How to Buy A Used Car In Nigeria

With the increase of the naira against the dollar, buying a brand new car in Nigeria can be really expensive. People now resort to buy used cars a.k.a tokunbo cars. Although these used cars in Nigeria are cheaper than brand new cars, they still pose a great disadvantage to the buyer of such cheap cars.

One of such disadvantage of buying a fairly used car in Nigeria is that, it might have been stolen. And since not all are car experts, we recommend that you surf the internet on the characteristics of such cars, the model, mileage, durability of the car.

You might as well want to take a friend or a mechanic along with you so as to help access the used vehicle. Also request for the documents of such vehicle, and verify it before you purchase the car.


To buy a used car in Nigeria, below are things to check

  1. Check the Vehicle Identification Number to know the history of the vehicle and whether it is a stolen vehicle.
  2. Ask the seller permission to test run the vehicle at least for two days before you make payment.
  3. Make sure the papers of the vehicle are all original, intact and complete. Verify such documents (see below) before you transact.
  4. Ask the seller his or her reasons for selling the car.
  5. A thorough inspection of the used vehicle, the bonnet, engine, fender, bumper, tyres, paint and scratches on the vehicle. This is to ensure that the vehicle is in perfect condition before it is purchased.
  6. When inspecting the engine and fuel tank, check underneath the vehicle for leakages.
  7. We suggest the use of cheque rather than cash in making payment. If cheque is not available, you can wire the money through electronic transfer.
  8. Transact such dealings in a public open place with one or two witnesses present.
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If all these requirements are not met, do not buy the used car as it might backfire later in the future. Contact a car dealer and make enquiries about the used car before you purchase it.

Important Documents Needed When Buying Used Car

We don’t want you to buy an undocumented vehicle that could land you in trouble with the police for purchasing a stolen or smuggled car into the country. Here are 8 vital documents you should ask for when buying a Nigerian used car:


#1. The custom documents which must be fully stamped. Please make sure you check if all information corresponds like the name and car model. Make sure the vehicle documents are clear and not folded.

#2. The original copy of Computerized Motor Registration (CMR).

#3. Original copy of current insurance.

#4. Original Vehicle licence copy.

#5. Original copy of road worthiness certificate.

#6. The original copy of plate number allocation.

#7. Fully stamped original proof of ownership.

#8. Two printed and signed documents of change of ownership and the receipt of purchase from previous owner

If the car is tinted, then you would need to colect the tinted permit document including the police report of change of ownership/plate number/engine number/ chassis number (VIN). All these are very important because FRSC and the police can check such when you are driving.


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Nigerian Infopedia

Nigeria's number one online Information Hub


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  1. i came across a site called you can also check the latest stolen vehicles on this site and check before buying



    The rate citizens are buying used car this day is indeterminate and surprising. Not because of the economic melt down but mostly because to be able to save more money. Would take note of each of these steps if perhaps I will buy one in life.

  3. CarMan

    I’m considering buying a used Nigerian car. I want Ford Escape, there are a lot of models online for example here: . But i’m new in car buying and need some advices. What are the most important things i need to know about a car and check in it? Thanks for useful advices

    1. Its best you take along a trusted car dealer or a mechanic so as they would check the necessary things in the car before you purchase it

  4. haney

    run a port of trucks and cars sales but currently want to give them away at a reduced cost due to government restrictions on used age vehicles and also fed up paying garage parkaging fee on them interested contact info and enquiries teddslimitedoutlookdotcom

  5. Godwin Life

    So much appreciate your site info. But here is my question: WHAT MAY I DO HAVING BOUGHT A 1996 MODEL TOYOTA CAMRY THAT HAS NO CUSTOM PAPERS? PLEASE KINDLY REPLY. I AM Godwin.

  6. Festus

    Hi. Apart from jiji and OLX, which other site can I possibly buy a used car?

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