How to Buy a Car in Nigeria

by | Guides

May 10, 2022

Buying a car (whether new or old) in Nigeria follows the same process as in other countries, which involves researching the car (Deciding what type of car you want to buy), negotiating a fair price, taking a test drive, paying for the vehicle, and filling out the required paperwork.

This guide tells you everything you need to know about buying a car in Nigeria.

Do You Need A Car in Nigeria?

Even in Nigeria, owning a car is no longer considered an unimportant luxury. It is now recognized to be an important part of every working-class individual and family’s life. 

Of course, a car frees you from the stress of transportation; the queuing for buses, the hikes in prices caused by fluctuations in petrol and gas prices, the discomfort of having to share a bus or cab with several people. 

Are you buying your first car? Are you worried about whether to buy a new or used car in Nigeria? In this article, we’ll be addressing all of that to guide you on what to or not do.

New Or Used Car?

An established fact, new cars are generally more expensive than used cars. So, we know that you should get a used car if you do not earn much, and get a new car if you earn much. 

But if money is not so much of a concern, you should consider the following:

  • New cars offer you value for your money. They come with a factory warranty included in the car price. After purchase, the company takes off the responsibility of fixing and repairing from your shoulders for a couple of months or years to allow you to test run and vet the durability of the car.
  • Unlike used or tokunbo cars, new cars do not have a past. There is no need to worry about how the previous owner may have mishandled the vehicle; there is no need to check for faulty parts or fear of the car being stolen and resold. It’s brand new, and no reason for alarm.
  • Old cars are strong, and their parts are easily found and bought. Since they are usually cars of older models, a lot of mechanics are skilled in repairing them. You won’t have problems with getting the car fixed. 

Read: Where to Buy What in Lagos

Things To Check When Buying A Vehicle in Nigeria

The first thing to check is your budget or income. How much are you willing to pay for a car? It is a great idea to go over the list of car brands and models to find the one car that fits into your budget to save you from disappointment. 

Also, check the vehicle millage. And this is especially if you are getting a used car. Nigerians prefer tokunbo cars with low mileage, and for a good reason. 

Low millage tells that the individual can still enjoy the car for many years. A mileage of fewer than 60,000 miles is a good choice. 

Note: to be sure you’re not scammed with fake millage stats, visit AUTOCHECK on Google and input the car’s VIN to check the car’s history and mileage.

Inspect spots on the cars, too. It is good practice to visit the car dealer alongside a trusted mechanic to help you check for rust inspection and other car details to ensure you don’t buy a faulty vehicle.

Read: Top 15 Car Dealers in Nigeria

Documents Needed

Before buying a used car in Nigeria, you should affirm the authenticity of every document and shine your eyes.

The car dealer should provide you with the following documents in their original copies:

  • Computerized Motor Registration (CMR)
  • The plate number allocation
  • Roadworthiness papers
  • Police report papers
  • Duly stamped customs papers
  • Current insurance papers 
  • Vehicle License 
  • Two signed documents containing:

   (a) Change of ownership (b) Receipt of purchase from the previous owner

The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC may ask for any of these documents, and you must have all.

Buying A Vehicle in Nigeria

Having decided to buy a vehicle, the next question is, where in Nigeria do I go to buy a car?

You can either pay for your car at a go or buy a car using a loan or pay in monthly installments. 

If you want to buy a vehicle that allows you to pay in monthly installments, here is a list of car dealers you should consider:

1. Cheki

Cheki has a website where car buyers can search for different car models and brands. They offer a Cheki Finance system that covers car loans and car insurance and allows a car buyer to pay about 50% upfront as a deposit for the car. They get it delivered to you. In the next 12 months, you can pay in monthly installments.

2. Innoson Cars

Innoson cars allow you to purchase a car model that you can pay in monthly installments for over a year. Innoson cars have an auto finance scheme with Sterling and Access bank. You pay 25% required to Sterling bank and 27% needed to Access bank, and voila, you get your car delivered to you while you plan to pay in monthly installments within the next 36 months.

Registering The Vehicle

To register your new ride in Nigeria, visit the State Board of Internal Revenue near you.

Ensure to go with the necessary documents required by checking their website to find out the documents mentioned earlier. 

At the SBIR, you would be required to fill a copy of forms like Form B, Tax form, FRSC form, and plate number allocation form. After all the papers have been approved, you will be given a proof of ownership certificate and vehicle identification tag. 

Driving Your Vehicle

You have registered your vehicle, and you’re ready to drive around the town. However, the Nigerian Highway Code lists compulsory things to keep in your car for safety reasons.

  • A spare tyre
  • A torchlight
  • A first aid kit
  • A wheel spanner
  • Hydraulic
  • Water
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A spare fan belt
  • Transmission fluid

These are non-negotiable necessities to prevent and manage road accidents as a car owner.

Getting A Car Insurance

Every car owner needs financial protection to cover unexpected damages.

There are a couple of insurance companies to visit in Nigeria to insure your new car. 

To get your car insured in Nigeria, visit to get a list of insurance companies.

After that, go through the types of Auto Insurance. A popular type of insurance cover in Nigeria is the Third Party Auto Insurance which covers theft, accidental damage (either to your car or a third party’s property), fire, and possible death. 

Read: Do you need legal insurance in Nigeria?

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

By Allison

Allison is enthusiastic about finding information and sharing guides about Lagos. He also covers all exciting topics about Africa at Lonely Africa. He lives in Lagos with his wife Antje and cat Leo and loves fabric crafting, and watching TV in his spare time.

Read Next

List of Gynaecologists in Lagos

Having the best gynecologist conduct the necessary follow-ups and examinations for women planning for pregnancy and during the various pregnancy trimesters is critical to ensuring proper care during childbirth. Check out the list of the best gynaecologists in Lagos...

16 Ways to Experience Lagos Like a True Lagosian

Lagos is one of the most vibrant cities in Africa, full of life and energy. The city is known for its bustling streets, cultural diversity, and delicious food. Lagos has a unique culture, unlike any other city in the world. In this post, we provide you with insider...

12 Best Things to Do in Ikoyi, Lagos

Ikoyi might be small, but it is perfectly formed. The advantage of its compact size is that it's effortless to explore. The location is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Lagos, Nigeria. Located on Lagos Island, Ikoyi is a bustling, cosmopolitan area with a...

8 Best Things to Do in Victoria Island, Lagos

Victoria Island is a modern neighborhood located in Lagos, Nigeria. It is one of Lagos’s most prestigious places to live and visit. With its rich history and thrumming cultural scene, Victoria Island is one of Africa’s most vibrant locations. There are endless things...