Prices of imported second hand vehicles popularly known as Tokunbo have become out of reach for most middle-class people.
Due to high clearing fees and processing, high duty, freight rate, security surcharges, insurance on Nigeria-bound cargoes, unfriendly ports environment, continuous border closures, and illegal charges by government agencies, the price of Tokunbo and new cars has tripled in the country, which has now been exacerbated by the high exchange rate.
A survey of current prices of vehicles show that Toyota Camry 2004, which should ordinarily go for N1.6 million now sells for between N1.9 million and N2.1 million; Toyota Camry 1999/2001 sold before at N1.4 million presently cost N1.8 million; Honda EOD, which sold for N1.4 million before is now N1.9 million to N2 million; Toyota Corolla 04/05 sold for N1.9 million is currently between N2.4 million and N2.5 million.
Toyota Sienna 1999/2000 before was N1.3 million but presently goes for N1.8 million to N2 million; Toyota Corolla 09/10, which was going for N2.4 million is now sold for N3 million; Lexus 330 2005 is now N2.4 million from its earlier price of N1.9 million and Lexus 350 06/07 is now N4 million as against N3.5 million.
In comparison, car prices in Benin Republic, Ghana, and Togo have stayed cheap and reasonable for typical income earners, which is why Nigerians go to these countries to buy cars.
Furthermore, Nigerian importers and foreigners divert their vessels to such countries because of the convenience of doing business in their ports, as well as the low clearance fees, freight rates, and insurance costs.
Most car dealers say by next year, the cost of a vehicle in Nigeria will no longer be a concern for the poor as the current situation could worsen even if a new government is elected in 2023, it would take a long time for things to return to normal because of a number of policy inconsistencies.
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