Ways To Buy a Car In Nigeria and What to Lookout For

Avatar Tunde Oyeyode | June 7, 2020 166 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Buying a car in Nigeria these days can be a treacherous but astounding endeavor, from looking up prices of your dream car to realizing you can only afford a few tasteful road vessels that fit your budget…oh the reality!!!

Cars parked at a parking lot.

I wanted a foreign used W204 C63 AMG, but here I am searching for a sub-N2m Nigerian used C209 CLK 200 Avantgarde…shallow pocket stuff.

W209 CLK 270 CDi parked next to tree along the roadside.

Deciding on what car or cars you want is not always as easy as it sounds unless you’re a Nigerian politician…we all know what they drive. Anyway, if you’re thinking of the best way to get a car in Nigeria, you’re in the right place.

Here are a few ways to get a car on this side of the world.

Going Online.

Two people shopping for cars online.

This is the first thing most people do, why not?! The world’s gone digital…so digital, you can order a car on Alibaba (though we advise you don’t).

In Nigeria, there are several websites that serve this purpose, Jiji, Cheki and Instagram these days. Finding trustworthy car dealers online might be a long shot, plus the pictures never do any justice to the car you’re looking at…unless it’s brand new or pre-owned or the car seller takes all possible photos of the car (which most never do over here, I wonder why).

The great thing about going online initially is that it gives you an idea of what the prices are for terrible to manageable to downright gorgeous cars!

Going to a Dealership.

White Mercedes-Benz E63s in a showroom.
Mercedes-Benz E63s AMG at Mayfair Autos dealership showroom. Photo taken by Tunde Oyeyode (malik_bto).

The standard thing to do on paper! You get to see these cars first hand in all their glory. This is the best option when you have the cash to back up your big taste.

These days, not all dealerships have the best cars. For example, Mayfair Autos has a collection of some of the best pre-owned and brand new cars in the Nigerian market which means you’re paying for a premium but a majority of vehicle dealerships are not like this, Nah, most of their cars are usually below par with problems coming up after a few weeks of driving…we won’t mention names.

If you really want to go to a dealership with a budget, make sure you have a mechanic and a car guy or auto broker come along with you.

Asking an Auto broker.

Man inspecting a BMW.

These guys are the darlings of the car sales world, connecting potential car buyers to the perfect cars that fit their budgets for a small fee of course.

But, like the yin and yang, not all auto brokers have your best interests at heart. That aside, having a good auto broker will go along way in finding the perfect car of your choice for a good price around your budget.

If you’re looking for an Auto broker, check these guys out.

Ordering one from Abroad.

A nigerian port.

Sounds easy! But it’s not! Unlike Amazon where you just order for a bag pack and get it in a week or two, this isn’t the case when it comes to cars.

You have to factor in the search for the car of your choice (you might need an auto broker or a knowledgeable friend in the country you’re trying to get the car from to do a quick inspection), payment (usually not that straightforward *exchange rates), insurance and shipping (you will definitely have to pay for a container) and then import duties and some order miscellaneous stuff…a whole lotta trouble to go through.

Now, you can always pay an Auto broker to go through all the trouble for you, someone like KoksieWoksie for example. Or you could buy the car on an auction site and have them ship it for you, though you will still have to go through the customs anyway.

Thankfully the guys at Copart have a branch in Lagos and are available to streamline the process for you too.

Sounds easy and straight forward yeah? Jokes aside, nothing beats the thrill of getting a car for yourself…whatever approach you take, you’re bound to have great stories depending on the cars and people you come across.

If you’re looking for a small affordable car, check out this short review on the Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10 here.


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Written by Tunde Oyeyode