Driving through Nigeria is a unique experience, especially if you’re in Lagos. You must be aware that sometimes getting around in your own car can be difficult due to poor road conditions and traffic jams. If you’re planning to move around in Nigeria by driving yourself, here are a few things you need to know.
Research Rules of the Road
If you’re a tourist, you might not be familiar with essential regulations, and this can land you into trouble with the traffic officers. Understand that most accidents take place because some people don’t pay attention to the rules of the road. It would be best if you were careful not to be the one at fault in a foreign country. Understand simple rules such as keeping to the left, slowing down on bends and turns, not going beyond the speed limit, using your seat belt, not using your mobile phone, etc.
Beware of Security Checkpoints
Nigerian roads also have security checkpoints with officers ensuring all road users are following all the rules. You must, however, understand that some officers on the streets solicit bribes from road users. You can find it rough if you’re a tourist because you don’t know how to talk your way out of it when stopped for no good reason. Some officers may even cite you for fake violations. You must learn how to keep calm and negotiate.
Renting a Car
You can choose to rent a car in Nigeria and drive on your own or get a private driver. Make sure the car you rent has all the proper documents, is insured and is in good condition. The budget for a rental car depends on several factors, including the model, the size and how many days you’re going to have it. Also, understand any restrictions the company might have set for the car. If you’re staying for a long period of time, you may want to weigh the cost of shipping your car against the total rental costs.
You must understand that Nigeria experiences a lot of traffic jams, especially in major cities like Lagos. A distance that was supposed to take you 10 minutes to cover can sometimes turn into two hours. Therefore, if you have to get somewhere by a specific time, you need to start your trip early. Also, remember to fill your gas tank because Nigeria experiences fuel shortages as well.
Driving in Nigeria is not that bad if you understand how to tweak your way through everything. Consider talking to the locals to help you understand how things work on the road. If you’re visiting for the first time, you might consider hiring a private driver to take you around.
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