We take all the necessary precautions to ensure that our platform is a safe place for car sellers and buyers to transact. However, since our platform is open for public listing, we offer these key tips to stay safe.

To help us constantly improve your safety and experience, please report any suspicious posts and interactions to us on +234(0)7030765952, +234-8073262640 or email info@vehicle.com.ng

Safety Tips for Car Buyers

Communication

  • Speaking directly to the seller on the phones important because most online scams are conducted via email or SMS only.
  • Speak to the seller more than once. Confirm their telephone number so that you can call back with follow up questions.

Red Flags:

  • Vehicles advertised with prices that are significantly below the market value. If the deal sounds too good to be true then think again. Scammers take advantage of your greed and enthusiasm
  • Existing restrictions and requirements for importing vehicles when buying from an overseas seller.
  • The registration plate, car identification and engine numbers match the information in any paperwork or insurance documentation.
  • Similar advertisements made for the same car elsewhere at a different price, the scammer may have replicated a genuine seller’s advertisement and altered the contact details, then lowered the car’s price to entice victims.

Never:

  • Send money through a wire transfer or mobile banking service to people you do not know or trust.
  • Send your personal or financial details to a seller.
  • Agree to go on a test drive in an area you do not know. Insist on meeting in a safe well lit location. Preferably where CCTV is available and agrees the route of a test drive beforehand.

Safety Tips for Car Sellers

Communication:

  • Speaking directly to the seller on the phones important because most online scams are conducted via email or SMS only.

Look out for buyers who:

  • Hurriedly make an offer before inspecting the vehicle; genuine buyers are thorough before making any offer.
  • Make an offer that is higher than the set price in the pretence that they want to buy quickly. A genuine buyer will always want the best price they can get.
  • Claim to be agents buying on behalf of someone else or for export.

Ask that you pay additional charges like shipping, agent fees or custom charges.

Never:

  • Share your personal details, account details, or banking information.
  • Share your Vehicle.com.ng login credentials.
  • Reveal the current location of the vehicle.

Closing the Deal;

  • Know how much you’re willing to accept and prepare to negotiate to a minimum price.
  • Don’t take your ad down until you are certain you have received payment from the buyer – it won’t cost you anything to have it up longer.
  • Don’t rely on “proof” of payment from the buyer. Check with your bank or other provider that the money has been cleared and you can see the funds in your account before parting with your item.
  • Only accept cash inside the premises of your bank where potential fakes can be checked or so you do not carry large amounts of cash in public after a sale.
  • Beware of forged bank cheques. Electronic transfers which can be confirmed by your bank are the safest option. A genuine buyer will never object.
  • Give the buyer a receipt to confirm you’ve received their payment.
  • Insist on a receipt from the buyer confirming delivery of your vehicle.

Please note that Vehicle.com.ng will NEVER contact you to ask you for account or personal details.

Vehicle.com.ng is a division of Osaka Enterprises and Allied Services Ltd


Car Buying Guides

If you can avoid the following mistake, you are likely to buy a car of your choice at fair price.

·         Don’t buying the Wrong Car

It’s perfectly fine to be in thrilled by the thought of finally buying your first car but that’s the only thing you should focus on. Don’t forget to consider how you are going to use this car in the long-term. For instance hauling your bags/boxes and other during vacation.

  • The truth is that the role your car plays can change drastically; depending on your lifestyle and the changes that take place. If you know your family has the likelihood to expand in a few years, you shouldn’t be shopping for a 2-seater. Experts have been unanimous on the submission that the best way to save money on vehicle expenses is to use the same car for a considerable number of years.

·         Don’t Buying a Car That Is Not Fuel Efficient

No matter how fancy or attractive your car looks, if it is not fuel efficient, you’re bound to regret your choice at some point. The cost of fueling your car should sit on top of your priorities when considering the options of cars to buy for your first car.

The fact that you can afford fuel your car three times a week does not make it a great choice for first-time car buyers. Don’t make an expensive mistake. Remember that the cost of fuel can rise astronomically over a period of time. Such a rise is bound to have a negative impact on the resale value of your car; especially if your car is a guzzler of fuel.

·         Don’t Acquire Expensive Problems

Used cars are not as expensive as new cars, which is why they are considered a fine choice for first-car buyers. You, however, need to be careful when buying used cars as you can unknowingly acquire expensive problems when you buy the wrong used car.

Sometimes, these complications are not obvious until you have driven the car out of the dealership. As a safety precaution, do not buy a car that has its ‘Check Engine’ light on. The only exception to this is if you know the specific maintenance check needed to resolve the problem.

