Simple steps to check if a car is not stolen before you purchase


Purchasing a car on its own can be stressful but one have to understand simple steps in checking if a car is stolen before purchase. See details below!

A good number of cars are stolen each year and most of the stolen car cases are with intention of selling them off to unsuspecting buyers. Purchasing a car on its own can be stressful coupled with the enormous amount of money that one would spend on that. Imagine the shock and disappointment one will feel on finding out that the car he or she purchased newly was a stolen car.

This is more reason why you should learn about the different tricks car sellers use to sell off stolen cars and also know how to protect yourself so you don’t get tricked into purchasing one. Don't worry, Naijacarnews got you covered!

1. Which cars are most likely to get stolen?

You will be surprised to know that it is not even the classic hot sports car that you expect that are at higher risk of being stolen. In the top list of the top most stolen cars are the quite humble Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla e.t.c.

With this fact, you can see that even the average person in the society stands the chance of either having their car stolen or buying a stolen car. If you are buying off a used car from an owner, from an online vendor or from a stranger, then you should apply extra caution to avoid being a victim.


The Nigeria Police reports there are more number of small cars stolen than luxury cars

>>> Prevention is better than cure: Tips for preventing your car from getting stolen

2. How to check the used car you are buying is not stolen

It is not a new thing that Nigerians buy lots of foreign used cars called ‘tokunbo’. Here is how you will confirm that it is not stolen.

  • Request that the seller provide you with the custom papers. Then, check the chassis number of the vehicle or the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Ensure that the VIN wasn’t tampered with, its label should not feel scratchy on touch neither should it be obscured.
  • Buying from a registered car stand will reduce the risk of buying a stolen vehicle.
  • Inspect it and ensure that the car doesn’t have any engraving.
  • Check to see if the car was repainted. One of the places to look out for in this case is the bonnet, which is often difficult to spray. Stolen cars tend to repainted so they cannot be easily identified even if the rightful owners decide to launch a thorough search for it.


Check for custom papers and chasis number for the car before you proceed to purchase

>>> How to protect your own car from thieves? Ask this man! Man builds an iron cage to safeguard his new car (photos inside)

3. How to ensure that a Nigerian second-hand car is not stolen

Aside from the tokunbos, Nigerians also buy cars fairly used within the country. You should also be wary of buying a stolen one.

  • Ask for its custom documents and ensure they are original copies.
  • The seller should be able to provide the original documents of the car.
  • Be sure the name on the documents is the same as the name of the buyer, unless they are able to provide a proof that shows that they bought the car from its original owner.
  • Punch in the number written in the number plate in the Federal Road Safety Commission database to verify its authenticity.
  • You might even go ahead and take a picture with the seller in case of necessity.

4. Report any case of suspected car fraud

If after your inspection you suspect or you find out the vehicle was stolen, do not confront the buyer. Report it to the appropriate authority which in this case is the police. Contact your local police and share as many details of the prospective seller as you can. Include their name, address and even appearance.

>>> Don't forget to come back Naijacarnews for more car buying tips!

Okenwa Emeka