How to Start Engine Oil Business in Nigeria with Low Capital

  • October 1, 2023

With the rapid increase in use, the engine oil business has grown to be one of the fastest moving and highly profitable businesses in Nigeria.

Both domestically and industrially, engine oil serves a lot of purposes, which made it a sought-after consumer product in the automobile markets.

With that, you can be sure that the sales of engine oil are easy regardless of your location as long as there are motorcycles, vehicles, and even generator users.

While this business is super easy to start, you can’t just venture into the industry without knowing in depth about every aspect of the business such as – what to sell, how to sell, where to sell, and so on.

To make all that easy is why I decided to come up with this post to show you exactly how to start engine oil business in Nigeria with the lowest budget to make the highest profits.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

About Engine Oil Business

The engine oil business is a type of business where you buy and resell lubricants such as motor engine oil, clutch and break oil, automatic transmission oil/fluid, diesel oil, as well as other related products like injector cleaner, oil treatments, and greece.

This business is very lucrative and very easy to start regardless of your location in Nigeria. The profit margin is very high as there is no foreseeable lost rate yet since the products hardly get spoilt no matter how long it stays in the shop.

From sales of already packaged oils to sales of the ones you’ll repackage yourself (e.g sales of small quantities) there are lots of dimensions for the engine oil business operations in Nigeria, and the start-up cost varies respectively.

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How Much Do You Need to Start an Engine Oil Business in Nigeria?

The cost of starting an engine oil business in Nigeria varies depending on the type or dimension you want to use as you can sell it in litres, cartons, and even drums.

Starting from the lowest budget, you can start an engine oil business in Nigeria with as little as N50,000 capital. Moving higher, N300,000 and above is an ideal capital for starting a lubricant oil business in Nigeria.

Keep in mind that the higher your start-up capital, the higher your profit margin and also, the faster you’ll be able to scale the business.

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How Profitable is Engine Oil Business in Nigeria?

Sales of the engine oil business are very profitable especially when your shop is situated near mechanics’ shops as you’ll get more sales which is equivalent to higher profit.

The profitability of this business does not only depends on the location of your shop but most importantly, your start-up capital. That means the higher your capital, the higher your profit.

However, if you’re still wondering what engine oil profit margin is, I would say it is around 30 to 70%.

How to Start Engine Oil Business in Nigeria

Engine oil business in Nigeria

Here we are! Like I said earlier, starting an engine oil business is very easy in Nigeria, as there is a daily increase in the use of all kinds of lubricants for different purposes.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to start an engine oil business with low capital in Nigeria.

1. Start with Business Research/market survey

The first step in starting any business is carrying out market research to know how the business works. For the engine oil business in Nigeria, your market research should start with the best-selling lubricants, profit margin, and dos and don’t of the business.

After that, you can go more in-depth doing research on the best time of the year to start in your area, and also the best locations to situate your shop based on your town/village/area.

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2. Pick The Best Approach for You

One amazing thing about the engine oil business is that it can be started with a very low capital and also a higher budget. So, your approach to this business should be based on your budget.

If you have a capital of N50,000 or less, the best approach for you would be to start a roadside engine oil business where you’ll only need bottles or small gallons to fill with drum oils and sell in small quantities.

With a higher budget of up to 300K, N500K or more, getting a warehouse or shop and start selling already packaged engine oils such as 1 litre, 4 litres, 5 litres, and 30 litres, as well as other varieties of lubricants would be a perfect approach.

3. Get a Good Location

In businesses like this one, the location of your shop plays a greater role as you can situate your shop in a market square and expect the most sales.

The perfect locations for lubricant business in Nigeria are near or in filling stations, mechanics’ shops, motor/trailer parks, and possibly highway roadsides.

One important factor to keep in mind while looking for a good location for your business is security. Make sure you take your time to look for a place with low criminal records, and also a place where there are no touts/hoodlums.

4. Get a Good Supplier

Getting a good supplier whom you can buy from at the cheapest wholesale prices and possible get some discounts is a good way to start when looking for stocks. This will help your marketing strategy and increase sales.

There are tons of suppliers across every state in Nigeria, so just take your time to reach out to the ones in your state one by one and go with the best offer.

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5. Set Up Your Business Place (Shop/Kiosk)

Once you’ve spotted and secured a perfect location as well as a good supplier, the next step is to rent a shop or get a container to start with.

Adding a little branding to your shop such as names and possibly a banner could help your marketing strategy. So, make sure you set up your shop better than your competitors.

6. Join The Best Engine Oil Dealers Association in Your Area

In almost every town in Nigeria, there are numerous associations of engine oil sellers. Joining one is ideal and will make you know more about the business as like-minded sellers come together to share ideas.

Some of the benefits of joining an association are that you’ll be able to get the current updates on what is going on in the engine oil market, and most importantly, acquire your membership licence so that no one will harass you after starting.

7. Come up with a Good Marketing Strategy

Just like all other businesses, making is the most important part of the engine oil business especially if you’re in an area where there are competitions.

Coming up with a good marketing strategy such as offering discounts, is an ideal marketing strategy that will work for this type of business. You can think of a better one though!

8. Register Your Business with CAC

If you start with good capital, registering your business with the Cooperate Affairs Commission is a smart move even for an engine oil business in Nigeria.

With your CAC certificate, scaling your business will be much easier since lots of suppliers will be willing to work with a registered and trusted business especially when it comes to getting stock on credit.

More so, getting loans to quickly scale your business will be super easy once your business is registered.

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Market to Target for Sales

While starting an engine oil business in Nigeria may take just a little process, to make it even easier, you need to know the demographics to target in order to drive not only more sales but more profits.

Here are some of the markets you can start with.

  • Mechanics
  • Drivers
  • Vehicle owners/users
  • Motorcycle and generator users
  • Companies/industries
  • Engine oil retailers

Those are some of the people you need to target in order to get consistent sales for your business.

Engine Oil Distributors in Nigeria

Engine oil business

As a part of your market research, you would want to find out about the best engine oil brands and distributors so as to know the types that sell well in your area.

The following are some of the best engine oil brands that move fast on the market in Nigeria.

So, if you’re looking for an engine oil business idea to start with, those (above) are what looking into. However, this heavily depends on your area.


If you’re looking to start a business in Nigeria with as little as 50k and above, sales of engine oil is a great one to look into especially if you’re familiar with automobiles.

With this post, I believe you’ve gotten your brain filled with all that you need to start an engine oil business as well as how to start engine oil business in Nigeria with a small capital and make lots of profit.