In some cases, the problems indicated by an ‘Engine Light’ on might require just a minor fix like replacing an inexpensive part. However, the problem might be so serious that it would cost you several thousands of Naira to repair. The best way to know this for sure is to ensure the car is checked by an experienced mechanic who is versed in investigating car troubles and giving you an estimate for repair works.

·         You Must Not Buy a Car to Show Off

You must not buy a car to impress your friends, neighbours, colleagues or family. One way to avoid this is to ask you one salient question – What are the things I need this car to do? Your first car needs to be reliable. It should be able to take you from point A to point B. It should be able to help you transport things that matter to you. If your car can do these things, it’s good enough for your first car.

Along the line, you can upgrade the car if you find a need for it but the crucial thing is that the functionality of the car should not be compromised. Don’t be tempted into thinking that a more expensive car will necessarily make your life better.

Don’t allow your emotion to rule your reasoning or your decisions on which car to buy. Approach the task of buying your first car the same way you would approach buying a tool you need at home.

Your Car is Not an Investment

Don’t fall into the error of thinking your car is an asset or a form of investment. In case you didn’t know, the value of cars drop as the years advance. What this means is that you can’t buy a car for N1.2 million in 2019 and expect to sell it for N2 million in 2021. Cars don’t work this way.

In some cases, dealers will encourage you to spend more on your first car by telling you that such a car is bound to have a better resale value of a period of time. This might be true for options like all-wheel drive and cars with automatic transmission. However, other options can add more money to your car in terms of cost yet; will bring you nothing impressive on resale value.

As we noted earlier, buying your first car is not an investment. Rather, it is an expense. Your goal should be to buy a first car that’s reliable and can help you move around. The only exception to this rule is if you’re planning to register the car as a taxi/cab hailing service like Uber or Taxify. In this case, your car can be considered an investment as opposed to buying it for personal use.

·         Don’t Fail to Negotiate

For first-time car buyers, your ability to negotiate is just as important as your ability to pick a functional car. You might not have a lot of experience when it comes to negotiating the price of a car but there’s nothing to worry about.

The pricing of cars is quite different from that of other items you usually buy. The price tags are largely mere suggestions and dealers are usually open to selling for a lesser price.

If you make the mistake of paying the full asking price of a car, you are most likely paying much more than you need to pay for that car. A few minutes of specialised car websites like Vehicle.com.ng will go a long way in helping you get a market price range of the car you want to buy. Most time, you would probably even find better deals on such platforms. The goal of negotiation is to buy for a lesser price.

·         Don’t Get Deceived By Dealer Financing

First-time car buyers should do everything possible to avoid falling into the ultimate trap of dealer financing. The gravity of this mistake is so huge that it can render you financially enslaved to the car dealer.

For this trick to work, the dealer will work hard to convince you that it will be tough for you to get financing as a first-time car buyer. For the second stage, the dealer takes down some information from you and goes into his laptop and mobile device; seeming to scroll through several folders and documents. For the final stage, the dealer suddenly informs you that he/she has been able to get you a financing offer and add that you are qualified for the loan and should consider yourself very fortunate.

At this point, the dealer will explain some things to you and then ask you to sign to take ownership of the car. This is a trap – Don’t fall for it. The downside of this financing plan is that it comes with huge monthly payments. This is because the interest rates from dealers are usually higher than what you can get from other car finance providers.

You can avoid falling into such trickery by getting prequalified for car financing at a trusted car loan provider in Nigeria before you go shopping for your first car. This will give you a clearer picture of how much you can borrow to finance the car as well as what your interest rate will be.

·         Final Thoughts on First-Time Car Buyers

First-time car buyers who buy their cars based on trust or their relationship with the owner stand the risk of acquiring liabilities. Experts recommend that you should have a used car checked by a competent mechanic before you pay for it. It might be a bit inconvenient and you might incur some additional cost but at the end of the day, it is worth it. One thing you should never do is to buy your first car without knowing its mechanical history.

Are you looking forward to buying your first car? If you already have, what mistakes did you make when buying your first car?

  • 10 Reasons We Recommend Toyota as a Good First Car

The Toyota models are among the most popular cars in Nigeria and this did not happen by chance, which makes it the perfect first car choice for millions of Nigerians. This Japanese brand is simply adored and for good reasons. Let us take a closer look into 10 reasons why the Toyota has been considered top choice Nigerian buyers consider when buying their first cars.

·         Best Resale Value

Multiple studies conducted in the last 10 years have pointed to the fact that Toyota has the most models for cars with best resale value in the market. This attribute isn’t restricted to salon cars alone; from the Land Cruiser for premium utility vehicles to hybrid Prius for alternative fuel vehicles, Toyota stands out as the brand that sells pretty fast in the category of cars that have been previously owned.

