How & where to buy cheap cars in Nigeria (plus 2020 updated cheap car list)

11/27/2019

Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Do you know you can buy a good cheap car in Nigeria quite easily with certain tips and sources? Click here now to read details how to buy cheap cars in Nigeria!

1. Feasible options for cheap cars in Nigeria

Before studying how to buy cheap cars in Nigeria, you should be at least aware of feasible options of cheap cars for sale here. The car types vary, depending on the car origin or condition.

1.1. Fairly used cars for sale in Nigeria

Fairly used cars are of course the first option you should go for. Affordable and much reliable, you can find countless fairly used cars for sale in Nigeria with good prices. But even this car type can be further divided into different categories with distinctive notes when buying, in this article we will mainly focus on Tokunbo cars for sale because these cars are generally believed to have better condition than locally used units due to the shorter time of previous use as well as foreign drivers' good habit of maintenance.

1.1.1 Tokunbo cars for sale in Nigeria - the best options of cheap cars in Nigeria

  • American used cars

US imported cars account for almost three-quarters of total used car imports to Nigeria. The USA car sales and freight system is easy and straight forward. In addition, the presence of countless dealers and auction sites provide for a variety of choices. There are also a large number of Nigerians living in America who periodically send these cars to their home country. If you don't want to pay the extra fee for middle men, you can directly import these cars yourself. The only note you must take is knowing the process sufficiently though, from placing a bid to clearing your vehicles through Nigeria Customs.

Popular websites to buy American used cars are auctionexport.com, cars.com, copart.com or iaai.com.

Video Guide on how to buy cars through AuctionExport from Mr. Lawrance

  • Used cars for sale in Germany

Germany is also a destination for getting well maintained used cars for importation into Nigeria. Generally, the German usual traditions for good maintenance, discipline and order rubs off on their auto exports. When you buy a used car from Germany, you are getting a guarantee of excellence and performance. You could consider importing from this country for these and other reasons. The delivery fee from Germany to Nigeria is about N140K, equal to just half of shipping cost from America.

Online auction car websites for German used items are mobile.deautoscout24.de and ooyyo.com

  • European used cars

Nigerians buying used cars from Europe usually do so to get cars which are fully loaded at less than normal market rates. European cars are usually fuel economy cars, well maintained and fairly easy to import. German used car is among reputed representatives for European fairly used vehicles.

Some examples of European used car auction websites are caroutlet.euautorola.eu and carsontheweb.com.

  • Japanese used cars

Japanese used cars imported into Nigeria are some of the best car imports in terms of quality and even price. This is because they are generally well maintained. You can get good cars at awesome prices at Japanese car auction sites such as auction.nikipal. Very low import duties when importing from Japan are another good reason to import from Japan.

1.1.2 Used cars for sale in Nigeria by owners - the cheapest options of cheap cars in Nigeria

Sometimes the cheapest alternative of all is finding a well-maintained Nigerian used vehicle to buy. Many owners will sell either for reasons of the slow economy, lack of parking space, desire to buy a newer model, or for reasons of travel or health. Some also want to get rid of a problematic vehicle, so make sure you cover all the bases. Nigerian used cars, depending on the model, may be as low as ₦150,000 or as high as ₦2,000,000, or even higher. Make sure the car was properly documented before you buy, as well as making other necessary checks.

A-Honda-Accord-car

You could get a great bargain just around the corner in your neighborhood

1.1.3 Auction cars

Getting a cheap car in Nigeria is also possible through the auction system. Auction systems are divided into online and offline auctions.

  • Offline car auctions

All auctions have laid down regulations, which you must follow to participate and place a bid. Be sure you understand what the auction organization requires. The most important offline auction is organized by the Nigerian Customs Service. You can find on Naijauto.com a comprehensive guide to buying auction cars from Nigerian customs.  

  • Online car auctions

Most online auctions used by Nigerian cheap car buyers are based abroad. However, this is not a problem if you go about purchasing in the proper manner. You must pay attention to detail when using any online car auction site. You must also be careful because sellers are not always forthright about the car's condition. Some popular car auction sites are:

  • auctionexport
  • copart
  • dubicars.com 
  • autotrader.ca
  • gocar.be

1.2. Finding a cheap car in Nigeria might be unexpectedly easy - ask your family and friends to sell you one!

Buying from family and friends is also a good method to procure a good, cheap car. The advantages in buying these cars are that they can be bought quite cheap, and you can get a very accurate account of the history and condition of the car.

