The pro’s and con’s of Investing in the Matatu Industry.

27 Nov

{This article has been re-posted to answer some important questions raised by readers and those interested on venturing in to the passenger transport business. see questions and answers on the comments section.}

Matatu business is one of the most profitable transport investments that have escaped foreign investors for many years; this can only be said to have been attributed to/ by the risks involved in running the business; among them corruption and cartels. I had an -off the record- chat with one senior police officer and he told a story about how he had seen a business opportunity and went for it. Back then; he was two steps below the rank he currently holds, meaning; he had more spare time to manage a side business and still be able to provide- service to all- as the police slogan indicates.

He took a loan from a Sacco within the force and took another loan from his bank; with the money he bought a 14 seater matatu. It was a step in the right direction for the officer of law and four years later, he owned seven 14 seater Matatus. His success in the transport business seemed to go hand in hand with his job performance and at the prime of building his business empire, he was called by the state to serve in a more demanding position. His new position took most of his time and as much as he would have liked to continue running things in the matatu business, he could not find the time.

He hired a manager to run thing for him and in less than a year he had sold the last of his seven vehicles. Although my friend the police officer did not make a loss considering the amount of money he had invested and how much he had in his account at the time of wading up; it was not his desire to close the business. Would he put his money in the matatu industry if he was sure the manager would do his job? His answer was yes. He still dreams of owning a transport company with a fleet of more than thirty vehicles. His story is one of many that have tried their hand in the business and ripped the fruits.

 The chairman of familiar transporters  is another success story. He has been in the matatu business for over 15yrs.  started his business in kikuyu town in the early 90s where he owned two Mitsubishi colts T120. He sold his two mini Matatus popularly known as Tung’othi and bought a new Nissan matatu. He moved his investment from the village and came to the city where he managed to build an empire and a trademark that still sells today. He personally hires staff and manages his fleet on a daily basis.

A prominent Nairobi lawyer is also a beneficially of the transport business; he started with one bus not very long time ago and has managed to build one of the most respected transport service provider in Rongai town. The chairman of Premier transport services has succeeded where many have failed because of his understanding of the laws and a dedicated manager. Mr. Mbugua is probably one of the most despised managers Route 125 has ever seen. He is hated by many and mostly discussed in the jobless corners but this has not stopped him from earning his position as the most successful matatu manager ever seen in the sector. He came in the picture when the lawyer bought his first bus and today he commands over ten buses and over 30 employees. His success is plainly attributed to his dedication to his job and a no nonsense approach to corruption and the rule of law.

  There is another upcoming management team of ex-matatu drivers that has taken the matatu market by surprise;- Rongai matatu welfare. agency is a new entry in the business and for the first time in Kenya; it has attracted foreign investment from our brothers in the new republic of Sudan. The company took over the management of two buses belonging to a Sudanese investor after he terminated a contract with city hopper complaining of not making any profit after several months. Two years later the young entrepreneurs have turned the investor’s dreams of making money in the transport sector into a reality; he has added two more buses and there is talk in the industry that more are coming with two already with the body builders.

It is not the same story with some of the investors as we have seen very many would have been successful business men go under because of poor management. Cardinal transporters was quite a big name in Roingai town. The private investor from Nakuru came to the busy town with a fleet of over ten Toyota 14 seater’s Matatus. He was in for a rude shock after the people he had hired to manage his investment turned to have merry with his earning and became popular at the local bars as the biggest spenders in beer and nyama choma. His investment was in the break of going under when he fired the managers and relocated to another .town.

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Matatu matters



177 responses to “The pro’s and con’s of Investing in the Matatu Industry.

  1. Mike

    July 25, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Bwana Wambururu,

    Keep up the good work. Kindly. I’m Interested in investing in a 14seater Matatu, route 125/126. In need of some info about the general matatu sector, what i exactly need to know before gettin in it, some challenges i expect to encounter, and since u claim to operate Rongai route can as well help me get established.
    Hoping to hear from you.

    • wambururu

      May 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      You are very welcomed to our route;karibu. To invest in a 14 seater at this time when there are no longer being registered is quite tricky but also very profitable for those who have the faith and confidence to overcome the challenges and see the positive side which is the profit. What you need is to know how the business operates and what determines making profit or going out the backdoor way. Two things will determine;
      1. How willing are you to pay somebody 1000.00 Ksh per day/ he is not the driver nor the conductor; he is there just to see that your make 3500.00Ksh per day. If you are the person who want to know why you can’t do what he does and pocket the total amount? then you are not fit for this business. Matatu business is almost/if already not/ a crime in this country. Citizens hate them, the previous governments targeted and used judicial influence to make billions from it. The media has given us the image that can only be compared to what they are giving the members of parliament. we are left to find our own way through the confusion. godfathers are necessary for now. You need money to make more money, if all the laws were in place you could probably get about 5–6.000.00ksh.
      2. How much do want to invest; from 500K you can get a KAR in good condition. with 4.5M you can get a brand new 33 seater. the more you invest the more you get in return,


      • Gideon

        March 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm

        hello Wamburu.
        i live in mombasa and planning to invest in matatu you have an research done for the matatu business in mombasa.

  2. mainah

    August 10, 2012 at 7:14 am

    thankz alot for such an educating information.i personaly,i have been a trainee in a reputable motor company here in nairobi and since am expecting to be employed by them by september dream and vision is to buy a toyota shark matatu and probably give it to problem is that i dont know the exact price of a good,used car pluz the conditions one is supposed to meet before mololine or any sacco take your vehicle.can u kindly advice me.thankz in advance

    • wambururu

      September 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Hello maina
      My answer is a simple;– yes. If you can invest 800.000 Ksh and you get an average of 3000 Ksh everyday for three years, would you say that is a good business?
      The secret of this game is to always make sure that the car is on the tarmac. poor management like i said causes- Breakdowns either due to lack of competent workers or due to mechanical problems. as a result the Investors who depended on their investment only, end up complaining that there is no profit in the industry.
      Spare parts are expensive {like for a Toyota shark and the demand for them is still very high. There is quite a lot of income that goes back to the Matatu to keep it relevant and mobile.
      Buy a good shark and take good care of it and it will serve you diligently.

  3. Martin

    September 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Is it safe to invest in matatu business?

