Buyer Tips

Payment Issues: How it Affects Used Car Purchase and Importation To West Africa, Nigeria

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 08/17/2022

Payment issues in West Africa, Nigeria…


Making a wire payment in most countries is as simple as walking into the bank, filling out the required form, and it’s done!


Sadly, monetary policies in some countries make it a bit more complicated. Take Nigeria for example, where restrictive policies around USD cash transactions and paperwork requirements to transact globally are in place. 

That you want to import a vehicle, either as a dealer or individual, and have the money to pay for it, doesn’t necessarily mean you can get it. In some cases, uncertainty about payment as well as rapidly changing policies can lead to penalty payments at the auctions that might be about half if not more than the actual purchase price of the vehicle.


Yeah… Cringe-worthy right? 


While this is not a criticism of individual policies of Nigeria or other countries, it is just important to point out this.


Online auctions are fast-paced so you can imagine the challenges of making payments within a restricted time frame and the inability to meet the deadline. This leads to many buyers, especially first-timers incurring storage or worse still losing their deposit and vehicle being relisted as per the terms of the auction lot.  


Let’s look a little bit more into how payment happens on some auction platforms


Used Car Auction Payment Process

Different auction platforms have their payment process and methods. It is your job to make your findings on how the auction platform you have settled for accepts payment. Do this before placing your bids to avoid payment issues after purchase or possible loss of deposit and vehicle. 


For Auto Auction Mall, the payment process is pretty straightforward. It is important to note that before you can get a vehicle through Auto Auction Mall, you must have buying power via a refundable deposit.  


This is usually $600 if you want to bid up to $6000 or 10% of the purchase price for vehicles above $6000. The good news is that the deposit also applies to the total cost of the car if we buy you one. 

So how do you make payment with Auto Auction Mall? 


The first payment which is the deposit can be via debit/credit card through your profile on the website. If you are buying from Nigeria, this does not apply to your Naira debit card as naira cards have a $20 limit. Only your dollar card can make this payment.


The second payment method is via wire transfer. The full payment for your vehicle, auction charges, and shipping cost is done via wire transfer. Auto Auction Mall does not accept card payments for full payment to avoid chargebacks. Some Shipping companies accept only domestic wire – so if you are buying outside of the US carry out your due diligence to avoid losing your money.  


How Policies Affect Payment For Nigerian Buyers

Many African countries have stringent policies about paying for goods and services in the US. For instance, in Nigeria, many businesses have folded or taken a hit because of policies around sending foreign currencies outside Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) keeps limiting the amount of money you can spend on a debit card. Also, other policies affecting spending money on luxury items like vehicles 


Many people are forced to look for other alternative methods of payment because going through the banks proved futile. This leads them to use BDCs which have higher rates than what the banks are offering. 


Now you have your dollars – the next challenge is that the money cannot reach the US to pay for your vehicle. The only way to do this is via the banks who also request Form M, which could take weeks to process. For a transaction that has 3 working days including the day of the sale to make payment to avoid auction penalty fees, it becomes impossible to avoid storage fees and demurrages and even the risk of relisting for non-payment.


The issues and policies have discouraged lots of buyers from buying new cars and have also slowed down business for car dealers. 


A Solution to Payment Issues in Nigeria?

Like every problem, there is always a solution… 


If you’re in Nigeria and do not have a dollar account or access to dollars. Or don’t know how to make your payment – we have your back.  


If you don’t have a dollar account or access to dollars, Auto Auction Mall can assist you with your deposit and wire transfer. Terms and conditions apply – the support team will let you know. 


Auto Auction Mall has developed measures to assist their Nigerian client to have a seamless process without the headache of payment. Note that having us assist you is entirely optional. If you have means of going around the payment hurdle, you should go ahead. 


You can reach out to Auto Auction Mall Nigeria for assistance. 


Further Reading

  1. Your Guide to Buy Used Cars on an Online Auto Auction Site 
  2. Why Is the Price of Used Cars Skyrocketing in Nigeria?
  3. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars 
  4. Shipping a Car From the U.S. to Nigeria: A Simple Guide
  5. Opportunities in Exporting Cars to Nigeria from the United States


How to Purchase a Car From the Auction

After carrying out your research and settling on the auction platform you want to buy from, take time to study how their process works.


A breakdown of how Auto Auction Mall works…

auctioneer selling

After signing up on the website, make a deposit of $600 or 10% of the purchase prices mentioned earlier. Search for the vehicle of your choice from Auto Auction Mall inventory and share it with the support staff assigned to you. You can also search Copart and IAAI sites as Auto Auction Mall partners with them. 


Set your budget and max bid. You will receive estimates for purchasing the vehicle, shipping, and auction charges based on your budget. You will authorize Auto Auction Mall to bid on your behalf or execute a buy now.  Once you’ve won the auction you will receive an invoice.


Make the full payment via wire transfer. Once we receive payments, arrangements we’ll make to ship your vehicle to your location.


Note that all sales are final and binding – there are no takebacks. You must make full payment to avoid storage fees and late payment fees – or worst still lose your deposit and vehicle. 


Sign up here to get started!