The Kenyan second-hand car market is dominated by traders who import cars from Japan and Dubai. Mike Mwai spoke to Frank Jacoyange who supplies with luxury vehicles from UK
What should a customer look out for before settling for a luxury car from UK?
Look at the purpose for their purchase, what would they like to use the vehicle for, if urban use only or off road etc. They should also look out for serviceability options, fuel efficiency and easy availability of spare parts.
What are the most popular models requested for in Kenya?
Land Rovers— Discovery, Sports and Vogue, we also get numerous requests for the VW Touareg and Mercedes.
How long does it take for a vehicle to land at a client’s parking lot after purchase?
Between five to six weeks depending on how close the car is bought to when the next vessel departs the UK.
How have the recent tax changes affected your business?
Generally, it has had a negative effect on all car sales but especially so on the higher value cars that briefly enjoyed a lower tax regime before it was changed back to the current status. Tax changes also make it really difficult for customers to afford cars. Some customers were faced with unplanned bills of up to Sh300,000 during the last change as their cars were in the high seas when the changes came into effect.
How long have you been importing premium vehicles into Kenya and what other markets do you serve?
I have been importing premium cars to Kenya for over seven years. We mainly serve the East African region but we have exported vehicles to other countries such as Namibia and Thailand.
Who is buying more vehicles from you, men or women?
I would say it’s an equal number.
What is ratio of used versus new cars in your orders over the last 12 months?
We have only sold used cars to Kenyans. The ages of the cars vary from one to eight years old.
What is your last most notable car that you sold in the Kenyan market?
A Range Rover Vogue SE SDV8 Auto 4.4 litre diesel, a beautiful car with lots of torque and fuel-efficient on the road.