Many Kenyans’ dream of owning a car might in the near future might remain just that. A dream. Recent news that the government is likely to lower the age limit of second hand car imports to 5 years is likely to be met with mixed reactions. Owning a vehicle is a dream of many people, young and old. A vehicle not only provides you with a simple means of transport but it greatly helps one to save time. What with the sometimes slow Matatus that stop at nearly every chance to pick up passengers.
One may argue though, that the government’s move is a step in the right direction. Recent statistic show that the motor vehicle population in Kenya has increased drastically in recent years. Since the year 2003 and 2012, there has been an increase of 10% to 12% in motor vehicle imports. This according to Energy and Petroleum Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge. This has invariably ensured an increase in congestion on our roads and a traffic nightmare for the county government of Nairobi, especially.
Owning a car is almost always a good thing. Maintaining it and ensuring that it remains in good working order is a different story altogether. With an increase in the number of car owners, there is also an increase in the number of dealers in spare parts. Spare part dealership is a well-established business in downtown Nairobi. In most shops, a dealers will almost often tell you to choose between an original part and a fake. If you are on a low budget and want to save up some money, you will want to go for the cheaper and often, fake part. KEMRA recommended garages ensure that you get value for your service and also get genuine spare parts.
While it will be relatively difficult to achieve ones dream of owning a car since it will cost more to import a relatively newer car, it translates to a better economy for the country. Less congested roads, less imports of non-genuine spare parts, well maintained roads and much more. We are a fast developing economy. While we grow, we should have some checks and balances to ensure that our growth benefits all facets of the economy in the long run.