Used Cape Breton cars get second life in Africa

Used cars in Cape Breton are getting a second life in Africa.

Used cars being sold to a buyers in Nigeria

Cars from Cape Breton headed to Nigeria are put on ships at Halifax's container port. (CBC)

Sellers say there's a budding, legitimate business in Cape Breton of buying used cars and shipping them to Africa.

Michael Eluwa, a Nigerian living in Regina said shipping cars from the island is still cheaper than buying them thousands of miles away in Nigeria.

He recently bought a 1999 Sienna van from Cape Breton.

"I looked for a van on Kijiji, and found one in Cape Breton," said Eluwa.

"Like a 1999 Dodge Caravan, you can get it here it's $1,500. But back home in Nigeria they can buy it over there, the equivalent to Canadian dollars they can buy it like $4,000. So, if they find somebody who is here who can help them, it makes sense for them to send their money here, we buy it for them."

Eluwa said even with the cost of shipping and customs, that's a deal.

"I buy, like I buy for friends, I buy for my brothers, I buy for my extended relations," said Eluwa.

In the past few years Eluwa said he has sent as many as 20 vehicles back home.

Bob Martin and his Halifax tow company act as a middle man for Eluwa and another Nigerian based in Toronto.

"There seems to be quite a few guys that are doing it. Actually, when I drop cars off at the pier to be sent over, there's usually a couple other guys there with cars."

The RCMP said they don't know of any scams involving cars being sent to Africa, but they advise sellers to be cautious about the method of payment.

They said cash in hand is always the best way to go.