woes deepen due to job losses and businesses facing a downward spiral. Most people have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of not being able to service their cars while others are unable to meet their loan obligations. Some businesses are cutting down on their operations, which has led to measures such as disposing of their cars.
Majority of Kenyan upper and middle-class families own at least two or more vehicles per family but as businesses continue to suffer from harsh economic times, most families have had to sell their cars and only maintain one vehicle for their personal use in order to meet their needs.
Statistics suggest that close to 1,000,000 Kenyans have lost their livelihoods. This occasioned by the cost of living especially in the city has pushed families to dispose of their extra vehicles causing an influx of second-hand cars in car dealerships and on websites such as Cheki.co.ke.
Cheki.co.ke , an online marketplace for cars, has recorded a lead per listing ratio of 1:9. This shows that while the rate of disposal has risen, so has the rate of interest in acquisition, as many young families seek to have their own private means of transport as a measure to stay safe.
A key issue for most buyers and sellers is safety and as the situation gets out of hand due to job losses, crime rates are on the rise. Platforms such as cheki.co.ke have put in place robust measures to protect their users, as they seek to open up the car trading market in Kenya.
As a buyer or seller, this seems to be an ideal time to trade in the car market in Kenya. Use trusted platforms if you are looking to sell or buy a car during these abnormal times.
The writer is the CEO of Cheki Kenya, the leading Cars platform in Kenya.