Most car buyers in the Kenyan market really consider mileage before buying a car; but is it really that important? Well; in my opinion, mileage should NOT be the primary factor when establishing the quality of a car.
Most car dealers will mostly use mileage as a factor to reap you off some several tens of thousands shillings. This is because most car buyers are naive and think that a car with low mileage is a good car which is not necessarily true. I will give an example.
Vehicles mostly imported from Singapore normally are of significantly low mileage but are of the poorest of quality. They come with a myriad of issues, especially the European brands I recommend that if you are importing a car from Singapore, make sure you have a trusted dealer who will inspect the car before it is shipped here. We will discuss the whole Singapore issue in another article, for this one, we stick to mileage.
My answer would be NO. What really matters is how the mileage was achieved. If you are importing from Japan, roads there are good. This means that the clutches, brakes, transmissions have suffered less wear and tear. In addition to that, parts like the rubber components deteriorate over time.
The other thing is that most parts and overhauls are capped at a certain mileage. It is likely that if you import a vehicle that has already clocked over 100k kms, most essential parts have been changed or probably an overhaul has already been done. This means its going to give you a longer grace period depending on how the car is used, as opposed to a car that has done about 60,000 kms.
Most importantly; you will always get a better deal on a car that has done a higher mileage.
There are some vehicles that will most likely come with a high mileage because of their nature of use abroad, for instance; Toyota Probox, Toyota Hiace, Nissan Advan, Toyota Dyna, Isuzu Elf, Nissan Caravan etc. Mostly commercial vehicles. Surprisingly, despite coming with mileage of above 200k KMS, they still reliably cover so many KMs here in Kenya as commercial vehicles.
An important point to note before buying a car with significantly high mileage is having to inspect it critically. I would recommend you involve an expert who is neutral and will not be lured by the dealer o give a clean bill of health for the vehicle. Pre-purchase inspection is very important before buying any car and if you need assistance on this, you can link up with me by dropping a message on my Facaebook page Carnversations With Wokabi.
The primary factors to consider before you buy the car are;
How the engine is running, are there oil leaks? Does it rattle abnormally? Is it loosing compression? How are the fluid levels? ( Engine oil, transmission oil, Coolant ,brake fluid)
How “Clean” is the body? Look out for dents, welds, paint discoloration, excessive body filler, waves on the paint, abnormally large gaps on the doorlines, condition and fitting of the different moldings.
The suspension: Through the tire wear pattern be on the look out for either positive or negative camber.