  4. wambururu

    September 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I have only one answer for you. and you can take this to the bank; YES, Invest in the transport sector and you will never look back-

  5. joyce

    October 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    your post is very encouraging i am planning to buy a 33 seater matatu please advice me on how i should manage a matatu i really want to dedicate myself on the biz since am not employed.

    • wambururu

      October 24, 2012 at 11:15 am

      I did some ground check about the deal regarding; how to start or own a 33 seater mini-bus. I don’t have the proof yet but i hear that NIC bank and Kenya commercial banks have a deal with General Motors. where you deposit a certain amount and then the banks pays and hold on to the logbook. I will book an appointment with their sales departments and get back to you.
      About management- well this I can help you, I’m currently in the process of registering a transport management company where We will employ competent drivers and route controllers as well as involve investors in the day to day running of their investments. we {the company} have identified most of the problems that investors face in this trade and we want to address them and improve service delivery and secure investments. You can send me a private mail if you want to know more about the company.

  6. Lillie

    October 25, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I have just been reading your posts and i just thought you are the right person to ask one or two questions on the matatu industry.I have been thinking of investing in a 14-seater matatu to ply long distance between Nairobi and one of the towns in the Rift valley but there was talk by the government of phasing out the 14-seater matatus from the road.What is the position as at today and what is the procedure of registering the matatu and how expensive is the registration?

    • wambururu

      July 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Hello Lillie,

      First ; thank you for visiting my blog and mostly for inquiring about matatu issues. This was my idea when i started writing about matatu industry; to provide useful information regarding this business and to help investors make the right choices.
      You are thinking of investing in a 14-seater matatu to ply long distance. That is to say you want to invest some money in the transport industry but you still want to play safe- that is why you
      specify between Nairobi and one of the towns in the Rift valley. My honest advice would be to go for the 33-seater minibus. General Motors have a financing deal with Equity; KCB and NIC banks were they finance you with upto 70%. All you need as deposit with these banks is almost what it would cost you to buy a New model second hand Toyota 7GL.

  7. mbishai

    November 11, 2012 at 8:05 am

    am much interested in the
    venture. kindly advise me on the common 14 seater models-strengths,weaknesses.thanks.

  8. Bonny

    November 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for u blog. I have applied four times a loan to bay a matatu min bus 33 seater without fruits twenty percent to pay eighty to finance. what i can do? Bank kcb replay pliz

  9. gideon

    November 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    hello sir.went through ur blog and got inspired.i wish to venture into the transport industry but i dont know how to access asset finance loan.i request u share with me the knowledge uv got in that sector i and those who will read through this.thanks waiting for ur reply

  10. gideon

    December 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    sir,i can afford can i register in a Sacco?what are the requirements?is it advisable to go for a 14 seater as for now owing to the fact that the govt had plans to wipe them off?how can i get a vehicle into a Sacco and what are the conditions.sir kindly waiting for your reply.

    • wambururu

      July 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      If you already have 500.000- there are two options;
      1} buy a matatu worth that much and start trading immediately or;
      2} join a Sacco and start saving with them;
      In the first option- it will depend on how well you manage what you are getting; if your financial managment is good in one year you can decide to sell your matatu and buy a newer without financing.
      The second option will get you the newer vehicle faster but you will still be indebted. Most matatu Sacco will give you 3– 5 times your savings. It will take you less than a year to buy a new model 7GL Toyota worth 2.5M.
      To get a vehicle into a Sacco; you need a logbook or proof of ownership; you need 5000 shillings to become a Sacco member;- to get a Transport Licensing Board’s sticker, you need a letter from the Sacco indicating that you are a member,

  11. peter

    December 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I’m looking to invest khs 1m on 49-51 seater mini bus. How much on avarage and which is the best way please

    • wambururu

      March 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      The big buses are not always the best option especially if you are new to matatu business. start small and climb the ladder, by the time you are ready to invest 6million and above, you will have learned the business. start with a 25–33 seater and see how it will go.

  12. Peter Maluta

    January 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I really like your blogs sir.So Educative.

    • wambururu

      March 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      thank you, I always try to tell itas it is. I hope I’m helping. keep checking this page.

  13. mwangi

    March 13, 2013 at 9:50 am

    sir.thank you for giving pple advice.i used to be employed as conductor then became a driver of matatus later i quit the job for some other i want to go back to matatu as an employer would you encourage me to own one considering i will not be doing the job myself.thanks

    • wambururu

      March 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Sure Mr mwangi; it will be an investment worth your money considering you have an idea how it goes. Matatu investment is a long term investment. the government has not registered any new 14 seater for the last four–five years but the same vehicles that were on the road are still making money. get a good 14 seater and start small.

  14. Otuoma

    April 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Thanks hope u are the right man i”ve been looking for, i want to start with a probox.

    • wambururu

      April 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Go for it and then look for the route that best fits your time table. be there if possible to drive the car and you will be amazed how much you can make in transporting people.

  15. Peter Nguta

    April 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    This is very educative as well as an eye opener in the matatu business transport,am encouraged and as i have always wanted to venture in the transport business i now have some clue. I have one question: for 14-seaters i heard there are classes of them i.e. 5L,3L,7L e.t.c,what’s the difference? which is the best one for the public transport business? Thank you.
    Peter Nguta

    • wambururu

      April 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      The difference is the engine power and also capacity which is also seen in fuel consumption.
      3L is good for short distance with no steep hills like Nairobi south-C, Industry-area and the like.
      5L has the power to do over 500kms per day. it is the most common and mostly preferred by matatu owners and drivers.
      7L is a new entry in the business. we have not yet fully understood its advantages v/s disadvantages.
      the obvious difference is fuel- the bigger the engine the more fuel it will need.

  16. Kenneth Sulubu

    April 28, 2013 at 6:46 am

    this is very informative. thank you. i will drop an email to get more information about your newly formed company. i have a question though. do you have an idea of any motor companies(not banks) in kenya that can offer a matatu on 100% credit (ofcourse with some surities, proofs of employement, etc) and through which the monthly instalments are paid through the monthly earnings from the matatu?

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I will be surprised if nobody has contacted you already offering you the request you forwarded. I don’t have concrete proof that there are institutions that finance 100% but i will not rule out the possibility. LET wait and see who will come forward.

  17. stephen oliech

    April 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Its my dream as well to start transport business, I want to invest 500,000k, even if I have to add more, but how can I get a 25 seater, second hand n good condition or how much does a new one cost? secondly, advise me on how I can run the business successfully while am a way. Am out of the country n I only comes onece in a yr.


