It’s the average Nigerian’s dream to own a personal car. For Nigerians, having a personal car is not a luxury but a necessity.
If you are ever in doubt, just wait till you get stuck in a bus-stop under a very heavy rain or when you have to miss a very important meeting because you were not strong enough to beat other passengers to jumping the ‘danfo’ bus.
There are two major ways by which people purchase used cars in Nigeria.
You can either choose to buy from Cotonou (where you or your agent would have to visit Cotonou to select a preferred vehicle, pay the `customs duty and drive it down to Nigeria) or buy from overseas from where it would be shipped to a port in Nigeria and cleared with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) upon payment of necessary tariffs.
Prior to the new tariffs introduced by the Federal Government, the Nigerian Customs simply considered the size of your vehicle and the year the car was manufactured when determining tariff for your vehicle. This meant that a car manufactured in 2014 would attract a higher tariff than one manufactured in 2001.The average costs of clearing cars under the old regime would like this-:
- 2000-2003: N250, 000
- 2004-2006: N270, 000
- 2007-2008: N400, 000
- 2009: N600, 000
- 2010: N700, 000
- 2011-2012: N800, 000 and above.
- 2000-2003: N360, 000
- 2004-2006: N390, 000
- 2007-2008: N610, 000
- 2009: N800, 000
- 2010-2012:N900, 000 and above.
Commercial Buses (10-15 Passengers)
- 1999: N190,000.
- 1990-1995: N260, 000
- 1996-2005: N290, 000.
But with the new law which is expected to be fully operational in 2015, the cost price of the car would be used to determine tariff to be paid. A 35% duty is expected to be charged on the cost of the vehicle along with a 35% levy, which makes the cost of clearing your vehicle about 70% of the cost of the car.
So for instance, if your vehicle cost N 3,500,000, expect to pay an additional N2,450,000 except somehow, the Federal Government decides to stick with the old tariff regime.
Cost of Clearing Cars in Nigeria: All You Need to Know (Updated, August 2017)
As a car dealer, one of the things you have to know when importing your cars is their clearing cost. As a matter of fact, your customers will often ask you about the cost of clearing of certain car models.
On the other hand, if you are a prospective buyer and you want to bring in your car from any of the foreign countries, it is quite important that you know the cost of clearing your prospective car. This is especially important if you’re negotiating directly with your foreign contact and there’s no Nigerian middleman. Knowing this cost will help you ascertain the total cost of the car.
Generally, the question of how much does it cost to clear a car is very common question on many car-related websites or forum. And one reason why people always want to know the cost implication is because buying a car in Nigeria isn’t a luxury but a necessity.
Due to the challenges with the public transport system, a personal car is certainly more convenient and faster in terms of moving from one point to another.
Another reason why this question is often asked is because many believe that buying your car abroad is more reliable than buying directly from a Nigerian dealer.
Whatever the case, you’re obviously on this page because you want to know the cost of clearing a particular car and in the course of this article; we’ve taken our time to put together details regarding this query.
First, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is responsible for the clearing of vehicles before they are allowed in to the country and the method employed in determining the cost of clearing cost used to be quite straightforward until recently.
In the past, the fee was based on the size and year of manufacture of your car. The implication of this was that older cars irrespective of their value are usually cheaper than the newer models.
However, changes began to spring up within the last 4 years and the NCS eventually arrived at a new tariff system for determining the cost of clearing vehicles. Currently, a 35% duty is charged on the cost of your car, in addition to a 35% levy which gives the total clearing cost at 70% of the initial cost of the vehicle.
When compared with the old policy which estimates the clearing cost at 22% of the initial cost of the car, it means that the new cost is 48% higher than the previous. If we are to look at the cost of clearing cars under the old policy based on the current value of some popular car brands, then the highlight below gives you an idea of what to expect.
|Year of Manufacture||Clearing Fee for Cars (N)||Clearing fee for SUVs (N)|
|2010||800000||Subject to negotiations|
|2011-2015||Subject to negotiations||Subject to negotiations|
But with this new system the cost is not exactly determined by the year of manufacture or the size of the car but on the actual value of the car.
As a way of saving you the rigours of trying to figure out what the implication of this new system is, below are some popular vehicle brands and their expected clearing cost.
|Car model||Cost (N)|
|Acura MDX 2007||700000|
|Acura MDX 2008||850000|
|Acura MDX 2009||980000|
|Ford Edge 2007||900000|
|Ford Focus 2012||1400000|
|Hyundai Elantra 2013 – 2016||1300000|
|Kia Optima 2012||1200000|
|Land Rover R/Sport 2006||1500000|
|Lexus RX 300||420000|
|Mazda 3 SV||2000000|
|Mazda 6 2004||450000|
|Mitsubishi Carisma 2005||380000|
|Toyota 4 Runner 1994||450000|
|Toyota Camry 2003||270000|
|Toyota Camry 2007- 2008||600000|
|Toyota Camry Hybrid 2010||1100000|
|Toyota Corolla 2003||350000|
|Toyota Corolla 2004||450000|
|Toyota Corolla 2005||500000|
|Toyota Corolla 2006||600000|
|Toyota Sienna 2004||350000|
|Toyota Venza 2010||1100000|
|Toyota Yaris 2000||200000|
|Volkswagen CC 2011||1200000|
There are several ports in Nigeria through which cars are brought in. The most common are the Tin Can port and Apapa port. But if you’re importing your car from Cotonou, you’ll have to clear it at the Seme border. Usually, the cost at this border comprises the port charge, the custom duty and the clearing agent fee.
Currently, there are many cars in the country that haven’t been properly cleared. And the owners are sometimes unaware of their car’s uncleared status. You can verify your car’s status at any of the four zonal centres of the Nigerian Customs Service. If your car hasn’t been properly cleared, you can duly pay the prescribed fee. The four zonal offices are:
- Zone A Headquarters, No. 1 Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos;
- Zone B Headquarters, Kabala Doki, Kaduna;
- Zone C Headquarters, Nigeria Ports Authority, Port Harcourt and;
- Zone D Headquarters, Yelwa Tudu Road, Bauchi State.
Another way of verifying is to dial or send an SMS to any of these numbers: 094621597, 094621598 or 094621599 with your C-number, the year you paid your duty and the port or location through which your car was brought into the country.
After sending the SMS with the right information, you’ll get a response within 5 minutes. If your custom clearance isn’t authenticated, you can take advantage of the 60% rebate which applies to cars bought on or before 2015.
The process of ascertaining the status of your car is very important because any car that hasn’t been duly cleared will be tagged a smuggled car and that can cause problems between the car owner or dealer and the law enforcement agency.