How to spot a trusted car dealer: 6 things to watch for!


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Buying a car online is fast becoming the norm even in Nigeria. However, scammers are everywhere. Read on to learn how to spot a trusted car dealer now!


It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria as a nation is tagged as one of the most unsafe countries in Africa due to the increasing level of vices associated with it. These include human trafficking, corruption, and of course, cyber crimes like Yahoo boys, plus.

When you are buying a car online, you need to be careful not to become a victim of cyber fraud. But this guide will school you on how to spot a trusted car dealer or not.


Not everyone online is a good guy, so be careful!

Such deeds can not be excused and are things that are frowned upon by the law worldwide. It is not enough to blame the wrongdoings carried out by her citizens on the bad government and the official misappropriation of funds. These funds are supposed to be allocated and disbursed to the many economic sectors of the country for the purpose of the betterment of her people.

Online rules these days, but...

Today, we are in a computerized age where most of our activities are online related whether directly or indirectly. Due to this glaring fact, unscrupulous people are taking full advantage to extort money illegally from unsuspecting victims via online means.

In Nigeria, her unemployed youths especially, have taken it up a notch and do not look like stopping anytime soon. They're basically everywhere in recent times and are very hard to miss, so much so that if one is not extremely careful and witty, you might fall victim and lose a considerable amount of money.

Popularly known as yahoo-yahoo, the hardworking and struggling ones usually are the most liable to fall into this trap of buying cars from yahoo boys. This is since the deals put forward by scammers are very eye-catching and most times too good to be true. These crooks take advantage of the fact that most Nigerians would not hesitate to grab any financially profitable opportunity at any given time due to their ailing pockets and longing for a better life.


Good car deals exist online, but so do some really bad ones

Not all online deals are scams

All these, however, do not serve as criteria for judging every Nigerian as guilty of such vices as scamming. There are still many people making an honest living online and staying clear of these dishonest practices.

Such holds true for salesmen and women involved in car dealership companies and auto online sites. Trustworthy car dealers are not difficult to find. However, to avoid being scammed by the select few dishonest salespersons one might come across online, you would do well to take note of certain signs.


Don't be too excited with your new car not to examine things well

These signs will help you zero in on those trustworthy online sites and dealers.

How to spot a trusted car dealer

1. Age

How old has that dealership been in business? Since scammers must frequently change their websites to avoid security agents, a good sign is meeting a site that has been long in business. Not to say all new sites are bad, but a site that has been in business only a few months or weeks is cause for caution.


An auto site like Naijauto is long proven to be legit. This is a good sign

2. Positive reviews and testimonials

Car dealerships' online reviews are usually an important aspect when it comes to figuring out if a particular sales company is trustworthy. These reviews and testimonials are written by customers who have had the chance to test the products made available by these car dealers.

Hence, reviews are either written to praise the products on offer or to make complaints. To avoid making the mistake of buying what might be detrimental to you in the future it's best to read reviews on dealership sites first. When positive reviews outweigh the negatives by a huge margin, it's usually a sign that the car dealership is trustworthy.

3. Trying too hard or being pushy

A car dealership with a good and respectable reputation usually allows such a reputation to speak for itself. Such a business will try as little as possible to coerce you into buying their products.

A car dealer who tries too hard to win your trust while bad-mouthing his competition is not to be trusted and possibly doesn't merit your confidence. He/she should want you to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible before making a deal so as to avoid you rushing into decisions that you might come to regret in the future.

4. Reliable ads and information

Some bad car salespersons try to attract customers by baiting them with an attractive ad that doesn't really show the true state of their products. They could lie about things like features equipped in the car, the price, or even its availability online.

They then show something entirely different when a customer comes to make a purchase. A trustworthy car dealer will always be honest about what he has on offer and what he doesn't have regardless of the consequences. So, when you see a site that matches what is on-ground with its ads, you can know to trust it more.


It might be too good to be true- literally

5. They respond positively to questions

All great online sites are ready to listen to you- no matter what you have to say. There is a popular saying that 'a customer is always right'. Whether you are a young mother looking for a car for her kids or looking for the best Mercedes-Benz car for a Nigerian slay queen, you have a right to be treated courteously.

One should watch out for car dealers who are not inclined to treat your opinions as important or relevant or are not willing to respect you and respond positively to your inquiries. It's time to vacate the premises whenever a car dealer starts to show one or more of the following attitudes:

  • Repetitively ignoring your requests.
  • Talking over you instead of to you.
  • Making complaints as to the number of questions you're asking or completely avoiding them.
  • Not giving sincere and straightforward answers to your inquiries.

Any salesperson that exhibits these characteristics does not care about your opinions and has little regard for your interests. Therefore, it's not ideal to continue dealing with such. Rather you should leave and find a more responsive and customer friendly car dealer.

6. Test driving

If you're interested in buying a vehicle but you're not allowed to test drive the car of your choice, it usually is a warning sign that something is wrong with the vehicle interior-wise.

It might be that the exterior has been well polished thereby making the car appear sound and functional. However, a book is not to be judged by its cover, and you might be shocked by what you find under the hood of the car (the engine and so on).

Make sure you give the engine, transmission, suspension, and mileage a good inspection so you don't become another statistic of mileage scams in Nigeria

So, you're advised to test-drive any car you're willing to buy straight from the showroom before taking it away. Any good online company will have a provision for that.

Watch the video below to know more.

Video: 7 Car Scams You Shouldn’t Fall For


A car dealer's reputation precedes him/her and is key to figuring out if he/she is an honest or dishonest individual. Commonly, in Nigeria, 'nothing goes for nothing' as they say, so when you're offered something that looks too good to be true, it is worth double-checking.

Hopefully, you now know how to spot a trusted car dealer and these few signs will guide you in making the right choices when next you plan on doing business with a car dealer.

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>>> Enjoyed this buying tip? More buying and selling advice here

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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