1.3. Thinking of buying made-in-Nigeria cars to be the first owner at a low budget? Read this first

Following a government policy, which has placed stiff import duties on whole cars assembled outside Nigeria, in order to encourage local production, some car manufacturers have begun the assembly of some models locally. Some Nigerian made models include IVM G80, the Hyundai Grand i10, and the Nissan Almera. Though these locally assembled models are marginally cheaper than the same models made completely overseas, it is difficult to label them “cheap.” This is because, for instance, an IVM 80 costs ₦27,000,000, which is far from affordable to 97% of Nigerians.

Practically, therefore, brand new cars assembled or manufactured in Nigeria may still not be within the range of affordability for most Nigerians.  

Nigerian-made-IVM-fox-car

IVM is locally manufactured in Nigeria

1.4. Consider fuel economy cars & cars that are cheapest to maintain if you want a truely cheap car in Nigeria

Well, it can be a totally brand new car, made either overseas or in Nigeria, but why do we recommend this car type as cheap cars to buy? The name says it all - "fuel ECONOMY" and "CHEAPEST to maintain."

Fuel economy cars maximize fuel use by squeezing out the most miles for gallon of fuel used. A fuel economy car is important because it helps to reduce your car maintenance costs, and also safeguards the environment through decreased emissions. Though you may have to spend a great deal initially to acquire the car, its fuel and maintenance cost can be saved up thousand naira for years.

Cheap used cars, on the contrary, may turn into extremely expensive in the long run due to excessive fuel consumption, frequent repairs or even yearly overhauls. That's why when buying a cheap car, you need to be mindful of certain later expenses. Maintenance costs, availability of parts, and availability of qualified auto-mechanics for that brand are important factors in making a choice for purchase.

As a rule, Japanese made cars have proven to be the cheapest cars to maintain in Nigeria. This is largely why Nigerian roads are crowded with them. Popular Japanese brands include Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sienna, Honda Accord, Honda City, Honda Pilot, and Lexus. Certain other brands like Peugeot and Volkswagen have successfully functioned on Nigerian roads also. Peugeot claims its brand is made especially for Nigerian roads.   

1.5. Good and affordable cars in 2020 - the best cheap car deals you can find in Nigeria

After all the advice and reviews, you need a solid and reliable car with a good mileage, good fuel economy and being affordable. You can find sweet car deals here.  In general, these are great giveaways for this year:

Good and Affordable cars in 2020
Car model Production year Price range
Toyota Camry 1999 - 2014 600,000 – 4,000,000
Toyota Corolla 1994 - 2012 350, 000 – 3,000,000
Honda Accord 2005 - 2010 450,000 – 2,500,000
Lexus 1999 GS 300 1999 - 2010 550,000 - 3,700,000
Hyundai Elantra 2002 - 2005 1,300,000 - 2,800,000
Lexus RX 350 2006 - 2010 2,500,000 - 6,000,000
Toyota Highlander 2002 - 2012 2,650,000 - 8,500,000

The above table is for your reference only, the price of any car can vary slightly in different situations. You need to understand certain factors that affect used car prices, which are listed as follows:

  • Car condition
  • Vehicle age (refered from production year)
  • Car mileage (Read what is good mileage for a used car here!)
  • Car model and trim level
  • Suitability to Nigerian roads and climate
  • Resale value
  • Extras such as factory fitted AC, Airbags, and so on

A-Toyota-car

Factors like age and the vehicle's condition affect price  

Whatever ways you choose to acquire your cheap car, your careful observance of this buying guide below will make it a pain-free and successful process.

2. How to buy cheap cars in Nigeria

***Notes: Cons of buying cheap cars in Nigeria: Make sure you fully understand the pros and cons of buying cheap cars (mostly used cars) instead of a brand new. Once you're 100% sure about your decision, we'll talk about the procedure of buying cheap cars in Nigeria.

Since buying a brand new car assembled locally might be outside the reach of average incomes in Nigeria, this leaves the options of Tokunbo cars and Nigerian used cars as the viable alternatives for a majority of potential car buyers in Nigeria. However, buying these cheaper cars come with a lot of potential risks and drawbacks. Some of these are:

  • Uncertain car history (the cars may be stolen, smuggled, or worse)
  • Accidented cars can easily be disguised with superficial repairs and sold.
  • Clearing difficulties and other customs related risks.
  • Fluctuations in foreign currencies exchange rates making them more expensive.
  • Need for basic background of E-commerce and international transactions.

