Why you should not buy a supercar in Nigeria. This article highlights the problems that come with owning a supercar in Nigeria.
Supercars are the sexiest type of cars to own because of their beautiful aesthetics. Their small size and the unique design are always a perfect match for their powerful performance engines but just in case you don't know what a supercar is, this definition should help.
What is a supercar
A supercar is a high-performing street-legal sports car. Supercars are also called Exotic Cars because all supercars are very expensive compared to regular cars, which are a result of the high-quality materials used to build its interior and exterior. Some supercars are worth millions of dollars while most are hundreds of thousands of dollars. As we all know, Nigeria has a handful of wealthy individuals that can afford supercars 10 times over, so, yes, we have supercars in Nigeriawith the Ferrari and Lamborghini brands being the most popular brands. However, it's possible that the owners of these cars have a sad face behind their smile, so what are the struggles of owning a supercar in Nigeria?
A Lamborghini Aventador parked in Lagos
The struggles of owning a supercar in Nigeria
It is a thing to write about and that is why you are reading this today. All these struggles are what you have to know before placing a fortune on a supercar that you plan to drive in Nigeria.
1. Bank breaking custom duties
Nigeria has a very expensive custom levy rate on cars, both brand new and used. For brand new cars, you pay 70% of the cost price of the car after shipping it in for between $1000 - $5000 (₦360,000 - ₦1,800,000). A used Ferarri 458 costs around ₦78,000,000, customs duty in Nigeria plus tax will be over ₦30,000,000, which is just super extra. Now, imagine buying a brand new Bugatti Chiron at ₦1,095,000,000, the customs levy will be over 70% of this cost amount, and that's what I call a "crazy bill."
If the supercar you are importing in Nigeria is a surprise gift, the owner of the gift will probably see the car on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook even before you clear the car because it is very scarce in our country, so it is always like a precious stone that amazes onlookers.
Nigerians taking picture of a Lamborghini Urus being offloaded from a container at the port
The port workers will first have a photoshoot session with the car then post it all-around social media then you start to see a caption like "Bugatti supercar spotted in Nigeria" which can be annoying for some kind of low profile wealthy Nigerians.
You also have to know that, as a supercar owner in Nigeria, every time you roll out in your exotic car, you will attract more than half of the attention the President of Nigeria gets. However, there is a positive side to this attention. If you are seeking publicity with whatever you are doing, acquiring a supercar is a good place to start.
Have you ever wondered why in developed countries, there are three types of fuel for cars? Regular gas, Premium gas, and Unleaded gas, but in Nigeria, we have only one type for every gas station that sells automobile fuel.
A Lamborghini Aventador getting a gas refill in Lagos
Supercars have specifications of fuel to be used for the efficient operation of the drive train. In Nigeria, we have the only option of gas, except you mix additives to the fuel in the gas tank. This is the greatest cause of underperforming supercars in Nigeria. Last year at Autofest, popular OAP Daddy Freeze came to the event in a 2015 Audi R8 and it got a lot of complaints from car enthusiasts that the car was underperforming because of bad fuel.
Bas roads cannot be overemphasized when talking about supercars, This is Dino Melaye's greatest nightmare with his fleet of supercars. Supercars have very small ground clearance because of aesthetics and performance.
A 2015 SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz drove into my University campus some years ago and had to park around the gate because it could not go over the road bumps in the school just to tell you how close to the ground it was. Now, imagine that car surfing through typical Nigerian bad road conditionS that even regular sedan drivers are scared of. There is no way supercars can be lifted to counter this problem because the whole aesthetics of the car is lost. All supercars in Nigeria have a limit to areas they can get to which is not a major problem to the owners and this just means you can't commute daily with a supercar like an English businessman/woman living in Central London.
5. Quick service/maintenance is difficult
Servicing and maintaining a supercar in Nigeria comes at a very high price when last I checked. Very few automobile workshops have the technical know-how on how to service these high-end exotic cars because it is not common in their line of business. The workshops that offer supercar maintenance services charge a lot of Naira for it because it is an exclusive service; but here's the good news.
A Ferrari undergoing an Engine Overhaul in Lagos, Nigeria
As a supercar owner in Nigeria, you never get to push the car to its maximum potential in terms of driving time and engine performance so you will only service the car about once in a year. Where supercar maintenance gets out of hand is when you have to replace parts due to accidents or the owner's carelessness. There is no way you are getting that part in the Nigerian spare parts market like Ladipo . You will have to import it from dealers overseas. The waiting and searching time for these parts render your car useless because you don't want to push the car around in an incomplete form as it would be exposed to a higher risk of breaking down, except it's a part that is not among the drive train like broken lights or damaged body kit.
When you get tired of your supercar in Nigeria, finding a new home for it can be very difficult because of the few number of Nigerians that have some interest in acquiring supercars. Every Nigerian has its supercar living in their heads or phone gallery because it feels much better that way.
A Ferrari 488 beside a Toyota Corolla on a Nigerian road
The Corolla in the picture above has a better resale value than the red 488 Ferrari Supercar it is posing with. To sell your supercar, it has to be very affordable and it has to look very attractive because any suspected irregularity on the car by an observing potential buyer would be a red flag to him/her. I mean, nobody is trying to nurse a supercar problem in Nigeria that might be impossible to resolve without seeking help from an expert abroad.
In conclusion, supercars are very beautiful pieces of machines to own as a Nigerian because of the exclusivity you enjoy but unless you are ready for the six highlighted struggles of owning a supercar in Nigeria above, do not import one into the country.
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'.