Land is a major medium of transportation in Nigeria. There are other mediums like air and water, but these other channels of transportation are not the most used or patronized. I couldn’t help taking notice of the number of cars that ply our roads daily, increasing by the hour.
With the traffic laws that have placed a ban on motor bikes (A.K.A Okada) and the ripple effect it has on the masses, car sales have been on the increase; used cars to be precise. It’s very normal for humans to look at the next available means of survival; we are all wired to adapt to change, it’s just natural to cling to comfort. This question hits my mind, why used cars?
Used cars are cheaper (purchasing price) compared to brand new cars. Insurance is also cheaper on used cars, and used cars are more dependable than ever before compared to the last decades. In addition, they offer bigger bargains (prices are not fixed so bargaining power can help one save money).
In Nigeria today there are lots of car dealers across the 36 states. When purchasing a used car these are some basic tips you should know; the year, make, model, mileage, transmission (whether it’s an automatic or manual) of the car. This can be done off and online, depending on the car dealer.
You will also find the following tips below very vital.
Tips on how to buy used cars in Nigeria.
Research is essential, it gives one an idea of what is out there (in the car market). It’s important to have a thorough look at what’s out there before buying a used car. Check the retail price of the car you intend to buy online to get an idea of a model’s current market price. You can check local newspapers or visit various car dealer shops to confirm this in person. A lot of people don’t really do background checks before a purchase is made, this is where the following come into play- the brand (make), model and transmission (Manual or Automatic). Also what is the brand known for? Is it durability, efficiency, luxury or fuel economy?
2. Set a Budget
Drafting a budget out is as important as any other tip mentioned. Budget includes the following; cost of the car, registration, insurance and general car maintenance cost
. Your budget determines the kind of car and what purpose it stands for- is it going to be used for business or private?
3. Find your car choice
This could be very demanding because it entails a lot of details, like car location. In Nigeria we have over 35 states, so location is essential when buying a used car because nearness to the source of market helps one to access the model, age and general state of the car including its present condition. Seeing what you are buying first hand creates a room for choice and other preference that follows. You can find cars by body type, make or price-it all depends on your taste, the one that suits you most.
4. Contact a dealer
If you check the car segment on www.connectnigeria.com
you will find number and addresses of car dealers depending on the car choice you must have selected. So why delay? Reach out, call, make lots of enquiries about the car of your choice, ask of the date of manufacture, state and general condition of the car. After this questions and answer session, book an appointment with his/her car shop.
5. Verify the V.I.N (Vehicle Identification Number)
Ask for the V.I.N and do a little background check to know if the car has some illegalities, was stolen or has been impounded. The V.I.N
helps one to see the history of the car, so ask your dealer for it.
6. General inspection and test drive
This aspect is also key, general inspection makes you see the state of the car and whether it’s in a perfect condition (the bonnet, interior, the engine, tyres, underneath the car, bumper, fender etc). A test drive is important, if you can’t drive, take an expert along (a mechanic preferably), someone that has a wide knowledge of cars. A test drive is the real deal; it brings the car to life. Drive on as many different roads as possible, use all the gears if it’s a manual car, and check the gear change to see if the transmission is fluid. So from transition you can pass your judgment and conclude-to buy or not to buy?
7. The 3P’s (Price, Payment and Paperwork)
One of the benefits I emphasised in buying a used car is bargains; the prices are not fixed, so bargaining skills come into play here- negotiate well- as long as it’s not fixed you can bargain to favour your budget. Payment is very sensitive, trust is very key when it comes to business. As for me cash won’t be advisable, electronic transfer in our modern day is always the best, because before payment verification of account name will be done which will reflect dealer’s business name and all that follows. Do not pay for a car if the points mentioned above have not been checked. Confirm originality of papers, because these days original documents can be easily forged. Make sure you confirm originals of documents before you make any payment. Make sure all papers are up to date, because ignorance or negligence will lead to extra overhead cost.
Even though buying a new a car is always preferable, that state of the economic pushes one to settle for the closest option. Even then you can still make the best of it- be prudent, apply these tips and you will definitely get a good deal.
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This article was first published on 6th December 2012 and updated on December 11th, 2012 at 7:30 pm