Apart from a house, a car is probably the most expensive thing owned by most families in Nigeria. Although a car is a luxury to some people, it is actually something that is needed by every Nigerian family. The fact that every family needs a car does not mean they can all afford it. Most people have however devised a good means of getting cars even if it might not be the car of their choice. This is done by buying fairly used cars popularly known as “tokunbo” cars in Nigeria.
To get the right tokunbo car in Nigeria, here are 15 factors you should put into consideration;
1. Your Financial State at the Time of Purchase
This is the very first thing that should be put into consideration before buying a tokunbo car in Nigeria. As far as buying a tokunbo car is concerned your budget goes beyond just the cost of buying the car. The cost of maintenance over time should also be considered.
Think about this for a minute. It is better to buy a Camry for 2 million than investing 1.7 million in a Mercedes-Benz. Although the initial price of the Camry might surpass that of the Benz, over time the cost of maintaining the Benz will surpass the cost of maintaining the Camry.
2. Put Insurance into Consideration
The cost of insuring a car should be considered before purchasing it. The higher the value of the car is, the higher the insurance fee will be. This comes into play because the newer a model, the higher the cost of insuring it. Therefore if you have enough cash to purchase a certain model of a car but will not be able to comfortably pay the insurance fee that comes with it, then you cannot truly afford it.
3. Consider the Price of the Car
Prior to getting a tokunbo car, it is expedient you carry out your research. This should be done in the area of price. Getting to know the likely price of the car you are interested in buying cannot be over- emphasized. There are sites available for doing this as against getting information by word of mouth.
This has the advantage of helping you avoid the trouble of having to buy a stolen product. It will also help you avoid dubious car dealers.
4. Consider the State of the Car
Getting to know the physical condition of a car is paramount in making the right car choice. While at this, ensure you are with an experienced and trusted mechanic. It is important this is done before engaging in negotiations. Do not get carried away by how neat the car is. It could just be a distraction from the real state of the car.
5. Consider the Reason the Owner is selling
You do not want to buy a car that you will not end up enjoying. Getting to know the reason the seller wants to sell the car will help you avoid buying a bad car.
6. Consider the Mileage of the Car
Getting to know the mileage of a car is the only way to know the true age of the car. Although many would consider the age of the car the number of years it has been used. However, that is not the exact way to know the age of a car. The ideal way to tell how old a car is in its mileage. The bigger the mileage then the older the car is. This is because the mileage of a car tells how much a car has really been used. Knowing this can get you to know how much the car is supposed to be sold for.
7. The Closest Alternative
When buying a tokunbo car, it is not a must you buy the exact car on your mind. You are free to Change plans when the price for the car you want to buy is not favorable. When you find yourself in this situation, you can go for a model of the car from the previous year or pick a car from a closely related brand.
Although your mind might be fixed on a particular car model, you have nothing to lose by back dating the year by one.
8. The Ignition System of the Car
This part of the car should be given careful attention. To a large extent, the condition of a car can be gotten by ascertained by turning on the ignition. This is because warning lights come on and go off immediately when the ignition of a car is turned on. If the lights on the dash board remain on while the car runs, it is a sign that something is not right with the car.
Some car dealers try to take away your attention from the dash board by covering the lights with a tape.
9. Consider How Long the Dealer Has Been Doing business
The longer a dealer has been doing business, the better. You might have to pay the dealer a visit if you need any form of help.
Dealers that have been around for up to ten years are most likely very established and will be available when you need them
10. The Car Transmission
The state of a car’s transmission is a vital determinant of its health, to get to know how the transmission functions, take the car for a test drive. If you are not an expert, ensure the car is driven by an expert. Do not fail to use the car on all gears if it is manual.
11. The Strength of the Engine
This can be ascertained by turning on the going on a short drive with the car. While at this turn on the air conditioner and push the car to its limits. Unnecessary vibrations mean the car is not in top shape and is not worth the price.
12. Lookout for Vehicle identification Number
With the V.I.N of a car, the history of the car can be ascertained. This said, always ask for the V.I.N of the car you are interested in buying. The V.I.N can help you know if the car you are about to buy was stolen or has any legal issues.
The popularity of the car to be bought should be considered. The more popular a car is on the road, the more likely it is a good one. Therefore if you have to make a choice between two cars that cost almost the same, the more popular car will definitely be a better choice.
14. Availability of Parts
Cars with available parts can be easily maintained. This should influence your choice of cars.
15. Testimony of previous buyers
To enable you buy a good car, getting reports from individuals that have bought cars from the dealer you are about to patronize should be gotten. Although one or two people might have negative reports as a result of their own negligence. However, when negative reports about a particular dealer becomes overwhelming, such reports should be considered.
There is no 100% guarantee that you will be completely satisfied with the car you buy. However, if you consider the right things, you can always almost get a car that almost satisfies you.