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Car sales are one of Kenya's most thriving businesses due to market demand, especially for used cars. The fact is that there are an expanding urban middle class and multiple flexible financing options for buyers. Used cars are relatively cheaper than new cars, which has boosted the demand for the same. With the high demand, there is a significant increase in the number of car dealers. This is evident by the number of used car yards coming up in different urban settings.   With the intensified competition, car dealers should develop strategies that give them a competitive advantage. There are, however, instances of unscrupulous dealers and brokers creeping into the market. Many car buyers have fallen victims to scammers and lost their money in the process.

Car Sales Fraud in Kenya

There are many cases of car sales fraud in recent years. Digital tools are not making anything easier. Talk of clone websites, one sends money to purported dealers overseas but never have their cars delivered. Some instances of car sales frauds include buying of Ex-accident cars Cars with falsified mileage Stolen cars The business is thriving due to the gullible nature of Kenyans. People hardly take time to check the validity of traders' documents and go through the right channels of purchasing. Frauds in car sales are two-way traffic, the scammer could be a buyer or seller.

Common Car Sale Frauds
1.Forged Identity Scam

Most scammers tend to use false identities. They will use lost identity cards to register phone numbers to be used to make mobile transfers. This is often in the case of imported cars. They ask the potential buyer to wire an amount for a car alleged to being shipped in the process.

2.Attractive Discounts

The scammer offers unbeatable offers like discounts to attract potential customers. Digital marketing tools are making it easier for them to send targeted posts. They are often posts that prompt a client to click and begin the process.

3.Stolen Vehicles

Such car sellers deal with stolen cars from overseas shipped to the coast. They do retail at a lower percentage of their actual value. Many people have been in the authorities' hands for stolen vehicles even though they have complete documentation. The sellers are never in the picture, for they close the deals and disappear.

4.Fake Car Auction Sites

Online purchases are becoming a host of many frauds. This is a common way used to lure car buyers, mainly on imported cars. The fraudsters do open phantom accounts geared towards fraud for a given period. With technology, they can easily mirror a similar site to trusted car dealers. To build a credible reputation, they do sell a few genuine cars that will generate referrals and positive reviews. They then disappear without a trace once they have generated the targeted revenue.

How to Avoid Car Sales Fraud
Consult a Trusted Mechanic

A mechanic with experience in the particular car model you intend to buy is recommended. He will view the car, check and road test it for a mechanical review.

NTSA, KEBS and Collateral Registry Search

Ensure that you search the motor vehicle ownership and registration on the NTSA portal. This will help reduce the possibility of purchasing a stolen vehicle. The collateral registry search provides a list of motor vehicles that have been used as loan security. The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) helps with mileage verification. With the chassis number, you can determine whether the odometer shows actual mileage or has been tampered with.


When it comes to buying a car, information is vital. Ensure that all the documentation is valid with the help of a reputable lawyer. It is important to consult before making any purchase. For instance, consult a bank with a track record in asset finance to aid you in finding a reputable dealer.

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