Traders in spare parts for older cars are making a killing as car owners rush to stock up on the parts or use them to maintain their automobiles.
Prices for spare parts for cars over ten years old have more than doubled in recent months.
Traders we spoke to explained that prices for these spare parts have shot up as they are unsure if they will able to get replacements following the government ban on importation of cars older than eight years.
A spare parts dealer Sulaiman Mbazira says many motorists who cannot afford to import the newer car models have resorted to maintaining the older cars they have.
Mbazira explains that, “Buying a new car is costly, therefore most of the customers have settled for repairing their old cars. Secondly URA is aware that we bring in spare parts and join them from here hence the heavy duty imposed.”
Mbazira gives an example. Headlights for a Corona 190 have shot up from 800,000 shillings to 1.5 million shillings. A bumper for the same car also costs 1.5 million shillings yet it previously cost 700,000 shillings. The Corona 190 was manufactured in 1994.
Long admired for their durability and affordability, you now need at least 6 million shillings to buy a Corona 190 engine. Before the ban, this Corona’s engine could be bought at 3 million shillings.
Mbazira argues that, “Ugandans are too poor to start spending on buying new cars. It’s better government rethinks its move, we also sell the new spare parts but they don’t sell that much.”
Wasswa Humuza, a car dealer in Ndeeba, says there has also been a significant drop in the number of cars being imported.
Humuza says, “In the past we would get people may be paying half and others coming to pick their cars but now the situation is very difficult for us. We also have the new cars that government wants us to sell but there are no people willing to buy.”
He adds that most of the vehicles produced after 2004 heavily depend on computerized systems which most Ugandans don’t want.
Car Prices Currently
1996 Premio 21m 26m
1996Noah 36m 42m
2004 Prado 110M 150M
2004 RAV4 42M 46M
1996 SPACIO 19M 24M
2004 SPACIO 23M 28M