When cars came from the showroom and spare parts bought at the car dealer companies, back then the ‘lady owner’ tag on a ‘car for sale’ advert was something to treasure. The reason for the trust evoking tag was because men being men in those days would go to the ‘jua kali’ garages for parts and service on a shilling or two while the ladies would faithfully go to the car deals for the same.
Our worldview about where to get buy cars changed when second hand cars from Dubai landed at the port in Mombasa in the 1980s. Same time Raymond, Kikomi, Rivertex, Woolworths, Dash, Bata and Tiger shoes and other fashion stores saw the arrival of second hand clothes aka ‘mitumbas’ and never thought ‘mitumba’s were a game-changer. The consumers stood at the periphery looking down on all who bought second-hand clothes and cars but it was only a matter of time before they all jumped in and scrambled for the spoils. The rise in demand for world class second hand brands created room for growth in the industry so now the zero mileage car dealers are in the shadows of conversations among‘wananchi’ looking to purchase automobiles.
This change in the market has a direct effect on our ‘lady car owner’ concept in this way. Today, the average lady or man owner will make their way to a ‘trusted’ mechanic at a garage and accompany them to with them to ‘Baricho road’ in Nairobi or some other dealers online or in the local area to buy new or second-hand parts.
I have a lady friend who has switched mechanics many times over through referrals in the hope that she will find a ‘trusted’ one but has had no luck. She and many other lady owner drivers place the service and repair of their cars in the care of mechanics who some times require close supervision.
This new dynamic has placed responsibility on the prospective buyer to do due diligence in inspecting the vehicle of interest irrespective of whether the seller is a ‘lady car owner’ or not.