How to Drive a Car in Nigeria – Expat or Citizen

Whether as a citizen or an expat in Nigeria, there are several necessary things to note about driving. This article highlights how to drive a car in Nigeria as well as the etiquette of driving in Nigeria.


How to drive a car in Nigeria

It is important to know these things because it spares you the trouble of negatively encountering road agencies. Moreover, some regions such as Lagos in Nigeria are quite busy and, thus, making driving very hectic.

Honestly, drivers who adhere to the rules of driving a car in Nigeria are never messed with.

Note: You must be 18+ to drive in Nigeria.

How to Drive in Nigeria without Problems

This article on how to drive in Nigeria focuses on two subjects. First, it Identifies what expats must do to drive in Nigeria. Secondly, it highlights the acceptable etiquette of driving a car in Nigeria.

Let’s first consider how to drive a car in Nigeria before moving on to the driving guide for expats in Nigeria.

Ready for the rules of driving a car in Nigeria?

Etiquette of Driving in Nigeria

1. Your Car Must be Duly Registered

On no account shall you drive in Nigeria without properly registering the said vehicle. You do not only risk getting the car impounded but being sent to jail.

Here are the documents required to drive in Nigeria before thinking of how to drive a car in Nigeria.

2. Inspect Your Car thoroughly

It is advisable to inspect your car before putting it on the road. While inspecting, ensure that the fire extinguisher is there. The car may overheat when you least expect and this often results from technical faults, the weather as well as the nature of the environment. Nigeria is largely a hot place to be. Moreover, inspect the following:

  • The radiator.
  • Car documents. Confirm the documents to avoid getting harassed by the officials. Also, renew expired papers.
  • Inspect the spare tyre. This is necessary for long journey.

Note: It’s not recommended to store fuel and gas inside the car.

3. Ignite Engine for a While

It isn’t a good practice to start a car engine early in the morning and then zoom off just like that. A little ignition of the engine would settle things within the car.

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4. Wear the Seatbelt


How to drive a car in Nigeria

If you’re an expat in Nigeria, here is a secret driving hack for you. This is one of the rules of driving a car in Nigeria that saves human life.

The road safety agency in Nigeria pays particular attention to drivers’ use of the seatbelt. However, this does not mean that these agencies only stop drivers with no seatbelt on.

5. Lookout for Road Signs and Traffic

Most at times, road signs are not visible in Nigeria which could be due to the poor maintenance culture.

Beating the traffic and getting caught attracts a fine and may well lead to serving a jail term. Be on the lookout and do not over-speed, especially on slow lanes.

6. Don’t Attempt to Outrun Road Agencies

Stop the car when you’re instructed to do so. Furthermore, do not bribe officials. If you’re caught in the process, you may suffer the same fate with the corrupt official.

7. Avoid Using Abusive Words


How to drive a car in Nigeria

It can be quite hurtful seeing fellow drivers drive inappropriately. You may be forced to use abusive languages, however, you should let go.

Also, do not argue with hoodlums in order not to have your car smashed.

8. Halt for Emergency Vehicles to Pass

Do not remain on the road while emergency vehicles are behind your car. Halt or steer out of the lane until it’s clear. It isn’t a good etiquette of Driving in Nigeria for you to inconvenience emergency vehicles. This is a necessary etiquette of driving in Nigeria that should not be neglected.

9. Be Watchful of the Car Behind You

Another principle of how to drive a car in Nigeria is watchfulness. When close to the destination, use both side mirrors and reverse mirror to watch what vehicle is behind.

10. Mind Where You Park Your Car

Before you park, study the position. Do not park on a particular lane if there is another car on the opposite lane.

Also, do not park at unusual places. It’s preferable to park where provisions are made for parking. This is a decent etiquette on how to drive a car in Nigeria.

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11. Lock the Car Before Exiting

When you alight from the vehicle, note how things are arranged in the car

Furthermore, do not leave tangible items visible in your car. Hoodlums sighting the item may break the windscreen to steal such items.

Things to Avoid While Driving in Nigeria

For safety, avoid the following while driving. You never know whether the driver of the car behind or in front is drunk. Include the following to your knowledge of how to drive a car in Nigeria. They are also part of the new EFCC road rules in Nigeria.

  • Do not Drink and Drive
  • No Phone Calls
  • No Smoking
  • Don’t Argue While Driving
  • Lower the Music Volume
  • Do not Switch Lanes Unnecessarily
  • Don’t Take Your Eyes off the Steering

What Expats Should Know About Driving in Nigeria

As an expat in Nigeria, the first thing to do is to figure out a means of transportation.

t could be purchasing, rent or hiring taxi services. However, i you’re renting or purchasing a car, then this guide on how to drive a car in Nigeria is for you.

Rules for driving a car in Nigeria

Unlike before, it isn’t crucial for expats to own cars in Nigeria. In fact, using hired services like Bolt and OPay make movement rather easier. You may use that chance to question the driver and learn a couple of things about Nigeria.

Concerning what drivers license you’ll use as an expat, you’re free to use a valid national drivers license or an international drivers license. However, these sorts of licenses would only be valid for a particular time in Nigeria.

The Documents to Carry Along

Failing to have complete papers may result in fine or harassment. Take note of the documents for driving a car in Nigeria.

Getting Your Car

You may either import a car or purchase a car within Nigeria. We recommend purchasing any of the Innoson cars in Nigeria that suits your demand.
Meanwhile, to clear a car in Nigeria can be quite hectic. You should see how to clear an imported car in Nigeria. Moreover, you may pay agents to do the clearance but it’s still worth knowing how it is done. Do prepare between N600,000 to N900,000 for a complete clearance process.

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What Distance Should You Maintain from Car in Front

For every 10 mph, you should maintain a distance that is equal to the distance of the car in front. Moreover, you may use the ‘two-seconds’ rule which states that your car should be 2 seconds behind the car in front. This is a rule all o er the world and it equally applies in Nigeria.

Cost of Driving School in Nigeria

Concerning how to drive a car in Nigeria, driving school matters. The cost of driving school in Nigeria varies. The cost code driving school in Lagos and the cost of driving school in Abuja differs by the driving school in question.

How to Drive a Car in Nigeria - Expat or Citizen 1

Generally, the cost of driving school in Nigeria costs between N25,000 and N60,000. These prices might increase depending on the extra courses you take with the driving school.

Can I Drive in Nigeria with US License

Can I drive in Nigeria with US License? Can I drive in Nigeria with UK license? Is an international driver’s license accepted in Nigeria?

Well, if we keep listing the questions of this nature, you’ll get bored as an expat.

Yes, you can drive in Nigeria with a non-Nigerian driving license. If you have a valid driving license from your country, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) will permit you but for just 3 months.

If it’s an international drivers license, it will be accepted and it will be valid for 12 months.

While using a non-Nigerian driving license, you should equally apply for a Driver’s license in Nigeria. The process can be completed within a few hours of the same day.

Meanwhile, here are the recommended centers for drivers license application in Nigeria.

Take Away

Before you depart, check the new road safety rules in nigeria.

In this article, we have highlighted how to drive in Nigeria. Moreover, this article covered the rules of driving a car in Nigeria.

Take the etiquette for driving in Nigeria seriously as it helps drivers or of harm’s lane.

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