5 common car scams when buying or selling car in Nigeria


Posted by: Okenwa Emeka

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Car scams are lurking everywhere out there especially when the Internet of things is embracing the whole world. With the augmenting cases of car scams in Nigeria, we at Naijauto.com has compiled a list of top 5 car scams you should look out for when buying or selling in Nigeria. Read on!

Are you thinking of getting yourself a car? That means you are not far from other car consumers who feel anxious and afraid that they may be ripped off especially when it is there first time of making a purchase.

Whether you are buying a new car or a used car from a car dealer or a private owner, there are some most common car scams to look out for.

Not all car dealers or private sellers are genuine and not all are fraud either. So how do you figure out the good and the bad? Here, Naijauto aims to expose some car scam techniques used by the bad ones and also give you tips on how to protect yourself so you don’t end up a victim of car buying or selling scams.

1. Title washing

You should inspect a vehicle for damage when you want to purchase one even if it looks brand new. It is also advisable you get a vehicle history report from a honourable source before you make your purchase. A car that has been exposed to natural disasters like flood and tornado or has been damaged or wrecked is usually referred to as salvaged car.

The same refers to a car that might have been stolen and recovered. Such cars might still look new after they have been repaired but they end up giving lots of problems to the unlucky fellow that gets to buy them.


The title washing scam rids the car of its wreck status before selling

Title washing is a means of wiping them off that salvaged status. Even though there are rules in place in various states, which restricts the ability of title washing, still some devious sellers still do this especially when they feel they will make enough profit from it.

2. Fake certified used cars

Genuinely certified used cars can only be sold through franchised dealers. Usually the must have gone through multiple inspection processes by the manufacturers and come with a kind of extended warranty and a price premium at least $1,000 above the non-certified ones. You’d see some devious car dealers putting up a fake certified sticker on a used car just to sell it at higher price.

>>> You should refer to this man's story: How I fell into victim of a car scam in Nigeria

3. Extra pay in the form of dealer addendum

Sometimes car dealers install labels with extra charges for items like fabric protection and paint sealants. That is just a scam and the labels are termed the ‘dealer addendum sticker’. The dealer would tell you while you are trying to negotiate the price that they would remove those items to show their gratitude to you for patronising them but that is all a scam to make you feel good about the price while you end up beating it down to the original sticker price.

To avoid this, make use of the invoice price as a starting point when negotiating.


Make use of the invoice price when negotiating with a dealer

>>> Knowing exactly what you need makes the buying process a lot easier: Factors to decide what type of car you need most

4. Hiding engine problems

Mechanics say they encounter cases where diesel oil is used in place of the regular oil in newly purchased cars. Some car dealers do this because diesel oils can mask car engine problems temporarily. You should be wary of this and if possible take your mechanic along to inspect the car before purchase.

Video: Biggest Dealership Scams To Avoid

5. Reduced payment car scams

In as much as your monthly payment is important as a car buyer that is paying by instalments, you should not focus on just that as some car dealers may want to take advantage of that to dupe you. They do this by inflating the price of the car, asking for a large down payment and then extending the period of the lease. Another way they do this is by lowering your monthly payment but at the same time rolling you into a bigger loan with an even higher interest. The summary is that you end up paying hundreds and thousands more for the vehicle.

To avoid this, you shouldn’t focus on only the monthly pay but on the price of the car, the interest rate, the down payment and also the terms and conditions of the loan.

>>> Editor's recommendation: Car financing: 10 Dos and Don’ts when you want to buy a car


Before you agree to paying installmentally, pay attention to the overall charge and not on the monthly payment

Purchasing a car may not be as easy as it sounds especially when the salesperson is trying to defraud you but you need to be careful. You should know that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for latest auto news, car tips and advice, car reviews, and car price lists!

Okenwa Emeka
Okenwa Emeka

Okenwa Emeka


Okenwa Emeka is a prolific writer who combines his content creation skills with a strong passion for automobiles to make engaging articles for Naija car lovers. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing CAM with a diploma in digital marketing. 

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