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How to Start Transport Business in Nigeria

How profitable is transport business, the capital needed and the step by step way to start.




Do you have a car or bus or maybe even a sienna and you want to start a transport business in Nigeria? Perhaps you have some capital and you are looking for ways to partner with a transport company in Nigeria? Read this article to the end.

In this article, I am going to be teaching you everything you need to know about the transportation business in Nigeria. In this article, we are going to be discussing if the transport business is profitable in Nigeria.

The cost of starting a transportation business in Nigeria (capital needed to start), the business plan, the best car for transport business in Nigeria, how to partner with a transport company in Nigeria and more. If you are ready, let us start.

Is Transport Business Profitable?

Transport business in Nigeria is a profitable business for obvious reasons. The reason why the business is profitable is that the business fulfills a need. Yes, the transport business is a very important business in Nigeria because it helps people move from one place to another.

I mean imagine if the bus driver in your area says they are on strike people will not be able to go to work or go to parties or imagine the interstate transport drivers in Nigeria decides to go on strike. This is going to affect the whole of Nigeria as a whole. It will literally bring Nigeria to s standstill.

Another reason why the transport business is profitable is that its customers are very huge. I mean let’s look at it every day, people start their own transport business. Many of these people buy cars or buses to join the transport business yet due to this the demand has not over-flogged the supply.

In fact, because the population of Nigeria increasing day by day the demand for transport is increasing. So if you start your own transport business in Nigeria today you can be guaranteed to always make profits because of the high demand for transport.

Capital Needed to Start Transportation Business

The cost of starting a transportation business in Nigeria is relative because it depends on the kind of transport business you want to go into and how much capital you have. You can start a transport business in Nigeria as long as you have a vehicle. This could be a tricycle (Keke Marwa), Okada, Mini bus (korope), car, bus, or even van.

And if you want to start a haulage business in Nigeria you will need a tipper, truck, trailer, or van. To also partner with any transport company in Nigeria you will need capital in running to millions of Naira. To start a transport business in Nigeria with one vehicle you will need at least from N800,000 – N5,000,000 capital except if you want to go into okada transport business.

How to Start Transport Business in Nigeria

Here are the steps on how to start a profitable transportation business in Nigeria.

1. Write a Business Plan

The first step to start a transport business in Nigeria is to write a transportation business plan as well as a feasibility study on the transport business. Conducting a feasibility study helps you to understand the transport system according to the local area where you want to start your transport business.

It let you know the most lucrative transport business in that area and the transport business you should invest in. For example, asides from the e-hailing businesses like Uber, Taxify, and others in Lagos, danfo transport business is very lucrative.

If you do not know what danfo transport business means it simply means you using a van or bus to move people from one place to another majorly from one bus stop to another. A transportation business plan will help you in a big way to avoid unnecessary loss especially if you are investing huge capital in the business.

To write your transport business plan you can use some online business plan template or simply hire a professional business plan writer to write it for you. You can hire us via in case you do not have any business plan writers close to you.

2. Get the Required Startup Capital

After writing your transport business plan the next step is to get the capital needed to start your transport business in Nigeria. During my course of writing this article, I discovered that some of the Lagos drivers do hire purchases. While some do buy their vehicles themselves, use them for some years, then sell them off then buy another vehicle, and this circle keeps going till he or she is no longer interested in the transport business.

For the drivers that bought their vehicles on hire purchase, they said it is not something that should be fearful of as you can pay off the money within 6 months – 1 year if you are passionate enough and you are hard-working. Especially in Lagos, the drivers here can make up to a minimum of N30,000 daily.

However, how much you make is based on so many factors like traffic, quality of the vehicle, fuel, and other factors. So you can either borrow to start your transport business, do a hire purchase, or simply buy the vehicle with your own money. Read our post on how to get funding for your business in Nigeria.

3. Buy your Vehicle(s)

When it comes to buying that car, bus, or minivan for your transport business in Nigeria there are a few things you need to consider. You need to consider the kind of type of transport business you want to do. Do you want to do interstate transport or any other type of transport business, how many passengers do you want to be carrying in your vehicle? 

Which kind of vehicle brand do you want to buy? I will strongly advise you to go for Toyota as it is the most loved car brand in Nigeria because of its reliability. After concluding on the kind of vehicle you want to go for you can now go and buy your vehicle. There are different places where Nigerians do but vehicles for transport business.

