Should I Buy Tokunbo Right-Hand Car?
One of the ways of saving money on a tokunbo car is by buying a right-hand drive from the UK. Especially if you want a foreign used car for the price of a Nigerian used. How can I genuinely get a good car for almost half the value of the market price? I had seen many right-hand drive cars for sale at very good prices. So, should I buy tokunbo right-hand car and get it converted to a left-hand drive? Is it safe? Will I have problems with it later? Let me share some of my experiences with you. It may give you some insights that might clear some doubts you may have about buying a right-hand drive.
Can it be value for money?
I did get value for my money. I had a friend in the UK who helped with the purchase and shipped it down. Trust is of the essence here and there must be some before you can repeat my experience. I saw the car in one of the UK online market and there are many of them now. My friend viewed and paid for the car. Then he shipped it to me in Lagos. These days there are many shipping company’s on here who you can check out (please read our safety tips on our to transact with members)
I was able to go through a list of professionals who do car conversions in Lagos. I went through some of there previous works and also, checked current work in progress too. Once I was satisfied, I paid for the car to be converted to a left hand-drive.
I used the car for 3 good years, no problem at all. Apart from usual repairs like brake replacement and normal car service, I had no problem with car at all. Maybe I was lucky? Maybe not. I had owned 3 cars from the car that were converted to left-hand after that and all were successfully done. I was able help a few friends too but not all the cars were successfully done. Even the successful ones were no way near 80% pass mark. Despite some set backs, it was a good experience for me and I will do it again if I have to.
Below are some points to take note if you ever gave it a thought. This article is by no means a vote of confidence neither will I be held accountable by any actions taken by you or anyone who may have came across this article. So now that the disclaimer is out of the way, please read along……
Peugeot / Honda / Mercedes Are Easier to Convert.
So if your question is still – should I buy a tokunbo right-hand drive? which car do I want to buy? What won’t give me headache?
In the picture is a right-hand car and a diagram of where the steering rack moves from left to right.
Some car manufacturers have made things easier for easy transfer from left to right or vice versa. Like the steering rack, brakes and all, including the location of the subframe makes it easier than some other cars. Things need to be re-positioned including rear brakes and master cylinder. This takes me to the next point.
Stay Away From Audi, BMW.
Not only are these cars expensive to convert due to high cost of their parts, they are also difficult to convert. Don’t be talked into buying one because you may end up paying same cost as if you had bought a left-hand drive. I love Audi cars but my experience when I assisted a friend to convert an Audi A6 was horrible. I spoke with a few professionals in the trade and unsurprisingly, confirmed this.
Are the parts available in left-hand drive?
A large part of the used car parts in Nigeria are from the UK, Japan, US and Germany. Most tokunbo cars in Nigeria are from the US and a small percentage from Europe. For some cars like the Alfa Romeo Giulietta for example, is not available in the US. What this means is that the parts would have to come from Europe. For cars that are not available to the US market, it becomes tough task to convert that car to right-hand. So make sure the parts are plenty in the market before buying the right-hand drive.
Older Cars Does Not Mean Cheaper Cost.
Unfortunately if you have bought an older make and model because it will save you cost of conversion. You may have made a mistake. I must say that this does not always apply. More expensive does not necessarily mean direct comparison with the newer models. But when you compare the cost of conversion to the actual price of the car at right-hand, it becomes an expensive conversion. Though is not always true. It all really depends on one thing, the availability of parts. The reason why some older cars are more expensive is becomes as years goes by, the parts become unavailable in the market. Another reason that affects the cost is that, the parts dealers bring newer car parts because they are more in the market and so there’s a higher demand for those parts.
Should You Buy A Tokunbo Right-Hand Car?
It really depends on you. I have had pretty good experience and its something I may do again in the near future. If you don’t mind the wait and patience in sorting everything out, then its a good way to save thousands of naira instead of buying a left-hand car. Sometimes one or two things might need an adjustment. Nothing scary but some basics. Like AC, clutch adjustments and wheel alignments. You may also notice other issues which may need attention. Make sure the garage that fitted your car is not in another state from you. Once everything is sorted, you can a have good experience like I had too.
Happy reading….. and please leave your comment below.