Many Nigerians are no longer going for foreign used vehicles otherwise known as Tokunbo, as they now prefer to buy imported accidental ones.
This development follows the astronomical rise in the cost of Tokunbo vehicles, which has gone up by at least 100% in the last six months as a result of the new policies on importation of used cars.
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that in January 2022, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) introduced a new valuation system known as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is used for allocating standard values to all vehicles coming into the country.
The newly-introduced VIN, according to the NCS, automatically determines the value of import duty that an importer is expected to pay on any imported car immediately after the vehicle is passed through a dedicated scanning machine.
In a similar move, the Customs also prohibited the importation of any vehicle that is above 15 years old, as it insisted that such vehicles are overage.
Reacting to the rising cost of Tokunbo vehicles, an auto dealer, Ademola Lukman said Nigerians are already drifting from buyers of used vehicles to buyers of accidented vehicles.
He disclosed that many motor dealers in Nigeria now buy and repair accident vehicles, which he noted is a little bit cheaper when compared to the non-accidental foreign used cars.
Lukman, therefore, urged the NCS to review the ban on ‘overage’ vehicles so as to allow more Nigerians the opportunity to own vehicles.
Also, the President of United Berger Automobile Dealers Association in Lagos, Chief Metche Nnadiekwe alleged that there is a calculated attempt to prevent those in the middle class from owning vehicles.
Nnadiekwe called on the federal government to urgently review the new policies on importation of used vehicles to protect the business of importers.
“I think there is a calculated attempt to black out the middle class from owning a car of their own in this country, otherwise a car that is supposed to be cleared with N600,000 is now cleared with N2.5 million and if there is a delay, you will still have to pay for demurrage.
“With the demurrage you are clearing the vehicle with about N2.6 million. When you now add the vehicle cost, who will buy it, where would the middle class get the money? Before you sell a car now, it will take weeks, because you won’t see anybody coming to buy,” he said.