Sometimes having enough money isn’t enough to get you that tokunbo car you so much desire. You might end up buying garbage that will put you into big trouble overtime. Nigerians are often confronted with this question: What are the documents I need to collect when buying tokunbo car in Nigeria? Because of lack of proper information, many people have fallen into big trap or become victims of police harassment after acquiring their tokunbo vehicle.

You have to “shine your eyes” when buying tokunbo car in Nigeria

We often kick against linking up with random people online when purchasing tokunbo car in Nigeria. You might be swindled into acquiring invalid or fake documents. This is why many Nigerians end up purchasing stolen car, especially when you get it from an unknown person. When you are caught with wrong documents or stolen vehicle, you might end up in police net for a crime you know absolutely nothing about. Here on Cars9ja are the documents you need to get when purchasing tokunbo car in Nigeria.

What are these documents?

Regardless of the type of vehicle you are going for, it is vital you act smart when at the point of buying the tokunbo car. You need to get these documents and verify their authenticity as well. Do not collect photocopies especially if you are really paying for this car. Always request for original copies to avoid awkward situation in front of law enforcement agents. These documents include:

You might find yourself in big police mess when you fail to collect original documents

Updated insurance paper

It is possible that the tokunbo car you are buying isn’t from the direct source. The owner in most cases might have considered this cost when selling the car at the first instance. This insurance will cover the cost of any damage from road mishap when using it. To make such claim in the future, we advise you collect this insurance paper when buying the tokunbo car.

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Stamped custom paper

Any paper or related document from custom must be duly stamped. Make sure the details on the document are similar to what you have on your car. For a hitch free driving experience, you should get authentic custom paper. Failure to do so, you might expose you to series of disturbance from the police.

The custom paper must be verified and stamped for validity before you pay

Report papers from police

Another important document you should lookout for is the Police report papers. These papers contain vital information such as plate number document, engine number, change of ownership and tinted permit for cars with tinted windows. Not having these papers would put you into big trouble with these law enforcement agents.

Here is a short video on how to inspect a tokunbo car before you buy in Nigeria. See the video below:

How To Inspect A Used Car Before Buying

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Proof of ownership

The proof of ownership recognizes you as the real owner of the car. It is a document that makes you lay claim to the vehicle in question. You may lose your vehicle or have it impounded if you fail to produce this proof or ownership document when requested.

The proof of ownership is an evidence that you truly own the car

Road worthiness

This is one of the most important documents you shouldn’t miss if you are buying a tokunbo car in Nigeria. After you have collected it from the seller, it is also required of you to renew it whenever it expires. Approach the vehicle test station for this renewal at anywhere in Nigeria. You should have the insurance policy and license documents with you when going for this.

Avoid police trouble by getting original documents from the seller

Authentic car purchase receipt

This car purchase receipt is evidence that you are acquiring the car from owner and not stealing it. At this point, the seller might want to trick you into believing that it isn’t that important. Be vigilant and do not leave there unless you get hold of this original receipt.  Be on the lookout for tampered papers as well.

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Plate number allocation

This is a bit different from other important documents you get when buying a tokunbo car in Nigeria. This is because you can get swearing of affidavit from any court close to you in case the seller couldn’t provide the plate number allocation.

You can approach any nearby court for affidavit in case he/she couldn’t provide it


While we are trying to be vigilant as not to be swindled or tricked into buying stolen vehicle, remember these fraudulent sellers are coming up with new ways into scamming you with fake documents. If you are buying the car as a Nigerian used, it is very important you get a signed change of ownership from this seller. Having these verified documents will save you from undue issue with law enforcement agents on the roads.

>>> For more informative auto news and car tips like this, click here!