How to Avoid Buying a Stolen Car in Nigeria

How to Easily Identify a Stolen Car in Nigeria

The problem with buying used cars in Nigeria, whether tokunbo or Nigerian used, is the original ownership. Many have landed in prisons like Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison simply because of the cars they bought and we do not want you to become a victim. Therefore, this straightforward piece shows you how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria.

how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria

Moreover, you will know how to check if car is stolen and could use the knowledge as a side hustle for money as an inspection agent.

We often advise new as well as experienced car buyers to understand how to know if a car is stolen before buying it. Such is very necessary because it saves you the burden that accompanies stolen vehicles in Nigeria.

how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria

For new car buyers, we recommend seeing the checklist for buying a car and how to buy a car as a first-timer.

How to Avoid Buying a Stolen Car in Nigeria

This section focuses on how to check if a car is stolen in Nigeria. By carefully and attentively going through this guide, you will discover how to know if a car is stolen before buying it.

NoteThe focus is on both a Nigerian fairly used car and a tokunbo car. You will see how people who buy authentic cars do it to avoid problems with the law enforcement.

Focus Points

  • How to know a stolen tokunbo car
  • How to know a stolen Nigerian used car

The above said, let’s proceed on to highlighting the various practices on how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria.

Do the following for a Nigerian used car:

1. Target Trusted Seller Sources

While some online car selling websites in Nigeria are reputable, some others are not. We mostly discourage car buyers from using forums to buy a car. It is not a good practice in how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria.

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When buying from an unlicensed dealer, you must be extra-careful and question every aspect of the car.

how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria

Car Robbery

Whether you are buying from a individual or a Nigerian dealer, you should demand for an original receipt to further decrease the chances that you are trading for a stolen car.

2. Demand for Customs Papers

All cars depart from ports with complete customs papers. Do not be deceived by anyone that your car is exceptional or too special for customs papers. Demand for the papers and go through every available detail.

Furthermore, if you are a new to the system and do not know what customs papers look like, we recommend taking an experienced person along. Do not omit this stage because it is critical concerning how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria.

3. Confirm Plate Number from FRSC Database

Learning how to know a stolen vehicle extends on to the plate number. It is one of the criteria that helps to detect the authenticity of a car. In case you do not know how to go about this, follow the guide below.

  • On your browser, enter
  • In the wide space provided, input the number plate and click on Submit

Note: Confirm the details on the number plate before clicking ‘Submit’.

If the database is unable to verify the information, the chances are that the number plate is fake, therefore, the car is a stolen car.

4. Request for Receipt and Change of Ownership

For every used car, there must be an original receipt. Do not entertain excuses of ‘missing receipt’ unless you are willing to face later problems with agencies. If the seller bought the car as used, request for the receipt issued by the former seller.

Furthermore, there must be an original change of ownership document handed over to you. This mostly applies when the seller also bought the car as used. Despite that, follow due process to obtain a change of ownership to prove that you legally acquired the car in case of any unexpected happening.

5. Document Names Must Correspond

After confirming the originality of each document, there must be correspondence. In most cases, thieves prefer to cook excuses that in an attempt to cover up. Basically, you are not advised to depend on the details available on the seller’s papers. The reason is because it costs nothing to forge a document with any name. That is to say that even when the details on the papers issued by the seller correspond, it does not matter. Your main focus should be on how well the details from the VIN history and FRSC number plate database correspond.

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As earlier emphasized, do not, for any reason, entertain any excuses. If a seller is unable to provide matching details, abandon the deal for the sake of your safety. Who knows, a group of persons may have been murdered during the theft. Purchasing such a car may then see you as primary suspect.

6. Take Photo with Seller

It is usually not so easy to get a seller, especially an unlicensed seller, to take a photo. However, this principle of how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria makes it possible for there to be trust. If a seller refuses, the chances are that there is something behind the vehicle that he conceals. Also, not every seller would love to appear on the photo for security reasons, shyness, etc. Simply, explain to the seller the need for the photo. if the seller is clean, he/she will not hesitate the photograph.

7. Import a Car from Nigeria

Importing a car is one of the practices on how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria. It is not 100% but the chances of obtaining a stolen car is lesser with a few things in place. One such few things is the VIN verification which provides a brief information about the car.

Some smart Nigerians prefer to order for cars abroad. However, many are discouraged to buy directly from countries such as US and UK. To solve the problem, we made an article that teaches you how to import a car from abroad. After knowing how to import a car from Nigeria, you should equally know how to clear an imported car in Nigeria.

When buying a tokunbo car, otherwise called tuks car, below are the various ways on how to know whether a car is stolen before buying

8. Import from a Reliable Dealer

Before now, you are expected to sign up to a verified car dealer website. Make sure to decide on whether you intend importing from places like the US or the UK. There are a few reputable dealers that can easily link you with trusted sellers. The downside of this pattern of avoiding the sell of a stolen is the cost and time of clearance.

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Clearing a car in Nigeria can be quite cumbersome and it is recommended to involve a clearing agent/agency once the car arrives as a shipment. It is not a 100% perfect way to avoid buying a stolen vehicle but has a great advantage over buying used Nigerian car. The number one way to know what car is being imported is to run a VIN history check right from when it is about to be shipped down to Nigeria.

9. Scrutinize the Body of the Car

It is difficult to know when a car is stolen merely by looking at the body. However, stolen cars often carry altered engravings on the body. Check for engravings and make sure there is no recent paint job done on the car. Paint jobs are often done to quickly conceal the identity of a car and it is the first thing done by thieves before selling stolen cars.

10. Hire an Inspection Agency

You may task the agency with a very deep inspection which includes checking for car ownership originality. The agency will run a complete checkup to help ascertain beyond the functionality of a car. It is recommended to employ the services of inspection agents or experienced persons who know the in and out of getting a used car in Nigeria.

How You Do Thoughts

This article has addressed how to avoid buying a stolen car in Nigeria. At this moment, you do not have to fear becoming a victim as the basic things have been outlined.

Car owners usually get stuck for possessing wrong papers. See all documents required to drive any car in Nigeria without harassment.

Finally, knowing the documents to collect when buying a used car in Nigeria will reduce the chances of buying a stolen vehicle.

There are friends who maybe interested in this article and we implore you to make it reach them.

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