    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      MNIbuses are selling big-time; the price is a bit exaggerated but i know a very good 25 seater- Isuzu cabin type selling for 1.8m IT”S Registration is KBM but rarely used as the owner was faced with management problem with his family and decide to ground the vehicle. its at his yard in Karen. let me now if you are interested. I’m sure you have friends you can trust to keep an eye just in-case. I Can personally see to it or assist and advice the manager on keeping the vehicle on the right tack.

      • RAMESEN

        July 18, 2014 at 2:49 pm



    May 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    this is trully the best page ever,anyway myself am also intrested in matatu business but the problem is i dont have enough cash for the buses or 14seater and i have been to mombasa and seen that the tuk tuk business is doing good,do you think the tuk tuk would be the best option to build my empire?then ..what characters does one need to have to make the business work out to its height?..and what are the procedures that one needs to follow to register a company?

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      The goal of any business is to make more than you are investing and in the process make more and keep on making even more.. Matatu business is no different from other investments like shops and hotels or even clearing and forwarding. ours is trading in Transporting passengers. If a tuktuk is what you start with,you are in the right track, what you need is to keep a proper audit of the money you put down as capital and then commit to paying back the money as soon as possible. If you managed to have the money you invested; back in your bank account; and you still have the vehicle you bought with the money , can you call that a loss?

  19. wanduta

    May 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

    your forum is a blessing,i’ve been seeking information about the matatu business coz i am about to get into it and thanks to God i’ve come across this page.i’ve been encouraged and inspired, when time comes i will contact you.Thanks and keep on enlightening folks.

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      I will be here; thanks a lot. keep visiting wambururu’s blog for more update on matatu issues.

  20. Godffrey

    May 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    how much does it cost for a14 seater matatu when you want to start amatatu biz?

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      You can get a matatu with anything from 1/2 a million and above depending on the condition, year of manufacturing and registration of the car.

  21. Ruth

    May 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for your advice. I want a matatu worth 550,000 can I get a good matatu with that kind of money and what registration number?

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Ruth you will get a matatu with 550. Don’t mind the Number plate to much because this is what you can count on to make a smart deal. if the condition of the car is acceptable and it happen to fall between KAQ—-W. And might not have been a matatu before, I would reccomend you to buy it. BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT A TOYOTA SHARK ENGINE COST’S 350.000 KSH. Don’t buy the car without a mechanic you trust, and don;t buy from a mechanic

      • Michael Omondi

        June 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        is it posible for i to get amatatu 14 seater worth 500k,and how will i change TLB so that it can work where i want

        • wambururu

          June 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm

          You can get a matatu with 500K; you only need to know who is selling. about TLB, you need to be a registered member of the sacco in your area of choice. for instance, Sacco registration is 5000 ksh. at Olokise { Ongata Rongai-Kiserian Sacco} from there you get a letter confirming your membership and the rest is government duty and taxes payable at Times Tower.

          • Michael Omondi

            June 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm

            is it possible for abank to finance asecond hand matatu,if yes how does it cost to pimp the vehicle?

            • wambururu

              July 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

              If you know for sure that M-Pesa -can and do- transact money, just like or much better than a bank, then a matatu Sacco can help finance a second hand vehicle- just like or much faster than a bank. it will take a lot of paper work with most banks but i believe a Sacco will most probably advice you on which vehicle to buy and also give you a TLB recommendation. you don’t have to be a matatu owner/ operator to become a matatu Sacco member.

  22. Edu

    May 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

    you said the gvmt is not registering 14 seaters any more. i trhoight this was shelved by Kimunya? I was planning to start second hand one that has not been registered as a matatu.

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      There is nothing that will stop you from running the business if you get the right information. The new model 7L is being registered for long distance/ before you buy the van, go to the Sacco you feel is convenient to you and ask for direction on how to start sailing.


    May 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Hi thank you so much for ur post ihave 100,000 and i want to start transport business please advice me where to start considering i need a loan. i would probably start with a shuttle or a probox.

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Yes Elizabeth you want to invest in transport business and you have with you a hundred K,,,,?well, to be honest 100K is not enough to get a probox because they cost about 450—-650k. A shuttle cost’s even more. you need to get a long term loan from your bank which you will pay in two years and get like 500k. then you can invest for profit.

  24. MATI

    May 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Hi. in fact am looking forward to invest in one 14 seater mat. and enroll it to kinatwa how much is a new nissan ready to roll to the road and where can buy cheaply?

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      The best assistance i can offer you right now and for the integrity of this blog is to inspect the vehicle for you and probably advice you on the best price for that particular car. registration numbers don’t necessarily mean the car is good or bad, there is this believe that passengers love new vehicles but i guess any car that outdo its age is classic and fun to ride in, if only to prove it’s good as it looks.

  25. Andrew

    June 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Hi, how much does a brand new toyota 14-seater matt with seat-belts in all seats costs? Plus the music system, the woofer and speakers… And all the costs for start-up as in th yellow band, sacco, and all other relevant licenses

    • wambururu

      June 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      BRand new is not the correct word. Most 14 seaters are second hand and as for a straight import, you will get a 7L engine Toyota which are going for 2.4M. If i imagine your question well you want a 14 seater in perfect condition fitted with all the necessity. you need 1.2M for a KBL—- Fully loaded.

  26. mike

    June 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    i have about 250k can i get the rest of the money from my bank to buy 14 seater?

  27. wambururu

    June 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    The problem with banks and matatus is that they only finance new matatus. As in ISUZU 25–33 seaters; and, this new ones goes for millions of shillings; Maybe according to your bank statement the amount you have or might have transacted might not be possible/ qualify you, to secure that kind of money. The banks are also in the business of earning a profit and are not wiling to risk their money especially if they don’t understand the business you intend to fund; very well. most banks have a problem with secondhand 14 seaters.

  28. Munene

    June 18, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Hi Wambururu. Thanks for your insights. I really am interested in the business. Am a member of a sacco that is religious in nature. Can I withdraw my membership there, join a matatu sacco with the refund of the deposits I have there (around 140k)? Then with my savings of around 600k, can my new membership in the matatu sacco help me to acquire a brand new 14 seater that is currently trending (the new wide toyotas)? Please advise if its possible

    • wambururu

      June 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Well; I guess this is as real as they get! i can not rule out the possibility of some matatu saccos having a package that can fit you. I will surely make a date with a couple of the long distance matatus saccos and get back to you with my best take. According to your letter, you already have over 700K; why not buy a ordinarily Toyota KB—- cash;– instead of financing.
      We are still far from doing away with town service 14 seaters; You will decide if you still want the wide face 7L or a minibus after an year; you will also be a full member of a Sacco.

