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A large proportion of UAE residents use cars as public transport remains fairly limited particularly between specific residential clusters and business areas. Combine this issue with the scorching summer heat, and it is not surprising both expats and locals are compelled to purchase their own cars.
But before you start shopping and put your foot on the accelerator, keep in mind that you need a residence visa and a UAE driver’s license before you make that purchase.
Then, identify which vehicle you require and what you will use it for. Are you married and have kids, or are you single? Do you need long commutes to and from work? What is your budget? What vehicle features are you looking for? Once you have answered these questions, it will be easier for you to decide whether to choose a 4WD or a sedan, and whether you will go for one of European, Japanese or American make.
The automobile business is a big market in the UAE. You will find car dealerships nearly everywhere you turn. You will also find large used-car markets in almost every emirate. Car auctions are also a common way of buying in the UAE, but if you opt for a pre-owned vehicle, make sure all outstanding fines have been paid before you complete the purchase.
Many car dealerships offer buyers car financing options. Banks also readily offer car loans; this, as long as you have a residency visa and a regular income. Once you have insured your car, it must then be registered with the Traffic Police. Dealers will help you through this process.
• Residence visa, valid D/L are needed to buy a car
• Check a pre-owned car’s history before purchase
• Buy a car from new/used dealerships or auctions
Georgina Farrell, Special to Classifieds