Westerner in Dubai looking to buy a new/used car? Look no further, this article should help you out!
Buying a new car can be really confusing, especially if you live in Dubai like I do. But if you have lived outside of Dubai, you may notice that the average standard of a good car around the Emirates is different from other countries due to the hot weather and the daily abuse by un-experienced drivers. You will also notice that there is a common denominator on the streets which has white paint, and a Toyota badge. However, people have different tastes and that often leads to a nice mixture of car brands roaming the streets.
A lot of factors go into buying a car that would serve as your best friend for the coming years, and probably be your worst nightmare if you choose unwisely. But fret not, we are here to help you out! First of all, I would like you to get a piece of paper and write down these 5 things that will help you decide, god knows they helped me allot.
1. Budget (highest you are willing to pay, and the lowest)
2. New or Used? ( you can decide once you have read the rest of the article)
3. Car Type (Hatchback, Sedan, SUV..etc)
4. Usage (Highway, City, Spirited driving..etc)
5. Income ( Do you really want to take a loan? Or would that be Cash buddy?)
Now that you have wrote these five things down, I will explain how you could decide easier and get the hassle out of buying a car in Dubai.
Alright, here is the important bit here. Decide on your budget, and make sure you factor in things like: The payment you need for the car to be checked by an authorized garage if you buy used (not more than Aed 200dhs, some agencies charge Aed 400+ plus but get you full data on the machine you’re buying). The Insurance price (The faster the car, the more luxurious..etc the more Insurance costs). The amount of money you still have left over to run and maintain the car once it is on the road. After you factor these in, you should be able to narrow and split your budget to fit, remember – buying a car in hot climates means more maintenance costs.
2. New or Used?
This often tends to be a hard decision. It is really a personal opinion afterall, but bare in mind that cars instantaneously lose over 20% of their value as soon as they leave the showroom floor. I find it really easy to get a used car with a great service/warranty contract that is relatively new. Again, the idea here is to never settle for one car, make sure you test and test and test until you are truly satisfied with your decision. But don’t be one of those nasty joy-riders.
3. What Type?
This is the easy bit, if you have a large family you may want to buy a large SUV or a goo station-wagon. If you are a single bachelor then you might be able to afford a sports car and so on. We recommend you factor in fuel economy, as some cars tend to suck fuel more than others. Over the years, I had no issues running 4-cyl Japanese and Korean cars in Dubai with little to no head-ache. German cars tend to brake down a lot, especially 2009 pre models, with parts costing insane amounts. Try to avoid older German cars as they tend to be cheap to obtain, but a nightmare to run!
4. How am I going to use my car?
Allot of people buy cars without thinking how this might affect their day to day lives. A Ferrari is an amazing car, but it’s almost impossible to live with on a day to day basis. So before throwing that lump of cash on your next big sports car, think about how you will be using it. I bought a sports car that was fuel thirsty, had sporty harsh suspension and ended up driving it to work every day barely able to speed, and I really only needed comfort and luxury to suffice my 45 minute drive to work.
Beware, showroom salesmen will throw you at any deal even if you are not capable of affording it, they really could care less about you or your budget. At the end of the day, they make their commission while you are left there pondering and regretting your quick decision. Here is something no one is going to tell you.. Banks are scam artists that will accept any one even if they have an awful credit score in Dubai, and showrooms offer supposed discounts to have you buy a car that is financed by a bank they have already made a deal with. Always go through at least 10 banks before you decide on which interest rates are best! You can get interest rates as low as %1.5 if you look properly.
A general good practise is to never spend more than 20% of you income on monthly payments, and try to stay below a 3 year finance contract. Also, avoid any insurance that the Bank offers you (THEY ARE HORRIBLE).