Well, I wouldn’t expect many people to be in position to afford new vehicles, or even new spare parts. And if they were to afford them, at what opportunity cost would that come?
Not an easy question to answer. Going by the statistics of the number of motor vehicles on our roads, the probability is very high that, nearly 70-90 per cent or even higher, of the vehicles on our roads are imported used or what some would prefer to call “Pre-owned”. Whether used, pre-owned or secondhand, it all means the same thing – the product has been used and discarded for any of the following reasons: it has gotten aged, it has become faulty or was just discarded!
Whatever the case, a used item has no proven guarantee because we cannot for sure tell how it was handled (in its first life), how much good is left in it or even whether it is trash! A good example. About a decade or so ago, Uganda banned the importation of secondhand or used motor vehicle tyres. This was as a result of so many accidents caused by the big number of commuter taxis on the roads. Such accidents were found to have a common denominator – their tyres burst leading to fatal accidents. It was found that there were so many imported secondhand tyres which were unreliable! Much as these tyres were cheap, they were a life-threatening issue and had to be banned! After their ban, tyre-related accidents reduced.
Let us face it: RAV4 (R16 -225) PIRELLI tyre may cost about Rwf150,000 and yet a used one will go for about Rwf30,000, about 20 per cent the cost of a new one. Sincerely speaking, the new tyres can go for two or so years and yet the used ones will require to be replaced nearly every 3-5 months, if you are lucky. And that is not all. With new tyres, all the four have of the same quality and manufacture date. But the used ones you pick from a pile may have been used on different vehicles at different times and conditions, meaning that their wear and tear was not uniform. What you are actually doing is to expose to your vehicle and its occupants to the risk of an accident because your tyres are not reliable!
In the above example, after two years, you may have changed tyres nearly 5 times if you opted for used tyres. This is nearly the same cost as that of new tyres but the costs associated with change of tyres, flat tyres, wheel alignment, wheel balance, etc, are much higher.