BMW car

Buying a Second hand Car? Things to check.

We all get excited about buying our first car or even replacing the old one. In the heat of the moment, one is likely to skip at least one or two of the basic precautions. However, there is no sprain allowed here. We invest quite a lot in this venture, and we want no regrets.
Therefore, during this venture, whether you deal with a professional or an individual owner, always stay on your guard. In particular, a good review of the documents required for this transaction is imperative.


Documents Required to Sell a Used Vehicle in Kenya


We all can list the documents whose checking is essential while buying a used car in Kenya. But in life, most of the things we do come as an emergency or some bit of excitement, thus we tend to forget all the rules.
There is a number of mandatory documents and a checklist for them that are required in any transaction where a used car is involved in Kenya. This checklist is officially called “Certificate of clearance status”. Usually dated less than fifteen days, it ensures you are able to transfer the Registration Certificate to your name. It also helps when the vehicle is pledged for any unpaid credit by the seller.
A copy of the Original Logbook from the user is another important document that proves ownership. The car history, including the true ownership information, can then be checked online on the Online Logbook Car Search website. Just input the car registration number and other necessary information will be made available. Never trust that seller who only provides an NOC (No Objection Certificate) only because it can easily be falsified.


Car History Check & Vehicle Report in Kenya


Signing a sale without knowledge of its service and repair history is to set out for trouble. You will call it evidence, but it is often neglected on the ground. The service book, backed by invoices is the surest way to ensure that the maintenance of the car has been sufficient, according to recommendations of its manufacturers, and no bad surprises await you.

Otherwise, let things go your way and never settle for a mere statement from the seller about, for instance, a replacement of the timing belt, with no supporting evidence. To note also is falsified history, where it is now possible to print fake invoices. Call the garage without hesitation in case you suspicious documents.


NTSA: Motor Vehicle Search & Inspection


The NTSA can save your time and effort. From their website, you can get the list of documents to require for the transaction and download some of their printouts.

You can also ensure that the car is not pledged, using items that are listed for asking the seller. Also check for number and date of registration appearing on the car’s Registration Certificate, first registration date, name of the first holder, and so on. You can then print the document, or use another method of retrieval.

If you still are not sure of the deal, a phone call can save you a lot of hustle. Take the serial number and contact the manufacturer’s headquarters to confirm. You will be able to establish the true service history of the car, and hence make your decision with full knowledge of the facts.

Used Vehicle Technical Inspection Checklist


In the same vein, do not buy the car without having its technical control report in your hands. It is mandatory for vehicles older than 4 years and must be dated less than 6 months from the date of application for registration. This document informs you about the condition of the car, the safety elements like brakes and steering, and allows you to be alerted about possible anomalies.

The seller has no obligation to repair any anomaly, but at least you sign with full knowledge of these facts. This can help you decide whether to pay for mandatory repair costs or avoid them if you do not need them.


Some Tips when Buying a Second-Hand Car in Nairobi


It is a must-do thing to try a car before you decide to buy it. If you are buying it from a trusted second-hand car dealer, you will find little or no problems getting behind that wheel. On the contrary, while buying from an individual who shows some reluctance against checking, for instance, by claiming fear of theft or the car has an insurance problem, you have to go your way.

To start with, check the exhaust fumes for these tell-tale signs:
• Blue smoke reveals that the engine is worn-out, hence it will be consuming too much of your oil.
• White smoke will indicate the presence of water vapor, which may mean there is a worn-out cylinder head gasket.
• Black smoke should not concern you that much since the engine might simply dirty or out of good check.
The second thing to check is the steering wheel and the wheels. There should not be too much delay between the turning of the steering wheel and the turning of the wheels. If so, it may mean there is something really wrong.

Another area to check is engine noise. Pay close attention to make sure it is regular. Knocking noises may result from internal play between some parts. This can lead to even breakage or degradation of those parts. Clicks at the wheels when steering may indicate suspension arms failure.

A high-pitch whistle in the engine may be suspicious too. It can translate to a rolling bearing that can lead to the timing belt releasing. This might cause beyond-repair damage to the pistons and valves in the engine.

Good Luck.