Which locally used car can I buy?

Thursday May 21 2020

Paul Kaganzi

Paul Kaganzi  

By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul, I am trying to buy a Toyota Premio and I am looking at two choices. Should I buy the cheaper one with older registration (UAM series) but lower mileage (87,000kms) or the more expensive one with newer registration (UAV series) but a higher mileage of 120,000kms? Peterson

Hello Peterson, use of registration to determine your choice of a used car to buy can sometimes be misleading. It is important to give equal attention to mileage, age as well as the condition of a car. In Uganda, like in a number of countries abroad, a newer registration ‘looks better’ as it makes the car look ‘younger’.

Newer registration used cars usually command a better resale value because used car dealers will price a car according to the newness of the registration series. On the other hand, more pragmatic buyers consider mileage as an indicator of how much a car has worked in terms of the distance it has covered.
However, occasionally, you will find cars with shorter mileage that have worked harder because they are on a hard working fleet or driving frequently over harsh terrain, heavy laden.

Age is how old a car is from date of registration. This too, can be deceptive, especially when considering that a used car can get newer registration which does not change the fact that its old. So, before you make the big decision to buy the Toyota Premio, it may be a good idea to consider the technical condition of the used Toyota Premio so as to mitigate risk of getting a ‘newer’ one, which will break down sooner rather than later.

Ask the seller to share the repair history of the car. This information is useful knowledge of what important mileage based service actions may or may not have been undertaken such as long life fuel filter and timing belt (chain) renewal, major repairs or replacements such as suspension, transmission or drive line parts.
It is important to find out if there is any accident history, extent of repairs and quality of repair work or integrity of the car.

Engage a mechanic to carry out under the car and bonnet checks to confirm the technical condition of both used Toyota Premios. This will help you decide which one is worth buying. A road test is mandatory to confirm that what you see is what the car feels like on the road.


Thereafter, carry out due diligence checks to confirm ownership of the car and absence of claims over the car from bank loans, parking charges, money lenders or taxes.