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Buying a used car in Nigeria directly from USA auctions

By Femi Amisu Updated: 05/08/2022 Posted: 09/26/2018

Buying a used car in Nigeria is no small feat considering the gimmicks some Nigerian car dealers employ to make a sale. Many Nigerians have had their dreams of an awesome first car shattered only discovering after they’ve parted with some money and the car starts malfunctioning, that the dealer lied, manipulated or hid critical information about the car’s actual state.

Some car dealers go as far as buying totaled or salvaged cars, fixing them up and passing them off as new or used cars; hiding the actual condition of the vehicle from potential buyers. Some favorite gimmicks employed in the Nigerian automobile space by dishonest car dealers include,

  • rewinding the car odometer from a higher mileage to a lower one leading the buyer to think they’re getting the car in a new state,
  • patching electrical problems caused by flooding at the car’s origin to make a sale till, the electrical system (a.c, power window, etc.) starts failing
  • masking dents or traces of accidents with a paint job and insisting that the car hasn’t been repainted (first body).

While it is possible to buy a used car in good condition in Nigeria. You should be ready to contend with the high cost of the vehicles as the dealers have to make a profit and in some cases would record profit margins as high as N500,000 – N700,000 on a car depending on the popularity of the car and how they source their vehicles. The profit alone is enough to buy a second car.

Further Read

So how can you buy a used car with accurate information about its condition and at a fraction of the retail cost?


Many car dealers get their cars at very cheap costs through auto auctions in the U.S. Buyers don’t know this and those that do know either don’t understand how it works or doesn’t have access to these auctions which are most times inaccessible and sometimes privately held.

For resale or personal use, here’s how the pros are buying a used car in Nigeria directly from USA auctions

1. Get access to the auction

Most of the vehicle auctions in the U.S are dealer-only auctions available to only licensed dealers meaning only a handful reputable auction experts and houses have access to them. By registering for free on Auto Auction Mall, you have access to view an inventory of over 150,000 car from these dealers only auctions and private auctions you wouldn’t have access to. You get to see pictures of the vehicle, its condition, and real odometer readings amongst other things.

You’ll discover that the starting bidding prices are low and in cases where you’d prefer to “Buy Now” the prices are at a fraction of the retail price from a regular dealer in Nigeria with comfort in the knowledge that you are getting the car as is free of shady manipulations.

2. Understand how it works

There are a few tactics and strategies experts apply to understand the value of a car and be able to bid the right amount, so they are able to get the sweetest deal possible and save thousands of dollars.

To make it easy for you to purchase cars from Nigeria in U.S. auctions, Auto Auction Mall provides auction specialists with years of vehicle auction experience to guide you through the process of getting your dream car. While you can “Buy Now” or bid by yourself if you wish to, you have the option to permit our auction specialist to bid on your behalf.

3. Review the vehicles

As you go through our inventory on, It is important to review as much information about the car as possible to understand the condition of the vehicle you want to purchase. Typical information you would see with every vehicle includes the state of the vehicle, the title of the car, odometer readings, “Buy Now” price if available, current or starting bid price, estimated auction fees and charges, location, and pictures.

By clicking on any of the cars in the search results, you will be able to access the full information including pictures as provided by the auction house for free so long as you have registered. Please remember that the vehicle information included with each car were published as received from the different auction houses and all vehicles are sold “as is.”

If you’d prefer a physical inspection before making up your mind about a vehicle, this is very welcome and can be arranged. Simply get in touch with us, and we’ll be more than happy to work out the details so that can happen.

4. Understand the costs

Asides from the actual cost of the car, some additional charges and fees will be paid once you have won a bid or successfully purchased a vehicle. Some are fixed and some vary depending on location and type of car.

Rest assured, there are no hidden charges whatsoever and Auto Auction Mall experts are available to advise you on possible total costs before making your vehicle purchase.

5. Shipping and clearance

Once you have purchased your car, you’ll need to ship it down to Nigeria. While you have the options of air and sea freight air freight is costly and we generally recommend sea freight. To make it easier, we’ve partnered with reputable shipping companies to make your vehicle purchase experience a seamless one.

Shipping comes in two forms, land and sea freight. The auction vehicles are not eligible to be driven on U.S roads having no valid license amongst other things. Because of this, the car has to be transported from the auction lot to the port. This is land freight. Sea freight, on the other hand, is the port to the port transportation of your vehicle.

Our shipping partners will generate quotes to advise you on the total costs and our auction specialists will be available to assist you with this every step of the way

6. Receive your car at your local port

After an average time frame of 8 weeks from the day full payment is made for your vehicle, your car will arrive at port in Apapa, Lagos.

The car titles and paperwork would have been sent to you in advance via FedEx, DHL or other reputable couriers. Using this, you can commence the local clearing process of your vehicle from Tin can port.

To make it easier, we have also partnered with local customs licensed clearing agents to create the process as stress-free as possible. Once your car has been shipped, we’ll notify you and connect you with the agents for further discussions. As part of our partnership, we have negotiated for lower rates with them and this will be passed on to you to save you more money.

Buying a car from U.S. auctions is an easy, stress-free and relatively long process. It may seem daunting at first but with our auction specialists, you’ll be in good hands. The joy of buying a car for up to N800,000 less than the regular retail price with no manipulations and gimmicks will make the time spent worth it.

Buying a used car in Nigeria? Visit Auto Auction Mall to register now. If you have further questions or need more clarification, contact our Nigerian representative Femi on 08025307997 or [email protected].

Further Read


Femi Amisu
Regional Director of Operations
Auto Auction Mall
p: +1.305.507.1641  m: 08025307997
w:  e: [email protected]