There is a quote on the Mortal Kombat X game, just before the main game loads. It goes like this:
There is no knowledge that is not power.
Ok, I like playing games, soccer especially. But that is a story for another day.
Every bit of information that you know will empower you. It can help you save more or buy the best at a lesser price.
Every bit of information you lack can be used against you. It was true for Mortal Kombat and it is true for all aspects of life, including the world of automobiles.
Speaking of which, let us get back to automobiles.
I know you have probably heard about different things to check for when you want to purchase a vehicle. Well, this article is not about to repeat any of those. We would be emphasizing other tips that are often overlooked and shed more light on some areas that you might not even be aware of.
Without much further ado, let us move!
The general things which most people look for when buying cars in Nigeria include the brand, the fuel economy, reliability, interior, and exterior design and, of course, the price.
In addition, you should check for the following:
1. The model year and generation of the car:
The model and the generation of the car can give you an edge when bargaining. I would illustrate this point with a Toyota Sienna, specifically, the 2010 model. You should know a lot about this car by the way if you have been reading my articles and if you don’t, well, I think you should check it out here.
So, the 2010 model belongs to the second generation essentially. (Although the 2011 model was designed in 2010). But the point is that there is hardly any difference between a 2010 and 2009 model of the Sienna. Yet, some places would sell the 2010 at a higher price, because it is 2010!
If you go for a 2009 model, you would not be missing any major benefits and you would still be driving a very good vehicle.
On the flip side, instead of buying a 2009 model, you could add some money and buy the 2010, for the sake of driving one that is more recent.
Actually, the 2009/2010 locally used models are almost the same price (1.4 – 2.9 million naira) in Nigeria.
The Toyota Sienna 2010 is the last of its generation
So, based on the generation, you can buy a car at a cheaper price, usually when it is the last member of a particular generation. If you are buying the first member of a new generation, then you know there would be a jump in price when compared to the previous years. A locally used 2011 sienna goes for 2.9 – 3.5 million naira in Nigeria.
Do you get it?
>>> You might also like to read: Top 10 best cars of 2019 & their models for sale in Nigeria
2. Take note of redesigns:
Within the same generation, some cars might undergo a facelift. When this happens, the car price would usually shift. For instance, the third generation of the Sienna, between 2011 and now has undergone so many changes that you might find it difficult to place them in the same generation. There was a facelift in 2018, when Toyota decided to widen the grille and added some other features.
You have to take note of redesigns and use them to your advantage.
The redesigned 2011 Toyota Sienna
3. Trim levels:
Trim levels affect the prices of cars. If you are not aware of it, you might pay more for less. For instance, a base trim level might cost significantly lower than an intermediate trim level, but the difference in specs might not be so wide. In such a situation, you can save more and buy the lower trim. Interestingly, some of these companies offer some of the standard features on higher trims as options or packages on lower trims, and doing this sometimes can be cheaper. You might be surprised how much you get to save when you use the knowledge of your trim levels very well. If you need to know more about car trim levels, already wrote about it here.
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While I would not be recommending any dealer to you, I can tell you that if you get a good car dealer, you would definitely get quality cars at better and reasonable prices. So, really make your research well before deciding to get your car at any place. A good dealer is equivalent to less stress. Also, watch out for promos and offers that the dealers offer, especially during some special periods of the year. You might get some discounts. Good car dealers would also offer you a warranty on their cars and even maintenance services for a specified period. Do not go about buying cars from random, unknown people so you would not be scammed!
Obi Okeke - Super dealer
All these things as you would have noticed are deeper stuff if you want to be really detailed in buying your vehicle. Nigerians would call it ‘deep.’
One of the advantages of knowing a lot about all this is that you would sound like a pro when you want to buy your car. The seller would not find it easy if they are trying to play games with you. Understanding the model and generation would also help you know what to expect in terms of features and options in each car. So, you would know what to expect in a base trim of the Toyota sienna we discussed above. If you do not find them, you can actually ask the dealer why they are missing.
These things discussed would, however, not take the place of things like the price, the fuel efficiency and other things that we mentioned at the beginning of the article, as well as those other things which were not mentioned.
In the end, the two most important things are the two Ps:
Your pocket and your preference.
The fact is that there is too much permutation and combination when resources are limited.
It is what it is!
But then, we would keep ‘permutating’ and combining until we can buy with our eyes closed.
Until then, let us know what we should know before we buy our cars!