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Shipping Cars to Nigeria: A Complete Guide

Shipping Cars to Nigeria – An Overview The process of Shipping Cars to Nigeria can be a bit overwhelming. If it’s your first time you may find yourself uncertain of where to start and what to do. Luckily, you’ve stumbled across this blog post, which includes all the details you need to make an informed […]

Shipping Cars to Nigeria – An Overview

The process of Shipping Cars to Nigeria can be a bit overwhelming. If it’s your first time you may find yourself uncertain of where to start and what to do. Luckily, you’ve stumbled across this blog post, which includes all the details you need to make an informed decision. The general details provided are applicable when exporting from any country, but we’ll be using examples for exporting from the USA. There’s quite a lot to learn, but just to make sure you’re where you need to be, just know the three primary topics we’ll cover are how much car shipping costs, how to complete each step of the car shipping process, and what you need to do to make informed decisions when preparing to ship your car overseas. 

So let’s get started, shall we?

Shipping Cars to Nigeria
Shipping and Trucking Transportation – RO-RO Transport (Roll-On/Roll-Off)

Understanding the Car Shipping Process

In a perfect world, car shipping would have universal rules for pricing and shipping. But, like all other industries, in order to make the right decisions at the right prices, you have to know a thing or two about the market. The cost of shipping a car to Nigeria is only linked to the amount of distance the car needs to travel. You’ll need to do your research and familiarize yourself with what standards you should use when choosing your shipping carrier. You’ll also need to learn how location affects pricing. The price for shipping cars from Honolulu to Nigeria will be very different from the quote you’d receive when trying to ship from Boston or San Diego.


How to Ship a Car to Nigeria

The process of shipping cars to Nigeria can be broken down into the following steps.

  1. Confirm your car will be accepted by Nigeria
  2. Research the shipping ports you’d like to ship to and from. (The majority of countries have multiple ports you can ship to.)
  3. Begin researching the different car shipping companies who are in your budget.
  4. Choose a shipping carrier
  5. Choose your shipping service ( Door to Port or Port to Port) 
  6. Choose your shipping method –  Roll on Roll off (RoRo) or container shipping
  7. Complete all the necessary paperwork for customs
  8. Prepare your car to be shipped 

We’ll cover each of these different topics in the upcoming sections. Remember there’s no time limit, and you can read back through the information as many times as you like.

Being Smart With Your Budget

Budget Management

The Value of Using Experienced Car Shipping Companies

People who are shipping cars to Nigeria want to do so at the most affordable price. The vast majority of them will even begin their research using a phrase such as “cheap car shipping to Nigeria.” But, one of the most important things to learn about car shipping to Nigeria is choosing a carrier who will be able to do the job right. Sometimes the lowest price belongs to the car shipping carrier who has the least amount of experience.  Less experienced companies are more likely to make mistakes or offer you fewer resources when you’re shipping your car. That’s why when you prepare to ship your car, you should focus on researching companies that have a combination of good reviews and an extensive amount of experience.

Commercial Carriers vs. Small Local Businesses

Oftentimes, when preparing to ship a car overseas, a person may feel tempted to use a small local business. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to support small businesses, but depending on your budget and your needs you may prefer to use a commercial carrier. 

Choosing to use a small local business will affect the answers you receive when you ask “how long to ship a car from the USA to Nigeria” and “what does shipping a car to Nigeria cost?”

  • Small businesses have less frequent sailings than commercial carriers. This may result in you having to wait an extended period of time to ship your car.
  • Small businesses will also charge higher prices and may not be able to afford you the same amount of resources or services that a commercial carrier could.
  • Commercial carriers have frequent sailings and have a large staff of trained professionals who can help you.
  • The expertise that commercial carriers have will also enable them to answer any questions you have. They’ll also be able to walk you through each step of the shipping process and may offer services to help you complete all the paperwork you’ll need to clear customs.

What Factors Determine Cost

shipping cost

Apart from the size and reputation of a shipping carrier, there are several other factors that determine the cost of shipping cars to Nigeria.

When searching out car shipping companies from the USA to Nigeria, it’s important to know there are both primary and secondary factors that influence shipping costs.

  • Size and Weight  – The size and weight of a vehicle play a large role in determining the cost of shipping cars to Nigeria. The bigger your car is and the more it weighs, the more you’ll be expected to pay to ship your car.
  • Distance – The distance between your loading port and destination port will also affect the overall price for shipping cars to Nigeria. The further your vehicle needs to travel, the higher the cost will be.
  • Speed  – The speed of your shipping affects your price. Every shipping carrier has its own unique schedule / timetable for how long it will take to ship your car to Nigeria. If the timetable doesn’t work for you, then you can choose expedited shipping, but it will cost you extra.
  • Shipping Season – The season you ship your car during will affect the price you pay. Car shipping is busiest during the summer, and, unless you plan early, you can expect to pay higher rates for your shipment. Winter is the slow season for car shipping carriers, but you may still pay higher rates due to car shipping companies from USA to Nigeria offsetting costs and / or charging higher rates to ship during harsh weather conditions.
  • Insurance – The amount of insurance you choose to get will affect the price you pay for shipping cars to Nigeria. 

NOTE: If it’s your first time shipping cars to Nigeria, it’s suggested that you get the maximum amount of insurance you can, including marine insurance. Marine insurance protects the value of your car should it be damaged or destroyed while travelling overseas. 

Insurance for your vehicle

The Fun World of Customs and Regulations

Before you can begin shipping cars to Nigeria, you’ll first need to be certain that you can. Every country has laws and regulations about what cars can, and can’t, be imported into the country, and Nigeria isn’t any different.

