Research Tips

  • Decide the make, model and year of car you want to buy

  • Save cost?

    Buy a car based on the price without going the extra mile to ensure it is in top shape.

    Peace of mind?

    Buy a car that will guarantee peace of mind by going extra mile to ensure the car is in top shape without any known underlying issue.

  • Make enquiries from local dealers and get average price.

    Search online from local dealers to get average price.

    Search online from dealership oversea e.g., to get average price, then add dealer fees, shipping cost and estimated clearing cost in Nigeria to arrive at final average. This is just to serve as a guide in knowing the cost from source, as most dealers who ship cars to Nigeria get them through Auctions, which are way cheaper than buying from dealership.

  • Shop online or offline and narrow down your selected choices for inspection in terms of price and neatness (from posted photos in case of online)

  • Plan for an onsite inspection. Online inspection is good, but physical onsite inspection is way better.On the day inspection, conduct a 360o inspection.

    Here are some things to watch out for when conducting physical onsite inspection of your choice car:

    Checking the car exterior
    1. First and foremost, be sure the car is well parked on a plane surface, which gives you a general frame-view of the car. Also, make sure you arrive at the place of inspection with your own car scanner and a trusted mechanic/"autorewire". Trust us, you'll need the extra eyes and ears.
    2. Check the car exterior, especially the painting (full body spray) and watch out for signs of a repainting (part; dual tone), rust or body fillers. This could point a previous minor or major damage in the affected area.
    3. Let them open the trunk of the car and check from inside for any sign of impact. Sometimes depending on the severity of the impact, although a god job may be done on the outside, it may difficult getting a perfect work done on the inside.
    4. Repeat the above for the bonnet area. Also, watch out for engines screws and bolts. Usually you will notice a sort of paint mark on them if they’ve not been worked on. Also check for rusty or corroded pipes, worn out hoses etc, especially for the AC components. The neatness of the engine section can reveal mild or severe usage. Another thing to note here is if the entire headlamp (and rear lights) units have been changed as they signify the car was heavily accidented or suffered a lot of frontal collisions resulting to breakage & the need for a change
    5. Don't forget to check the engine oil, brake fluid, transmission oil etc for possible leakages or discoloration
    6. Do a quick check of the tyres to see if there is an even wear on them. Check the tire threading. In some cases, you may need to change the tyres, so need to factor this in your negotiation, supposing all other areas checks out well for you.
    7. Check the underneath of the car to be sure there is no over rusty exhaust pipes or damaged catalytic converters (for some cars).
    Checking the car interior
    1. Take a dive into the car and see if you can smell the "coffee". Maybe not “coffee” exactly, but there is a unique smell of a new car that you perceive when you get into a "Tokunbo" car whose interior is still as good as new
    2. In the case of fabric interior, check for any torn or soaked or stained fabric. This will let you know how the last owner really took care of the interior. In the case of leather, take time to look out for torn leather or worst case, a new leather cover for the interior.
    3. Also check the floor of the car. A soaked stained floor rug or signs of rust could be a pointer to a flood salvage car. So watch out for those minute details. Also, take note of the "kick plate" which is the floor panel just outside of the car when you open the doors. Most modern cars will come with a rubber or metal floor covering. Check to see if it's in place, removed or fitted with a counterfeit.
    4. Check all the car controls and nobs to be sure they are all present and functional.
    5. Check the odometer reading. Using the year of the car, you can calculate mileage per year. Although this may not really matter as most “Tokunbo” cars enjoy good road abroad, but it can still give you some negotiating leverage. Don't forget to test the seat belt by extending it as far as your arms can. Put them into the buckle & make sure you hear a "click" sound. Pull outward to make sure non comes off. If they're all in place & no seat belt warning lights come on, it means they're working fine.
    Take a test drive
    1. At this point, you can start the car engine, put on the AC and go on a test drive. While test driving, be sure not to put on any music so you can hear any abnormal sound that can emanate from the car while driving. Engage the transmission and see how easily it shifts into near gear level. A sloppy or jagged shift may point to a problematic transmission system. Test the brakes, listen to the shocks absorber sound, the steering arms when turning etc for any abnormal behaviour or sound.
    2. While the engine is on, take note of the dashboard for any computer related error codes or check engine indicator. This may not be a big deal, but at the same time, it could be a pointer to more serious underlying issues.
    As a final research tip, before you sign that cheque or make that transfer, get your car VIN (located by the side of the door or windshield) and MotoChekit! Do a Vehicle History Report (VHR) on our platform to show the usage of the car before it was exported to Nigeria.