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9 Mistakes Car Buyers In Nigeria Usually Make

1. Buying in a haste

Buying a car is totally different from buying hot wheels cars from Shoprite’s toy rack.. where kids spot the toy of their choice, point a finger and it’s theirs in a minute. As we all know, the kid may damage the toy before the next day. Now, we are talking about buying a real car with your hard earned money. So don’t rush. Take your time, compare prices and do all the necessary checks.

2. Thinking the cheapest car is the always the best deal

Awoof has purged many on several occasions. I always tell people “the cheapest car is not necessarily the best deal“. It is a bad idea to save N500,000 only to buy a car that has just been rebuilt from a terrible accident.. with deployed airbags and damaged suspensions not properly repaired. The sad news is some people paid the ultimate price for this error with their lives. Some others ended up in jail for buying ridiculously cheap cars which happened to be stolen vehicles. This though is the major reason car dealers in Nigeria do all those shady things just to sell their cars.

3. Falling in love with the clean body of the car only

Many of us are guilty of this. We buy a car because it has a clean exterior. I fell victim to this when I bought my first car and the car started dealing with me after 6 months. Another guy bought a 2003 Toyota Highlander at Berger in Lagos, by the time he got to Port Harcourt with the car, he realised he had only bought a car body with no engine.. the engine of the highlander knocked within the first 3 months. To add pepper to the injury, Nigeria Customs seized the SUV immediately after he changed the engine at Owerri.

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4. Showing desperation to the seller

If you show that you are desperately in love or in need of a car to a seller, then you may have just signed a one chance certificate. The next thing they will tell you is, someone else is coming to pay for the car this evening. So you won’t have a choice but to pay now. You may end up paying more for the car and you may not have time to do proper checks.

5. Not doing proper checks

Proper checks include test drive, VIN check, diagnostic scan, verifying custom and vehicle papers etc. You can see my post on 12 things to check before buying a Nigerian used car HERE ( )

6. They want the most recent version

Some of us want the 2008 Toyota Corolla because it is the most recent model of that design but we still want to pay the price of the 2003 for it because they look similar. Apart from most 2008 costing more to purchase from USA or Canada, the custom duty at Lagos port is also definitely higher. So if you are particular about saving cost, you may be better off with the 2003 model instead of buying a refurbished 2008 model. The difference in both cars may not be commensurate to the difference in price and this applies to many other brands and models.

Read:  Legends

7. Buying a particular car because someone else is driving it

Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. I have seen people make the mistake of buying cars because they’ve seen a few people driving it or their neighbour has one. So they will just conclude that for that person to be able to maintain it, they can also maintain it. On the contrary, you don’t know if that person you are admiring is suffering and smiling with that car.. You also don’t know his/her financial capacity and source of income. So please always take your car research beyond the fact that someone else is able to maintain a car. Because you might just not know what he/she is actually going through

8. I want my car to be one in town

There is nothing as satisfying as driving a one in town car.. and your car is so unique that it turns heads wherever you go. But don’t forget our common saying “one in town car, one in town problem”. So you’d better tread with caution. You need to research a reliable repair centre and availability of parts. You also need a sure contact that can help you get the parts abroad when needed.. as well as a Bureau De Change guy that will be giving you good dollar exchange rate. But there is a way to play safe with using a unique car. What some people do is, they buy a usual car like a 2012 Toyota Camry or a 2012 Benz E-Class then they modify it (Pimp) by changing some components like the lights, bumpers, grills etc. However, you have to do this with care so you don’t overdo and end up messing the car up into an ugly…..

9. Using all your last Kobo to buy a car

This problem speaks for itself. Always remember, the car will need some care after purchase and you’re going to be using money for that. I am sure you’ve seen people who buy a car and start to beg for money to fuel it after 2 weeks.. some even start depending on other people for food to eat.. and they declare bankruptcy when they get the first repair bill from their mechanic. Lol

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Have you experienced any of this? Is there any I didn’t add? Tell us in the comment section

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