• With supply chains globally disrupted, new cars are finding it hard to find their way into local markets.
  • In the recent weeks following a rise in Covid-19 cases, a dozen ships destined for the port of Mombasa have steered clear of the port, among them ships carrying second-hand cars from Japan.
  • This combined with the weakening shilling against the dollar, experts estimate the cost of second-hand cars is likely to jump by up to Sh400,000 per unit.

The price of used cars in Kenya is set to shoot up in the wake of coronavirus pandemic which has slowly ground the world to a halt.

With supply chains globally disrupted, new cars are finding it hard to find their way into local markets as supply of imported cars slowly dries up.

In the recent weeks following a rise in Covid-19 cases, a dozen ships destined for the port of Mombasa have steered clear of the port. Among them are ships carrying second-hand cars from Asian countries like Japan, slowing down monthly supplies by nearly 1,000 units from about 7,000 units. With Japan controlling 80% of the local used-car market share when it sneezes Kenya automatically catches a cold.

A car carrier discharging imported motor vehicles at the Port of Mombasa.
A car carrier discharging imported motor vehicles at the Port of Mombasa.

This combined with the weakening shilling against the dollar, experts estimate the cost of second-hand cars is likely to jump by up to Sh400,000 per unit.

“Prices will rise by between Sh50,000 and Sh400,000 depending on the capacity of the cars. And the new shipments should reflect this higher prices.” said Charles Munyori, the secretary-general of Kenya Auto Bazaar Association, which represents used car dealers

“We are buying dollars from banks at Sh108 compared to a range of Sh100.5 and Sh101 early last month,” he added, Business Daily reported.

Second-hand-cars
Second-hand-cars

With that in mind, Mr Munyori says new shipments of Toyota Vitz 2013 model, one of the most popular cars on Kenyan roads, will now cost about Sh880,000 ($8,800) from the current Sh850,000 ($8,500).

Also in the firing line is second-hand motor vehicle spare parts dealers who are having a bumpy ride at the moment.

A morning traffic jam along the Thika highway.
A morning traffic jam along the Thika highway.

The dealers who import car parts like tyres, tie-rod-ends, bearings, spark plugs, clutch plates, brake pads, tubes, brake hose pipes, rubber bushes, filters, pressure plates, rack ends, ball joints, break and clutch cables among others are staring at a bleak future.

Tens of thousands of Kenyans are engaged in the used parts trade, mainly based in Nairobi’s Kirinyaga Road, Grogon and industrial areas with others scattered across major towns around the country. With the global supply chain grinding to a halt, their livelihood is set to come to a screeching stop.