9 Mistakes Car Buyers In Nigeria Usually Make In 2021

written by Adam Barma on June 5, 2021

​READ: 17,035 times

​Many of my subscribers have been asking me questions along the line of...

"What are the mistakes i should avoid making when buying a new car in Nigeria?"

In this article i have noted down the obvious yet popular mistakes made by new car owners in Nigeria.

Note: At the end of this article i have added a link to a free short video made by Mr Shina Saseyi (a Nigerian Car expert based in Lagos) who has imported 100 cars and saved from N500k to N1.5m per car he buys using just his mobile phone. 

Here are my thoughts:

1. Buying in a haste

Buying a car is totally different from buying hot wheels toy cars at 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 always the best deal

Awoof has purged many car buyers 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 realized 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.

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.


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.


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 neighbor 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 center 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


 I hope you avoid this mistakes when buying your new vehicle 

Mr Shina Saseyi (a Nigerian Car expert based in Lagos) created a short video Explaining his Blueprint on how to import used cars from the US and save anything from N500,000 to N1.5m on every car you buy even if you have no idea how to start.


Adam Barma

Adam Barma is a researcher about cars. He researches and creates helpful content to guide Nigerians on legitimate ways to buy cars and mistakes to avoid while doing so.


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