  29. eddie

    June 27, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Hi Wambururu, like everyone else here, am interested in getting into transport business. been getting a little info here and there, for the past 8 months, trying to figure out what exactly i’ll need to do to start this business. am looking at investing between the amounts of 1M and 1.5M and looking into a 25-33 seater where possible. probably if all goes well, in a couple of months i should be up and running. and just like everyone here, am here looking for the best advice from someone like u with that much of experience in this industry, thanks in advance

  30. Geoffrey

    June 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Wamburu, This is one of the relevant blog i have came across, It suits my needs. Now Capital is the problem is the problem but I usually save some money from where i hustle from. I save 13,200 per Month in a local Sacco which has accumulated to Ksh. 133,000 hopping that by February 2014 I will be have saved a total of about Ksh 320,000 and with this amount i Can qualify for a loan in the same sacco (three times my savings). The problem is with this kind of loan, the interest will be about Ksh 120,000 in 3 years. Considering this high interest, if I turget to venture into a 14 seater, how long can it take to get my returns and which is the best route you can advice me to take here in Nairobi considering that i live in Limuru.

    • wambururu

      July 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Six months from now is a long short, but you have accumulated quite some savings; the deal is a bit tricky especially if you are targeting to venture in the 14 seaters category; one thing we must consider is, the fact that ordinary Toyota hiace 5L engine are not being imported, so, if you want one, you will have to buy one that has been on the road for 3-4-5 years; The 5L currently on the market is going for;up-to 2.4 million. meaning you will not have enough to buy a 7L new model Toyota. if you were to buy a good/better conditioned second hand Toyota 5L on February 2014 it will cost you 750—-800.000. about the total amount you will receive. If you were to include some risk allowance for you vehicle i.e, [the engine might require unforeseen but immediate replacement, and that will cost you about 300.000.Ksh. My advice is to go talk to the matatu Sacco that is more convenient to you, see what they are offering and then decide whether it is more beneficial to register and start saving with them or look for an alternative. Most matatu Sacco will give you 5times or more ; mostly because they will have direct contact with your investment and can collect their dues daily -in small doses- that will still enable you to make some profit and enough to keep your matatu on the road.
      The best route is the one with disciplined operators, any sacco that has infulunce over the way business is conducted in their route is the best. Kikuyu route 105- Rongai route 125- Mwiki route 17B; Wangige route 129 and Embakassi/ Jogoo road/ kitengera routes are among the best routes to do matatu business in nairobi.

      • Geoffrey

        July 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

        Thank you for your advice……I will keep in touch when the time comes

  31. john

    July 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    thankyou for your educative blog. we are a team of 30 working in the same company and want to save 300,000 in the next 3 months. our target is to buy a 58 seater worth 1.5m please advise.

    • wambururu

      July 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Thank you for the complement and also for visiting my blog. I’m not a qualified financial consultant-nor do i see myself as one. what i do is ask questions to those who can give me a honest opinion and that’s what i share with you on this blog.
      About your team project, i would highly recommend you talk to UNAITAS formerly MURAMATI- I had talked to them and they have very attractive packages that will suit your team of 30. One requirement though is that you will all have to open individual accounts but you will receive the loan as a team.

  32. Abdibasit Sharif

    July 4, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Thanks for ur advice mr. Icon. I like to knw da different of matatus in south c bcos one is on line at stage while the other it is on afia centre and my next question is what is there profit between the two matatus in south c per day

    • wambururu

      July 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      The difference has more to do with management . In most routes you will find that more than one Sacco or management companies operating; and each can apply from the city council to be allocated a base or picking and dropping point. Availability of passengers also determines the number of picking points in a certain area.
      About the deference in income, well; 14 seaters across the country makes between 2500 and 5000. what matters is the class you vehicle fits in.
      Manyanga== 4000–4500
      Ordinaly=== 3000–3500
      Normal ===2500–3500

  33. Abdibasit Sharif

    July 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks 4 answering my question baba and what about the income of no.9 of eastleigh & what is the sale price of that bus plz i hop u answer 4 me nd i wish u da best u nd ur entire family

    • wambururu

      July 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Also remember to pray for us as you enter the holy month. This blog wishes you and all our brothers and sisters a fulfillment of your prayers and submissions.
      I will get the facts and relay them via this avenue.

  34. Edwin

    July 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Hi, with ksh 1m and at this time when the nissan 14seater is fading. Would it make any sense to buy an old but nice toyota 5L to work as shuttle with one of the saccos and employ myself as the driver? What do most saccos charge a new entrant? What terms of service? If i buy from another route like 4NTE or 2NK, what about TLB if it doesn’t ply that route?

  35. Joe

    July 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Wambururu,
    can I get your contacts like cell phone no ?….need to call u..

    • wambururu

      July 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

      You can call me on 0724 384676. anytime.

      • Michael Omondi

        July 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        wambugu how much is anew toyota 7l matatu model?

        • wambururu

          July 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

          Between 1.7m and 2million. courtesy of alpha auto cars limited.

  36. George Ochieng

    July 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for your openness which to me has demystified this sector. I have a bank loan of 450k and would like to try my hand in this business. What light can you shed on Probox as matatu? Price and whether i shud go for second hand and what I can make daily on average? Thanks.

  37. Peter Nguta

    July 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for the informative message,it is always encouraging to read from you.
    My question; i have seen and continue to see in the Daily Nation the last pages where people offer to sell the 14- seater matatus others even offer to sell the same through instalment where a potential buyer will pay a deposit first say 40% and the balance to be paid in future as per the agreement between the two. Are these genuine deals? The deal appears to be too good! What’s your take on this?

    • wambururu

      August 2, 2013 at 8:01 am

      I would believe something written in the Bible or Koran with a pinch of salt, How much i would put my trust in a newspaper advert is for you to guess. When you have to part with anything above 1000, its always advisable to know what you are paying for. Approach a matatu Sacco, book an appointment, sign your name in the visitors book and start your journey to investing in the matatu sector/ transport industry.

