How to Buy Car in Cotonou & Bring it to Lagos, Nigeria

Many Nigerians prefer to buy cars in Cotonou because they feel cars are cheaper in Cotonou.

How to Buy Car from Cotonou and bring it to Nigeria

Cotonou is a city in Benin Republic and the largest in the whole country.

Its geographical location on the map is the South-East between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoue.

Benin is acknowledged as an almost developed country with its capital as Porto Novo. Interestingly, Cotonou shares boarders with some Nigerian states like Lagos,Ibadan,Ogun state etc.

So, people can easily drive in and out of Cotonou to and fro from Nigeria with ease.

Many Nigerians buying cars in Cotonou has given reason to be that cars and vehicles are cheaper in Cotonou than Nigeria.

Buying a car in Cotonou and bringing it into Nigeria is not so easy as some portrays it to be.

There are ways and process of bringing in a new car from Cotonou to Nigeria.

This article will seek to answer all questions about buying cars and vehicles in Cotonou and sending them to Nigeria without paying high custom duty.

Cotonou has the largest car depots in West Africa, and it is easily accessible to we Nigerians.

Depending on your location it takes roughly about three hours to commute to Cotonou.

The most popular route to Cotonou is through Lagos Badagry Road or Idiroko road.

Cotonou is the perfect place to get second-hand vehicles which are clean at very budget friendly prices.

In this article I will be putting you through the process of purchasing a car at Cotonou and how you can bring it down to Nigeria without any complications.

Also, this post will provide the cost of bringing in new car from Cotonou to Nigeria ie how much Nigerian customs charges for cars bought at Cotonou.

Everyone would love to get a new car instead, but in reality, not everyone can afford one, so the best option available is getting a good second-hand vehicle.

This is why Nigerians prefer to purchase or buy second hand used cars from Cotonou.

It is really easy to close-in on the purchase of a second-hand vehicle but if care is not taken it becomes also easy to fall victim of a fraud.

Undoubtedly, some of these vehicles might be stolen, or even problematic and they’ll only drain the pocket of whosoever makes the purchase.

Don’t get carried away by the looks and exterior, here are the things you should ensure before buying a second-hand used car.

Things to Consider Before Buying Second Hand Cars, Vehicles from Cotonou

Investigate your Choice of Vehicle

That’s right, before making a move I advise you to investigate, ask and look for everything related to the car you want to buy – if there’s a certain model you have decided to buy.

Why am I telling you this? Very simple, it is better to know everything beforehand and be in a more advantageous position at the time of purchase and thus be able to ask the seller certain questions that can give you key information.

The seller’s responses can reveal details about the car’s condition, as well as its actual value.

Also, find out the typical fault or common failure associated to the car you have chosen and it is always better to know what you are going to face.

This is of vital importance to know if the car that you are going to buy has undergone repairs and if not when it likely would.

Check for External Faults

We know that there are sellers who are honest, but today you can’t even trust your shadow.

The best thing is that in the first instance you carry out an ocular inspection of the exterior. It is advised that you to focus on:

Visible damage: Since they can serve as a lever to negotiate the price.

Non – visible defects : Possible “orange peel” , imperfections, bubbles or small lumps in the paint that may reveal possible repairs.

Look at the marks on the windows – I mean the logo of the company that manufactures them.

All the marks on all the windows must match, if they don’t, it means that one of them has been replaced – the reason could be anything from a chipping to a theft, or an accident.

This can help you ask the seller and find out the hidden details of the car.

See that the headlights and other parts are original.Some brands stamp their logo on the parts .

The fact that they are original may mean that they are from the factory.

It may seem silly, but these details can help you ask the seller questions and see how he reacts.

If you see that he doesn’t know, doesn’t answer or gets nervous, you know that you have to be suspicious.

Check that all the doors open and close correctly and that the locks work perfectly, including the child locks – malfunctions can reveal possible repairs.

