7 Tips for Buying a Used Car in Nigeria

There are lots of uncertainties with the purchase of fairly used cars. A lot of folks have bought the wrong cars because of their ignorance. To avoid the pain that comes with buying a bad car, the ability to accurately examine a fairly used car before purchasing it is vital skill every potential car owner should have. This is because only very few Nigerians can actually afford to get brand new cars when they buy their first cars.

This article contains 7 tips to help you buy the an awesome used car in Nigeria the first time and they are:

Inspect the Tires

The state of a car’s tires have a lot to say about it. A knowledge of how the appearance of tires is related to the age of the car can help you avoid cars with rolled back odometers. This is because ideally, tokunbo cars that have not been used for long should still have their new tires. While looking out for the quality of tires used by a car, it is equally important to notice any difference in the type of tires. This is because prior to making any changes, all the four tires of a car are supposed to be exactly the same.

Just by looking at the tires of a vehicle, you can tell if it has been used roughly. When a car has been continuously driven by a rough driver, the outside shoulders of the front tire tend to wear out faster than other parts of the tire. Also if the tires appear cupped and appear to be unequally worn-out along the circumference of the thread, it is a strong indication of some problems. This problems could either be related to the brakes, steering or suspensions.

If the depth of the tire is not up to 1/6 inch, then the tire can be considered worn out. This simply means the car might not be too new even if the seller claims so.

Look Out for Cosmetic Flaws

The fact that a car does not look sharp and has a couple of scratches can be overlooked when buying a tokunbo car in Nigeria. However, the presence of rust on any part of the car is not a good sign.

Never forget to look out for rust at the car’s wheel wells, the bottom of the doors and the rocker panels under the doors. An appearance of rust means you should either forget about buying the car or beat down the price drastically.

It might not seem reasonable to beat down the price of the car. However, if you want to get a fair deal, then that should be done. The reason for doing this is because you will end up spending a lot on fixing the rusted areas of the car. This could lead to you spending way out of your budget.

Furthermore, look out for loose hinges on the car’s doors. Pay special attention to the driver’s doors. To do this, calmly open and let go of the doors. If the hinges of the doors are loose, then that is a sign that the car has been used for a really long time or it was not properly maintained.

Look Out for Odours

The smell that welcomes you when you open the door of a car has a lot to say about how healthy the car is. If you are welcomed with a mouldy or musty smell then there are chances that the car has water leaks. To confirm if the car is not water proof, take away the floor mats and check the car carpet. Beyond the musty or mouldy smell that some cars possess, there could be other smells like the smell of smoke which could indicate the car was used by a smoker. Both musty smells and the smell of smoke in a car are difficult to remove.  If you are not very comfortable with these smells, you might not want to buy such car.

Check What Fluids Look Like

This check is one of the most vital checks that can be done when buying a car. When carrying out this check, first thing to do is check the colour of the engine oil. The colour of the engine oil is a strong determinant of the state of the car’s engine. Usually, the colour of averagely old and okay engine oil is either black or brown. If the engine oil has the brown shade of honey, then it is most likely a very recent one.

Signs of drops of water on the stick dipped into the engine oil could mean the engine block has cracked or there is an issue with the gasket. Any of these issues should not be taken lightly because they are both very serious problems.

Also have a look at the transmission fluid. If it appears pink in colour and smells like oil, then it is a good sign. However, if the transmission fluid has a brown appearance, then these might be a reason not to buy this car.

Get it Diagnosed

After carrying out all the routine checks that you are aware of, there is still one more thing to do. The last thing to be done is to take this car to a diagnostic center to have it diagnosed by a specialist. This will be more efficient if this diagnosis is done with the use of computerized devices. Never buy a used car without getting expert advice from a car specialist or mechanic.

Although most car dealers might not be exactly comfortable with their cars leaving their presence without being bought. This can be remedied by having the car dealer accompany you to the diagnostic center.

Check the Radiator

Have a look at the reservoir that is linked to the radiator. The coolant contained in it should be green or orange. Any deviation from this towards a rusty or milky colour is a negative deviation from the norm.

Examine the Trunk

Carefully examine the trunk of the car for any signs of wetness. If the trunk smells or appears wet, it means the trunk is not water tight. This point should be used strongly in your negotiation process.

There are a lot of other things to look out for when buying a car that are not stated here. To ensure you get value for your money, irrespective of your knowledge level, always go with a mechanic to inspect any car you are interested in buying.

Do you have any great tip for buying used cars in Nigeria? Share with us in the comments section!

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