Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria

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Posted by on Monday April 2, 2012 8:28:50:

Well I wouldn't say I know much about this business since I'm not directly involved in it but I do know people who are into it and it basically involves the following setup:

- Have an online US car trading account e.g
- Buy cars for cheap using their bidding platform
- Arrange for shipping with a shipping firm
- Clear your car at the Lagos or Cotonou port
- Resell your car in Nigeria and make up to 40% profit.

Guys who are involved in buying and shipping cars to Nigeria really make big money but it can be a risky business if things don't go smoothly especially on the Nigerian side such as clearing agents or buyers who may want to defraud you. There is basically no car in the USA which you cannot ship to Nigeria. Most new cars are quite expensive but you know that there are a lot of other fairly used cars which still look like new and are being sold for millions in Nigeria.

Example of a good car business deal
Assuming that you want to buy a Toyota Camry from your US car auction site and was able to get a deal for $2000 and win the bid. You make the payment and arrange for pickup and shipping with your shipping agent. You also pay your shipping agent forward. At times you may pay for shipping the car from its current location in the USA to your shipping agent's park. When your shipping sails, you should expect delivery to Nigeria within a month. Shipping of cars is normally by sea and it takes longer than if shipping light goods by air to Nigeria.

Note: Delaying your cars at the port can increase costs as charges are added daily for keeping them there so it is important you arrange for quick clearing with a reliable agent before your shipment arrives.

How much will it cost to ship a car from the USA to Nigeria?
Well about $1500 to $2000 per car and it is much better to ship 4 cars at once since it will be sufficient to make up 1 container which will be completely identified as your own package. Shipping in single units rather than a container can cost you more or reduce your profits. So shipping a car to Nigeria can cost as much as the value of the car itself and shipping 4 cars in a container at once can help beat down costs. More expensive cars can cost more in shipping.

When the car gets to Nigeria or Cotonou
So when your car gets to this part of West Africa, what remains is clearing it and this requires that your clearing agent provides the right documentation and pays the import duties attached to the car. Most car importers now in Nigeria tend to go through the Cotonou port to ship their cars and then bring it into Lagos since it may be much cheaper and takes less time due to congestion at the Nigerian ports. But most new cars come to Lagos ports directly in containers rather than Cotonou port.

Calculating your costs
So assuming you spend money buying the car, shipping and clearing it in Nigeria, you should calculate your sales price based on your cost plus minimum profit in order to be successful at this business. Selling a car can take months but profit from it can be big.
Selling price = Purchase price + Shipping cost + Cleaning cost + Minimum profit.

Most sellers could invest something like $3000 in a car and sell it for as much as $6000 so it's a good business.

So you don't need to be in the USA to buy and ship a car from there to Nigeria. With the right capital and an internet connection, you can do all your business from Nigeria.

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by itoro akpan on Saturday April 28, 2012 at 17:41:48:

i am interested.

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by Agbasiere Chimezie on Monday May 28, 2012 at 9:14:23:

I am a seasoned clearing agent in Nigeria. I have a good number of clients who import cars from US that I service. If my service is needed pls feel free to contact me using my email;

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by Femi Folayan on Friday June 1, 2012 at 23:26:28:

If anyone is interested in buying a Range Rover without breaking the bank, please email me at

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by Sunny on Tuesday June 12, 2012 at 19:53:40:

I totally disagree with your analysis,you
can't make 40% profit on tokunbo cars.I want to follow your calculations,2000$+1,500+1,500 for clearing=5,000$, this is the minimum you can buy a toyota camry in US,
the least you can ship as well,also the least you can clear.The Camry of 2,000$ should be of year 96/97 which is sold in lagos at 900k-1M naira. what is your exchange rate? 150 naira= 1$. I dont know how you make 40% gain please clarify.and mind you this car takes minimum 1/2 to 2 months to reach Naija,while to sell takes another 1 month or more.I do car biz always,no gain as u want to make pple believe.I want you to explain clearer,what of trucking within US and other unforseen expenses which do occur.

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by Felix Okoli on Tuesday June 12, 2012 at 19:53:40:

@Sunny, my post is based on estimations and not really the exact cost or profit. There are different grades of cars you can buy and resell in Nigeria for high profits and my 40% is simply an estimation. It really depends on how you bought your cars, whether auction, salvaged or fairly used. Most of those things have variable costs and it also depends on your negotiations too.

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by Umar Mohammed on Wednesday July 25, 2012 at 10:58:46:

Thank you Felix for this useful information, I also believe that any person that have this kind of information can directly ship his choice car at affordable price therefore saving himself from the mercy of the so called car dealers here in Nigeria.

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by AFOLABI CHRISTOPHER on Sunday August 19, 2012 at 21:30:0:

How much will it cost to ship with documentation to Lagos ,Nigeria Auto: 2002 Land Rover Freelander SE Wagon 4dr waiting to read from you soon.

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by Emmanuel O Odunwa on Thursday February 6, 2014 at 17:30:21:

I am interested in importing used cars for sale in Nigeria. Could you link me with reliable exporter and shipping agent in the US?

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Posted by AB on Monday April 21, 2014 at 15:12:14:

9c info. Thanks

Re: Buying cars from the USA - Shipping to Nigeria Reply by dominico jude on Thursday August 7, 2014 at 19:53:4:


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