Dubai: Getting wheels
Buying a car
The road network in Dubai is bewildering, and until you're settled you might find it easier to hire a car for a couple of months.
When you take the plunge to buy, which is more cost effective, there are two main avenues to explore; large showrooms of new or secondhand cars, and the private market place between individuals.
Consider the type of car you require. Cars and fuel are cheaper in Dubai than many other parts of the world, broadening your choice. Despite the environmental footprint many expats opt for a large 4x4, which are more robust and safer on Dubai’s roads. Get to know the type of car you want and visit the showrooms to do some research. Most are located along Sheikh Zayed Road on the Dubai-bound carriageway.
1. Through a showroom. The advantage of a new car is that is comes with a warranty, but they devalue quicker with more than 25% of the value being lost as soon as you drive it from the showroom forecourt. This might be a consideration when you come to sell the car. Buying a used car from a dealership means a safety check will have been carried out and there may be some time left on the warranty. Dealerships can make the process smoother by helping you to secure finance and registering the car with Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) on your behalf. Investigate Al Awir where several used car dealerships are located.
2. Through an individual. This is higher risk and you have no guarantee of the deal you are going to get. The main way of reaching out to this marketplace is through magazines or online classified sections, such as Autotrader UAE or Dubizzle. (See our useful resources page) It’s also worth checking the noticeboard at your local supermarket. Be aware if the seller still has outstanding finance to settle. Loans have to be cleared with a release letter from the bank before a car can be sold.
Look at the service history, and if buying from an individual, insist on a safety check from a garage before you purchase so you have a greater insight into what you’re buying. Most reasonable sellers will agree to this. EPPCO Tasjeel, AAA and Max Garage offer checking services. Alternatively, the car manufacturer will also offer this service.
Vehicles must be registered annually with the Dubai Traffic Police, and EPPCO and Emarat run full registration services. Remember to take your old vehicle registration card, called a Mulkiya, your driving licence and proof of car insurance. There is a fee for registration and inspection, and your bill should be less than Dhs 500. All driving fines will need to be cleared before you can reregister so check the Police website. (www.dubaipolice.gov.ae)
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