What to check before buying a used car in Nigeria

What to check before buying a used car in Nigeria

Buying a used car is very tricky and challenging in Nigeria. You can’t always rely on the dealer’s perspective or their evaluation of the car’s worth. Until purchasing a used car in Nigeria, pay close attention to all body parts, engines, and tyres. While the vehicle may appear to be in excellent condition on the outside, there may be underlying engine issues.

When you purchase an old car, you have to strictly check on its condition to check whether it is in good shape to be used or not. When the car has a bad engine, the cost of fixing that problem may be higher than you ever imagined. So, it is recommended to check the car before making any last decisions to buy it, if you’re not sure how to inspect the car then hire a local mechanic. Here we bring you the important notes to check before buying a used car. Let’s begin!

  • Service records

When you buy an old car, you have to check all of that car’s service records in detail. Most car dealers don’t hold service records with them, but these are crucial things to decide whether this car is well maintained. If you have got the service reports with you when buying a used car, pay critical attention to oil changes and the mileage.

When you pay attention to the oil changes, you will get a clear idea to decide whether your car has frequent oil changes or not. If your car has used up a lot of mileage than average, the engine may no longer be in perfect condition. On average, a car should use around 12,000 miles per year. Also, check if there are any belt replacements. Belts have to be replaced in between 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

  • Make sure to cold start a used car before buying it.

Most dealers usually get into the cars, and they voluntarily start the car before you. They make sure that the car is smoothly functioning. But should you only rely on their words? No, you shouldn’t! You have to start the car cold by yourself. That is the only method to find out any engine problems by yourself.

When starting the car cold, you can feel any engine problems in the car. Also, pay high attention to the color of smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes, the battery status, and so on. When these are not in satisfactory conditions, the car might have some underlying issues.

  • Engine sound

You have to attentively listen to the sound of the car’s engine. In a used car, the engine shouldn’t be as sound as a brand-new car, but you should not hear any clanks or grinding engine sound. If the engine is emitting a bad sound, then there may be an underlying problem, and it proves your car’s engine was poorly maintained. So, listen attentively to the engine sound before you try to buy the old car.

  • Always check under the car’s hood.

You have to check carefully on your used car’s engine before you take a test drive. Please don’t do it by only using the daylight. To find out every tiny detail, make sure to use a light source like a torch. Then check carefully on it by switching on the parking brake and transmit at the park.

Sometimes your engine parts will look shiny and well cleaned. That is because dealers are cleaning them before sell. But although there is a new looked engine, there are still some methods to find the bad on it as follows.

  • Check whether your engine parts have sloppy instances.
    • Find if there are any leaks available within the engine (some oil links may not be visible until you thoroughly check them)
    • Check whether you feel any burning smell under the car’s hood. If there is a bad smell to handle, there is something wrong with that car engine.
    • Take a better look at the engine by turning off it and checking under the filler cap of oil
    • Check whether there is a low on oil levels in the engine
    • See if there are any modifications to the performance.


Buying a car is not easy. Compared to a brand new one, buying a used car is super tough. You have to check on so many factors in order to avoid wasting your money on a bad purchase. Keep these as facts in your mind before buying an old car in Nigeria. If you’re buying the used car for personal use and expect it to last over a long period of time, it is recommended to thoroughly inspect the vehicle yourself or hire a local professional mechanic. Search the Vehicles category in JaBazaar to find used cars for sale in Nigeria.

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