  38. Gikumba

    July 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm


    Great blog you have here. Kindly advice me on the following: I have 700K cash. I have no good bank statements since am not employed. How can I invest this 700K in the Matatu industry, make a living out of it and expand the business? I will highly appreciate your advice.


    • wambururu

      August 2, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Thank you for appreciating my effort to share some advice with those who want to join us in the transport sector. With 700k you can get a good Toyota, even for less: make a two years plan to raise the capital you want and grow your shares in the Sacco, Savings and credit cooperative society. My guess is that we are still going to have the 14 seaters for much longer. as long as Taxi are in business we are going to be around. The secret of this investment is to have a service vehicle that meets the task. Buy a new engine and gears box if you have to but as long as the matatu does not break down on the way, it will make you money at the end of the day.

  39. paul

    July 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    i’m glad to find this website. i have imported a used toyota hiace 2000cc, automatic, petrol from japan and intend to use it between kakamega and busia. people are telling me that i should have bought diesel and manual. is there any difference?

    • wambururu

      July 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

      yes there is much difference; that is a fact. Diesel engine consume less fuel as compared to petrol engines and also automatic vehicles especially commercial vehicles consume even more; most of them don’t do very well in the matatu business. The current make of Toyota that is common on our roads have between 3000 to 3500 cc engine; you 2000 cc vehicle might be a little economical on the fuel but i doubt if has the same shape and size as the ordinary Toyota shark.
      On the brighter side, any vehicle that has the capacity to transport passengers from point A to point B; has higher chances of making profit but this will mostly depend on the area it operates.

  40. Ramadhani Juma

    July 30, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Hi there,
    I am a driver with on of the saccos and i am interested in getting a matatu of my own. Kindly advice what is the best deal for a 7L and where can i get best terms of payment with minimal instalments.


    • wambururu

      July 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

      I am really encouraged by your question and mostly the fact that you are a PSV driver dreaming of investing in the matatu industry. That is a plus to you. A friend of mine who works with ALPHA MOTORS LIMITED told me sometimes ago that their company has the lowest price for imported 7L. at the moment they are raging between 1.7m to 2m. If you are already a member of a sacco and probably has saving to the tune of 500.000 you can easily be financed by most local banks.KCB and Equity Banks has facilities that fit that category.
      try send inquiries to their sales department and see what they are offering.

  41. Derick

    August 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks a lot blog for your help, am planning to get a 14 seater is it a must to requester with Sacco at my location!

    • wambururu

      August 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Yes Derrick; it is compulsory for all 14 seaters matatu to belong to a Sacco. You can’t get a TLB license without a letter of acknowledgement fro a registered Sacco


    August 27, 2013 at 6:57 am

    my name is simon, working in the health sector. am thinking of investing in the matatu industry. is 1.5m enough for purchasing a new 14 seater toyota shark old model(dubai). with good management, what can i expect for daily earnings if i would take it to nairobi thika/ muranga rouite say in MTN orCHANIA SACCO. I WILL BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR RESPONSE

    • wambururu

      September 2, 2013 at 8:28 am

      With that kind of money,you will start off very easily especially if you get your 14 seater in an established Sacco like –North RiftNuclear-and also the two you have mentioned. You can get a very clean 5L with 900k, spend about200k in replacing any worn out part and complying with all the Michuki’s requirements; TLB, Seatbelts, fire extinguisher, first aid box etc. To get your vehicle in the long distance route, membership can cost you up to 200k. If you were to talk to the management you will understand why so much money is required any how they will help you recover your money in the first 3 months. Some of this companies have assets to the tune of billions of shillings and thus membership may sometimes mean shares.
      Income per day we can say is 4000. But for long distance, you can get up to 9000 but not on daily basis as there are days that your matatu might not get passengers and have to wait the next day.


        September 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

        Thanks alot mr Wambururu your advice and heart to help people is highly apreciated. God will always make sure that you dont lack in anything. KEEP UP Mr.

  43. Harrison Ogonda

    August 28, 2013 at 6:53 am

    hi! bro. your web is what i have looking for.Which matatu model(nissan or toyota) would you advice one to buy…I long for the business and i have around 600k….What are the approximates of other hidden costs ,taxes etc

    • wambururu

      August 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Buy a Toyota 5L if you want long distance. With 600K, it will be hard to find a really good 5L say like a KB..something..But you can still get a good condition KAU—Z which will also serve you well. Buying a matatu that is already on the road is much more convenient as most of the papers are already valid. Once you buy a matatu you only need to change the insurance to reflect the new owner. TLB and inspection is done annually.

  44. moha

    September 4, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Hello,please am looking for td27 nissan enngine in good condition,roughly how much is the price.please assist.

    • wambururu

      September 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

      My number is 0724-384676 get in-touch. I know a good one in NGONG going for 400K. Recently painted and new seats- you will need to buy a battery and two tyres.

  45. sam rabu

    September 5, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hi bro, I have Ksh 1.5m and I need to invest in a 14 seater matatu. Is it possible for me to import? If not what are my options? or where can I get one?

    • wambururu

      September 5, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Yes you can import a 7L toyota but that is not the best option especially if you are a first timer. Go for a good conditioned 5L. See my reply to Simon Ngotho Ndegwa.

      • sam rabu

        September 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

        thanks for your response and i have referred to your previous. sorry to come back. what is really the different between 7L and 5L? I am new in this.

        • wambururu

          September 7, 2013 at 6:36 am

          In think it has more to do with the model of the van and design. the most common Toyota that is in almost every route is what we refer to as 5L. The last of those types was manufactured in 2003. The government does not allow importation of a car over 10 yrs.
          That is why you will have to buy the new wide face Toyota manufactured in 2007. It has a bigger body and bigger engine and more expensive to maintain.

          • sam rabu

            September 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

            great, now i am informed. thanks so much.

  46. harry

    September 7, 2013 at 6:57 am

    hi ! where are the offices of the saccos of rongai and lang’ata located?

    • Michael Omondi

      October 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      hi,i hv 300k and i want to buy amatatu which is already operating,am planing to get around 300k from my bank, can i get btn kay-kba worth 600k if yes is their any hidden charges?

      • wambururu

        October 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

        Yes Michael you can get a good KAU with 600K. I know one that is selling. Other charges include; change of route for TLB, Sacco registration depending on route. insurance,inspection where necessary and servicing depending on the vehicle,fuel full tank. it is advisable to have an extra 100k.

