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Starting transport business: best car for taxi business in Nigeria

Transportation Business: Best cars for transport business

The most popular business in Nigeria is transportation business. It is one of the fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria. Nigeria’s high population has made transportation business a lucrative one. Commercial Taxi make between N5,000 to N10,000 daily, while the mini buses make between N10,000  to N15,000 daily. Big buses makes between N20,000 to N30,000 daily.

If you are thinking of going into transportation business that requires the use of taxi/cab or you want to know the best car for a taxi transport business. This article will guide towards buying the best car for commercial taxi transportation business – intra and inter- city taxi /cab transportation. We will also show you the best car for transportation business across different part of Nigeria.


Choosing the best car for commercial transport business

The most important critical step you have to take before starting transportation business is deciding what type of car will work best for your business. This is because not all cars are used for commercial taxi transportation business in Nigeria.

Apart from this, your location or locality for the business has to be taken into consideration. The taxi business in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, is now more. Not all cars used as commercial taxi in Lagos can be used as commercial car in Abuja.

Things to consider when buying a car for taxi business

  • Fuel economy – this is one of most important factor to consider when purchasing a car for commercial use. Volkswagen, Opel, New Toyota camry and so on brand models are cars with good fuel efficiency.
  • Rugged cars – many Nigerian roads are so bad. When it comes to using a car for commercial transport, fuel economy and ruggedity are the first 2 things to consider.  There are lots of port-holes here and there. It therefore necessary to consider rugged cars for Nigerian roads when buying a car for commercial use. Most Toyota models are rugged cars.
  • Available of the car spare parts – availability of the car spare parts need to be taken into consideration when buying a car for commercial use. For example; Opel model car spare parts are readily available in Northern part of Nigeria than any other part of Nigeria.
  • Maintenance – availability of specialize car mechanics and electrician must be faction into your budget when buying a car for commercial use.
  • Good rear passenger space and carrier – car with enough rear passenger space are the best for transportation business. Your passengers need to relax or seat comfortable especially when plying long distance (inter-city transportation)
  • Engines capacity – when buying car for commercial purpose make sure it is up to 1.6 litres engine or at most 1.8 litres engine capacity.


Best Cars for commercial taxi transportation business

In Nigeria generally, most taxi/cab operators only accept Toyota, Golf 3, Nissan and Volkswagen car for commercial taxi business.

In western cities part of Nigeria like Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti, Ondo, Akure, Oyo; Audi 80, Volkswagen jetta, Golf 3, Nissan Sunny and Nissan micra are popularly used for intra city taxi transportation. These cars have good rear passenger space; boots and they are 1.8L i4 engines. Their fuel efficiency is superb. Their spare parts are readily available and relatively cheap.

In North city like Jos-Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe and far – northern part of Nigeria; Opel Vectra, Golf 2, Golf 3 and Golf 3 wagon are popularly used for intra and inter – city taxi transportation business. Opel is quite fast, spacious both for the rear passengers and the boot; the engine is a 1.8 SOHC GM engine.  Opel Vectra is used in Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Bauchi, Kano; Plateau, Niger states. Their parts are readily available in North and cheap but not in west.  Opel brand is more common in the North; they attribute their preference to fuel economy, easy maintenance, speed and stability.

In south east cities like Enugu, Ebonyi, Owerri, Anambra; Toyota camry, Toyota carina 2, Golf 2, Golf 3, Nissan Sunny and partially Mazda are popularly used for taxi/cab business. Their spare parts are available and relatively cheap. Toyota camry is commonly used for intra and inter- city taxi transportation in Enugu. Toyota usually doesn’t have mechanical/electrical problems as other cars. Their parts are abundant and cheap. They have resale value (if properly maintained).

In Abuja, Federal Capital Territory; Toyota Sienna, Toyota Camry, Opel Vectra, Golf 3 Wagon, Honda Accord, Nissan Sunny and mini buses are popular used for intra and inter – city transportation business. These brands of cars have good rear passenger spaces and carrier spaces. Their spare parts are readily available and they are easy to maintain. The road network in Abuja is good, so ruggedity is not prerequisite when buying car transportation business in Abuja.

