Buying a car is one of the most critical milestones in your life, especially your first car. Getting a car can be quite tricky depending on where you are in the world, there are a lot of laws and regulations regarding the sale and purchase of cars, and hence in this article, we will talk about how you can buy a car yourself if you are living in the UAE.

Can you own a car as a foreigner in the UAE?

Owning a car in the UAE is not that difficult even if you are a foreigner; however, if you have the relevant documents, buy one. You can buy a car in the UAE if you have a local driving license, or you must have an Emirates Resident ID card. Both of these things are only issued to the VISA holders. Hence, you must first focus on getting those documents before getting a car. 

Types of cars you can get in the UAE

Used Cars

There is a massive market for used cars in the UAE. These cars are also exported to third-world countries, and this industry is booming daily.

Used cars can sometimes be your best bet when buying a car due to the depreciation and other economic factors. The depreciation basically means that if you are buying a product, that might lose value and hence not be a good investment.

The used car market offers you many options, so you can buy used cars from dealers or private owners. 

New Cars 

Buying a new car is the best thing among these three options because it gives you peace of mind that your car is fresh from the factory and has no fault or hidden issue. However, given the rising inflation levels, car prices are skyrocketing, so buying a new car straight from the dealer can be quite a big financial decision.

Moreover, you can customize your car according to the features and packages you want when you are buying it new, unlike getting used cars with someone else’s configuration on it. 

Barely Used cars  

Barely used cars are cars that have very low mileage on them and can be the perfect fit for you if you do not want to buy a car fresh from the factory due to soaring prices. You may also not want a car that has been driven thousands of miles and may have been subjected to a lot of wear and tear. 

How to buy a car in the UAE

Documents are important 

You need several documents before you can even think of buying a car in the UAE. There is no point in looking for cars and testing them if you cannot buy them due to legal reasons. In this first step, we will discuss some of the necessary documents you might need when buying a new or used car in the UAE. 

If you are planning to buy a new car from an authorized dealer, they will take care of almost all the essential paperwork for you.

However, you still have to produce some documents as well. They include UAE Residence Visa, Passport, UAE Resident ID, Valid UAE Driving license, and Insurance Documents.

A Residence visa is the most important document to have, and without it, you can not do anything in UAE, like buying cars.

If you are a foreigner, you can also use your local driving license to drive in the UAE; however, make sure to check that on the official website for Dubai Traffic Police.

Moreover, insurance is vital in Dubai, and you have to ensure that you have gotten insurance for your new car before you can drive it out of the dealership. 

If you are planning to finance a car, there are several other documents that you might need, such as bank statements and salary certificates. 

There is a similar list of documents when getting a used car in the UAE; those documents include UAE Residence Visa, Emirates ID, Passport, Car Insurance Agreement Document, Previous Registration Document, Valid Driving license, and an inspection certificate from a recognized body since you are buying a used car which has first to pass standard safety standards. 

Your needs 

Now that you have all the essential documents you need to buy your car, you need to consider the type of car you want. You can buy wagons, estates, saloons, racecars, track-only cars, family SUVs, MPVs, Jeeps, and many other types of cars.

It would be best to look at your budget and your primary purpose for getting a car.

If you have a family, a saloon or a small SUV might be better than a roadster! Hence, make sure you list your priorities and needs to make an informed decision. 

When you are buying a used car in Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, there are certain checkpoints to check your car by so that you can get the best car for your budget. 

  • Mileage – make sure you choose a car that has not crossed six digits in kilometers since there would be a lot more wear and tear, and the maintenance cost would be high. 
  • Registration details – you should thoroughly check when the car was first registered and are the documents coherent with the name of the previous owners, date of purchase, and other essential details. 
  • Engine Specs – make sure to read about the engine specs of the car you are going to buy, especially things like what kind of fuel they run on and their displacement, as it will give you a good idea if they are powerful enough for your needs. 
  • Air Conditioner – The climate in the UAE can be pretty hot; hence, the AC is the one thing that will keep you sane during the summers. Ensure that the AC of the car you are interested in is working perfectly and was serviced recently. 
  • Accidental Cars – you should never buy accidental cars when going for used ones since there can be a lot of scams in replacing the car parts, and there are doubts about craftsmanship as well. Make sure to avoid accidental cars even if they run and appear satisfactory. 

Dealerships 

There are a lot of dealerships in the UAE where you can get your desired car from.

However, the internet is a potent tool; hence, use it before visiting the internet and reading up on the car you want to buy so that when you get to the dealership, you can ask meaningful questions and get information.

Moreover, most dealerships in the UAE will have Facebook pages or websites where you can check out the deals they are offering and how good their customer feedback is. You can also research car prices online on their website even without setting foot out of your house. 

Make sure to take someone with you who has a piece of good knowledge about cars when visiting a dealership if you are clueless.

The one thing you really factor in when you are looking for a dealership is their after-sales services to their customers.

Make sure that the dealership you are choosing has positive reviews since a car is not an everyday purchase, so make sure that you get someone who will clear all the doubts you have about your next car and can guide you as well.

Purchasing the car is just one side of the picture. You should go for a reputable dealership that will help you once they get the money and go above and beyond to help you get the car registered and road legal. 

