When you want to buy a naija used vehicle, always have a keen eye on the vehicle licence! Why?

To avoid paying for accumulated debt on a car that was not used by you at that period in time.

For example, today is December 10, 2019.

I just bought a naija used car whose particulars was last renewed in 2011.

I want to renew the particulars immediately.

On calling Car Papers, I discovered that I have inherited a debt of licence fees for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019


That means I have to pay eight times the current amount on the licence fee.

Vehicle Licence is a permit from the government to own a car. Look at it as a Mining Lease, where you have to pay upfront before you are allowed to carry out mining activities in a given area.

You can even look at Vehicle Licence in this light for a deeper understanding of how it works: I rented an apartment from my landlord and traveled out of the country for an official assignment immediately I paid a year’s rent. On returning to the country, I was planning to rest in my rented apartment for the FIRST night, then the old man showed up not only to welcome me back but to demand for another rent because the one I paid had expired. Would it be sane for me to say I never stayed in the apartment for a night, hence I wouldn’t pay?

Vehicle licence is the right the government confers on you to own the vehicle. It is a compulsory tax that must be paid yearly.

Search for the vehicle licence of the naija used car you want to buy. Factor in the accumulated debt if any to your final purchasing price. If you have not been renewing your vehicle particulars for long, remember that the day you decide to renew them, you will pay the accumulated debts on the vehicle licence.

You can verify Lagos State Number Plates using this link:


You can also use the link above to check when the vehicle licence will expire, to know if you will be inheriting debts with the acquisition of that naija used car.

A typical scenario is presented below:

Mr Adepoju registered his first car on December 15, 2016.

He never renewed his particulars .

He heard a stern warning on the radio from a Road Safety Personnel that defaulters’ cars will be apprehended and a hefty fine will be imposed before their cars are released.

Mr Adepoju decides to renew his particulars.

What is the cost implication?


He has to pay the outstanding debts on the vehicle licence for 2018, 2019 and 2020 (ie Three Years)

He registered the vehicle on December 15, 2016. Hence the vehicle licence expired on December 14, 2017.

He would renew for the periods ending December 14, 2018; December 14, 2019; and December 14, 2020 – 3 years.

If the renewal fee is 2,600.

He will pay (2,600 X 3 = 7,800) to renew his vehicle licence till December 14, 2020.

While, he pays the current rate on Insurance and Roadworthiness Certificate because they don’t accumulate debts.