Buying a used car or tokunboh as it is fondly referred to in Nigeria comes with it’s pro’s and con’s, but to always be on the safer side, there are some basic things and features to watch out for before purchasing a used vehicle in Nigeria:
- The cars mileage: the average annual mileage for European and American cars is 10,000 miles per year, meaning that a car manufactured in 1999 and brought down to Nigeria is meant to read nothing less than 150,000 miles, anything less than this on the odometer will mean that the cars real mileage has been altered therefore false.
- The cars VIN: every car comes with a vehicle identification number (VIN) which enables the buyer to know the cars history, the real mileage of every vehicle can be known through the VIN Check. obviously Nigerians haven’t been paying much attention to vehicle histories hereby leading to purchase of faulty vehicles, some cars come faulty from uk or usa , some are faulty, some have been flooded while some are even cars that has history of accidents. Running a comprehensive VIN check before purchasing a car will safe buyers the stress of buying a faulty car.
- Be very observant, immediately you turn the key on (just simply by turning the key one stroke, no cranking sound yet and the engine isn’t working yet), make sure that all the images on the dashboard are lighted up. Why? Some Smart car sellers sometimes remove or tape over the bulbs, inside the dashboard, of the warning signs.
- Once the engine has been cranked and is running at idle, the person(s) in the vehicle must not feel any discernible vibration. If you feel any form of vibration, it’s either bad engine mounts/s, or bad transmission mount or the engine is misfiring.
- If the vehicle has an automatic transmission system, simply engage the gear with your foot firmly on the brake pedal, you must not feel any sudden shudder or jerking. It should be a smooth engagement with the vehicle simply trying to move in the direction (“D”forward and “R” backward) of the gear engaged.
- If all the above observations have been satisfactorily met, while the vehicle’s still running smoothly in idle, put on the AC (air conditioner). The needle on (or counter of) the RPM gauge must still remain at the same position, allowing for maximum of fifty, over or below (not up to a movement between two stroke marks of the RPM gauge). This is a good load test on the engine.
- Do not be deceived by the physical appearance of a vehicle alone; don’t make the car shiny body work the standard for your purchase of a used vehicle. Pay more attention to the above stated tips.