7 secrets about used cars for sale in Nigeria car dealers never tell you


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Though car dealers might seem honest with you about the cars, there are still many secrets about used cars for sale in Nigeria they don't want to tell you!

Nigeria is a place where playing dubiously smart on people's loyalty and trust is seen as doing business. I am not saying it is right to share the secret of your business. It is very wrong when business owners withhold some important information that the client has a right to know about a transaction he is about to do.

I know you are wondering what Crank is up to today. Nigerian car dealers are one of the major culprits of this "playing smart" issue when it comes to business. I want to share with you today 7 secrets about used cars for sale in Nigeria car dealers would never tell you about. If you never ask, they will never let you know this important information.

You must find a way to get answers to the questions I would talk about if you don't want to end up getting scammed.


A good car dealer will tell you all the information you need to know 

I am not saying the car you will buy if you don't ask these questions won't work normally, but you will just later find out that you have been created in a way or more. I know I am not the only one that hates to feel regrets especially when money is involved. The only exception to these questions is if you are buying the car brand new.

So what are these important questions to ask your car dealer when buying cars from him/her?

7 secrets about used cars for sale in Nigeria you must always ask your car dealer

1. Why is the car up for sale? 

The reason why the car is up for sale is very important to you as a buyer. The answer to this question is very necessary when buying used cars for sale from anybody. 


A car that abnormally consumes fuel will trigger the owner to sell

If for example, there is a 2010 Toyota Camry for sale as second hand at ₦500,000. You should be very suspicious and find answers to why the owner is selling the car. Don't ask why the car is being sold that cheap, ask why the car is being sold at all. 

It makes sense if the owner is selling it off cause he/her needs money for Visa processing or needs money to buy another car. If the owner doesn't reveal why he/she is selling the car to you then I think you should not buy the car.

2. Was there any repair that went into the car before it was up for sale 

You should always request for the list of repairs that have gone into a used car you are about to buy in the last one year and it is Tokunbo, ask for the list of repairs it has gone through since it got shipped into Nigeria.

I know car dealers that take cars to different workshops to temporarily rectify cars they have for sale so that the buyer never notices there is a problem somewhere.

You should be more particular about this question when you are buying higher car brands like Audi, BMW, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and the likes because Nigerians seem to never have a good maintenance culture with these premium cars.

Imagine buying a Nigerian used 2015  BMW 7 Series from an average earning Nigerian that was gifted the car by his rich uncle. There is every possibility it wasn't well maintained. 

3. What was the function of the car in the former owner's hands 

Always request to know the major function of the car you are about to buy in the hands of the former owner.

Since the ban of  Okada and Keke in Lagos for example, you now see a lot of regular sedans and minivans like Sienna being used for shuttle services.

Cars used for shuttle services are already commercial cars and they spend the most time on the road.


Siennas are common cars for transportation in Nigeria

The wear and tear on cars like these are always more compared to a privately owned car. If you then come across a 2003 Toyota Sienna for sale, you would normally assume that the car was a family car in the hands of its former owner.

Very wrong assumption because there is every possibility it was a commercial car. 

Commercial cars are meant to be cheaper than privately owned cars and commercial cars have higher chances of developing faults regularly. Also, commercial cars have poorer second-hand value because a lot of people have come in contact with the car over a long period of time.  

4. Does the car have any criminal record?

This is a very tough answer to find but you can easily know this if the car is a Tokunbo car, not through the car seller anyway. However, it is very important when buying very expensive cars like Luxury/Supercars.

If you ask the person selling a car to you with a straight face if the car has a criminal record, he/she might give you an honest answer.

To find out if a Tokunbo has a criminal record, all you have to do is use a VIN checker to check the history of the car.


This car was stolen from Switzerland and taken to Ghana with a Nigerian plate

There was a case of a stolen Lamborghini that was imported to Ghana and it carried a Nigerian plate number. This car was tracked down and seized from the owner that already spent a lot of millions purchasing the car.

5. Did the car have a salvage title

There are laid down steps to follow when checking for Salvage cars in Nigeria. The Salvage car business is now booming in Nigeria but a lot of people are going about it the wrong way.


The BMW F10 with a salvage title, even if it gets repaired the right way you won't know

I say this every time; it is not a crime to sell/buy salvage Cars that have been properly fixed but it is a crime when the buyer doesn't know about the former salvage title the car has.

Always ask the car seller especially for Tokunbo cars if the car used to be salvage car that was repaired. 

Salvage cars are meant to be cheaper in the market so you need this question answered so that you don't overpay for the car you are buying.

6. What are the unresolved issues the car has?

Some cars just have unresolved issues that you need to know about before buying them. Some people even sell their cars because they don't know how to go about resolving the issue(s).

On Youtube, you will see people buy very expensive and valuable cars for a very cheap price because it has an unresolved issue. Some are always lucky to fix the issue(s) for way cheaper cost than what the former owner thought it would be.

Nigerian car sellers should emulate this behaviour too. This is why you should always ask about the issues making the former owner sell the car to you.

7. What are the aftermarket parts on this car?

There are some cars out there that are carrying engines and parts from other cars because the owner felt the need to just do that. In Nigeria, you will find some Nissan cars carrying BMW engine or engine parts.


This is a Honda with Momo steering

You need to always ask the car seller for all the aftermarket parts and modifications he/she has one the car from the ones the eyes can easily see to the ones that are not visible to anybody.

You just need this information in case a problem springs up, it will be easier to trace where the problem is coming from.

How to ask these questions?

Always ask these questions in between conversations so that the car dealer does not know what you are really trying to do. It will do you only enough good if you have all these answers anytime you want to buy a car. 


Now that you know 7 secrets about used cars for sale in Nigeria car dealers never tell you. You deserve to learn more about motoring in Nigeria from our website NAIJAUTO.COM.

At Naijauto.com we care about your knowledge and safety as a driver in Nigeria. You should see details on how to maintain every car brand in Nigeria from the common Toyota, Honda, Mazda to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and others.

>>> Stay tuned to Naijauto.com for more interesting car buying and selling tips like this brought to you by our auto experts.




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Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

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