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What car should you buy?

There was a viral video at the start of 2019, the video was a parody of a cut clip from “Despicable Me” which sent people on a rave.

Benz is a short form of Mercedes-Benz, a German car manufacturer who is known for making prestigious technology based vehicles that provide premium comfort, ride quality and top-of-the-line driver experience.

The goal was to “Buy Benz”, and true to the word of many, they did buy Benz, which is a very good thing.

However, some people bought Benzs, and today are regretting it. Why? The answer isn’t just one thing.

Let’s look at the situation of this friend of mine.

Dola Dollar

Dola, a 25 years old civil engineer, got a contract and after completion, had a personal gain of about #40 million. This was the big break he had been hoping to catch, so he decided to buy his first car, a Mercedes Benz 2018 AMG E 43, which had a 3.0L V6 engine producing about 395 horsepower. It cost him about #32 million naira. The vehicle was very beautiful and fast, it was the perfect definition of class.

Mercedes Benz AMG E43
Dola’s AMG E43

After about a month of use, he complained about the fuel consumption, saying it was a little on the high side, but whoever he told it to, made him understand that he shouldn’t expect otherwise, so he adapted. As time went on, he found out that the maintenance cost of the vehicle was taking a huge chunk of his earnings, a regular brake pad replacement was costing just over #100,000, regular service was about #70,000, a tyre was about #90,000 each (#360,000 for all four)… 

Oops…

All these were still manageable until the day Dola had to travel to Ebonyi state from his base in Lagos. He ran into a pothole (a common characteristic of Nigerian roads) on the Enugu-Ebonyi express and suddenly started hearing a hissing sound. At the same time, he noticed that his vehicle’s balance got compromised and he got a suspension error warning on his dashboard. On getting to his mechanic, he was told that the air suspension on his vehicle was compromised. When he heard the cost of replacing it, he went berserk! It was a whopping 1.2million naira!!!

Well, he bought Benz but he didn’t do his findings before doing so.

Now, this write up is not to discourage Benz buying because even I will buy a Benz, and Mercedes makes some of the best cars. But before buying Benz, there is a lot that you should know.

What car would suit you best?

Buying a car is something worth celebrating and is a thing of joy. However, some people have gone ahead of themselves and bought cars which they could not maintain.

This article is poised to help people make informed car purchases because a lot of people have bought money pits and have greatly suffered for it. I have some people who would tell you that they would never buy some cars from specific companies because one car from them almost emptied their pockets.

The parameters for choosing these cars is based on several factors, namely;

  1. The income of the owner, not including loans or thrifts. Just savings and down payment.
  2. Fuel consumption 
  3. Reliability of the vehicle
  4. Availability and access to parts 
  5. Ease of repair
  6. Family size.

The First Category

If you’re a student or a fresh graduate with a less than #300000 monthly income, I don’t know how you can afford a car in Nigeria, but if you can, you should be more concerned with getting fuel-efficient vehicles with tiny 4 cylinder engines which can offer optimum reliability and cheap easy repair.

A lot of cars fall into this range, but they are mostly Japanese and South Korean. Notable mentions include Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Honda City, Kia Cerato, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Primeras and Almeras, Volkswagen Golf and so many others. 

Pros

This selection is largely based on their fuel consumption as most of these cars offer over 30 miles per gallon, that is, it can move about 12.75 kilometres on 1 litre. 

Their parts are also relatively cheap to purchase and almost all mechanics can fix them as they don’t use complicated systems of computers. 

Cons

The downside is that they are not very spacious, are not very fast, and do not look so prestigious. 

Who is putting you under pressure anyways? A car is supposed to get you from point A to B conveniently, moreover, you’re still putting your life together.

The Second Category

If you earn between #400000 and a million, and you feel you want to use a bigger car, or let’s say you have got kids and you want to upgrade your car to something more comfortable, Japanese cars and Korean are still the best for that income range.

There is a wide variety of cars which are awesome to drive and maintain. Some of them include; Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and some small size SUVs like the Rav4, the Highlander (quite pricey), and a host of others.

Some of these vehicles are offered with V6 engines for slightly better performance, but at that income range, it is still very comfortable to maintain.