When buying a car, you should also consider the ease or difficulty of selling such a car when the time comes to make such a decision.

·         Research and Development

The Toyota brand is quite heavy on research and development. This is aimed at advancement in future automobile technologies. Toyota is investing a total of $9 billion (in Nigerian naira, this translates into N3.2 trillion) into research and development of its brand and business over the next few years. What this means is that Toyota spends more than $1 million per hour on improving its brand. This figure surpasses what any company in the world dedicates to research and development. This is consistent with the Japanese principle of Kaizen (continuous improvement).

·         Maintenance Cost

Toyota cars are designed to be fuel efficient and this cuts across several models. Various credible rankings and reports have reiterated Toyota’s dominance in the league of cars with affordable maintenance cost. For instance, the cost of repairs and maintenance for the Toyota Corolla falls within the range of N132, 000-N135, 000 per annum.

·         Great Batteries

Most conventional car batteries will call for a replacement after some time but with Toyota hybrid cars or SUVs, you don’t need to ever change your battery. This is because the motor of the Toyota hybrid vehicle runs on lithium ion batteries that last as just as long as the vehicle itself.

·         Affordable

Toyota cars are affordable on many fronts regardless of your budget. The spare parts are cheap and easily obtained from many auto shops.

    Variety

  • Toyota offers over 34 models of its brand for you to choose from when you’re hunting for your first car. The models range from the Camry and Corolla to the RAV4, FJ Cruiser, and 4-Runner, Avalon, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sienna, Venza, Yaris, Prius and many others.

·         Toyota Cars Stay on the Road

Toyota cars have a reputation forged in reliability. They are known to be durable, strong and last for several years. This is one of the many reasons Nigerians adore the brand and its models. Reports have shown that 80 per cent of Toyota cars that were sold 20 years ago are still on the roads. Impressive, isn’t it? This is a respectable lifespan for a car and durability is feature Nigerians do not joke about.

·         Top-Selling Car in 2018

Toyota continues to hold its ground in a market that is as competitive as it is steadily evolving. The Toyota brand retains its supremacy as one of the most popular choices in the category of family-oriented sedans. Such a feat was achieved on the strength of its comfy interior and cutting-edge safety features. If it’s your first car, go for a Toyota and you’ll be glad you did. With Toyota, it’s difficult if not impossible to get it wrong.

·         Not Hard to Find

Did you know that Toyota’s are sold in over 170 countries and regions across the globe and have over 53 manufacturing companies in 28 countries across the globe? You’ll never have to look too far to find a Toyota car as most dealerships have them available for sale in different models.

·         Solar-Powered Cars

Did you know that one of the latest models of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid comes with a solar roof? The solar roof generated enough energy to power the electronics inside the car’s cabin while you are driving but that’s not all. The solar roof also charges the car’s battery while it is parked. Does this sound like an ideal first car option for you if you are not restricted by a slim budget?

·         Wrapping up on Buying a Toyota as Your First Car

Regardless of the model of the Toyota that you settle for, what’s even more crucial is that you get a trusted mechanic to have a look at the car’s engine and other parts. This will ensure that you don’t end up with a car that is plagued with mechanical problems. Do you consider Toyota a perfect first car choice in Nigeria? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

  • SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE MAINTENANCE TIPS

Keeping your car in good shape does not have to be hard work. The smartest way to ensure that your car does not disappoint you when you least expect it is to take advantage of 7 car maintenance tips that have been endorsed by industry experts.

According to a recent report, younger drivers expose themselves to huge repair bills simply because they lack the basic car maintenance culture. If you’re a car owner, take a look at the tips below:

ü Keep Fluids Clean

In addition to having all the fluids in your car clean, you should always remember to top up. Such fluids include your engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and air conditioning coolant and washer fluid.

You should never forget that your engine needs oil to keep its moving parts lubricated. Don’t become so careless as to let the different fluid levels go so low as to pose a problem to the overall functionality of the car.

ü Don’t Throw Your Car Manual Away

Do you know that a car owner’s manual contains tons of information about car maintenance as well as different safety precautions you should take?

We have already established that having proper car maintenance is a must. However, a good maintenance culture isn’t all about changing the oil and other essential fluids. Rather, it is more about how capable and informed you are as a driver. This is why car manufacturers always include a car owner’s manual.

The Owner’s Manual was not designed to be kept in the glove compartment of your car. Rather, it was created to protect and improve your driving skills. It should, therefore, be your active passenger. It contains all the features and parts of your car. It even goes as far explaining the purpose of all the controls, displays and buttons in your car.

Using the Owner’s Manual can go a long way in saving you a lot of money you might have spent on repair works.