Some Nigerians prefer to buy their vehicles (car, bus, minivan, bike, Keke Marwa) at Cotonou while some prefer to buy and import the vehicle from abroad and others prefer to buy their vehicles from local importers or simply buy fair used.

4. Register Vehicle with Govt Agencies

Registering your car, bus, bike, or Keke Marwa or any other type of vehicle is very important especially if you are serious about the transport business in Nigeria. Doing this makes your transport business easy because no law enforcement agency will disturb you for one document or the other.

The registration you need to do for your transport business varies from one state to another in Nigeria. However, there are some documents that you need to get that are federal documents. There are documents you need to obtain from the Ministry of Transport, Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), National Union of Road Transport Workers (FRSC), and more.

5. Employ Drivers or Drive Yourself

Another thing you need to consider in your road transport business is if you are driving your vehicle yourself or if you will employ a driver and conductor. If you are driving the vehicle yourself you will need to learn how to drive and get your driver’s license. If you are driving your vehicle yourself you will increase your income because you will not need to pay a driver.

And if you are employing a driver the driver needs to be able to drive and should have a driver’s license too. However, you will need to pay the driver daily for this work he is offering.

If you are getting a driver to drive for you make sure the person you are employing is not a stranger. This is to make sure the driver does not run away with your vehicle, or your money, or even cheat you on how much he or she is to deliver to you daily.

6. Making Profits in Transport Business

To increase profits in your transport business in Nigeria there are a few things you must do. First of all, you need to ask other transporters how to make money fast from the transport business. Yes, there are some secrets they will expose to you that you never knew about before so just listen and apply their tricks and tips.

Another thing you need to do to increase profits in your transport business is to work although the day and every day. Yes, you cannot compare a driver who works from morning till night will a driver who just works from morning till afternoon. Obviously, the driver that worked for the whole day will definitely make money more than the one that worked for the half day.

Lastly, try to make sure you buy a good vehicle for your business. This will save you from unnecessary expenses and more. If your vehicle is good it will save you from unnecessary repairs that will take money from your pocket.

Starting an Interstate Transportation Business

Interstate transport business is very different in Nigeria though I do not know how it is operated in other countries in Africa. In Nigeria, it is only the Igbos that have been able to make the interstate transport business a lucrative business. They made sure their business is a standard business by starting transport companies in different parts of the country and carrying people and goods from one place to another.

That is why these interstate transport businesses get help from their bank in terms of getting loans when they need them. If you are thinking of starting your own interstate transport business in Nigeria I will strongly advise you to make the transport business a standard business. Register it under the CAC as a sole proprietorship or partnership business.

Partnering with Transport Company in Nigeria

If you cannot afford to start a proper transport business in Nigeria especially when it comes to interstate transport business, it is advisable to partner with any transport business you love. Remember I said earlier that some of these interstate transport businesses need loans from banks to grow their transport business.

The interest from these loans are very high which is why these transport businesses are now looking for private investors that can invest in their transport business. This is where you can come in. When you partner with these companies you can make money from the transport business.

So how do you partner with transport companies in Nigeria? Just invest your money into a transport business that has existed and needs financial support to grow or simply partner with someone that is just starting a transport business and grow the business together.

Best Car for Transport Business in Nigeria

So if you are thinking of starting a transport business in Nigeria I am sure you have been asking yourself which car is the best for the transport business in Nigeria. Well, it depends on so many factors and it depends on the kind of transport business you want to go into.

If you are considering going into Uber I will advise you to buy a Toyota car preferably a Toyota Corolla brand new, or fairly used, or tokunbo. It depends on what you can afford. But if you are considering going into a local transport business like just moving people from one bus stop to another in a state.

If you want this to be like a side hustle asides from your regular 8 am – 5 pm or regular business you can buy a Toyota Sienna.

Sienna Car Transport Business in Nigeria

The Sienna car can be used for transport in Nigeria. It can be used for logistics business and it can also be used for interstate transport business in Nigeria. In the interstate transport business, we have buses that are commonly used and we have cars. However, transport companies in Nigeria prefer Sienna cars to saloon cars for the transportation of people.

A sienna is best used for transport business especially if you do not want to buy a bus or you cannot afford to buy a bus.


Overall, the transport business is a lucrative business because the business is fulfilling the needs of Nigerians. I hope you have been able to cover everything in the article but if I have not you can drop your questions below.


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Ralph Bamigboye is an Accountant. He is the owner of, and Finance Naija YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?

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