Honda and Toyota model cars for transportation business

Honda is a reliable and good and among the best selling cars worldwide but not anyway used as taxis, one reason being that the spare parts are expensive than Toyota.  Honda Accords are stronger, but fuel economy and maintenance is higher than Toyota and the rest. Honda civic and city are compact cars with good fuel economy but they are too fragile. Honda cars are not very rugged… that doesn’t mean they are not reliable. Thirdly, Hondas are not used because of its suspension system especially the rear. The Honda’s rear suspension cannot be modified to carry more weight or repaired when bad. There is because of the diameter of Honda shocks which is smaller when compare to both Toyota and Nissan and even Mazda. Many commercial drivers sometimes modify the suspensions of Toyota by doubling the coil spring to carry more weight while there is no allowance for that in Honda shocks. Also, the toyota and Nissan shock absorbers can be opened and resealed once the oil and rubber seals leak.

Most transport companies that use newer model of cars use either Toyota or Nissan Sunny. However, at the airport you will see varieties of cars as taxi including 2000+ model Hondas.
Volkswagen Golf MK1, 2 and 3, Passat, Jetta, Audi 80, Nissan Sunny, Mazda 626 have 1.6-2.2L Inline 4 engines, 4 or 5 doors, good rear passengers and cargo compartments, fewer electrical components than recent cars, spare parts availability and mechanic availability, durability, and also year of manufacture 1986-1996. Toyota cricket or first-lady is known and called circa 1986-1992, toyota carina II is 1988-1992 but carina E is 1993-1997. This is the same age range of cars, Opel Vectra is circa 1988.

In summary, best car for intra and inter-city transportation business in Nigeria include; Volkswagen Golf MK1, 2 and 3, Passat, Jetta, Primera , Audi 80, Nissan Sunny, Mazda 626, 323, volvo 244, Sienna, 504,505, Toyota camry, Toyota GL, Toyota corolla, Opel vectra. Few Honda Concertos and Golf 4 can also be used for commercial taxi business. 2000 and above model of Jetta, Volvo, Primera, Mazda 626 are very fragile and hardly used for commercial purpose.

Buying your Taxi Car online

Buying car is very easy these days. You can sit down at the comfort of your home and buy new or fairly car online. All you need to do is to search for the car you want to buy online from any of these sites and order for it. The pictures should be there for you to see. Once, the car you order arrive border; you go inspection and clearing it.

Read also:Where to Buy Car & Pay Installmentally in Nigeria

Warning: don’t pay for a car you’ve not seen, and touch with your hands.


151 thoughts on “Starting transport business: best car for taxi business in Nigeria”

    1. The price of Toyota picnic 2004 (Nigeria used) …………… N950,000 – N1.5million.
      The price of Toyota picnic 2004 (Foreign Used or Tokunbo) …..N1.5million – N2.2million.

  1. Pls sir can Toyota camry tiny light be gud for transport biz in Port Harcourt, and how much can I budget to get a clean and sound fairly used.

  2. Pls,is it possible to get a cleaned and ok Nigerian used Toyota Sienna(2001 to 2003 model) or Nissan quest 2005 model for transportation within Lagos.i have 500k to pay as initial deposit but to pay the balance at later agreed date.Luqman

  3. My case is different……I want to buy a minivan(7 passengers) or big bus(18 passengers) for my business (RC drinks),… My reason is to supply to my customers when available and use it for transportation at same time for multiple income… I am looking at Volkswagen sharan 2010 model or Toyota hiace….I need advice please in terms of fuel consumption, maintenance, reliability, longevity and buying cost.

  4. ship a1 is one of the most reliable and pocket-friendly companies with a large fleet of containers both open and enclosed and has served thousands of customers with exemplary service and reasonable quotes.

  5. Otobong Gabriel Akpakpan

    Please which car can I get within 360k to 400k that is rugged and economical for intra state transportation and how do i get it, I want to go into transport business in Abuja.

  6. Pls sir, can a Nissan quest 2004mdl or below be good for inter state transport, but if no, pls suggest the best one I can buy. Thanks .

  7. Okonkwo Kelvin Emeka

    Pls sir, is it advisable to buy Nissan quest 2004 model or below for transportation business. Thanks. Pls sir, if this one is not okay, pls tell me the one I can use, before I make mistake.

