We all look forward to buying a car someday. While many would prefer to buy a brand new car, the truth is the cost of a brand new car can be neck-breaking. This is a major reason why a used car is always a welcomed option. Now, don’t feel bad, you can get used cars of very high quality especially if it’s foreign used or what Nigerians call ‘Tokunbo‘. Buying your first used car can be a very exciting and daunting experience. You definitely need all the guidance and help you can get. This is why carmart.ng put this article together for you, to give you a useful guide you can always refer back to when buying your very first used car:

Decide The Type Of Car You Need

The world is replete with different models and makes of cars. The first thing you need to do when buying your first car is to decide on the type that meets your need. Do you have a family? How large is your family? Is the car for personal use or public transport? You can choose from an SUV, a sedan, a hatchback or coupe etc; however, the golden rule is to pick a car that will meet your needs.

Research extensively

A thorough research on the kind of car you want to buy will save you the danger of buying the wrong kind. This is where you need the internet and experienced colleagues. Read up on customer reviews, expert reviews about the car you want to buy. Be wary of cars that have negative reviews, high rate of recalls or inadequate safety features.  Also, research well on the various car dealers near you and make a choice for a credible autodealer.


Buying a car is a huge purchase. Even though it’s a used car, the price can still be high. Although this is largely dependent on your taste in cars.  A good research will help you compare prices amongst various dealers to make you know which to decide on. Chances that you will find it at a lower cost is higher if you search wide enough. You don’t have to overextend yourself if you are low on savings or your income is unpredictable.

Check the vehicle records

It’s highly important you don’t skip this step. When it comes to used cars, you are not the first to own or ride it. This makes it essential to know the past records on the car to know if the car is right or wrong to buy. Usually, if you are buying from a standard car dealer, you ought to get a vehicle report that will show you the maintenance records, accident records, mileage and other important details on the car. You also get to know if the car has been involved in a flood or fire hazard before. However, if your dealer doesn’t give you a report, search out the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car and do a free online search to know the Vehicle history of the car.

Buying A Used Car For The First Time
Buying A Used Car For The First Time

Inspect the vehicle thoroughly

Inspection is a big deal when it comes to buying a used car for the first time. You should inspect the exterior and interior of the car. Check out for paints, watch out for leaks and cracks on the car. Inspect if all the features including tires, interior amenities like AC, touchscreen on the car are in good working condition. Doing a thorough inspection will save the stress of having to spend on maintenance after a while.

Test drive the car

Test-driving the car will help you uncover the likely faults that ordinary eye inspection will not cover. Test driving is a good way for you to determine the engine and transmission Health of your car. The fact that the engine looks all shiny does not make it effective. When selecting an engine you should consider the fuel efficiency and the weight of the engine. Check out for leaks and cracks in the engine. You can even cold-start the engine to know how effective it is in cold weather.

Also, ensure the car you want to buy has the kind of transmission you prefer. These days, automatic transmission is preferred to manual transmission. Inspect to see if the transmission changes gear smoothly, especially if you are opting for manual transmission.

Go a car with Warranty

A used car with warranty is preferable to one without. This is another reason buying from a credible car dealer is better. If the car develops fault during the period of the warranty, you can always return it to your car dealer.

Negotiate the price

If you are satisfied with everything you have found out about the car, it’s time to pay the money and take your ride home. Negotiate the price with you seller, go for a good deal and make payments.

Do the necessary paperwork

Once you have paid for your car, the next thing is to complete the paperwork which involves you getting all the necessary and legal documents to own the car and ride it on Nigerian roads. Most car dealers will help you with this process.


There you have it. Buying your first used car shouldn’t be a challenge anymore.

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1 Comment

  1. anuforo chukwuemeka Reply

    Enter your comment here.. my name is Emmanuel anuforo

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