MOTORING

What boys need to learn about cars

Important things to remember before buying a vehicle

In Summary

• One of the major misperceptions of owning a car is that it is a sign of prestige

• Perceiving a car as a luxury leads to losses in form of constant repairs

Bar owner Micheal Njogo Gitonga from Umoja Estate gets Lexus gas-guzzler
Bar owner Micheal Njogo Gitonga from Umoja Estate gets Lexus gas-guzzler
Image: COURTESY

For many men, owning a car is a huge milestone in life. Especially in current times, where fuel prices keep rising, it is one indicator of growth in life and progress to the next class of the socioeconomic ladder. 

One of the major misperceptions of owning a car is that it is a sign of prestige. In his over six decades of existence on earth, my dad has owned four cars, and due to his experience, passed down a few pieces of advice on what to consider before buying a car. 

Here are some of those tips for owning a car that could help others who may be itching for a new car. 

  1. 1. BUY LAND FIRST

For all the cars he owned, it took my dad some time before he realised the importance of buying land. The reason is quite simple: whereas the value of land appreciates, that of cars depreciates. Owning a car comes with additional, recurring expenses due to wear and tear. My dad wished he would have bought a piece of land first using the money he spent on buying the cars and repairing them constantly. 

  1. 2. AN INVESTMENT, NOT LUXURY

One thing I see a lot is many of my peers taking road trips in their cars, music booming and accompanied by a bevy of beauties. On any other day in the middle of the month, the car is grounded at the doorstep as the owner cannot afford the fuel demands that come with driving it to work. According to my dad, perceiving a car as a luxury leads to losses in the form of constant repairs without any fruitful returns. Thank God for taxi-hailing apps, such as Bolt and Uber, that offer money-making opportunities. 

  1. 3. SPEED KILLS

Admittedly, I'm a fan of driving at high speeds. My dad, however, was always a believer that better safe than sorry. If you drive at an appropriate speed, you will still get to your destination. There are many memories of when he would be driving and I would be gnashing my teeth as other drivers overtook him with ease. However, having been involved in a road accident years before, I would perfectly understand him when he says "speed kills".

  1. 4. TLC

Tender, loving care... That is the surest way of getting the best value for your car. A car is akin to a woman who will only treat you like a king if you handle her like a queen. It is preposterous to neglect the needs of your car and expect it to provide you with the best service. In my dad's case, he was always hawk-eyed when it came to vital readings of his cars, including engine oil levels, water coolant, brake pads and tyre pressure.