Prepare yourself with these three things before you become a car dealer in Nigeria


Whether you want to sell brand new or used cars, source locally or internationally, there are simple steps on becoming a profitable car dealer in Nigeria.

Cars have, over the years, become a fast rising necessity and in some ways commodity. All around the world, thousands of people purchase a new car or sell a used one. In Nigeria, tens of thousands of cars are exchanged daily (either being bought or sold) to meet the demand of a teeming population of car owners.

Car dealership is a business that sells vehicles whether brand-new or used on retail level. In Nigeria, some dealers import their cars oversees (such as Cotonou car market in Benin Republic) into the country at very affordable rates while some others can be had hold of from local deals and auctions. 

Whether you want to sell brand new, tokunbo or used cars, source locally or internationally, there are simple steps on becoming a profitable car dealer in Nigeria.

It is advisable for you to first familiarize yourself with the business. Make enquiries from already established car dealership business owners. Your car dealership Business will be profitable only if you are well learned in the operation of the business.

Secure a “Car Dealership license”

The first step into becoming a profitable dealer is to get registered amongst other licensed dealers by securing the car dealership license. Getting a license makes you a certified dealer and entitles you to be able to franchise for car brands. If you intend to import your cars and partake in biding deals, this is also necessary as some biding sites only accept licensed dealers. The process and price for securing a dealer's licence varies from state to state. In Lagos state it is estimated to be around N100,000.

To avoid being on the wrong side of law enforcement, go to the nearest road safety office and ask for the car dealership license.


Secure a car dealership licence

Find a space

This space could be a garage or a piece of land. It could even be right in front of your apartment if you have space enough to accommodate the car(s).

Ensure your parking space does well enough to make your car(s) visible and shield from heat. It’s important that your car stays in perfect selling condition so your space should be damage and theft free.


You need an ample place to start your business in selling vehicles

Source Your Cars

There are various ways you can source for cars to sell. One of them is from International Auctions. As a licensed dealer, a lot of biding sites are open to you to bid. You could also get your cars from Cotonou as is the case with majority of the car dealers in Nigeria. Sourcing from Cotonou takes the burden of shipping the car all the way from whatever country it was purchased overseas.

You could also try to get franchise deals with car brands. This way you get to be a dealer for that particular brand and you get the best deals on their cars.

Some dealers source for locally used cars. There is a pool of car users who are either looking to change their cars or outright sell the ones they have. This pool is a good source if you are looking for budget investment but make sure the cars are in proper condition.


How to source for auction deals online. Photo credit:google

List your cars online

The world has gone digital is what they say. This digital revolution now has a lot of potential clients swooning on the internet.

Listing your cars on websites like Cheki, Naijauto, Jiji, or OLX and other online car buying and selling platforms gives you better exposure and you get to join thousands of other car dealers cashing out over the internet.

Online car buying and selling websites provide you with thousands of choices

Selling online is quite easy and convenient as you can make sales from any part of the country regardless of where you are located. You just need the following starter pack

  • Take quality pictures of your cars. Make your images of good standard as they will be competing against thousands of other listings.

  • Write a brief description of your car. Important details like the mileage on the car, model, engine and transmission type and custom made specification that may have come with the car could be an advantage.

  • Your contact information and location should be clearly stated. Most online buyers consider proximity when shopping to avoid extra cost of shipping.

  • Try subscribing for sponsored ads. This will give you listing more visibility which is an advantage over other thousands of listed cars. Your ad would be featured and promoted vigorously in the site, appearing at the top of search results. It is preferable to run your paid ad for at least a week to ensure maximum exposure. This will enable you to sell quicker.

Dealership is a viable business as projected profit from car sales are within 15%-30% and the more expensive the car is the bigger the profit margin.

There is no fixed price as to how much you need to start a dealership business. It depends basically on what type of cars you want to deal in-whether used or brand new cars and what your potential clients are.

Projected figures to start a dealership are around N800 – N1million to start with one average used car and runs to as much as N20million for exotic cars or more numbers.

>>> Discover more car buying and selling tips on!

Okenwa Emeka
  • kelvin:


    If you want to go into car business, there are so many company platform this days
    like that can enable you to raise the funds you need to backup your
    car business without you seeki...

    Reply Show more