This Matatu Business Guide entails an overview of the estimated input you shall need to start a matatu business in one of the below towns in Kenya:

  1. How to start a matatu business in Naiobi
  2. How to invest in matatu business in Mombasa
  3. Matatu business guide in Kisumu
  4. Start a matatu business in Nakuru
  5. Eldoret and many other kenyan towns.


matatu business guide in Kenya video

Many Kenyans rely on public means to commute. Public transport is widespread as it is affordable, reliable, and it has an established network in Kenya. Most Kenyans use public means to commute to and from their workplaces, homes, or schools on an almost daily basis. The price of purchasing and maintaining a personal vehicle is too high for the majority of the Kenyan population.

Furthermore, it has created income for many of the unemployed youth. This makes the Matatu business venture very lucrative as there will always be customers. This article is a small guide on how to invest in the matatu business in Kenya. 

Though the business is lucrative, starting a matatu business requires adequate planning and market research to succeed. 

How to start a matatu business in Kenya

How to start a matatu business in Kenya

  1. Buy a vehicle

  2. Ensure you buy a matatu that is strong and durable with a strong engine. Considering your budget, you may decide to buy matatus of various passenger capacities. If you cannot afford a new vehicle, consider buying a used one. Second-hand vehicles are much cheaper but may lead to higher maintenance costs. 
  3. You can acquire a 14-seater van.

    You can acquire a 14-seater van. A new one would cost around sh.1,700,000. Toyota, Nissan and Isuzu are among the best van brands. 

  4. You could buy a 33-seater minibus.

    You could buy a 33-seater minibus. A new 33-seater matatu will cost you roughly about sh.3,000,000. 

  5. Get the necessary paperwork

  6. Ensure you get all the necessary paperwork and documents when buying a van or bus.
  7. Secure licenses and insurance 

    Once you have purchased your van or minibus, you will need to ensure you get the right licenses and comprehensive insurance. Carry out your research to find out the best insurance policies and prices. Take your vehicle to the National Transport and Safety Authority for inspection. They will check whether your vehicle is roadworthy or not. Ensure it has seat belts, fire extinguishers, and a functional speed governor. If you intend to hire your driver, ensure the driver has a valid driving license, a certificate of good conduct from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, and a PSV license. 
    Modify the vehicle. 

  8. Modify your matatu

    To attract customers faster, customize, and tweak your vehicle to meet the demands of your route. Flashy matatus with loud music and neon lighting are likely to attract many young passengers. The majority of commuters are young and branding your matatu will do your business a favor. Install quality sound systems to match competition. Some matatus have gone as far as installing screens. Note that older passengers hate excessively loud music. Get comfortable seats too. Uncomfortable seats will affect the customer experience especially if the route is long.  

  9. Hire a conductor and driver

    You will need a trustworthy driver and conductor to avoid being extorted. It is highly advisable to join a matatu Some SACCOs collect the fares from passengers before boarding. Saccos is also directly involved in the hiring of drivers and conductors, relieving the matatu owner of such challenges. Most customers on certain routes prefer certain SACCOs too. You can also install a GPS tracker to monitor the matatu’s location. 

The running costs of a matatu business may include 

  1. Repairs and maintenance 
  2. Fueling 
  3. Wages 
  4. Insurance 
  5. Fines in case the vehicle is impounded 
a pimped matatu in the streets of Nairobi- STARTING MATATU BUSINESS

The matatu business is a very profitable venture in Kenya. With a good driver and conductor, profits will be boosted significantly. Other factors that may affect income are the route, peak and off-peak hours, and other seasonal factors. Keep your car in top condition to stay on the right side with the authorities and to avoid accidents. This article has been a miniature guide on how to invest in the matatu business in Kenya. 


How much do matatu owners earn per day?

Matatu owners earn 3,000 – 10,000 shillings after fueling for the next day and paying the crew. Matatu owners differ in earnings depending on the type of matatu, location of operation, and the number of matatus owned.

How much does a 14 seater matatu make in a day?

A 14 seater matatu makes an approximate revenue of 3,500 shillings. Depending on factors like management and the location and route of operation, a matatu can make slightly above or far below this figure.

Is the matatu industry profitable in Kenya?

Yes, the matatu business is profitable in Kenya. However, for you to succeed in the business, you need the right management and operating strategy. For instance, choosing between long-distance matatu business, short distance, rural or city matatu business shall determine how profitable and realistic your matatu business shall be

How much does a brand new matatu cost in Kenya?

A new 14-seater matatu costs 1.5 to 4 million shillings in Kenya.

What is a matatu Sacco

A matatu SACCO is a financial saving and credit institution that operates on a cooperative basis and is run by matatu owners. Matatu Saccos are non-profit.

Which is the largest matatu Sacco in Kenya?

Embasava sacco, 2nk sacco, Mombasa sacco are some of the top matatu saccos in kenya.

How do I start a transport Sacco in Kenya?

To start a transport Sacco in Kenya, You as a group of matatu owners should come together and choose your leaders. The leaders can then visit the relevant government to start the process of registering your matatu Sacco.

How much does it cost to pimp a matatu?

Pimping a matatu costs from 300,000 to 1.6 million shillings

How do you join the Sacco Super Metro?

To join the super metro Sacco, visit their offices in Nairobi and get assisted there. Their offices can be found in most estates in Nairobi.

How Many Matatus Are There In Kenya?

Kenya has approximately 100,000 matatus with about 12,000 matatus in Nairobi, the capital.

What is matatu in Kenya?

Matatu is a Kenyan-Swahili word meaning commuter cabs. Matatus are also referred to mat or mathree in the famous ‘sheng’ slang.

How to join 2nk matatu sacco in kenya

To join 2nk matatu Sacco in Kenya, visit their offices in the capital, Nairobi.

How much does it cost to register a Sacco in Kenya?

An application fee of 3,000 shillings is needed to start a matatu Sacco in Kenya.

Which country has the best matatu in Kenya?

Kenyan Nairobi matatus have been famed as the best matatus in Africa.

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  1. Wambui Kariuki says:

    Relevant,straight to the point explanations.
    I loved it.
    I will buy my matatu now i see the procedure is not hectic as i thought.

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