Check The Interiors

On the outside they can sneak it in, but the inside is very revealing, so be very careful at this point:

Check the wear on the steering wheel, the gear lever, the pedals, the driver’s carpet, a tight belt, a loose turn signal lever or a slightly looser than normal sun visor can indicate that something strange is going on.

You have to test everything while stationary: lights, turn signals, brake lights, fog lights and combinations of these in search of electrical faults or burned-out bulbs.

It is also worth checking the stereo and seeing if all the speakers are working as well as the air conditioning systems.

Check under the hood :Here the truth is that we will be lost unless we have the knowledge or the help of an expert.

If you do not have either of the two, it is best to look at the fluid levels ( oil , coolant , brakes…).

You have to take a good look at possible leaks and above all, the condition of the timing belt (if equipped) in search of cracks or loose threads.

Take the car to a mechanical workshop to carry out an inspection and plug it into the machine to look for possible failures.

Take a look at the exhaust system, its condition and possible rust, it is not less.

Also do not forget to check the filters , both the air and oil ones.

Test Drive

This is not easy, since in most cases it is a simple walk around the block.

This is not okay. I recommend taking a loop long enough to cover different roads.

I highly recommend going out on the highway to get the vehicle up to speed for any unusual vibrations or noises .

At a standstill or at low speeds, I recommend a 90-degree turn, as well as looking for the steering stop in order to see how the steering pump sounds and how it behaves – you have to be attentive to strange noises or strange vibrations.

Noises or squeaks in the brake system can detect wear or simply be something normal, it all depends on the type of discs.

If the vehicle has successfully passed these tests, then it is surely going to be worth the purchase, so far you are interested in it.

Now to the main discourse of the article. How you can buy a car in Cotonou and transport it to Nigeria?

Follow the below-listed steps to discover the easy ways to buy cars in Cotonou and take it to Nigeria.

Buying Cars in Cotonou & Driving it to Nigeria: Things to Know About Clearing Cars from Cotonou to Nigeria

Below are some of the easy steps and process to help you buy cars in Cotonou,Benin Republic and bring them to Nigeria.

Travel Down to Cotonou

Before you travel to Cotonou, I believe you must have decided the type and specification of the vehicle you would love to purchase.

Also, you must have found out the price range of that particular vehicle and prepare the equivalent West African CFA currency.

After you have achieved that, you can now proceed to travel.

Lagos and Ogun are the closest states to the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic.

So, from whatever state you are in, it is best if you commute to either Lagos or Ogun first.

Choose Major Car & Vehicle Dealers

Check the town for the best car depots, check their cars, if the condition of your choice car is okay and you are content with it, then you can proceed to pay for it.

You must have converted your naira to CFA, as it is the accepted currency for transactions in Benin.

You should be conversant with the exchange rate so as to not over pay during exchange.

Clear your Vehicle—Get Custom Papers

After purchasing the vehicle from the dealer, you must go through ensuring that your vehicle is cleared and custom officials approved.

This is very important as failure will put your new car in risk of sizesure by Customs officials.

The easiest way to get customs clearance for Cotonou cars is to go through clearing agents.

These papers usually take about two days to complete.

These agents can as well help you to clear your vehicles faster at Nigeria-Benin boarders .

Another easy ways to clear cars from Cotonou at Nigeria-Benin boarders is to contract a senior Customs officia who can help fast track the process of clearing Cotonou -Nigeria bound cars and vehicles.

Once this is done, you can choose to drive your car down to your city yourself or have someone do so for you.

Finally you are a car owner. That’s all it take.
I hope this will help you once you are ready to make buy your own car.

I would also advise that you follow legal processes don’t try to boycott steps thinking you would save some money.

It is not safe for you to act illegal. Just gather enough money to help you complete the process once rather than risking your life and money.

Thank you for reading. Please share this article using the buttons below.


The Author


My name is Olamide Samson. I am a cyber security enthusiast with certification almost complete. I take interest in creative writing, videography, video editing and speaking.

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