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How to know a stolen vehicle when buying a Nigerian used car

Before you buy a Nigerian used car, there are many things you have to put into consideration before striking a deal with the owner. This is because ignorance is not an excuse. When you buy a stolen vehicle, you’re as guilty as the thief himself and would be punished by the law if caught. I know of a man who bought a tokunbo vehicle in Lagos, registered it days after purchase and decided to drive it to Abuja where he resides. On his way back to Abuja, he was robbed by armed robbers and his vehicle was stolen. The unfortunate robbers sold the vehicle to a car dealer and the car dealer showcased the vehicle as a tokunbo vehicle in his show room. An innocent buyer saw the vehicle and loved it, so he decided to buy the stolen vehicle. The papers were processed after he made payment then he proceeded to FRSC offices in order to get the vehicle registered. To his greatest surprise, the vehicle had earlier been registered and the real owner had reported to the police and the FRSC about the incident so the relevant authorities took note of the chassis number and other details of the vehicle that would be needed during registration for the purpose of investigation.

Therefore whenever you want to buy a used car especially Nigerian used vehicles, make sure you go to police or any vehicle registration center to make inquiries before you proceed to make full payment or if the seller/vehicle owner is willing to follow you to the registration center to further prove that the vehicle wasn’t stolen then you’re good to go.

This also implies that if your vehicle has been stolen, make sure you report to the police, FRSC, V.I.O or any other relevant government body responsible for vehicle registration. This is because the thief would either sell it to someone else who would want to renew the license or change ownership of the vehicle or the thief himself/herself would actually want to either renew or change plate number.

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