Their parts are also relatively cheap to purchase and almost all mechanics can fix them as they don’t use complicated systems of computers. 

These vehicles offer a lot of space, comfort and look good enough for a relatively reasonable value.

It is important to note that at these income rates, buying a brand new car is almost impossible, so most of these purchases will be UK/US used vehicles. These vehicles most times still have a lot of life left in them, though not as much as a brand new vehicle from the factory. 

 

The Third Category

If you earn between #1 and #10 million monthly, you’re beginning to ball. You can choose to save up and buy a brand new Corolla category or for a used prestigious car depending on your preference.

Some of the cars you can get include Lexus RX, ES, GS, Toyota Avalon, Acuras, used SUVs like 4Runner, Prado, Venza, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Volkswagen Touareg and many other used car options. At this income range, the price point of a lot of cars are within your reach.

If you have a big family of like 5 children, and God has helped you financially, you should purchase Multi-purpose vehicles like Volkswagen Routan, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey and other vehicles like big American vehicles, for example Ford Explorer of that sort to enable you to move your family comfortably and carry luggage easily. 

In some cases, it is even possible to get some used German vehicles like Benz, Audi,  BMW, Volkswagen… but most of them won’t be the top of the line E-Class, S-Class, or BMW Mseries, or even 3series. You’ll be getting used C-class, CLA, BMW 2 Series, Audi A4 and those sorts.

At this range, fuel economy and supposed reliability issues can be overlooked. But, if you still make an uninformed choice, you might suffer for it.

The Fourth Category

If you can comfortably call on #50 million naira, you’re a baller. Buying brand new Toyotas, Lexus, Nissans, Kias, Hondas, Jaguar etc will be easy and you can easily start to purchase fairly “used” top of the line  or brand new mid-range Benzs, Audis and BMWs, Lexus LS… you can easily maintain them all. The reason why I advise that only people that have this kind of income should get these cars is that they are packed full of convenience features which run on a lot of computer chips and sensors, most of which will start failing as the car ages. And they do cost a lot to fix. 

Parts of these vehicles can be ordered from abroad in case they can’t be sourced in Nigeria.

The Fifth Category

If you can speak #100 million into existence anytime you like, and many times over, you can begin to buy brand new BMWs, Benz, Maserati, Porsche, and Range Rovers and brand new Lexus LS. In short, money is not your problem. 

At this level, you can cope with the financial implication of owning one.

The Sixth Category

If you’re a billionaire, like Otedola, you can easily purchase a Ferrari, Bugatti, Lamborghini or when you want to finish it, buy a Rolls Royce. Do your thing with joy, please.

The Seventh Category

If you’re a farmer like me, you know for sure that pickup trucks and buses are the real deal. Toyota and Ford trucks sure stand out in that category; Tacoma, Tundra, Hilux, Ford F150, Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Frontier, and Titan… and a host of others stand out.

Good buses for haulage include Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Volkswagen… and so on.

Before you disagree with me;

Now, being Nigerian and being human, I know that some people might consider this as an attempt at stereotyping and it might spark up controversy, but it was written so as to help people understand that cars can either be of great help or of great pain. 

This write-up was inspired by the many good vehicles abandoned at mechanic workshops due to lack of funds, and others on the roads which receive substandard maintenance for example buying wrong oil products, using bad tyres which can blow up anytime, and general inadequate car maintenance.

Please, do not be under any pressure to buy a big car that you’ll later regret buying. Check your pocket and buy what will serve you. Quality maintenance should be non-negotiable, but not at the cost of the owner’s entire bank account.

Peperipe, peperipepe… you know the rest.

Nonetheless, I know that some people will still go ahead and buy Benz with an annual income of #10million, or they will buy Lexus GS350 while earning 300k per month.

All I will say is; “Do your thing”. I’ll direct you to where you can repair it last last. If people like you don’t exist, I won’t have to write.

 

So, if you enjoyed the post, a subscription to the blog will be sublime. 

And in the comments section, with your knowledge of the post, I’ll like to know what things Dola did wrong.

If you would like to read more car related post, click here .

1 thought on “What car should you buy?”

  1. This is an eye opening write up,and what I learnt from here is that buying a car isnisn’tthe issue but knowing more before purchasing it as a car can be an asset or a liability.

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