      1. Otobong Gabriel Akpakpan

        Please sir how much can will it cost me to get the toyota sienna 2004 model, I am in Abuja I want to use it for interstate transport

  8. hi pls am a novice wen it cums to cars which do u prefer for a starter Mazda323,golf3,camry,mazda626,siena easy to maintain economical rugged and low electrical fault for intra state transport

      1. if it can be maintained, sounds like it isn’t economical to maintain. could you please throw more light as the person buying is a first timer with an average income.
        His target is to save cost of transportation while he as well uses it to convey passengers on his way to work and while returning.

  9. lovely article. pls do u know where I can buy minibus with deposits of some amount & pay the balance in sequent months? how much is it? thanks

  10. Good evening Mr emma please out of mistubishi charisma, Toyota camry 2000 tiNY light and vwagen golf 3 which one is best for taxify please all of nigeria used

  11. Hi Emma,
    Will honda accord 2001 be a suitable car for a Taxi Rental Service in Abuja. I heard it has a good fuel economy and cost of maintenance relatively affordable.

  12. Please am stuck between golf 3 and Toyota Camry 1996, both automatic and same price of 450k. Please advise and with reasons.
    Thanks alot

  13. Good morning, please i wil like to know if i can usr mazda mpv 2003 for uber or taxify… or what can i use it for… thanks anf hope u reply.

  14. Hello sir. Please I want to start driving with uber and I wanted to ask your opinion about the Toyota Avalon 2003 model. I heard it is a very strong car with good engine but I’m scared of the maintenance and fuel usage. Do you think it’s a good car to use for uber?

  15. Hi Mr Emma, please I need your opinion. I want to start driving for uber or taxify and I’m thinking of using a Toyota Avalon 2003 model cos I heard the car is strong with a very good engine. My only fear is maintenance and fuel consumption cos o don’t know much about the car. Do you think this is a good idea?

  16. Hello Mr Emma, I’m thinking of doing uber in Abuja and I want to use a Toyota Avalon 2003 model to do it . I heard it is a strong car with good engine but I’m scared about its maintenance and fuel consumption. Do you think it’s a good idea?

  17. Tnx for a great work done, please am a complete novice when it comes to cars but want u to advice me which can I go for, for transportation purpose between that can take at least 8 passengers. Thanks.

      1. Pls advise. Between Toyota Sienna 2002-2003 and 2004-2005 models which one is more rugged, economical Nd preferably better for inter state transport (abuja to Abia state).

  18. Pls which amongst 97/98 Volkswagen Passat wagon, 99/2000 Mazda 626 hatchback/sedan and 96 golf 3 is most suitable for intracity taxi in the south easten region.
    My mind is almost settled on Passat wagon (being German machine) but I’m afraid its too expensive to maintain. I’d have settled for golf 3 but the boot is not big enough to accommodate passengers luggage unlike Passat wagon. However if there’s any other car outside these options, you deem most fit for intra city taxi, pls enlighten me.

  19. Hello bro. Pls i need your advice. Amongst Audi 80 (tigerface) and Camry 96 (orobo) Which one is most suitable and economical for taxi within the city precisely Enugu. Audi is manual while Camry is Automatic.
    Both vehicles are Nigerian used.

  20. why can’t Benz 230 be used for transport? lagos – abuja. Please, analyze the reasons, it is what I av with me presently.

  21. I’m at the point of paying for 96 Toyota camry orobo (i4 cylinders) for commercial. My plan initially was to get a Volf 3 or Audi 80 but my mechanic advised me to go for Toyota product which is strongly built for Nigerian roads and since Vw golf 3, passat and audi 80 are known for electrical fault. I narrowed my choices to Toyota Carina E and 96 Toyota Camry orobo.

    Pls should i go ahead putting fuel economy, ruggedity and availability of parts factors into consideration?


  22. Between 2000 Volkswagen Sharan and 2000 Ford Galaxy which is more economical and suitable for Nigeria road and safety wise.
    Both cars houses 2.0 engine and v4 cylinders while Ford Galaxy has 118hp and Vw sharan 150hp.

    I intend using it for commercial purposes within states.

  23. Pls I what to as what kind of oil is good in services the engine, and how London do we need to service d engine ,may be from Lagos to Edo for two weeks do I need to change d oil.

