Tips to Consider when Buying Used Cars.

Due to the poor economic situation of the country, buying a brand new car in Nigeria can be very expensive, making a lot of people to switch over to buying used cars. However, there are many disadvantages of buying used or tokunbo cars because you don’t know how reliable they are.

Therefore, if you are buying a used car you should understand the reasons the owner is selling it and thoroughly inspect the vehicle both inside and outside.

15 Tips to Consider when Buying Used Cars in Nigeria

There are things you should consider before buying used cars in Nigeria. These include:

1. Set a Budget

The budget you set for the used car you want to buy includes cost of the car, registration, insurance and general car maintenance cost. You should know whether the car you are buying is for business or private use. This is to avoid the mistake of buying a car that you cannot maintain.

No matter how cheap a luxury car is you should first consider the cost of maintenance, repair and operation. Most luxury cars consume more fuel per hour, and if any part goes bad and needs to be replaced, it will dry your pocket while trying to fix it back.

With time you will see that you are not driving the car, but the car is driving you so crazy that you begin to realize you did not cut your coat according to your cloth.

Therefore, when buying a car try to get one that you can fuel and maintain without going penniless. Look for something affordable that you can maintain with ease.

2. Get a Specialist

Get a specialist to help you check the used car you want to purchase, and not just any roadside mechanic. You can pay the specialist to do a thorough job for you. Things the specialist will inspect include engine, the exhaust system, transmission, the cooling system, and more.

3. Make a Good Choice

You should know beforehand what type of car you want to buy and what you want to use it for, to ensure it serves the purpose for which you are buying it. You can choose a car by body type, make or price. And make sure you consider the location of the vehicle to know whether you are capable of transporting it to your destination.

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It is true that when you want to buy a car you would like to jump for the mod

It is true that when you want to buy a car you would like to jump for the model you cherish most; but you should first consider the type of roads we have in Nigeria whether your car can freely move on them. You need to also consider the availability of spare parts and the cost of the car. You may like a particular type of car but that car may be too expensive for you, considering the country’s economic set back.

Some old model cars cannot give you what you want in a car, so look for a car that is up to date when you want to buy a car. Go for a cheap and nice car that will give you what you want; and never buy a car at emergency unless you know that car very well and candidly believe that you can handle the car and enjoy every bit of it.

4. Contact the Dealer

You will have to contact the car seller for negotiation and inspection. Inspect the vehicle you are buying thoroughly before making payment.

5. Check the VIN

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, which you need to check to know whether the vehicle you are about to buy is a stolen one or it has some bad history.

6. Know the Seller’s Reasons

The seller of the car you want to buy has different reasons for selling the vehicle, which you need to know by asking them.

7. Demand Original Papers

erify the papers of the vehicle and ensure they are original and complete before making transactions. Get a written purchase agreement and warranty to cover you up if you later find out the car is not what you thought it was. As you may not be able to tell whether a used car is stolen or not, it is important to get the purchase agreement to protect you in case it has any problem with the law.

8. Seek Permission for Test Running

You need to seek the seller’s permission to test run the vehicle for at least one day or two days before making payment. This will help you to know the vehicle you are buying.

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9. Thoroughly Inspect the Used Vehicle

Run a thorough inspection on the vehicle you are about to purchase. Check the engine, tires, bonnet, fender, paint and scratches on the vehicle, to make sure the vehicle is in perfect condition before buying it. Evaluate the general state of the car you are buying and how it has been maintained and taken care of. A car that has been well taken care of doesn’t have a dirt or trash inside. Take a close look at the car both inside and outside.

You also need to know that every car has a problem associated with it, and before purchasing any used car you should know what problem you will likely face with the car in future. Some cars have brake problem, some shock absorber, while others have engine problem and so on.

Being aware of the problem will help you to know in advance so that you will check whether you can tolerate it or not. If you can’t bear it, it will be better to look for another type of car that you can trust.

10. Check How Long the Car you want to buy has been used, and if there is Any Accident History

The car dealer will not tell you openly if the car you want to purchase has involved in an accident in the past, but you need to ask those you can to know the accident history of your dream car. A car that has never had a problem before cannot be the same as a car that has had an accident.

You can try as much as you can to avoid cars that have been used for a very long time, and cars that have gone through body work.

11. What is the Resale Value of the Car You Want to Buy?

It is very essential to know the resale value of the car you wish to buy if you need something you will use for just a short period of time. Don’t go for a car that will easily decrease in value as the years go by, but go for something you can sell for a substantial amount of money in a few years to come. The secondhand value of your car matters a lot because you can sell it out any time you wish to.

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12. Check for Leakages:

While checking the engine and the fuel tank of the vehicle, try to look underneath the vehicle for leakages. If there is any leakage on the fuel tank, it will consume more fuel and therefore cause you more money.

13. Know who or Where You Are Buying the Used Car From

You can buy a used car from a known or unknown car dealer, or even online. But remember that there are many fake ads and fraudulent sites that are set up for the purpose of duping you. Don’t buy from a new site. You can use or Google Search to get every piece of information about the website you are purchasing the used car from.

14. Pay for the Car

Make sure you negotiate well with the car dealer before making payment. If possible, ask other dealers and compare prices to know who sells cheaper. Make sure that any used car you buy is in perfect condition especially when it is cheaper than you can imagine. And as you are ready for purchase, it is wise to pay by cheque or use electronic means to transfer the money, instead of paying in cash.

15. Have One or Two Witnesses Present

Make your car transaction in public place with one or two witnesses present. This will help you in future to avoid any case that may burst.


Buying a used car can be very affordable, but proper checking is needed to make sure all the parts of the car you are buying are in good condition.

You may unluckily purchase a stolen vehicle — which can be possible when you do not run a thorough inspection before placing an order.


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