Where to find them?
Ask around relatives, friends, or co-workers. Check notice boards in shops and offices and the classified sections of local newspapers. There are also periodical publications that specialise in car ads.
Advertising in these publications can cost the seller money. Depending on the size of the ad, how long it will stay, and the publication itself, it could cost somewhere from AED20-300 ($5.50-82).
There are also a handful of websites that specialise in used car ads in our region, and advertising on them is usually free of charge.
What to watch out for?
Once you’ve found your next potential car, there’s a few things you need to watch out for. As a rule of thumb, never buy a car that was involved in an accident. And by accidents I don’t mean scratches and dents from car parks or narrow streets (try to tell me you live in Abu Dhabi and your car is blemish-free!). These scratches could see the car devalued slightly but shouldn’t stop you from considering it.
It’s the ‘proper’ accidents that you should avoid, where there has been major damage to the vehicle. Even in the case of minor accidents, check how and where the car was repaired and if it was from a reputable facility.
Also steer clear of cars that have been retrieved from floods or have been involved in any kind of natural disaster. It’s not uncommon for such cars to have problems the cost of fixing which, will exceed the value of the car itself.
It’s also generally best to avoid imported cars (non-GCC-specification cars). Some of these cars may not have been adapted to the harsher climate we have, for example in terms of their cooling systems – GCC cars often have better cooling systems, bigger radiators, stronger air conditioning. You don’t want to end up a human barbeque stuck by the side of the road in the desert with bonnet of your Euro-import wide open and smoking like a chimney.