Inspection and Testing 

This is the most vital part of getting a new car; hence, ensure you are attentive! You should never buy a used car if you are not tested it on actual roads and seen how it drives. Pictures or just checking out the car in real life will never provide you with an accurate picture of how the car drives and if there are any issues or faults with it. 

A good dealership will always be more than willing to let you drive your selected car on the road and see for yourself if it’s a good fit for you.

You will learn about the car chassis, suspension, and handling when you drive the car yourself on a twisty road or through some corners.

It is imperative to test your car since you could be driving it daily for the next year, months or years, so it’s vital to ensure that you are comfortable within the car and can drive it.

Moreover, cars can sometimes look perfectly fine on the exterior, but when you drive them, you can really feel how old the car is and its drawbacks. 

Hence, we would strongly urge you to drive the car to get a good feel and grip on it before making up your mind.

Used cars in the UAE have to be tested by recognized testing bodies, which check out the car’s safety and other features and issue you a certificate that says that the car is safe to drive.

You should never buy a car that has not passed this test or lacks this certificate. You might be caught up in a scam or being sold a faulty car! 

Payment options 

Now that you have decided on the car you want and drive it, all you need to do is arrange for funds and get the car home!

Dealerships provide several ways to transfer your funds and will often be very helpful in this matter.

There are several payment options to choose from, such as cash in hand, bank transfers, and other options. Most premium car dealerships in the UAE now also allow you to get bank financing for your car if you happen to go down that route. 

Registration 

Registration and getting your car road legal are significant differences between buying a used car and a new car in the UAE.

Registration of a new car is pretty simple and easy since there are no previous owners, and you get the required documents made sooner than used cars. If you buy a used car, you might have to wait for a particular document to be made, such as an annual registration certificate.

You will also need to present a valid and fresh inspection certificate and make sure that these documents are given to the Road and Transport Authority of UAE so that they can process the documents and allow you to drive your car. 

Enjoy your car

Now that everything is completed, you have a car you chose in your name, registered with the authorities. You can enjoy it on the wide and solid UAE highways! The roads in the UAE are very car friendly, so you will enjoy driving here! Just make sure to follow the traffic rules! 

Timeline to purchase a car in the UAE

There is no set period for you to get your used car in the UAE. It depends on your application, documents, and other certificates to determine when you can pick your car up and drive it after purchase! 

Can you buy a car in UAE online?

Yes, you can buy a car online in the UAE from reputed dealers and websites. These websites offer you a wide variety of cars and endless filters to find out precisely the type of car you are looking for, even without going anywhere. 

Some of the best market places to buy used cars online in the UAE include, CarSwitch.com, Dubicars.com, automalluae.com, Yallamotor.com, GetThat.com, and Motoratay.com, among many others. 

CarSwitch.com is one of the best up-and-coming marketplaces for used cars if you are from the UAE and for many reasons!

This service is entirely free; hence you can be sure that no hidden charges or markups are awaiting you when you finally get the car of your dreams!

Moreover, all of the cars here on this platform are tested and inspected for you on hundreds of points and hence are an ideal fit for someone who does not have much knowledge about cars and wants to get one through a hassle-free experience. 

CarSwitch.com will also provide excellent after-sales services like most premium dealerships in the UAE and will walk you step by step through the financing and insurance policies when needed.

Moreover, after the purchase, the people over at CarSwitch.com will help you register your car with the Road and Transport Authority of the UAE.

CarSwitch.com offers many secure channels of money transfer. You should not worry about any scammers either! Most of the market places we have mentioned work these same principles and hence make buying a used car a hassle-free and fun experience. 

How much does it cost to buy a car in the UAE and get it on the road?

There are a lot of different fees and costs when you first buy your car and want to get on the road. To be able to drive it, there are certain documents you must have in the UAE, along with some taxes to be paid as well.

Some taxes, registration, and insurance fees for cars in the UAE will be broken down for you below. 

Car Prices in UAE

The car prices depend on several factors and will often vary depending on the car make, model year, and other packages fitted to the car; however, the average listing price of a car is around 105 thousand Emirati Dirhams. 

Car Taxes in UAE

UAE is known for tax-free systems, and hence the quality of life is excellent here. If you want to buy a new car in the UAE, it will have a 5% Tax added to it, known as VAT. However, if you want to buy a used car from a private owner, then there will be no added tax. 

Cost of Car Insurance in UAE

The insurance cost depends on your car’s make and model; however, generally, it will cost you around AED 3,000 TO AED 4,000 for a car that costs between the brackets of 65 to 75 thousand AED. It would be best if you always got comprehensive insurance for your cars. 

Cost of Car Registering your car in the UAE

The cost of registering a new car in the UAE is AED 420. However, if you are buying a used car, you will pay AED 42O for registration, along with AED 170 for Technical Inspection, AED 350 for Transfer Ownership Rights, and AED 220 for traffic files. 

Conclusion

Now we reach the end of our journey through the lanes and bylanes of new and used car buying in the UAE.

From the roar of luxury sports cars to the quiet hum of efficient hybrids, the UAE car market offers something for every motor enthusiast.

But remember, purchasing a car is more than just a transaction; it’s a voyage into the very heart of the UAE lifestyle. Equipped with this comprehensive guide, you’re now ready to navigate the automotive dunes of the UAE, and find a vehicle that’s not just a mode of transport, but a true extension of you.

Happy motoring on the fast lanes of the Emirates!