How To Be A Successful Car Dealer In Nigeria

How To Be A Successful Car Dealer In Nigeria
How To Be A Successful Car Dealer In Nigeria

To be a successful car dealer in Nigeria requires that you have the right kind of knowledge about car dealerships. In Nigeria, the number of car owners is on the Increase. In fact, certain families have more than two cars in their homes. This indicates that car dealership in Nigeria is a lucrative and profitable business, seeing you have a wide customer base to market and display your cars. A car dealership in Nigeria means buying automobiles from overseas at a cheap rate to sell at a profit in Nigeria. In this article, I will walk you through what you need to do and know to run a profitable car dealership business in Nigeria:

Table of Contents

Have a business plan

It is popularly said; failure to plan is planning to fail. Without a solid business plan, you won’t be able to run a profitable car dealership in Nigeria. Important questions that need to be answered in your business plan are things like; how much capital do I need to start, how many cars would I import or buy, whether will I sell new or used cars, the cost of garage and employees, how to market my cars to clients or customers, etc. Once you are able to create a viable business plan, then you are halfway through starting your own lucrative car dealership.


The next big question is about capital to finance your car dealership business. The truth is car business is capital intensive, especially in Nigeria considering the present Naira to Dollar exchange rate. In your business plan, you should have a plan on how you intend to raise capital. The size of your capital depends on how many cars you intend to start selling, whether new or used, the size of your garage, etc. You need a minimum of  3 million NGN as capital to start a profitable car dealership business in Nigeria. If you don’t have all the required capital at once, you can request a loan at the bank or get investors to invest in your car dealership business.

Type of dealership you want to run

In Nigeria, two types of dealerships are available to you. You can either be a wholesaler or a retailer- this is largely dependent on your capital base. Wholesalers are those who buy cars in large numbers and sell to other wholesalers or retailers. You need a top-level car dealership license to operate as a wholesaler in the car dealership business. Wholesale dealers have the advantage of buying cars at discounted prices directly from the manufacturers.

Retailers are those who sell cars directly to the public, in most instances, the price of cars at this level is usually more expensive. It’s up to you to decide which type of dealership you want to run- whether be a wholesaler or a retailer.

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Get your car dealership license

Without a license, you have no right to open your garage as a car dealer in Nigeria. Your car dealership license is your permit to sell cars and it makes your business legal. Other benefits of getting your car dealership license include having a franchise from a manufacturing company to sell their cars and registering on car auction sites that only accept certified car dealers.

The necessary steps to get your car dealership license varies from state to state; however, in general, you have to apply and make payments for the license. In some states such as Lagos State, a particular body (Motor Vehicle Administration Agency MVAA) mandated by the State law is in charge of issuing licenses to car dealers. If you are concerned about where to get your car dealer license in your state; the best place to begin your inquiry is any Federal Road Safety Commission office nearest to you.

Get a garage

You need a garage to display your cars for sale to potential clients and customers. In getting a garage, you need to be strategic- get a good plot of land at a befitting location where buyers can easily locate it. Make sure your garage is large enough. For security reasons, you can have CCTV cameras installed in showrooms and other locations in your garage to avoid theft.

Buy your cars

Now that you are certified and you have a garage, you can proceed to buy your cars. Remember, you can either be a dealer in new and/or used cars, the choice is yours to make. You can get cars at cheaper prices from International auction sites like If you may, you can buy your cars, especially used cars, from Cotonou or Benin republic at ridiculously cheap prices.

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Marketing and advertising

Advertising is very crucial to being a successful car dealer in Nigeria. The best place to market and advertise your business is online via top-selling car websites like to reach your target audience and convert sales. When doing your advertising and marketing, don’t forget to include your location, contact information, website, picture(s) of the car(s), and an honest description of the car.

Employ the needed number of staff

The number of staff you will require depends on how large your car dealership business will be. If you are just starting out, one or two staff should be enough.


The steps above provide a concise guideline you need to start and run a profitable car dealership business in Nigeria. Don’t hesitate to imbibe these steps if you are hoping to go into a car dealership.

Written by Blessing Afolabi

Blessing Afolabi is a writing enthusiast. She enjoys reading about science, leadership, and any other edifying materials. She's willing to go the extra mile in curating the right kind of content. When she's not writing, she's busy reading, chatting, or just hanging out with friends.

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