        • Michael Omondi

          October 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm

          thank you so much if am ready i’ll let you know

  47. Allen kariuki

    September 9, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Nyc job


    September 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    MR. Wambururu am really thankful for your help. u r such a blessing and god will always make sure that you dont lack in anything. just a small question Ihave here, is it possible to join a matatu sacco say 2nk without having amatatu. if possible how do you get into one and what are the benefits of being in a sacco without a matatu.

    • wambururu

      November 19, 2013 at 8:06 am

      There are special considerations as with any savings and credit institution; which most of this Sacco are. Most often, we shy away from some great investment opportunities because we are afraid to walk into offices and ask questions. if you wish to buy a matatu in the future it is advisable to find out what the Sacco in your preferred area is putting on the table.

  49. Denis Maina

    October 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Hi!Thanks for your great work.I would like to know whether there is an available matatu for sale with a deposit of between sh100
    000-sh150000 without going to the bank.Tell me how
    much it can cost and terms of payment.Preferably KAU-KBA and in good conditon,im a young Kenyan youth with an interest in the industry.I will be glad to hear from you.Thanks.

  50. Gitau Ndungu

    October 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Boss mambo? ive been reading your blog for the past 1 and 1/2 years now and i must say you are such a blessing to the industry ,,, i should also say that am the kind of person who will scrutinize repeatedly anything i want to put my interest and my money in ,,,,,,, so what i do is every time i get in to a matatu i always try and seat at the front right next to the driver ,, i start a general talk with him ,just to find out how friendly he can be and eventually before i alight get as much information from him as i can about that particulate rout, ,, for example how much they get per day,, what amount goes to the owner ,, how much they give the police on a daily basic what is there “mukinyo” per day,,, right now i know over 20 routes long distance and short distance,, what they earn and the nitty-gritties of each and every rout ,,, for example for anyone who want to invest in the toyota box 7L am not very sure this is the right time especially if you are a first timer in the business,,, these vehicle has a turbo charged VVTI engine and the engine is just full of sensors ,,,if this car is not handled well you might get a chock of your life when asked to buy a new engine just coz of a very simple mechanical problem,,, due to my inquisitive nature i have settled for one of the routes ive been inquiring about,, what am now looking for is a car that will suite my budget ,, am looking for a QD32 nissan in excellent condition that will not cost me more than 550 i dont mind the number what am interested in is the condition ,,, have you ever seen mats from a place call TURDO of ferry that ply mombasa town and the port??? you will find a matatu KAT KAW KAS even as old as KAE and KAD etc etc but they are as good as new ,, the look ,,, the sound from the engine ,, the painting ,, the body everything is just classic ,,,,,,, the only question that has never been answered on this blog by you my friend is the cost that is involved in maintaining the matatu.,,,,,, i would kindly ask you to answer the following in details

    1,, for a QD 32 nissan doing town service how often should i service it
    2,, what exactly should i buy when doing the service
    3,, what does a service appointment entail ,, ie what are the areas i should make sure that the mechanic has covered to run the vehicle up to the next service appointment
    4,, tell me more about wheel balancing and alinement
    5,,what advantages to i have if i get my matatu serviced at Grogon and a matatu serviced at DT Dobi or maybe stantech motors etc etc

    Boss Lazima Nitakupigia simu ,,, thanks alot for this blog ,, barikiwa na upate mbili kwa bill yangu

  51. Brenda Buko

    October 28, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Hello Mr Wambururu,
    I have enjoyed reading through your blog and the advice. It’s very informative especially for some like myself who are really green. my first question might sound silly, but what is the point of joining a sacco? now that i have bought an npr 25 seater is it still possible to still join a sacco and must we pay a fee on a daily basis to the sacco that is.? I intend to ply a long distance route in the coast which gives 350per pax one way and 350 back.(once a day due to security) how much should i expect at the end of the day just considering this single trip plus fuel and sacco and police. ofcourse the other trips will be in the interior connecting the villages in between which give about 100 per pax. after the vehicle returns from the long trip.

    or rather My question is , how much should i demand for this route per day. how much is a decent pay for the driver and conductor?

    • wambururu

      November 9, 2013 at 7:31 am

      I guess your NPR is already bring home something. To be honest i have never operated in long distance route and not one of the rural areas.I don’t know much but i can sure bet you will do good if you keep looking for answers the way you are doing. There is nothing so tricky about transport business other than vehicle maintenance and a good driver.
      pay you driver well and you will reap big from his expertise. a thousand daily is good way to start if you intend to give him some days off. alternatively give him a fixed salary of 18k and some 200 daily.

  52. Kammash

    November 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Thank you sir for the very wise counsel on the matatu industry. I have read keenly and its like you are in favor of 33 seater (like the onces that fly mwiki). That is a roaute I would like to join with 1 for a start, a new one. How much would that cost me? which is the best vehicle make and how do I engage with Mwiki sacco??

  53. Willy

    November 5, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Dear Wambururu, greetings! You mentioned the cost of KSh 1,000 for a person who is neither the driver, nor the conductor. You also mentioned that one should ensure that the vehicle is all the time on the road. Let’s take a route NKU-NBI-NKU. My questions are as follows:
    1) what would be the most accurate, but brief job description (duties) for that “person” mentioned above as well as for the conductor, as I have come across misunderstandings on this matter?
    How many hours per day can a driver be on the road without causing problems due to fatigue and what are the earnings of a driver per one-way trip (or per round trip, or per day, or month – depending on how this is calculated) and the same for the conductor?
    3) How many hours a day should the vehicle be on the road to be profitable, considering higher risks for accidents during darkness?
    4) I believe in comprehensive Insurance, hence, how much should one set aside per annum for insuring a 14-seater and 33-seater, when having obtained a bank loan for new vehicles?
    5) And finally, how much per annum would one set aside for maintenance of a 14-seater and a 33-seater that are new, or as good as new, please? Thank you very much in advance for your response to all my questions. Willy.

  54. ohuru

    November 18, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Hi, am interested in the matatu business but i normaly get discouraged considering competition, police etc. can it stil work out for me if i start as from Jan 2014. i can get at most 500k by that time. thx.

