What to know before buying used cars in Nigeria


To find a used car for sale in Nigeria is not difficult at all, but to buy a good used car is never an easy task. That's why you need to equip yourself with sufficient knowledge before buying used cars in Nigeria. See our suggestions here!

1. Overview of used cars for sale in Nigeria

When we talk about used cars in Nigeria, there are absolutely two classifications to them:

  1. Foreign used cars, also called Tokunbo
  2. Locally used cars in Nigeria

There are two things involved in buying a used car in Nigeria, it is either you remain contented and happy with what you spent your money on, or you remain remorse for having to waste your money on such a disaster. You need to be watchful; you don’t need to be in a haste to release the money until you have done a thorough checkup. To do this properly, follow these tips suggested by Naijacarnews.com!

2. Things to do before buying a used car in Nigeria

2.1. Know what you need

The question you should ask yourself is what you would like to get from the car. Is it that you just need a small one that can take you to the office alone, like the Volkswagen Golf as well as the Toyota Matrix which are also hatchbacks, or you need one that can convey your whole family from place to place, and outings like the Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest as well as other SUVs, that are family-like, with third-row seats? If your roads are rough, it is better you go for SUVs like Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Xterra, Nissan Pathfinder and others, because their suspension systems are able to withstand any form of rugged roads and strong ground clearance. Also, if you need the car for load lifting or movement, you will need a vehicle that is truck-like; for example, the Toyota Hilux.

The above said, it however, still depends on your choice or your need. You need to get a car that can satisfy your needs.

Furthermore, you need to examine the features of the car you want to buy for yourself. Do you prefer rearview mirrors, good sound systems, 6 or 8 manual transmissions or do you prefer the automatic transmission? You need to understand all these features and how they help you or put you at loss before you can go ahead to get cars in this respect.


Aim at specific targets and you'd be happy with your choice

2.2. Set your budget

It is not reasonable for you to aim for a car you cannot afford. It will put you in depression because you will keep dreaming of getting something that’s beyond your reach. An English man will always say: “cut your cloth according to your size”. You need to be realistic when it comes to getting a used car. For example, you can’t want to get a car whose locally used model is more than the price you have in your account, not to talk of even the foreign used one. In other words, if you desire a car and you see that you cannot afford it, please kindly wait till you have made the amount of the car, or simply go for lower options. It is absolutely no crime to do that.

2.3. Make a list of car choices

Now that you know the kind of car that your money can get, you need to make a list of all possible candidates for that role.  For instance, if you need German sedan cars, you are going to include the likes of Audi A4, Mercedes C-class, Volkswagen Passat or any other BMW sedans. On the other hand, if you prefer Japanese cars because of their easy maintenance or affordability, you would need to shortlist the likes of Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry or Nissan sedans.

>>> A suggestion for you: Toyota Camry 2004 Big for Nothing review & prices - a perfect family option

2.4. Conduct a research

With the list in your hands, you need to know about all of the cars. That is where you know which ones makes the final list or which ones drops off. People with the most knowledge to give you are those who have used these cars before, or are good motor engineers or mechanics. They will tell you what you should watch out for in each one, their good sides and their bad sides.

For online reviews, more of those that would reply you are foreign users of the car and you certainly need more of the local users than the foreign ones for experience on local roads. You could also use the Nairaland forum where you will be given firsthand information. Some other expert car sites like Naijauto or Naijacarnews also provide great help with useful car buying tips in Nigeria. All these will help you get rid of those you think will not suit you, leaving you with few options, like 2 to 3.


Refer to reliabe sources to ensure you're not buying a stolen car

2.5. Check with utmost scrutiny

You need to go to the market and become an investigative officer who scrutinizes thoroughly anything he sees. Some cars appear attractive, but the problems they have are greater than the cost of the cars themselves. There are certain things you need to check like the electronic components, automatic components, the transmission, engine and other very important things.

You can run a test drive of the vehicle over a distance before you pay for it. In addition, check that the car paint is not patched anywhere. Don’t try to overlook any fault no matter how little because it can cost you. Better, you can always go with your trusted and experienced mechanic(s) who will do the job better. The cost you pay the mechanic(s) cannot be compared to the repairs you will need to pay later if you make a wrong choice.

Lastly, please verify all documents like custom duty and also verify them at their offices. Also, get the receipts that are related to the car and keep them safe.

>>> Do come back Naijacarnews.com for more car buying tips and driving techniques!

Joshua-Philip Okeafor