Owning A Car in Ghana

Have you ever seen someone cruise in a mouth-watering car in town and gone like “woooooow!!! What a sweet ride”? Have you also seen the many normal and common looking cars on our streets? The ones we board and alight off without giving a second look? Well, no matter how sweet or normal looking a car may be, there are three things we almost always fail to recognize about these cars. How much it cost to buy any such car you see on the road, how to buy that very car and last of all how to keep that car in the best possible state.

Please be enlightened that majority of the discourse in this piece relates to the geography and economy of Ghana. Since Ghana’s car production and assembling industry hasn’t seen much light since the countries birth, it is good to state for a fact that almost all the cars you see on our roads were made in part or full and assembled in other continents before being shipped to our country.

Have you thought of how fascinating it is to own a car in Ghana? Have you thought about how challenging and at times frustrating it could be? Well, reading this piece is a step in the right direction to get you on the best path at understanding some of the challenge’s owners or potential owners of cars may encounter and how to possibly circumvent such odds. To avoid boredom from length of reading, the areas to be covered will be broken into parts and handled as much as possible in different releases. For this release, let us focus in part on deciding on which car to buy. Please take note that the focus of the discussion is on cars for non-commercial or private use.

Just like any commodity on the market, cars come in brands, classes and models. Do the names like Toyota, Hyundai, Mazda, Honda, Chevrolet sound familiar? Well, just like Louis Viton and Calvin Klein, different companies produce different cars and put their names and symbols on them. Ask 10 Ghanaians who do not own cars and you realize only one of them would have an idea about what car brands, classes and models actually mean or can tell which car brand and class a specific car may belong to. What is there to bother when I don’t own one. All I need is to have my wonderful body carried from one destination to the other.

The first decision you would have to make in the step towards owning a car is to decide on which car brand to go in for. Not all car brands are the same in quality and durability for all circumstances and uses. I will take time to explain a few things. Cars are produced by different companies which have different corresponding symbols. Each of these companies produce a range of cars suitable and varying in complexity and ability for different purposes. For simple understanding, cars used for private, non-commercial purposes are broadly categorized into 4-wheel drives, SUVs, and Sedans/Saloons. Please note that this isn’t an ideal means of classifying cars but it makes it easier in the Ghanaian setting. It is good to note that majority if not all car producing companies have cars belonging to each of these categories. For the purpose of familiarity, since Toyota is one of the easily available car brands in Ghana, I will explain the above using Toyota.
• 4-wheel drive cars are cars in which in simple terms, the engine produces energy that drives all the four wheels of the car. This makes it easy for the car to move along very difficult grounds. These cars are usually the more robust and big looking cars which afford more space for carriage, move faster, but consume more fuel and are meant for long distance travels. Toyotas 4 wheeled car classes include Land Cruiser and Highlander
Toyota highlander 2012
Toyota Landcruiser
• Sedan/Saloon cars are relatively smaller cars and predominantly front wheeled cars. They are the more common type of cars we find on our roads due to their relative affordability. These have more favorable fuel consumption rates even for shorter distances and less expensive though they do not offer as much strength and carriage. Saloon cars may come in compact or sub-compact classes. Toyota has Camry, Avalon as compact and the younger brothers of Corolla, Matrix and Yaris as sub-compact cars. It is good to note that over the past two decades more smaller cars have been produced like the Toyota Vitz which have far smaller sizes and fuel consumption.
Toyota Camry 2012
Toyota Corolla 2012

• SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) in simple terms, offer a bridge between the bigger 4 wheels and the saloons. They offer more robust outlook and strength with appreciable fuel consumption and cost. Some SUVs may look like 4 wheels in the eyes of the layman. Toyotas SUVs include Toyota RAV 4, Venza.

toyota Rav 4 2012
toyota Rav 4 2012
Toyota Venza 2012
Toyota Venza 2012

All these classes on cars are produced in models on a yearly basis and each year model has specific tweaks to its features and complexities which you can find on YouTube reviews or the official website of the car companies. The 2016 model of Honda Civic has differing features compared to the 2012 models.
This should be one of the guides to deciding which type of car to buy. It is good to get to know about these cars and the advantages and disadvantages therein.

To help make it easier to know more about these cars, take a random peep at any passing car, familiarize yourself with their symbols and thereafter focus on the class name usually written at rear end of the car. With time, it would become second nature. 

Lets meet in our next release to talk more on deciding on which car to buy.

Honda Civic 2016
Honda Civic 2016
Honda Civic 2012
Honda Civic 2012

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