Buying a new car can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a daunting task, especially in Kenya, where unscrupulous car brokers have been conning buyers for years.
These con artists often leave unsuspecting customers with a huge financial loss or even a stolen car.
To help you avoid falling victim to such scams, we spoke exclusively to car dealer Fred Daudi, who shared tips on how to protect yourself.
One of the tricks that car brokers use is to fake a car's mileage to make it seem newer than it is. To avoid falling for this trick, Daudi advises checking the Quality Inspection Services Japan (QISJ) website, where you can enter the car's chassis number to verify its true mileage. QISJ can also provide a vehicle history check, roadworthiness inspection, and odometer verification.
Bill of Landing
Another trick is for brokers to take a locally used car to a showroom in Mombasa and pass it off as recently imported. Daudi recommends asking for the bill of landing to confirm when the car was imported into the country. The bill of landing contains detailed information about the car, including its type, where it was imported from, and the date it was cleared at the port.
A logbook is the most commonly used document by brokers to scam unsuspecting buyers. Some brokers will give you a cloned logbook or use a real one from a stolen car or as a loan guarantor. Daudi recommends transferring the logbook to your name immediately if you're buying the car in cash. If you're buying the car on loan, make sure the details on the logbook match those on the bill of landing. Always make payment to the business establishment and not to the dealer's personal bank account.
Lastly, Daudi warns that brokers may trick you into making payments into their personal bank account, making you believe they own the entire establishment. Always verify the payment details before making any payments.
By following these tips, you can protect yourself from car-buying scams and enjoy a stress-free experience purchasing your dream car.