Guide To Buying A Used Car In UAE

Get it checked

Once you do find a car you like, there are various private workshops that will check it over for you.

A word of warning though: if you’re buying your car from a used car showroom, beware of a possible ‘friendship’ between the seller and the workshops nearby. It’s better to commission a car inspection service from another area. Better still, arrange with the seller to get it checked at the official dealer – particularly if it’s a high-value premium car.


Some offers can be considered as ‘good-day-catches’. These include distress sales by leaving expats, expat owned cars from new (generally regarded as better looked-after), original low mileage cars and, best of all, cars belonging to the royal family.

Sheikhs, proper Sheikhs that is, don’t sell cars, as Sheikh Hamad Al Nahyan made clear in a TV interview once. They would either just keep them, or give them away to relatives, friends or even employees.

It’s often these cars that will appear on the used car market. They usually have low mileage and full service history with just about every conceivable extra bolted on.

Spam ads

When searching for cars online, be aware of spam ads. Usually these are identifiable by a car advertised at half its market value, or less. Usually there isn’t a number to call, just an email address.

Contact the ‘seller’ and you’ll get an email reply telling you a story about an owner that has to leave the country in a rush and left his car behind. So how do you buy it? You have to use Western Union and the like to wire some money across. Whatever you do, don’t ever fall for these scams!

And as an aside, it is one of the most difficult, if not impossible, things to try to reregister a car in your name if the previous owner is no longer in the country.