Europe's cars get a second life in Africa, but at a cost


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Hmmm, I have maybe one car with less than 200,000 km. Most modern car engines easily last 500,000 km. Today emissions standards around the world require cars in testing to go something on the order of 120,000 km to 150,000 km with no maintenance whatsoever including no oil changes and still pass an emissions test. This has forced engine manufacturers to use much more durable materials than they did before lead was removed from gasoline and emissions laws became stricter. When I was a kid most car engines were thoroughly worn out by 170,000 km and only maybe a Mercedes engine were durable enough to half a million kilometers before needing an overhaul. Today almost every car made can go half a million km on the original engine given reasonable care.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One cannot imagine the huge gap between western and Africa´s average car.

In Africa, it judt needs to be able to move.

I remeber going to Gabon and wanted to take a taxi stationed one hundred meters from my hotel.

It was a total wreck and felt like I was experiencing a prototype in its first stage made of only recycled materials.

Unfortunately, it will get worse since that gap is broadening with total absence of car manufacturing in Africa.

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few facts.

african countries are actually in two groups.

one group with left handle drive cars/say north,west African countries,central African countries/are buying used european cars.demerit of these cars is unclear history/ownership,accident history,real mileage etc/.

another group of countries with right handle drive/say east Africa,south Africa and Namibia/are buying used UK cars/same demerits as for left handle drive cars from EU/from Singapore/same demerits like left handle drive cars from EU/or-mainly from Japan/merits are clear year of production even month,clear ownership history,clear accident history and real genuine mileage/.

as for Japan-african market is important one as africans are buying mostly rundown cars/say BW/.But not top market.Best market for used japanese cars is Russia,followed by UAE at this very moment.NZ lags well behind thanks to NZ aftercovid economy crisis.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Do they really have clean paperwork? There are a lot of cars stolen from G7 countries that wind up in Africa and South America and southeast Asia. The Toyota Hi-Ace van is one of the most desired and stolen vehicles - all the ones stolen in Japan are exported to Third World countries.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Scrap dealers do a good trade in the UK selling engines and parts by the container load to Africa and Eastern Europe to keep these cars running.

You can buy a decent, street legal, second hand runabout from a scrap dealer/small ad in the UK for under £500. So $2300 is rather high. But then the postage from Belgium to Africa can't be cheap.

The supply may dry up as Westerners feel the pinch and turn to the used market. Maintaining your own car (or having a reliable garage nearby) will save you money, and you can refurbish/pimp up a second hand car just as you would a used laptop. Do some research (or ask a trustworthy garage mechanic) which bits you should renew to improve fuel efficiency, reliability and handling. It can be far cheaper to customise a used car or take it back to showroom condition than to buy a new one. Older cars, with less electronics and more basic mechanical bits, are often easier and cheaper to maintain.

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Something I have often wondered about is why there seems to be such a ready supply of clean used engines with right around 100,000 km from Japan? Is there some regulation in Japan that makes people scrap cars with such low mileages? It's great for us because if you put a bunch of miles on your Japanese car, or want to do an engine upgrade low mile used engines are cheap and plentiful.

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