My Toyota Passo has a 1300cc engine. I use about Shs100,000 worth of fuel in a week and this is from Bweya Birongo via Kajjansi on Entebbe road where I stay to my workplace in Industrial Area, a distance of about 50 kilometres.
The Passo is fuel efficient, economical and has enough space for me and my family. Although it is a five seater car, it has the capacity to carry five passengers, including the driver just like most saloon cars. Additionally, its rear seats can be folded, making it possible to enjoy a variety of seating arrangements.
As far as service and maintenance is concerned, I have taken time to learn how my car operates so that whenever I go to a garage, I know what is required and its price so I am never cheated. For the one year I have owned this car, the most costly spare part I have had to replace is the driving shaft which costs Shs250,000.
However, when I carry out general service, I spend approximately Shs90,000. This involves replacing engine oil, air cleaner and oil filters. I replace the brake pads once every three or four months, especially if I drive it upcountry.
Before I bought the car, I would spend Shs15,000 daily on public transport, which was more costly compared to what I pay for fuel now. Therefore, I not only travel in the comfort of my own car but also save money.
The only downside to this car is low low ground clearance. Because I mostly drive on bumpy and potholed roads, I had to invest in spacers which allow me better handling of the car.
I always dreamt of owning a big car such as a Prado. However, in 2014, I had only saved Shs14m, which could not buy me the car of my dream. So, I decided to buy the Passo from someone who had shipped it in privately. To complement my salary, I also wanted to get involved in the Uber business and to me, this was the perfect car.
I have to say that it has been a faithful car. One of the reasons it has stayed in good shape is that I listen for any malfunction and once detected, I get it fixed as soon as possible. The beauty of the Passo is that it is relatively small and, therefore, easy to park.
It is also fuel-efficient and even when I used it for Uber, I would save a lot of money since I usually worked at night with less traffic jam.
General service costs between Shs100,000 and Shs120,000 depending on what needs to be fixed. However, its low ground clearance makes it hard to manoeuver, especially when you have all five passengers seated in the car. I have not had any issues with getting its spare parts since they are readily available, especially in downtown Kisekka Market. They are also relatively cheap.
The Passo is my first car and in two to three weeks, I spend Shs150,000 on fuel. When I drive to different places to run different errands, I spend the same amount in two weeks. On average, I spend not more than Shs300,000 on fuel a month. Its size allows for easy manoeuvring and I can easily drive through spaces big cars would not dare.
So far, I have not had any issues with getting its spare parts because they are easily available and cheap.
On average, I spend Shs120,000 to get the car serviced and this includes changing crucial car fluids such as engine oil, air and oil filters, among others. I replace brake pads twice a year because I use the car mostly for town errands. The furthest I have taken it is Entebbe.
If you want to drive and at the same time save for other projects, a Toyota Passo is one such car because you will surely not incur exorbitant fuel and service costs.