On Friday, November 24, 2023, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, revealed that the Ghana Card is the only information potential customers of Solar Taxi, a car manufacturing company in Ghana, need to buy a car on credit.
The Vice President, who doubles as the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was speaking about government policies at the 57th Congregation of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
According to him, the Ghana Card will be the blueprint for the personal credit scoring system for getting access to credit facilities or otherwise.
“I visited a couple of car manufacturers in Accra, notably Solar Taxi and they manufacture cars and they give the cars on credit to people and the only information they need from those people is their Ghana Card. You give them the Ghana Card; they give you the car and you work and pay overtime,” Dr Bawumia said.
This generated a lot of controversy with media commentary and users claiming all one needed to purchase a car is their Ghana Card.
In this explainer, Fact-Check Ghana has explored the Vice’s President claim and Solar Taxi’s operations.
When the Fact-Check Ghana team visited the website of Solar Taxi, a local motor manufacturer with a focus on producing solar-powered electric vehicles, limited cars were found.
Cars produced by Solar Taxi
The team found eight cars: Xpeng GS50i Smart, Cheery Tiggo 3XE, Changan Oshan, BYD E6, Leopaard CS9, Renault K-ZE, Link Tour K-One and ER30. Out of these cars, the Renault K-ZE, Link Tour K-One, BYD E6 and ER30 were out of stock.
The remaining four have their prices ranging from GHC 430,000 to GHC 830,000.
You need a Ghana Card
In an interview with Fact-Check Ghana, the Operations Manager at Solar Taxi, Belinda Akos Akaba, confirmed Vice President Bawumia’s claim that potential customers who want to buy their cars on credit need to present their Ghana Card, one of the important documents the car company requires.
Further checks on Solar Taxi’s website showed that besides the Ghana Card, the company requests potential buyers to provide their personal details such as name, address, contact information among others, employment details as well as vehicle financing information.
40% down payment and the other payment option
Ms Akaba explained to Fact-Check Ghana that Solar Taxi has two main payment options. The first is where buyers who cannot pay the entire cost of the vehicle at once are expected to make a downpayment before they are given the car.
“If you can’t make the outright payment, you pay 40% and spread the rest within a year,” she said.
This affirmed information on their website stating that:
“Kindly note that you are to pay 40% of the principal as initial deposit. The balance will be spread over the number of months specified under payment plan. Delivery of car is Forty (40) days after initial deposit has been made.”
She explained that the second option is where the potential buyers present some vital documents and are given about 5 years to pay for the entire cost of the car.
Credit system for Solar Taxi Cars not new
Contrary to the impression created by the Vice President’s speech and some media reports that suggest that this is a new policy, Solar Taxi said that it has been operating the credit system for four years now. Thus, the credit system being run by the car company has existed since 2019.
Following from the above, the Ghana Card is one of the important documents that a potential buyer must present alongside many other key details to buy a car on credit from Solar Taxi. Depending on the payment plan a buyer chooses, they may be required to make a 40% downpayment and pay the remaining in a year or pay the entire cost of the car in instalments over some five years.
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