I know what you would say. “I am broke. Why would I be about buying a car?” If that is you, then maybe this not for you after all. Then again trekking is not a fate I wish for even those I hate so hear me out. First things first, buy a car, I mean a used one because statistically most Nigerians just cannot afford brand new drives so it makes sense to appeal to the majority here. Secondly, these tips are particular to the times we are in so do not fret when you see unfamiliar advice. So let us get started.
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Avoid Nigerian used vehicles
The only instance in which you should not listen to me on this is if you have a huge capacity for enduring hardship. If you are like me and like life being smooth, avoid those moving harbingers of pain and suffering. While there may be a few exceptions to this rule, Nigerian used vehicles are generally poorly used and poorly maintained. Bad roads mean you will be doing tire alignment regularly and your suspension will never respect your pocket. That asides, look at a driver you share the road with. Do drive like they are happy and fulfilled? While then would want to buy the vehicle with which they torment you?
Embrace popular brands
In so far as I said look to the foreign used car market, do well to look out for brands that you know are popular on Nigerian roads. Buick looks good but does Shaibu Mokaliki even know how to pronounce it let alone fix it? The guy learnt his trade with Hondas and Toyotas. Why stress him like that? Besides, you would probably have to import the spare parts when you run into trouble. If you can handle the stress and have the money, then go crazy. Otherwise, do not do it.
Beware your mechanic
There are very few car owners out there who would not tell you this of the bat. Nigerian mechanics have a way of turning you into a repeat customer. Take your car to one to fix one problem, they fix it and create ten more. We have accepted our fate but then if you have no idea what to do, ask your friends for recommendations. You will be needing a mechanic to inspect whatever car you are going for so you have to have one you that you trust. Some dealers may connive with your mechanic to swindle you so be careful.
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Don’t buy a Mercedes on a Toyota budget. It will end in tears. So what you buy must be on par with what you can afford to maintain. I don’t know who I am talking to but what you drive does not matter as much as you think.
Go for demos or loaner car
Demo or loaner cars are usually almost new but cost way less than the average used car in their range because they are those cars that customers test drive when new models are in short supply. Loaners are those cars you get to drive home when your car is being serviced.
Above all things shine your eyes and make sure you have money for the car. Don’t be like me that went inquiring about a car without money. There you have it. Thank me later or just laugh and move on.
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