Imported secondhand autos, sometimes known as Tokunbo vehicles, have become out of reach for most middle-class people. According to “The Guardian,” prices of Tokunbo and new cars in the country have tripled as a result of high clearing fees and processing, high duty, freight rate, security surcharges, insurance on Nigeria-bound cargoes, unfriendly ports environment, continuous border closures, and illegal charges by government agencies, which have now been exacerbated by the high exchange rate.
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According to a survey of current vehicle prices, the Toyota Camry 2004, which should normally sell for N1.6 million, now sells for between N1.9 million and N2.1 million; the Toyota Camry 1999/2001, which previously sold for N1.4 million, now costs N1.8 million; the Honda EOD, which previously sold for N1.4 million, now costs N1.9 million to N2 million; and the Toyota Corolla 04/05, which previously sold for N1.9 million, now costs between N2.4 million and N2.5 million.
Toyota Sienna 1999/2000 was previously priced at N1.3 million, but now sells for N1.8 million to N2 million; Toyota Corolla 09/10, which was previously priced at N2.4 million, is now priced at N3 million; Lexus 330 2005 is now priced at N2.4 million, up from N1.9 million, and Lexus 350 06/07 is now priced at N4 million, up from N3.5 million.
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In comparison, car prices in Benin Republic, Ghana, and Togo have stayed cheap and reasonable for typical income earners, which is why Nigerians go to these countries to buy cars.
Furthermore, Nigerian importers and foreigners divert their vessels to such countries because of the convenience of doing business in their ports, as well as the low clearance fees, freight rates, and insurance costs.