Elderly Person Shares 1984 Car Prices in Nigeria: Santana for ₦3k, Mercedes for ₦24,000

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69 Year Old Reveals Prices Of New Cars In Nigeria In 1984, Says Santana Cost ₦3k, Mercedes ₦24,000

In a recent interview with Business Day, 69-year-old Anthony Anamelechi reminisced about the affordability of brand new cars in Nigeria back in 1984. He revealed that his first car, a VW Santana, was purchased for a mere ₦3,000. During that time, he noted that a Mercedes Benz cost ₦24,000, although he didn’t specify the model. Anamelechi highlighted the presence of local vehicle assembly plants run by Volkswagen and Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) in Lagos and Kaduna, respectively.

To support the burgeoning automobile industry, Anamelechi mentioned the presence of local spare parts manufacturers like Dunlop and Michelin, which produced tires within Nigeria. Additionally, he recalled that the exchange rate in 1983 and 1984 stood at ₦0.765 and ₦0.894 per dollar, respectively. These factors contributed to a more robust local automotive industry, with accessible prices for brand new vehicles.


Anamelechi lamented the current state of affairs where Nigerians heavily rely on imported used vehicles (Tokunbo) due to the unfavorable exchange rates and the decline of local vehicle assembly plants. He expressed how, as a young professional earning a modest salary, he could afford to save up for a new car within a couple of years. However, in today’s market, brand new cars are primarily reserved for the wealthy elite and politicians, with prices soaring well beyond the reach of the average citizen.

The stark contrast between the automotive landscape in the 1980s and the present day underscores the challenges faced by Nigerians in accessing affordable transportation. As of August 2023, prices for brand new vehicles have skyrocketed, with popular models like the Toyota Highlander selling for over ₦72 million and the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series fetching around ₦150 million. This shift reflects not only economic changes but also the impact of foreign exchange crises on the affordability of vehicles in Nigeria.

Nathan Henderson

By Nathan Henderson

Its my hobby to know about Cars as well as Bikes and let people know too. With help of Daxstreet I am able to connect with you all ^^

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