Owning a car is what Nigerian households look forward to. But with the present economic situation in the country, very few households can afford a new car; hence they opt for alternatives by going for fairly used cars, popularly referred to as ‘Tokunbo’.

Inasmuch as these used cars are cheaper and could serve same purpose as new ones, it is paramount to consider these things before making that final deal for a used car.


  1. The car’s working condition

Beyond the new-looking appearance of a car, It is expedient to first consider the physical condition of a car in choosing the right used car. So, it’s advisable to have a reliable and experienced mechanic to look at it to ensure all its parts and components are working pretty well before negotiations.

Here’s what both a potential used car buyer and the professional mechanic should look out for;

  • Brakes and steering
  • Transmission and engine
  • Signs of rust
  • Oil and other leaks
  • Power and pick up during acceleration
  • Emissions
  • Suspension
  • Air filters, valves, etc.


2. Car Mileage

A car’s performance and integrity drops the longer it is used on the road. So, a car with 50,000 km on the odometer is expected to work more efficiently than the same model that already has been driven for about 100,000 km.

Knowing the mileage of a car gives an insight into the age of the car, it’s efficiency and usage.

Inasmuch as a car’s mileage could be altered by some, it’s always advisable to consider a its mileage before purchasing any used car.


3. Geographical location of the car

Cold and wet weather can affect the health of a car adversely. A used car that was left out in the elements will also be different from a car kept in a garage.


4. Previous usage

While lower miles might look great, if the car sat unused for most of its life, it could also need some serious maintenance.

If the car was used in a city for quick errands,  the wear on the brakes and tires will differ greatly from a car that was used to drive long distances or commercial purposes.


5. Previous Maintenance of the car

Knowing how well the previous owner(s) took care of a car in question will provide far more data than just what the mileage would. It’s important to always ask for previous maintenance records before considering any purchase. And in cases where there are no maintenance history available, ensure a reliable and trusted mechanic takes a critical look at it. Cars generally need checkups and servicing to stay healthy and perform optimally.