  24. Great job you have done here, Emma, kudos.
    I have searched all the 10 sites you recommended but could not found any of them with my required vehicle as follows:
    1. A clean and sound VW golf 3 or 2 wagon.
    2. A clean and sound Passat CL wagon.
    3. A clean and sound Audi 80 wagon.
    4. A clean and sound Tayota Camry or Carina II wagon, or Corolla.
    5. A clean and sound Nissan Sunny wagon or Serena.
    6. A clean and sound Mitsubishi space wagon.
    Any of the above makes could be a Nigerian decently and privately used vehicle with affordable price.
    If any, send the pictures and details of the vehicle by email, and notify directly on phone 08034093937. Thanks.

  25. great write up, pls what’s ur advice on golf 3 for intra state transport, ManuL or automatic, 1.6 or 1.8litres engine..Thanks

  26. I must say you’re really doing a wonderful job here and i commend you for your kind contributions.
    Pls which amongst these two car: Audi 80 B4 tigerface or Nissan primera 98 would you recommend most for intra city taxi. I was offered both cars as Nigerian used for the same price but I’m confused since both of them are good. Someone told me that Audi 80 though its german made but is out of vogue. Pls help me decide.

  27. I like the info on this write up. I am a car freek. But u did not made mention of mitstibushi space wagon and Nissan Serena. Are they not good product?

  28. Hello, nice write up here. Kudos! Please what’s your assessment of the Mazda MPV 2005 in terms of ruggedity, fuel consumption and availability of parts for intra & inter city transport business.

    1. Mazda MPV 2005 is a family car. it is better use for inter-city transport business than intra city tansport. The fuel consumption is average – 23 MPG and the the parts are available.

  29. Hello Emma , very insightful and helpful write-up there. What are your thoughts on the following cars for both inter and intra state transportation.

    1) Toyota Sienna ( 1999 – 2003)
    1) Toyota Previa
    2) Toyota Picnic
    3) Honda Odyssey (1997 – 2000)
    4) Ford Windstar 2003.
    5) Sharan .

    In terms of parts availability, fuel economy, ruggedness, maintenance etc.
    Thanks in anticipation.

    1. Toyota Sienna (1999 – 2003), Toyota Picnic, Volkswagen Sharan, and Toyota Previa are good for inter state transportation with respect to availability of parts, fuel economy, ruggedness, maintenance etc. Honda Odyssey (1997 – 2000) maintenance is not an easy one as the parts are costly. Ford Windstar 2003 are not usually used for transportation business.

  30. Good post… I ve learned a lot. Pls can Dodge Grand Caravan be used for long distance journey (Lagos to Onitsha)…if no pls give reasons…thanks

    1. Yes! it is Ok for for long distance journey. The Grand Caravan’s potent 3.6-liter V6 is one of the most powerful engines you can get in any minivan. It easily accelerates the Grand Caravan during highway passing maneuvers and when pulling away from a stop. Although, most rivals have fuel economy estimates within a couple miles per gallon of the Grand Caravan.

  31. Thanks for the info. I will like to know if Honda accord bulldog 1998 model can be use for transport business. also if fuel consumption is low and spare parts availability in Lagos.

  32. Hi I’m considering Toyota Hiace for inter-state runs. How do I go about using a popular park for daily passenger load?

  33. Hi I was wondering if you know any car that will be durable (in terms of engine, fuel economy, e.t.c) if used for inter-state and long distance travels and commercial transport. Example Enugu to lagos or to abuja.
    Is the idea of using a car for inter-state transportation even laudable? what do you think about it?

    1. Hello Okeke Nnaemeka,
      Go for Toyota Sienna.

      Is the idea of using a car for inter-state transportation even laudable?
      People use car for inter-state transportation. Once you are the person driving it; If you manage it well and it will last for you.

      1. I was thinking the same thing also, you have made a valid point. What of Hyundai vehicles, how reliable do you think they would be.

        1. Yeah,
          Hyundai Vehicles can be used for both inter-and-intra city taxi business though not too durable. I have often seen it used as taxi in cities like, Enugu, PortHarcourt, Ibadan, etc.

  34. Hello

    This is the reference from one of the blogging site.Actually I have some unique posts based on Transportation. And I want to post these on your website.If allowed then please mail me your requirements to post.Hope for the positive and quick response.Trust me you will not be disappointed.


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