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All You Need To Know About Upgrading Cars In Nigeria





In one way or another, you’ve probably heard about upgrading cars in Nigeria. But do you have a clear understanding of what upgrading a car in Nigeria is all about?

People upgrade cars for various reasons; we will certainly talk about it extensively in this write-up. Before then, let’s get to know what it really means to upgrade a car.

Upgrading a car is broad and not just about the physical appearance of a car. The truth is that anything can be modified or upgraded in car. The engine,  suspension, upholstery, tyres, grille, headlights and taillights, steering, dashboard and many more can be upgrades.

In Nigeria, the most common upgrade you’ll see is on the outer body of the car. That’s the grill, headlights and taillights. These are basically what Nigerians refer to as upgrading. Very few people upgrading a car bother about the interior and every other thing like the engine.

But why do people upgrade cars?

There are many reasons why people upgrade cars in Nigeria.

1. To increase sales profit

This is mostly why most dealers upgrade their cars. They do so to maximize profit. Putting extra cost on an upgraded car is easier when the car is upgraded.

As an example, we would use a 2007 Toyota Camry which has a market value of around N2.3m to N2.5m. A dealer can upgrade the Camry with new headlights, taillights  and then a very fine grille which would take N200,000. He can then put up the car for sale at N3m. With this strategy, they can easily take up the price to make more gain. It’s an upgraded car after all.

2. To cover up accident impacts

This is yet another reason why some dealers and importers choose to upgrade a car. This is mostly for importers that buy salvage titled car. In case you don’t know much about title brands, take your time and read our post on “7 Classes Of Vehicle Title Brands Every Car Importer/Buyer Should Know”

Instead of replacing the damaged parts especially the lights and grille with the original parts, they just do an upgrade. Some unsuspecting buyers would have their minds removed entirely from the accident due to the upgrade. This particular strategy works for many importers.

3. To save money

This “saving money” aspect has to do with the buyer. Some buyers would say “why should I buy the 2018 model if I can upgrade my 2013 model to look exactly like the 2018.”

A perfect example is the upgrading a 2011 Lexus GX460 to 2018 model. Getting a 2011 GX460 is around N10-N12 million whereas the 2018 model is up to N22 million. Instead of throwing in much cash to get the 2018 model, some people may decide to upgrade their 2011 model. After a very good upgrade, just like this 2012 to 2018 Toyota Landcruiser upgrade done in Ladipo, you  may not be able to differentiate the two models from the outside.

4. For aesthetics

The aim of every upgrade is to make the car look better or to perform better. In Nigeria, the former is mainly the reason and not the later.


On the other hand, there are people who detest the idea of upgrading cars, hence, they run from it. They would rather discard what they have and buy the real thing than upgrading. Different strokes for different folks, remember.

What are the things you need to upgrade your car?

a. Money

There are certain things you will need if you want to upgrade your car. The most important of them all is money. Proper upgrading of a car doesn’t come all that cheap, you’ll have to spend.

b. Carrying out proper researches

It is advisable you carry out a proper research before you go about upgrading your car. This will enable you not to waste your time and resources.

c. Getting the upgrade parts

This is yet another important thing to consider when you want to upgrade your car. Where do you intend getting the upgrade parts from? There are people that make use of our local spare part markets like the one we have in Ladipo, Lagos. There are some people that still buy theirs from outside the country and then have them shipped into Nigeria. Where you buy your upgrade parts depends on the level of upgrade you want to carry out, the time you have, and then your money.

Some people that use local markets like Ladipo often take the parts they want to upgrade and then counterbalance. It’s hurting when you find out how much those guys will price your old parts. You’ll find out yourself one day.

d. Professional help

If you don’t have the technical know-how, it would be hard to carry out this upgrade yourself. You’ll definitely need professionals to handle it. The professionals that handle the upgrading job will go a long way in giving you the actual thing you want. Wrong hands will end up giving you wrong outcome.

Emeka is a Contributor at Autojosh. A graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering with a B.Eng degree. Emeka is a car enthusiast who is interested in traveling, writing, movies and driving. He also loves drinking garri with cold water.