No matter your reason for driving what you drive, there is this general trend of selling off cars when they get mechanical issues. These are usually issues that might cost a lot more than one is willing to spend on his car.
It’s for this reason that Kampala is full of ridiculously sweet deals on high performance cars. But when you ask the owner why they are selling, they’ll tell you the car needs a new engine or some other replacement of a major part. When you ask your mechanic how much a “new” engine costs, he’ll tell you about 5 million shillings.
Let’s do the math; You are selling me a 2004 Subaru Forester at 15 million, everything is intact except the engine. An engine that costs about 5 million shillings depending on how noble your mechanic is. With proper bargaining power, you’ll probably get the Subaru for 13 million. And for 5 million your ‘noble’ mechanic will restore it back to full health.
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For 18 million shillings, you are driving a respectable performance car and enjoying it. Is there, a better bang for one’s buck?
Which gets me wondering, why do car owners think it’s time to sell when the car gets an “expensive” mechanical issue? The obvious reason is fear of the cost of repair. Which brings me to another interesting question.
Do Ugandan car buyers purchase cars without proper financial plans on how to maintain them?
Yes, they do.
We get overwhelmed by owning a car, we forget that there are untimely cost involved. I opened a saving account where i am saving for unplanned incidents like affording my dream car when the time comes. This account is different from my savings account. It’s for entirely unexpected expenses i.e. a new engine for my BMW or an exterior overhaul.
What we forget is that these cars can become a money pit if we do not prepare for them. It’s like a relationship that one needs to keep investing in.
Therefore, mechanical issue, is it time to sale? Yes and No.
Yes; if you cannot comfortably afford the repair, then sale. Buy something cheaper.
No; in the long run, repairing or replacing that part, is cheaper than selling and buying a new car. Unless, it breaks down at a point where you are tired of the car and you want something new. Otherwise, there is no reason to get rid of a well maintained because you fear the cost of repairing a broken part.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”