ü Stick to a Maintenance Schedule

Inside your car, there are a number of things that need to be regularly serviced or replaced at certain intervals. Some of these parts include the brakes, air filter, spark plugs and the timing belt.

You should have a maintenance schedule that covers tasks like replacing the spark plus as well as checking the brake fluid and clutch fluid and refilling them when they need to be refilled.

Other tasks to include in your maintenance schedule should include changing the engine oil, replacing the air filter, replacing the cabin filter, replacing the oil filter and replacing the fuel filter.

In addition to this, you should also:

  • Check the condition of the tires
  • Check the level of the power steering fluid and replace when necessary
  • Check the Brake Pads/Liners, Brake Discs/Drums and replace them when they are worn out
  • Grease and lubricate the various components of the car
  • Inspect and replace the timing belt/timing chain if this becomes necessary
  • Check the level of the Automatic/Manual Transmission Fluid and refill when necessary

ü Check Tyre Pressure

You should always check your tyre pressure before you drive and this is because temperature differences have different effects on your tyre pressure. Most of the time, the warmer/hotter the temperature the higher the likelihood of your tyre pressure to increase.

In order to have the best possible control of your car as well as get higher fuel efficiency, you need to ensure you have proper tyre inflation.

When you fail to check your tyre pressure regularly, your tyres are likely to squeal when negotiating a corner. This is a clear sign that your tyre pressure is low. Your tyres don’t have to start leaking before you check them.

When your tyre pressure drops, you need to fill them with air. Ideally, you should check your tyre pressure once a month.

ü Change the Windshield Wiper

If your windshield wiper doesn’t clean properly, you should change it. Also, you should try to clean your windshield wiper every time you stop to buy fuel at a gas station. You can do this by using a damp paper towel to take out loose dirt by wiping the rubber squeegee.

If you are wondering when you should replace your wiper blades, this should be done between 6 months and one year or the moment you notice a difference in your driving visibility.

The moment the wiper blades begin to fail in making proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip and smear – All these cut down your driving visibility, which can be quite dangerous.

ü Wash and Wax Your Car

If you are looking to protect your car from corrosion while keeping it shiny, you should consider waxing it once in a while. When you have a coat of wax on your car’s paint job, it prevents it from becoming discoloured, oxidated and faded. These naturally come with sun damage to your car.

A properly waxed car comes with a mirror-like finish and shines; bringing out the car’s colour. If you can afford it, you should do a full and thorough detail twice a year. This covers polishing, sealing and claying.

However, you should consider a refresher detail for your car once every three months. This will include waxing and sealant and leather treatment. For the interior of your car, you should dedicate time to have it thoroughly cleaned once a month.

ü Deal With Car Problems Immediately

The moment any problem with your car, strive to deal with it immediately instead of procrastinating. Car problems don’t usually just pop up. If you take good care of your car, you will notice early signs that should prompt you to take your car for a maintenance check.

The smartest way to maintain your car is to pay attention to the early signs before they grow into serious problems that would cost you more to fix.

ü Stick With Original Car Parts

At different points of your car’s lifespan, you will need to buy car parts. This covers virtually all parts of the car; from the mechanical parts to the interior of the car.

Before we continue, let us mention here that there are two types of car parts – We have the OEM, which refers to the Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. OEM is a brand or company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer.

For example, when you take your Toyota car to a Toyota dealership’s service department for repairs, what will get are OEM car parts. However, if you decide to get your car fixed by an independent shop, what you will most likely get will be aftermarket car parts.

Aftermarket car parts are replacement parts that are made by a company other than your vehicle’s original manufacturer. These parts are also known as Generic parts or non-OEM parts.

Original car parts come with a greater assurance of quality. These parts work as optimally and as efficiently as the faulty parts you are replacing. You should always remember that this It is what the vehicle was manufactured with. Thus, it gives you a huge dose of peace of mind in its performance.

ü Schedule Your Car for an Annual Maintenance Check

No matter how busy your schedule is, you should find time to book an appointment with a reliable mechanic to take a thorough look at your car for a 360 maintenance drill.

You don’t have to wait until your car begins to make all sorts of noises and starts breaking down in the middle of the road before you take it for a maintenance check.

ü Keep an Eye on Your Dashboard

Your car’s dashboard comes with a lot of symbols and lights that you need to pay attention to. If you are keen on keeping your car in good condition, you need to check the dashboard regularly.

The moment you notice anything unusual on the dashboard, especially a warning of any kind, you should follow up by trying to get the issue resolved as quickly as you can.

Final Thoughts on Car Maintenance Tips

Some costs you will incur in the regular use of your car are unavoidable. That’s normal. However, a good vehicle maintenance culture and the car maintenance tips we have shared in the lines above will go a long way in ensuring your car spends more time on the road and less time