These days, the bulk of “tokunbo” cars in Nigeria are sourced from the United States.
This is not suggesting that we do not have vehicles coming in from Europe or other continents. However, importing cars from Europe is fast on the decline.
Cars that are imported from Europe are mostly non-recent cars, mostly pre-2002 models.
Typically, cars that are imported from Europe are shipped into the country as containers for other cargo items. And, ultimately, they end up being used for transportation business.
Importing cars from Canada is also becoming common. Arab countries are also becoming sources of imported cars.
Interestingly, Nigerians now import tokunbo cars into the country without leaving the country. They check car listing websites like cars.com. They usually contact trusted dealers only after reading the reviews from other buyers. They also buy from online car auction companies. And they do this right in the comfort of their homes or offices.
Cars bought at these car auctions are usually cheaper. This is so because some are salvaged cars, while some are donated vehicles, – that is, cars whose proceeds from their sale goes to charity.
If you are a Nigerian, and you have ever bought a car at the popular Berger Auto Market, Cotonou, or any other car market – chances are that the car was purchased at one of these websites that we will be profiling in this article.
So, here are the top car sale websites that Nigerian car dealers and individuals buy their cars from.
The website was launched in June 1998. Cars.com is ranked as the second largest vehicle sales website.
The company has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Cars.com is in partnership with CARFAX. This partnership enables cars.com to provide buyers with reports and vehicle history about used vehicles sold through their website.
On Cars.com, dealers and private sellers have the option of providing reports on cars to the potential buyer (you) and charging them a modest fee.
Sometimes, the seller pays for the report and you can access it for free.
Cars.com empowers car buyers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with dealers and manufacturers.
One time, I found a report on Cars.com on a car that I had seen advertised on another website.
Interestingly, I was asked to pay a fee of $40 to view the report on the first website. However, I got the information free-of-charge on Cars.com.
The company has its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Copart has about 130,000 cars in their yards per time. They have outlets spread all over the USA and Canada. They have also expanded to UK, Germany, Spain, UAE, Brazil, China and India.
Copart source their cars from Insurance companies, fleet operators, banks, dealers and the public.
Many cars imported into Nigeria are purchased from Copart. The reason is that, their cars can be purchased at half of the prevalent market price.
Now, don’t get too excited yet. Many of these cars have suffered damages. The damages range from minor to major ones. These damages are often fixed before they hit the seller’s car lot or the owners garage. This ensures that most people who come to celebrate with the new owner are kept out of the loop of its history.
To bid for cars on Copart, you can sign up as a member for free, or you can subscribe for its Premium membership – which requires an initial subscription fee of $200, this offers you some extra benefits.
Deloitte – one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world – rated Copart as one of the “Top 100 most exceptional companies in the USA”.
Due to increased patronage from Nigeria, Copart has added some special services to encourage and make patronage by Nigerians easy.
For instance, they can ship to you in Lagos or to your local representatives.
However, from our experience at Autojosh, we do not advise anyone to use this service due to major delay issues that some patrons of this service have complained about. We recommend you use your independent shipping agent.
Copart was founded in 1982 by Willis J. Johnson in California.
The company can be accessed online on www.Copart.com
Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc, or IAAI, is another very popular auction company with massive online patronage by Nigerians. We can safely refer to IAAI as the car dealer’s delight.
Daily, more Nigerians are falling in love with the company because they provide more detailed information about the cars that are listed on their website as against the shallow information provided by other websites. The annual seminars held by IAAI in Nigeria has also endeared them to many more Nigerians over the years.
Just like Copart, IAAI was also founded in 1982. It has its head office in Illinois, USA.
On average, IAAI has about 70,000 cars listed for auction per time.
Today, the company boasts of over 150 facilities across USA and Canada.
IAAI sell vehicles sourced from fleet lease companies, donations, rental companies, Insurance Companies – recovered from theft, etc.
To buy cars online from IAAI, all you need to do is to register on the site free-of-charge, or register with $200 fee to get premium service.
IAAI offers various ways to bid; you can pre-bid on a vehicle prior to an auction, you can attend the auction sale in person, or bid via I-bid LIVE online. If you intend to bid from Nigeria, the first and the third option is advised.
IAAI can be accessed online via www.iaai.com.
Auction Export is a Canada-based car auction brokerage company just like Autojosh. It was established in 2007.
Auction Export specializes in assisting individuals around the world purchase and export cars they buy from the USA and Canada.
Principally, Auction Export serves as a broker who helps source for cars from other auction companies as well as dealers.
Auction Export has an average of 200,000 vehicles listed for sale, although, these vehicles are not owned by them. Most of them are sourced from other auction companies and dealers.
The Company charges a commission on any car you buy through them and they also render shipping services.
Their registration is free; however, buyers must make a $400 or 10% of the car’s value as a security deposit before Auction Export can bid on behalf of a customer.
Auction Export is quite popular amongst Nigerians.
They assist those who do not know how to go about the bidding and shipping process. Their services are quite impressive.
However, Nigerians who patronize them often complain of their high ancillary and shipping charges.
Auction Export can be accessed at www.auctionexport.com
If you have used the services of any of the above car listing companies – or any other one – please, drop your experience in the comment section.