An-accidented-vehicle

Too cheap? It may well be an accidented vehicle

Step-by-step-guide in buying a cheap car in Nigeria

Step 1: Research

The first move in buying a cheap car in Nigeria is to find out everything you can about cars in general, cars in Nigeria and cheap or used cars in Nigeria particularly. You can get valuable knowledge, of course, online, but also from friends, neighbors, and even your local mechanic. Their years of experience, driving cars in the local environment, could be many times more useful than something you may pull off a generic site on the web. Some vital info you will be able to garner from your research include the best cars for the Nigerian climate and roads, average prices and best locations to buy. At this stage, a current auto information resource like Naijauto’s car buying tips and advice section must be a constant companion. This gives you well researched and current information on car brands, prices, and best locations for purchase.

Step 2: Determine your price range

You can determine the car you can afford based on your preferences, as well as on your available cash resources. Be sure to periodically consult used car prices here so you know how cheap a cheap car in Nigeria should be.

Step 3: Check everything twice

Once you have seen the car you want at the price you are comfortable with, then you must verify the information to make sure it is as advertised. It helps to have an expert, e.g. a trusted mechanic, give the vehicle a once over, including a test drive under different road and weather conditions. Rust and signs of oil leakage are not great indicators you made the right choice. Abnormally low mileage for a used car is also a red flag, as this may mean odometer tampering. If possible, do a VIN (vehicle identification number) test. A VIN check can uncover important elements of the car’s history.

interior-of-a-car

Checking the interior of the car helps to determine value

Step 4: Paperwork must be on-point!

To avoid the future hassles with Customs and Police, make doubly sure your potential car’s documentation is above board. You may require a court affidavit, a valid change of ownership, and a police report if you are buying a Nigerian used car. If you bought a Tokunbo, determine that it was brought into the country legally, and all duties were paid and certified. You will then need to register your newly purchased car and get the necessary insurance cover such as third party insurance, as well as an MOT test certificate for vehicles older than 5 years.         

>>> Editor's pick for you!

3. Where can I find cheap cars in Nigeria?

Amazingly, as long as you have your Naira at hand, you can find a cheap car almost everywhere in Nigeria. You can get good bargains as close by as the nearest bus stop or major road, where you usually will see lines of parked cars for sale with advertisements for the same pasted on car bodies and windows. These neighborhood lots normally will showcase both Nigerian used cars as well as a few foreign imports.

Closer home, these car lots can provide good cars at cheap rates:

  • The car lots by Apapa-Tincan port in Lagos have become  popular resorts for buying Tokunbo vehicles.
  • You may also choose to purchase from Cotonou in Benin Republic. Make sure you pay the correct duties and receive documentation if you import from Lagos ports or Cotonou.

>>> Cotonou cars buying guide: advantages, buying steps & prices

If you live in other parts of the country, the choices may be fewer, but you will still have an abundance of car vendors to choose from. You can buy good cars at decent prices, making a trip to Lagos unnecessary. In states such as:

  • Kaduna
  • Edo 
  • Kano
  • AnambraApapa port

The Tincan port in Lagos is a good place to buy cheap cars 

Also, with increasing Internet penetration in the country, online purchases of both categories of used cars has become a feasible option. You can get remarkable bargains for used cars from credible online auto classified sites such as:

  • Naijauto.com, which is a top local auto retail and maintenance advice site.
  • Jiji,
  • Olx,
  • Cheki

You need to be careful when dealing with online auto-sales sites as information displayed there by 3rd party sellers is not always verified by the site. Optionally, you have the choice of buying and importing yourself from overseas. Sites such as copart.com, dubicars.com, autotrader.ca, and gocar.be are great places to check on cars to import. Scroll up to see specific auction sites for different car types in our first part please.

Some popular local auto-marts are:

  • Affordable cars ltd
  • A. Okocha Motors
  • Lanre Shittu Motors
  • Nigerian cars for sale
  • Banix Motors
  • Carmudi
  • Cheki Motors
  • Cars45

However, buying used cars through a median channel will always boost the car price to be higher than buying direcly from the owner. Take every factor into account before jumping at a dealership to grab one of their cars.

4. Conclusion

Hurray, you have read through our thorough guide for buying cheap cars in Nigeria. With such information, we believe you can now be confident in  selecting a new or used car with good deals for your family. And don't forget to visit Naijauto.com for more exciting auto information, news, tips and trivia in the auto industry!

Joshua-Philip Okeafor
Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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