With the internet taking over every sphere of life, the race is on to get everything that you need from the internet. However, the day that Google will start serving food that will be the day. Africa, the land of the first and the last, has been slow to catch up, but it is not doing badly. Today, for many car buyers, the search for a good car starts online!
Why do we call Africa a continent of the first and the last? If you remember history well, the first people to live on earth were from Africa. We can say they were African. In addition, the earliest civilizations, education systems and organized societies started in Africa. However, over time, events have overtaken us but thanks to increased population, fast expanding democratic rule and respect for the basic rights, Africa is fast becoming like that lucrative fruit that has been ignored for so long, only to realize that it was sweet and luscious.
Car makers have a special reason to celebrate and that is that in Africa, they will have a ready market for a long time! The craze for cars is catching up fast and as we wrote in Afro Autos in 2012, owning a car is the dream of every university student in Africa. With vast resources of oil, coal and other natural minerals being discovered every day, it is apparent that there will be a huge chunk of money to spend on cars. Renault, Tiggo, Toyota and others have already set up base in Africa, in countries like Egypt, Algeria and South Africa. It is no secret that Africa is now one among the few places where people can afford to spend money on cars.
With a population of more than one billion people, this is indeed a wide market for all of us. There is more money for carmakers in Africa now and the good thing is that if the trends are right, this market will continue growing. If the African dream now includes a car, we are headed for good things ahead.
With the social media becoming a popular outlet for marketing, people will now view, search for cars online as they are doing in Uganda, already authorized by the Uganda Revenue Authority. However before buying a car online, users are advised to do a few things:
- Ensure that the dealership is genuine. Do they have a physical location where you can visit them? Telephone number? That is good. Admiring the car online is alright, but going to see it is far better.
- Ensure that the car is in great condition. Look at a few cars posted on social media. If you do not like the image, move on. You will not like the real deal any better.
- Browse around different car websites. This will give you a basis of comparison of makes, prices and customer care. Do they reply to emails fast enough? If customer care sucks, move on.
- Will they arrange insurance for you? That would be good, for first time car owners especially. What is the warranty of the car? If you are buying a new car, it should be at least three years, since that is what most manufacturers give. A used car should also have warranty, but its validity period will depend on the seller.
With those few tips, you are ready to go find the car of your dreams online. However, as advised in the Song “Child of the Universe” by Desiderata be careful in your business dealings, for the world is full of treachery. Personally, I know a lady who owned a car for 5 minutes. Someone sold it to her, she drove it a few blocks away to her store, parked it and ten minutes later, it was gone. Poor lady was frantic, looked for it in her handbag even.
If the deal doesn’t feel good, it is not good. For once, trust your gut feeling.