20 Dec

Pay for a car, get junk and a bonus beer instead

- Kenya is a free land -

Kenya’s capital offered opportunity and adventure – two things sadly lacking in Sussex. Fresh off the boat in Nairobi I borrowed a friend of a friends car to get about – a beaten up old Mitsubishi, a bit like driving a rusty tin can on four oversized wheels.

Keen to have something a bit safer to get around in, I started shopping for a car. I wanted a 4X4 – but found them criminally overpriced everywhere I went. I then dropped into a seemingly reputable land rover garage in Karen – which marketed itself as an official dealer and specialist in 4X4’s. The manager was polite and seemingly reputable and recommended I take the 2004 FreeLander for sale for Ksh700,000. The car was relatively young and they had a full servicing history which I took a copy of. I test drove it – had someone look under the bonnet, checked the chassis numbers etc and then parted with my hard earned cash in good faith.

Within 6 months I had spent the 700,000 again on replacing and restoring various parts. In the end I discovered the manager was inflating the price of the parts by about 200%. He had absolutely no hesitation in taking me for every shilling he could squeeze, on threatening legal action I finally managed to end the story -  the manager actually quipped he owed me a beer! Sharing my nightmare tale I found several others – particularly European Ex-pats arriving in Nairobi who had been similarly fleeced by this off road land rover specialist. 

Expat-to-Expat – reviewed the car after I managed to reclaim it from the evil grasps of the ‘the manager’ – Expat to Expat found the work done was shoddy and sadly couldn’t broker the Freelander as it did not pass the quality controls. If only I had found Joep and his team when I had first arrived!

Posted by Expat-to-Expat, on behalf of Emma C.B. (UK, private consultant)

Last modified on Thursday, 15 November 2012 10:59
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© Expat-to-Expat 2012. Developed by Kontent. Photography: Caroline Langevoord.