    • wambururu

      November 20, 2013 at 11:12 am

      500k can seem like much but the business is changing with every passing day and the price for 14 seaters is maturing with age like good wine. A five years old Toyota 5L is selling the same price it was bought while new and this is because the last 5L Toyota was manufactured in 2003 and our country doesn’t allow importation of used cars over 10yrs old. You need at least 700K if i was to assure you of some good if not better results.

    • wambururu

      November 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      The cost of living is raising everyday and so is the amount needed to start a business. 500k might not be enough to start with if you are a first timer or you wont be driving the vehicle yourself. I can personally say that i can start with that amount since i can do most of what you will have to pay for.

  55. John

    December 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Mr.Wambururu thanks for the information.What are the costs of keeping off the COPS.

    • wambururu

      January 12, 2014 at 10:53 am

      HaHa; That depends on the crime you are willing to commit or have committed. This is corruption, it has no price tag.


    December 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    hey Mr. Wambururu,I must say you are really passionate at what you do and am impressed.After along research on this matatu industry,I wanna venture into it.Sadly,I do not know if you are familiar with all the route i.e Homa Bay-Sori route.Those are on the Nyanza land.Do you think I can still accumulate the same amount of return as route 125 and the rest?

    • wambururu

      January 12, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Matatu’s across the country almost make the same amount. especially 14 seaters. between 2500 and 4500. you need organized and experienced crew and good marketing..


    December 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    you are really very helpful Wambururu.If I may ask,are you familiar with Homa bay via Sori route? Do you think someone can still bring home similar amount like Kshs:3,000 each day

    • wambururu

      December 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for the comment. It is possible to make that average {3000} anywhere. what you need is a crew who understand
      matatu business. 3000 is the list a vehicle in a perfect mechanical condition and apperance can make- whether in Nairobi- Busia- Namanga- and even Mombasa.


    December 28, 2013 at 4:03 am

    It would be really be helpful if you put your personal info(email,cell number) just incase someone has a personal concern he/she needs to address to you. Sometimes its just better that way

  59. kate

    January 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    woaw,i cant believe so happy with you for this info i needed badly.thenkyou very much.God bless you

  60. abel cheboi

    January 9, 2014 at 9:36 am

    am planning to enter the industry but please can you advice me on the requirements and how i can manage the vehicle because am employed and i dont have much time.

  61. maggy

    January 17, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    hi my name is maggy l have 3 matatus but l need advice its Always something as in problem all the time example garege all te time the police and lactually dont see if am making profit what you think is the problem.

    • wambururu

      January 28, 2014 at 11:34 am

      hello Maggy; I understand your concern and it is something that has been a problem to many investors.
      I recommended a lady investor from kitui to join one of our sacco in route 125 but she ended up just where you are right now. For two months, her savings account with the sacco had 14k and her matatu was at the garage requiring 30k.
      The problem has all to do with the management of your fleet. Your money could probably be going through two–three hands before it gets to you and this could also be a problem. A manager is supposed to know how to keep the vehicle on the road at all times. make sure that the drivers report to work at the right time, in the right uniform, He/she must understand the traffic laws and loopholes and be able to mechanically keep the vehicle fit.
      You probably allow your vehicle to be driven by people you have not employed { badges in your name}, as is in accordance to the laws set. and this could be the cause of all this conflict with the police..
      It is also advisable to change one vehicle to another route and see the difference. to Change TLB route is only 3500 or less.

  62. N

    January 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Hi Wambururu,
    I would like to invest in the 44route whats your advice and do you think its advisable i let the sacco’s manage the vehicle/

    • wambururu

      January 28, 2014 at 11:38 am

      its the same as letting the bank manage your loan. if you can’t find the time to manage your vehicle, hire someone you can trust to do that for you. Sacco is about savings and credit, i would go for a management company. there is a big difference.

  63. samuel

    January 27, 2014 at 11:56 am

    hi there,im glad for ur advices,im 25years old and very competent and reliable driver,5yrs exp n a psv..i need a job in matatu sector and plan to buy my own matatu in long run,how can i be in your forming company?

    • wambururu

      January 28, 2014 at 11:54 am

      We at Rongai matatu workers welfare, recommend workers to the Sacco operating in our routes 125–126-24. OLOKISE, ONGATA-LINE and SERIAN You need to come with your driver’s psv license, NHIF & NSSF cards,cert of good conduct, 2 passport photos. we can also assist you get most of this documents.
      The registration form will be available online sometimes later in the year.
      you can send email to for more details.

  64. Julie

    February 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks for your educative blog. Last week I saw Eicher 37 seater going or 3.7M compared to Associated Motors Brand (i think Isuzu) going for 4.9M. Many have discouraged me on getting an eicher, what is your take on this as a within the city matatu.

    • wambururu

      February 13, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Spare parts back-up; is a real pain, I have a personal experience. You will enrich a mechanic who will have to modify almost every thing. Eicher is a light track and may be good for town service in some routes like south-B, Eastlegh or even up to Roysambu and kasarani area.
      My take?// I wont put that much {3.7m} on a newly introduced minibus- The different might seem a million shilings apart but so does the advantages of buying a Isuzu 33 seater. spares are widely available. the make has been tested and proven. I would still go with “better the devil you know than the Angel…..

  65. joseph

    May 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

    i need to start a matatu business. i have no capital. can the bank use a title deed as a security n lend me a loan, get a 7gl n pay them as i get cash

    • wambururu

      June 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Land for car- its possible but not advisable. Walk to any bank and you will know the facts.

  66. paul maina

    June 10, 2014 at 7:37 am


  67. The green car insurance

    June 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    This is really attention-grabbing, You’re an overly skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and stay up for searching for extra of
    your great post. Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in mmy social networks

    • wambururu

      July 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      overly skilled!! thats a new one. thanks for extending my reach.

  68. Humphrey

    July 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Quite interesting, keep it up brother.

  69. paul

    July 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

    im impressed you respond to over 95% of the comments.. good stuff though!

  70. Ayman Yusuf

    September 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    thank you so much for the info bro, your contribution is highly appreciated, iam also interested and presently i have about 1m for a start, throw me some contacts if you may and be blessed brother.

  71. michael onyango

    October 11, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I love your blog. Its an oppurtune time that I have come accross your blog. I am in the process of buying a 14 sitter matatu but a second hand. What are the factors I should consider and know of the vehicle before purchasing it.

