Buying a used car overseas can be hit-or-miss, to say the least. If you’re a United States buyer purchasing in Nigeria (or vice-versa), it’s important to think of transporting a vehicle through Nigerian customs and how that works for commercial equipment and custom commodities. The buying process can be tricky and, frankly, overwhelming at times. That’s why it’s important to know a few helpful tips for buying overseas.
Protect your information
You may think this should go without saying but you’d be surprised by how easy it is to slip up on overseas car purchases. For example, if you’re browsing a dealership website and don’t know the purpose of a page, you may find that it’s attempting to crack your phone password or serve you suspicious ad choices.
There are a few things to keep an eye out for when purchasing an overseas vehicle. For instance, if you notice that your web traffic is being redirected to, say, pages hosted in Lagos or Brasil, the site you’re using may be bouncing your traffic around to get away with something shady. Also, if you suddenly notice your site language is being automatically changed to Español, Français, or Português while you’re in the middle of a transaction, you may be on a suspicious site.
On top of this, while most dealer sites will ask you to make a new account when going through with a purchase, they shouldn’t ask for any form of payment information without directing you to an encrypted page. Otherwise, your new account info, as well as your credit card data, may be at risk.
To verify a site is quality, do a bit of background research on its reputation. Are they well-liked by their previous and current customers? Are there any immediate red flags in a quick Google search? Or do they seem reputable and well-worth your business? Since many overseas purchases are conducted online, you always want to take extra steps to secure your information.
Try the auction sites
If you’re struggling to find a regular dealership or motor vehicle company site, you may want to try a car auction in Nigeria. Going through the auction board can help you find a steal of a used car without worrying about your information being compromised. This is especially true if you know how to be competitive with your bids. A Nigeria Customs car auction from the right auction board can be a great way to get a quality product in a snap.
You may be able to find cars and sellers that are endorsed by the Nigerian Customs Service board, which may not be your best bet as your products may not be protected by warranties, quality guarantees, and shipping insurance. Since your vehicle will be taking quite a lengthy overseas trip, it’s especially important to make sure that your investment is well-protected and will show up in one piece.
Always read through an auction house’s webpage very thoroughly before you whip out your credit card. Even if you’ve previously purchased overseas before, each experience can vary pretty drastically. Check if they offer quality assurances in any capacity. If a website doesn’t, it’s probably not the most reputable auction house. Assurances, extended warranties, and verification of shipping insurance can all help you when it’s time to get your car through Nigerian customs.
With auctions—especially of the used-car variety—you need to exercise a fair amount of patience. Don’t get too attached to any one vehicle before you know it’s being shipped. Instead, don’t be afraid to shop around, haggle, and negotiate. It can help you get the perfect auction vehicle at a fraction of its original purchase price. The early bird may get the worm, but the patient bird gets the car from overseas.