The Berger automobile market in Lagos and the popular Cotonou automobile market in the Republic of Benin both have a lot in common in terms of affordability, size of the market, the intrigues and the dirty side of the deal.
However Auto Port Weekly draws the attention of potential buyers, already existing buyers and even automobile dealers to draw conclusion on the two markets, and decide which is more suitable and convenient for them.
The two markets have lots of advantages and disadvantages, but with the heart of a stone or that of a lion may cost a buyer his car just to avert duty payable to customs in a market like that of Cotonou or better still buy a car that has been ‘accidented’ from Berger.
Here are some merits and demerits of the two markets where vehicles are sold to Nigerian, we also urge you to draw conclusion on the market that it better.
Cotonou gives you an array of options to choose from
The markets is a case of shine your eyes and shine it well because once your money enters their wallet, that is the end of it. If the car is sound or not; the moment you have paid, there is no refund.
The Cotonou auto mart is very large! One will need the services of a motor bike to able to cris-cross
its length and breadth. As big as it is, so are the choices you have. But like the proverbial lizards that are on their belly, you can never differentiate the one with belly ache.
Cotonou is only cheaper than Lagos because, they will NEVER pay a duty on the import. That is to say, they smuggle in the cars, then go and conjure some customs documents for you at a cheap fee.
Reason: the moment duty is paid on it, the price is not better than the direct American imports found in Lagos. This is why, some of them run into trouble or why some of the dealers going through that route can be insincere. But be mindful that there are sincere and honest ones as well. But do not expect that duty is paid on any vehicle brought in from Cotonou, unless you are willing to pay the price as stated. Even in cases like this, they still pocket the money. So shine your eyes.
Wide array of choices to buy from
Often times cheap and reasonable prices
A good dealer will help you get a good deal and nice, neat car.
Poor customer service: The moment you pay, that is the end of it. No refund of money.
No customs duty is paid on the unit making your car susceptible to being impounded by Customs
Insincere middlemen can ruin your transaction or sell you a bad car.
Smuggling will mean that there is no fixed arrival time for your car
Logistics can be very cumbersome and risky a times.
It's a risky journey up until your car lands. But MOST dealers who know their onions scale through almost every time.
In the case of Berger market, one thing to look out for is the fact that most dealers source their cars from Cotonou.
While a good number of others are accidented cars from USA or Europe. It is a large market; it is also an expensive place to buy a car from.
They had a reputation of stocking stolen cars and the dealer can perform miracle while selling a car to a buyer sell. Where you have issues is when buying low end cars.
Gives you the luxury of pay and drive off. No awaiting arrivals and endless stories
High end cars are pretty much ok to buy there.
A wide array of options to choose from though not as big as Cotonou
Strategic location makes it easier to locate and assess.
Touts can be a nightmare.
If you can find your way around Cotonou, why go to Berger? Most of them source their cars from Cotonou
It has a bad reputation for stocking stolen cars and other auto vending vices
The most expensive auto centre known to me. This is in the sense that they can sell you a lemon at the price of a clean, decent, accident free vehicle.
Insincerity of sellers abound.
Almost no refund when you have paid.