Before you prepare to ship a car to Nigeria, you should take the following steps:

  • Contact a Nigerian customs agent. The agent will confirm your car is allowed to be imported. 
  • The customs agent will also indicate all the paperwork you’ll need to complete in order to have your vehicle accepted into the country.

Also, take a look below to see what factors may disqualify your car from being imported into the country.

  • Your car should not be more than 15 years old
  • You cannot import a right-hand drive vehicle

NOTE: As of spring 2021, Nigeria is working to pass a law to accept cars no older than 7 years, but the law hasn’t passed yet.

Documents Necessary to Import a Car to Nigeria

As mentioned earlier, it’s always best to check with a customs agent before shipping a car to Nigeria since laws and regulations can change. But, as of now, when shipping cars to Nigeria you’ll need to provide the following documents:

  • Nigerian ID
  • Nigerian Drivers License
  • Proof of Address
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Clean Bill of Lading
  • Certificate of Value and Origin
  • e-form M
  • Completed plate form
  • Packing list
  • Original invoice
  • Accurate description of vehicle being imported

If this long list of documents is intimidating to you, don’t worry Shipping carriers often offer to fill out the paperwork on your behalf at an additional charge.

Shipping Companies Deal
Shipping carriers often offer to fill out the paperwork on your behalf at an additional charge.

Shipping Services

There are two types of services you can use when shipping cars to Nigeria: Door to Port Shipping and Port to Port Shipping.

Door to Port Shipping

  • Door to Port shipping involves an agent from the shipping carrier coming to your home to collect your car. Once the agent arrives, they’ll do a full inspection of your vehicle, taking note of any damages they notice. 
  • The inspection they do of your vehicle helps protect both you and the shipping carrier, by creating a record of your vehicle’s condition prior to shipment.
  • After completing the inspection, the agent will provide a copy of the inspection report, which you’ll be asked to sign.
  • Once the report is signed, you’ll be asked to confirm you have removed all documents and personal belongings from the vehicle. You’ll also be asked to confirm your vehicle has been cleaned according to shipping guidelines.
  • Once all of these steps are completed, you’ll be asked to provide your keys to the agent, who will then transport your vehicle to the destination port.

Port to Port Shipping

  • Port to Port shipping requires you to be the one who transports your car to the loading port. 
  • This shipping service can be a bit more tricky, because it’ll require you to not only drop off your vehicle at the loading port, but you’ll also need to find your way home without the vehicle you just dropped off.
  • If you do choose Port to Port shipping, an agent from the shipping carrier will inspect your car once you arrive at the loading port. The agent will also go through the same steps of confirming your car has been cleaned and you have removed all documents and personal belongings from the vehicle.

NOTE: It’s typically suggested for a person to use Door to Port shipping if they live in a

rural area and Port to Port shipping if they live in a metropolitan area.

Shipping Cars RO-RO – Roll-On/Roll-Off

Shipping Methods

The cost of shipping a car to Nigeria from USA will largely depend on the shipping method you choose.

There are two methods for shipping cars to Nigeria: Roll on Roll off (RoRo) shipping and container shipping.

RoRo Shipping from USA to Nigeria

  • RoRo shipping to Nigeria is the most economical way for you to transport your car. 
  • RoRo shipping cost to Nigeria is generally anywhere between $600 to $5000 cheaper depending on where you are shipping to and  from.
  • The RoRo shipping method is fairly easy to understand. Your vehicle is “rolled on” at the loading port, and then “rolled off” at the destination port.
  • When your vehicle is rolled onto the shipping vessel it is secured in the cargo area, where it will remain until your car reaches its destination point.
  • The only downside to using RoRo shipping is that there’s a chance your vehicle may be damaged if the vessel is traveling through harsh weather conditions.

Container Shipping from USA to Nigeria  

Container shipping is the other method you can use for shipping cars to Nigeria. But, whereas RoRo shipping to Nigeria only provides you with a single option for shipping, there are several different options available to you when you choose container shipping.

First, you can choose the size of the container you want. There are three basic sizes for car shipping containers: 20ft, 40ft, and 45ft.  To give you a general sense of how large a container is, a 40ft container can hold the household goods of a two- to three-bedroom apartment including a living room, dining room, kitchen, and den.

When you choose container shipping, you not only get to choose the size of the container you’d like to ship your vehicle in, but you also get to choose whether you’ll share your container with other vehicles. 

Choosing to share your container can help make container shipping be more affordable. As mentioned earlier, depending on where you are in the country, the cost of shipping 40ft container from USA to Nigeria can cost up to $6000 or more. By splitting the cost among four or five other vehicles, the price for shipping cars to Nigeria is greatly reduced. 

The added advantage of paying the higher price and choosing to ship your car in its own container is that you can also ship personal belongings along with your car.

Shipping Times from USA to Nigeria 

When shipping cars to Nigeria from USA, you may ask yourself, “how long is it going to take?” 

  • It will take between two to four weeks for your car to arrive in Nigeria.
  • The amount of time it takes depends on what port in Nigeria you are shipping to and what USA port you are shipping from.
  • The speed of your shipment will also influence how fast your car arrives. Expedited shipments will always arrive faster than standard shipments.
  • The port you ship from and the route the vessel takes will also affect the speed of your shipment.
  • Weather conditions and shipping demands will also affect the speed of your shipment. Bad weather and congestion on the seas can greatly reduce the speed of your shipment.


After reading this blog you’ve learned what approach you can use when shipping cars to Nigeria. You’ve learned what shipping services and shipping methods are provided by car shipping carriers as well as what approach you can use to make an informed decision when preparing to ship your car. You’ve also learned how to prepare your car for shipment and what cars are, and aren’t, allowed into Nigeria. The next step is for you to choose your shipping carrier and schedule your shipment.


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