  72. monique

    November 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I am interested in buying the nissan vannete for business what are pros and cons of investing in such a small vehicle considering am a first timer.

    • wambururu

      November 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Any investment is good investment as long you get good returns. what you need is to go to routes that has many of them like Ruiru and talk to a few drivers; we don’t have them in our routes.

  73. richard maingi

    December 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you for your article,i invested in second hand a 51 seater bus being financed by my sacco but upto date i have not made any profit from it,it have consumed all my money but am optimistic ill make sacco have been very supportive,they want to resctructure the loan n be paying small installment,my question is? current job is not paying well and am not permanently employed,can i leave it and be going with the convinced i can get 8k per day.
    2.whats your take on repayment procedure

    • wambururu

      March 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      You have not said how long you have had the bus and again which route you operate; this is very important and I believe it has a lot to do with your current situation. it is advisable to always keep the supply line open I.E. quitting your job might not be the smartest thing to do for now. There is a reason why your bus is not doing well/ making any profit- this may result from mechanical condition of the bus- crew- or even Sacco management among other factors. I would recommend you get a person you can trust to work with your bus and identify the cause of the problems.
      If I got your second question correct- you want to know my take on the repayment procedure- I don’t know how much you owe the Sacco or whether you are paying a fixed interest or in a reducing balance basis. You can email me more details..

  74. mercy

    December 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Hello Wambururu, really good pieces of advice here. Can i get a 14 seater with 400,000? Can it give me between 4000-5000 daily? Which sacco would you recommend in zimmerman?

    • wambururu

      January 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      mercy hio haiwezekani; You could have your many back in less than 3 months.! yes you can buy a old matatu for 400K refurbish it and make between 2500—3000. I don’t know the how the management works but I’m sure you can get a reasonable one to j

  75. Berwick

    January 12, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Nice inf

  76. Gitau

    January 29, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Hi,your blog is really helping. Anyway I’m thinking on aquiring 2 brand new 33seater Isuzu from GM and put them through githurai 45 route.
    Will the returns be good?
    How are the saccos over there?

    • wambururu

      March 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Minibuses are taking over the matatu business though they have to face a stiff competition from the larger capacity buses. Githurai is popular with 51 seater buses and since they are in large supply, they easily handle the flow of passengers to a manageable level which strikes a balance between the price, demand and supply. Since matatu business is a trade like most businesses; where the law of demand and supply applies Githurai route does not offer the best investment opportunity. However tides are changing and passengers are shifting to vehicles with fewer capacity which are quick to fill and more comfortable.

  77. Laban Mosi

    February 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Hallo Sir, I am planning to invest the first 2 units of 67 seater Isuzu buses to do route Nairobi Kericho Sondu Kendu Bay Nairobi. Kindly advise on risks,Tlb and Sacco.Thanks

  78. naftali odhiambo

    February 7, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    i have been reading these article and comments and just trying to make sense out of everything ,what i would like to know is what to include in a proposal fro getting a loan from an investor ,i know most of these comments are a bit out of date and probably the market has shifted a bit ,kindly can you advice on these matter as i am interested in getting my claws in these business .thank you for your consideration.

  79. Zack

    February 16, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Thanx Wambururu for the good work you are doing and the responses you give. Am gonna be direct on this. I am set to join the matatu industry, i have a good manager who i believe will take my business forward . My manager has told me that we should focus on acquiring an ex tour vehicle, probably a DT Dobie Urvan. I have identified several on OLX , but my question is, how do i ensure that the vehicle is in a good mechanical position as the owners claim, what sort of inspection can i subject it to make sure that the engine, chasis and the body are in a good condition. My biggest fear is buying a vehicle that will need expensive repairs almost immediately.

  80. daniel

    February 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    you are quite unfaire to me as your customer, here at Nairobi

    • wambururu

      March 6, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      what have i done wrong Daniel; how can i be helpful? i would love to make up for the unfairness.

  81. richard

    May 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    hallo…thanks a lot.May God always bless you for the extent that you assist.

  82. James

    June 12, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Hello just want you know this very helpful . Good job for great wisdom. God bless you for your wisdom.

  83. DeeKay

    February 4, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Mr. Wambururu your blog went mute in June 2015, are you still maintaining it? Thank you

    • wambururu

      February 4, 2016 at 7:05 am

      Yea sure. The blog is still active. wambururu.wordPress

  84. Joel

    February 5, 2016 at 2:06 am

    Hi Sir i currently have 600k and really determined to invest in a 14 seater second hand matatu. will it work for a starter?

    • wambururu

      February 8, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      I still think there is room–time for 14seaters before they are called off our capital. You can get a good van to start with but you’ll need to give it time and most of the money it’ll make for the first 2–3 months. A Toyota hiace is an expensive car but also a durable one. Once in good conditions it will serve you long enough to get your money’s worth.

  85. Weldon cheruiyot

    February 8, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    hello wamburu, thanks for good efforts.what would you advise on a HIGHLY PIMPED 33 seater plying route 125 and a simple/standard one in terms of returns?.and about the brand..Isuzu vs Hino.

    • wambururu

      February 8, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Well, both are avenues that payoff eventually since the only difference is the beautification. It’s the same engine size and capacity.
      Souped up (manyanga) are for mostly uptown routes. For instance, I manyanga will do well in Rongai or Dandora and most eastland routes Since there is market/demand for such vehicles and passengers are will to pay more to ride on those matatu.
      The same vehicle will make slightly above the standard/normal 33 seater; in some routes like kitengera, Ngong-kiseria, limuru- thika among others.
      A manyanga has a shorter life-span due to the extra baggage. that include driving behaviors, weight, maintenance cost and other factors.
      A standard minibus has a much longer lifespan more than double the manyanga but that is also the case when it comes to income. A well souped up manyanga in a good route with the right crew will give you a minimum of 15k net per day. In the same same route, A brand new standard minibus makes 7-8k.

  86. Okanda Joseph

    August 25, 2017 at 5:17 am

    I want to invest in a second hand matatu in Mombasa,should i go for nissan 14 seater or a toyota shark?

    • wambururu

      January 30, 2018 at 5:56 am

      Nissan is good for short distance, easy to pimp, costs less. Toyota is strong powerful and durable. If the route distance is over 30kilometers(one way) go for a Toyota.


    September 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I have been reading the enquiries and the answers and found the pieces helpful. Are you still blogging on the same, the last comment here was in 2016


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