Buying a car, especially a first car can be such a challenging task with so many factors to consider. Buying a used Nigerian car requires lots of thought and careful planning. Being equipped with the right information can be very profitable when buying Nigerian used cars.
Buying used cars online requires additional steps to ensure that you are getting the best deal and are not being overcharged. A used car is a vehicle that has been driven and owned by someone else. The price of used cars in Nigeria varies according to their manufacture year, brand, mileage, engine and how neat the car is in general. A good used car strikes a balance among four factors: its age, miles driven, maintenance history and price.
Things to Consider when Buying Used Cars
Are you thinking of buying a Nigerian used car? Here are some of the factors to consider ;
- Research your Prospective Car
Make a list of the brands and models of the car you want to buy, compare prices. It is advisable to have just more than one brand or model in mind to have better options. Also consider popular car brands in Nigeria especially cars that have long durability and have good second hand value like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen.
- Have a Budget
Having a budget will help you avoid overspending or under spending as well as help narrow your choices to a specific range. Besides, the amount you are willing to spend on buying a used car is dependent on the car brand and model you would purchase finally.
- Figure Out Where You Want to Buy Your Car
There are a lot of car dealers available both online and offline. It is very important to do a thorough research to help you make the right choice of where to buy your car. Don’t get carried away by offers but also check out for the credibility of the car dealers both online and offline.
- Availability of Spare Parts
When considering buy a car; both new and used, the availability of the spare parts cannot be overemphasised. Go for cars that are popular in Nigeria and have spare parts readily available in the market. Car brands in Nigeria with the cheapest spare parts are Toyota and Honda.
- Fuel Consumption
Some cars consume more fuel compared to other cars and this is due to their make or brand. The fuel consumption should be another important factor to consider when choosing a car to buy. Some brands like Toyota have shown to economise fuel consumption.
- The Condition of the Roads
The state of the road where you live is another factor to consider when buying a car; whether new or used. While you may be tempted to choose a car because of its aesthetics, you should not forget the state of the road where you live and also where you will be using the car to avoid unnecessary expenses and visits to the mechanic.
What to Look out for when Buying Nigerian Used Cars
Now that you have decided the car you want to buy, here are some of the things to check before purchasing a Nigerian used car;
- Check the Engine of the Car
Open the bonnet of the car and look at the physical appearance of the engine. A dirty engine and hood surrounding indicates that the engine that is lacking some basic maintenance with the possibility of sludge build-up in the engine.
- Observe the Texture and Colour of the Oil
A thick and very dark coloured oil means the engine is not serviced as and when due with the proper oil specification and there may be sludge inside the engine. A golden dark brown colour indicates that the engine is well maintained. A clear oil should be a red flag alert indicating that he engine has just been serviced prior to your inspection and may be leaking oil from several spots – “Open your eyes enter market”
- Check the Tyres
Check the condition of the tyres, observe the tread depth and side-wall damage. Tyres with uneven wear could indicate bad alignment. The tyres should be worn evenly and they should match.
- Check Under the Car
Check beneath the car and under the bonnet for rust and any signs to check if the car has been in an accident. Inspect the exhaust system and the undercarriage for rust and damage. Look for any black spots on the exhaust system because this can indicate leaking. Take some time to inspect the frame or unibody for damage and rust
- Check the Registration Document
Ask the seller to show you the car’s registration document, which gives details of the registered keeper and all previous keepers.
- Match up the VIN
When viewing a used car, look for its VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), which can usually be found at the base of the windscreen, under the bonnet, and stamped into the framework under the carpet by the driver’s seat. Make sure it matches the VIN found in the registration document.
- Test Drive and Inspect the Car
Test driving the car before buying it allows you to check the condition of the car. Listen to the sound of the car when it runs, observe jerks or bumps when shifting through the gears. Pay attention to the vibrations of the steering wheel as you increase speed. Strange noises, squeals, or a tendency to pull one direction or the other could point to worn and possibly dangerous brake parts. A thorough vehicle inspection can shed light on potential problems or tell you whether the car has been in an accident.
Negotiate to a reasonable price and close the deal when you are satisfied with all the necessary checks and inspection that has been carried out on the car.
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