Autochek Launches First African Online Truck Loans Marketplace

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By Bennett Oghifo

Autochek, an automotive technology-driven company, has announced the launch of its online truck loans marketplace in Nigeria and Ghana.

This is in a bid to migrate the trucking industry to online transactions and increase financing penetration, according to a statement by the company which said it aims to build solutions for the African market.

This piece of good news allows the company to provide the same services to trucks as it does with cars already listed on its platform. Autochek’s 360-degree solution provides truck financing through finance partners with core expertise in fleet financing such as Baobab group & FundQuest Nigeria with spread across Africa and competitive rates.

Described as first-of-its-kind truck loans marketplace in Africa, the launch follows Autochek’s recent expansion to Ghana, one of Africa’s most advanced automotive markets.

With hundreds of truck dealers across Nigeria and Ghana on its platform, the fleet ranges from flatbeds, semi-trailers, tankers as well as heavy, garbage and panel trucks. As part of the roll-out, Autochek is partnering with key logistics stakeholders in Nigeria and Ghana including Kobo360, to finance trucks for African e-logistics transporters and truck owners.

This means that customers interested in owning a truck can do that with financing at the best rates.

The new platform is available via the Autochek Android app or website and all trucks undergo a 150-point check inspection process before being listed to guide the customers on the exact state of the trucks.

To ensure trucks are kept on the road in good conditions, truck owners also enjoy affordable and expert maintenance services from standardised workshops and technicians in the Autochek partner network.

John Egwu, Autochek’s vice president in charge of operations said, “Autochek’s focus has always been on transforming automotive trade on the continent. Now it is time for us to extend our services to trucks, as we build out our network and support our partners by providing a structured market for them to purchase and maintain their fleet.”

According to Egwu, “Financing penetration for trucks is lower than 1 percent in Africa and our ambition is to migrate what is known to be a core offline market to a digital platform, in order to increase financing penetration and create a one-stop-shop that will not just meet partners’ needs, but also ultimately increase earning capabilities and job creation across the value chain.”

Launched in 2020 by Etop Ikpe, serial entrepreneur and president/chief executive and backed by TLcom Capital, 4DX Ventures, the flourishing auto online marketplace combines technology and data to enhance the buying and selling experience across African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for all automotive needs.

To date, the Autochek app already has 20,000 unique vehicles listed on its platform, and more than 12,000 dealers and private sellers as well as a range of corporate partners and customers.

Autochek is an auto tech company established to build digital solutions targeted at enhancing and enabling automotive commerce across Africa.

The company aims to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for Africa consumers with its apps and digital solutions.

TIPS OF THE WEEK

By Bennett Oghifo

It’s not uncommon for people to mix up or use the wrong fluids in their cars, and if they do, the results can vary from irritating to deadly. Consumer Reports outlines the potential damage you can do to your car, or to yourself, in a story that appears in the November issue.

“Adding antifreeze to the windshield-washer reservoir might just create a slimy mess,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn. “But a British health study found that filling the reservoir with only water creates a good breeding ground for the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease.”

Consumers should check their owner’s manual before they top off any fluids under the hood of their car, Champion said. People should check with a mechanic, or even the folks behind the counter at the local auto parts store, if they have any doubts.

The story appears in the November issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale October 5. It’s also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org. Updated daily, ConsumerReports.org is the go-to site for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information.

Here’s what else could happen if you use the wrong fluids:

1. Motor oil slip-ups. The brand of motor oil matters little, but its viscosity grade (10W-30, for example) is important. Use only what the owner’s manual specifies. Using the wrong oil can lead to reduced lubrication and shorter engine life. If the manual says to use synthetic oil, do so. Contrary to what some believe, adding synthetic oil to regular oil won’t harm the engine, but there’s also no benefit in doing so.

2. Battery fluid. Some car batteries have accessible individual cells that might need replenishing with a little water to cover the lead plates. Only use distilled water, which contains no salts or minerals. If tap water is added to a battery’s electrolyte liquid, it can allow minerals from the water to build up on the battery’s internal lead plates, which will reduce the battery’s power and shorten its life.

3. Be cool with the water. A car’s cooling system uses a blend of water and antifreeze; properly called coolant, at concentrations (typically 50/50) designed to keep it from freezing on a cold day and boiling on a hot one. Adding too much water to the mix can make it more susceptible to freezing and boiling. That can keep the car from starting when it’s freezing and cause overheating in warmer weather. Tap water could also lead to mineral buildup in the cooling system, reducing its effectiveness.

4. Adding diesel fuel to a gasoline-powered car’s tank. This will make the engine stumble and knock, if it runs at all. Fortunately, diesel pumps have oversized nozzles, so that mistake is hard to make. Depending on the quantity of gasoline that’s added to a diesel vehicle’s tank, it could do little harm or it could damage the fuel pump, injectors, and other parts. If the mix-up is caught soon enough, a technician can limit the damage by draining the contaminated fuel. Meanwhile, don’t run the engine.

5. Special sauce for your brakes. Brake systems use hydraulic fluid that’s specially formulated for the purpose. Substituting transmission or power-steering fluid, which are similar to each other, can affect the seals, damage the system, and possibly cause brake failure. Note that if the brake fluid is low, your vehicle probably needs brake-system service anyway. Either the brakes are worn or there’s a leak.

6. Glued-up gears. Automatic transmissions must only use the fluid specified by the automaker, such as General Motors’ Dexron series or Toyota’s Type T. Using the wrong fluid can cause poor lubrication, overheating, and possibly transmission failure. A mechanic might not be able to reverse the damage, even by flushing the transmission. Mistakenly adding motor oil or brake fluid can also destroy your transmission.

7. More washer-fluid no-nos. In addition to creating the perfect environment for deadly bacteria, water doesn’t clean as well as washer fluid does and is subject to freezing. Using household glass cleaners or ammonia can leave suds on the windshield, damage a car’s finish, and get into the air-intake system and create a potentially noxious environment in the cabin. (Source: Noria news wires)