Tricks & Tactics Dealers Use to Swindle Kenyans in Car-Hire Businesses

File photo of used cars in a yard
File photo of used cars in a yard

Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi is among many people who have been duped by sneaky car dealers in Kenya, after she was swindled Ksh19,600 after renting a vehicle for three days to travel to Mombasa.

Nyanzi who shared her plight on Facebook stated that after driving for a few kilometers, the car stopped and they were forced to push it to the nearby town.

"We pushed the car off to the road, got two local mechanics from Makindu who both confirmed that the vehicle's tracking device had locked the car," she stated.

Stranded under the hot sun, the car dealer promised to send a replacement vehicle but upon arrival, he sped off and switched off his phone.

A file image of a mechanic working on a car at a garage
A file image of a mechanic working on a car at a garage

This is just one of the many unfortunate cases where individuals have been swindled by car dealers. looks at some of the tricks and tactics used during a car-hire dealership.

Extra Fees & Charges

The car dealer may charge you for damages that were existent when you took the car out of the yard. You might be charged for the cleaning of the vehicle. To avoid this, understand the true state of the car and document the agreement.

Mileage Limit

Some car dealers charge extra for any extra distance the car has covered. Through this, the car dealer could extort an individual who may unknowingly exceed the agreed limit.

It can be difficult to estimate the distance you will cover on a trip. Several barriers like an accident, traffic jam or scheduled road maintenance may affect the distance.

Discuss with the car dealer for a limitless mileage option.

Fuel Policies

When hiring a car, it may have a full tank of fuel or an empty tank. In case of a full tank, you will be required to return the car in the same condition.

With this, you might incur some extra costs if the fuel prices are hiked overnight.

It is advisable to take one with an empty tank to have the freedom of fueling it. However, always check the car policy before renting a car.

Additional Insurance Charges

The insurance could be often included when buying a car, but in some cases, you might get extra charges from the car dealer.

They will impose unnecessary insurance cover at a higher price. You may be charged for any fines you incur on the road.

Locking the Car

Like in the case of Nyanzi, the car dealer could lock the vehicle ending your trip. To avoid this, get a trusted car dealer whom you can reach physically. Above all, conduct due diligence before settling on a dealer.

File photo of vehicles on Thika Super Highway
File photo of vehicles on Thika Super Highway
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