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What to watch out for before buying a used car.

Summary: Many consumers opt for used cars due to their significant cost advantages

Raeed Sheibani

Photo used for representative purpose only (Getty Images)

The two major investment decisions in most people's lives are when deciding to buy a house or a car. Although, most Dubai residents would argue to add school tuition to the list, this piece focuses on your next car. With increased reasons for car replaceability, many consumers opt for used cars due to their significant cost advantages. So, what are the key pointers on your next used car search?

First and foremost, you need to know what suits you best. You can narrow down to 2-3 picks by estimating your budget, shortlisting your favourite brands, marking your favourite features and then browsing through online reviews and statistics. The harder next step though is actually finding a car of your liking in the right condition and at the right price. The search here can include:

Used car showrooms in Al Aweer in Dubai or Al Haraj in Sharjah offer a variety of vehicles. Although costing a premium, they help with the paperwork and offer buyers peace of mind of taking the car back to the showroom in case any issue arises after purchase.

Traditional online marketplaces such as Dubizzle, Dubicars and Get That where you have the advantage of buying directly from the seller and avoiding dealer premiums. However, there are no guarantees on the condition, so be sure to get the car inspected and refer to online sources for navigating the paperwork.

Finally, a more recent sales model in the UAE are marketplaces for pre-inspected used cars. Here you still purchase direct from the owners to avoid dealer premiums but get company assists in handling the paperwork and all the cars are pre-inspected, with their results warrantied and shared online.

The next step is to arrange for payment. As 60 to 70 per cent of personal car purchases are done through bank financing, it is a top consideration for most car buyers. In the UAE, banks will typically require a 20 per cent down payment and extend an auto loan over a maximum of 5 years with per annum interest rates of 3 to 5 per cent, depending on the customer's profile. The good news is you do not need to stick to one bank as you are not required to deposit your monthly income into the specific bank you opt to take a loan from.

Then, before transferring ownership to your name, you must take care of car insurance. The premiums vary according to your driving history, the coverage you want and the car model. Newer driver's licence or sportier cars tend to carry a premium. There are several online comparison sites that can help you find the most competitive policies. Alternatively, you can purchase insurance, though typically at a premium, from one of the booths at the authorised centres to transfer ownership.

Finally, you can visit an RTA authorised centre, such as Tasjeel or Al Mumayaz, to transfer ownership. A Dh170 vehicle inspection is required at these centres to ensure the car meets minimum road safety standards, which usually takes around 30 minutes and can be done in the same visit to transfer ownership.

You are now all set to transfer car ownership and take it out for a spin.

The author is a writer at . Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 19, 2018
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