As the year draws to a close and the festive season fast approaches, the cost of transport is expected to sky rocket with many expected to find alternative means to join their kin upcountry.
As the trend has been among the lower middle class in the country, many will be hiring cars for their holiday travel. But what risk does this pose to the owners?
According to Jimna Mwangi, the CEO of Motors Jim, a lot has changed in the industry especially when it comes to car hires. He reckons that even the motives of those hiring cars has also changed.
“Currently there is new trend that has being going on, conmen have gotten wiser by the day, so what they are doing is , they will hire a car in a different location , for instance they will hire a care in Kisumu or Eldoret or even In Nairobi and they go and sell it somewhere like Nakuru. So your car that was hired gets sold, so there is a danger of losing your car, “he noted in a phone interview with Kenyans.co.ke.
Adding that car theft has tainted the industry with several players been forced to shut down their business owing to the high risk.
“Some have been hiring cars and using them to commit crimes, so the trade is not as easy since it has too much risk but if you get a good clientele it’s a lucrative business,” he insisted.
Mwangi further warned car owners against hiring out their cars to complete strangers saying it only worsened the situation for them considering they had no way to find the client should they be out of reach.
“Personally, I prefer referrals or someone I know personally because hiring out to anyone is just too risky. Yes sometimes you can take the risk. But the best thing I would suggest is hiring out the car together with a driver because that way you know the car is safe and well taken care of.”
“That way you know the car is in safe hands and if it’s being driven its driven carefully, and you can track it through the driver at all times”
Mwangi on his part insisted that, anyone who wished to hire his car out during the festive season should ensure the vehicle is in good working condition to avoid inconveniences, such as a breakdown scenario.
Car owners are, however, warned of the possibility that their cars may be tampered with while hired out, “let’s say you hire out a probox and the client has the same model with a faulty gear box. So what he ends up exchanging those parts and returns the car in a 'good' condition. You will only realize days later but won’t have a way of proofing they did it."
Jimna further advices, that before hiring out a car, the owner ought to make sure it is fitted with a tracker and is in good working condition. He also advised that the car owner or company must have the clients details such as driver’s license, national identity card and an alternative contact
He also advised those who fell prey to the crime to report to the police within 24 hours if the client reneged on the stipulated conditions.