The Economics Of Cars: The Value Of Transparent Pricing When It Comes To Car Care In 2021



Why do most people feel overcharged after a trip to the garage? Why also do most drivers, whether male or female find going to the garage as scary or uncomfortable as a trip to the dentist? (No offence to any dentist! )It’s because people can tell the difference when they are seen as real and valuable consumers versus being seen as human cash signs. For most drivers in Africa and particularly Nairobi, the only forms of expenditure they can constantly control when it comes to their cars are fuel and insurance costs.


Peace of Mind Comes At A Price

The consistent need for vagueness and mystery by mechanics and car care providers when it comes to their services has led to the growth of a world of mistrust. People are sick and tired of not knowing where their hard-earned cash is going to, every time their car needs a repair. It makes absolute sense why with increased disposable income, and improved standards of living, many drivers living in urban centers today flock towards established car service centers and dealerships, despite the costs.


Drivers Are Becoming Smarter & So Should The Services They Receive

There was a time when the relationship between mechanics and car owners used to be as precious as that of a man and his barber. A quote or estimate would be accepted with little complaint…after all, who else would the driver turn to? Today’s African drivers are smart millennials who are accustomed to using the tools available to them to make the best possible decisions for their lifestyles. Thanks to the internet, many drivers - especially the new ones will use their time to hunt for the best-reviewed and trusted car care services in their area. They leave nothing to chance because they understand the true cost of their trust. With all the options and information available, consumers are overwhelmed with choice and their only burden is whether they are willing to put in the effort it takes to make better decisions. Many will even follow the social media accounts of the service providers who have managed to capture their interest, and the real G.O.A.T.s will even DM pre-existing customers to confirm whether what they are saying online is true.


Why? Because cars are aspirational and highly valued assets that contribute to a person’s status in society. With the investments they have made into acquiring these new symbols of status, today’s drivers' are willing to spend more on car care services as long as they are assured they have placed their trust with the right brand, receive the necessary data they need to plan their spending and get quality personalized support.


Technology & Digitization Is Making Transparency Easier To Achieve.

Before the dawn of the digital era happened, almost every garage in Kenya operated on word of mouth quotations and handwritten invoices (some still do). The only way to verify the actual cost of a part or service was the word of a“trusted mechanic,” who often used your choice of attire or gender as a price guide. Today, any and every mechanic in the continent is a Google Search away from being branded as trustworthy or not. But just because drivers can search, or call to make sure they aren’t being conned; doesn’t mean they should. According to Jodie L. Ferguson and Pam Scholder Ellen’s publication on the Transparency in pricing and Its Effect On Perceived Price Fairness, “When the consumer is presented with a price increase, transparency in pricing may help the consumer to understand the economic rationality of the seller’s decision to set that price” By being proactive with costing, members of the local auto-care industry could benefit from a much-awaited show of trust and avoid the negative assumptions that come with unexplained costing.


Today, digital innovations such as prescriptive analytic tools and smartphone applications for cars such as Carhoot are treading where no local auto-care brand has gone. By placing everything in the hands of the drivers, these tech tools are erasing decades of mistrust within seconds. With this newfound control, Kenyan drivers are able to select services based on their current and immediate car care needs and receiving on-demand information, pricing and support in regards to their needs. Carhoot is doing more than making it easier for drivers to trust Car Care services but is also slowly working towards saving lives.


RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents) in Kenya rose by 60% immediately after the President of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the national lockdown and a lot of the resulting deaths were wrongly blamed on driver error and drunk driving. Poor vehicle maintenance was ranked as one of the top 5 causes of RTAs in Kenya between 2016–2019 according to the NTSA. Thanks to COVID-19 and health safety regulations, many people used their cars less, in a bid to stay home but also, fewer people saw the need to actually take care of their cars. The lockdown lift resulted in hundreds and even thousands of people rushing to the roads without even checking their tires. One of the leading reasons people aren’t motivated to practice basic car care practices is because of the fear of the assumed high costs.

Transparent Pricing helps drivers:

  1. Understand just how much they need to plan for future and similar repairs;

  2. Understand whether their current vehicle is an ideal fit for their lifestyle financially;

  3. Properly account for expenditure when it comes to their vehicles;

  4. Enjoy and even be more inclined to seek for car care services;


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