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Used car buying guide - Where to purchase a used car?

Fri, 21 Mar 14 10:38

For those who are looking to buy a used car in Rwanda, there are several options available: through dealers, auctions, self-importation or direct owners.

Used car buying guide - Where to purchase a used car?

Nowadays, consumers have more choices, with the rise of online classified listings and motoring websites. The car importation business has likewise become very lucrative, with many car importing companies opening around the Kigali city centre. Due to these factors, people can choose from different ways to acquire cars in Rwanda.

For savvy customers, the most important question is: what is the best option for me to buy a used car?

Used car dealers

Dealers act as a middleman between car buyers and sellers. They usually buy cars at a low price and eventually sell them at a mark-up to those who are looking for a used car.

Depending on their network, dealers can get a wide variety of cars from sources such as trade-in and even brand-new car distributors to meet the needs and requirements of prospective buyers.

Car auctions

An auction is a method of selling items to the highest bidder. It is usually organised by banks and finance companies to recuperate the losses incurred from car owners who have defaulted on their car loan payments.

Interested buyers can view the cars before the auction. However, test drives are not allowed. Most auctions also offer financing schemes where they can lend you money for buying your car. Make sure to confirm if this option is available before participating in the bidding.

Sometimes, damaged or refurbished cars are included in the auction. Thus, you have to do a thorough research to be knowledgeable about the vehicles in an auction.z

Self-importation of cars

In importing cars to Rwanda, some buyers work with experienced car importers. Others either communicate directly with sellers from neighbouring countries in the region or rely on the internet to buy a used car online.

This option might be very tedious for several reasons. The quality and mechanical condition of the used car is not guaranteed once it arrives. The imported car may not have spare parts in Rwanda, making it a problem in terms of car servicing and maintenance.

Buyers are required to pay four types of taxes: customs duty (25%), value added tax (18%), withholding tax (5%) and consumption tax (rate variable). In addition, they also have to pay for the registration fee before they can acquire a plate number and Yellow Card (carte jeune).

Direct owners

Because of the convenience of putting classified ads online, buyers can easily look for used cars directly from owners. This is more advantageous for buyers since they can deal directly with sellers, eliminating the need for the "middleman" or the car dealers.

Without the middleman, you can buy a used car for up to 10% cheaper compared to purchasing a similar model from a dealer. You can also have direct communication with the owner, who can tell you the history of the car, how it drives and handles and what you should look out for after the purchase. This gives you a clear picture of exactly what you are buying.

Take note that all the paperwork such as the name transfers and insurance needs to be settled between you and the owner. The owner has to declare that he is free from liability of the car he is selling before the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) can approve the transfer of ownership.

The buyer also has to pay for the used car before his name can be transferred to the car registration documents. The car cannot be registered until the seller's loan has been paid off.

If you are buying from a direct seller and you are not sure of the necessary steps to do or items to bring to RRA, Rwanda Carmart will be able to help, reducing the stress and hassle of buying a used car.

Rwanda Carmart provides documentation and transfer for both the seller and buyer, all at your doorstep. To find out more about how this service, feel free to contact us.