Setting your budget
Before you think about which car to buy, you’ll need to work out how much you have to spend.
- If you need to sell an existing car, then find out how much it is worth. Remember, there are many factors that will ultimately decide the value of a used car – physical condition, mechanical condition and service history are a few. Maybe speak to one of the many registered dealers here on AutoMarket.
- Decide on whether you need to take out finance
- Calculate how much your fuel, insurance and servicing costs are likely to be
Choosing the right car
With more choice than ever, choosing your perfect car can be a bewildering process. Make sure you spend some time working out what you need from your car. Think about:
- What the car will be used for?
- How many passengers will be regularly carried?
- How much will it cost to fuel, insure, service and repair?
Contacting The Seller
Your first contact with a seller can reveal a lot of valuable information about the car, so it’s important you ask the right questions.
- Ask thorough questions about the car, its past and its current condition
- Arrange to view a private sale at the seller’s house, and a trade sale at their premises
- Always view the car in daylight and preferably when it’s dry to make it easier to spot damage
Inspecting a used car
You don’t need to be a mechanic to inspect a used car, but there are a few golden rules.
- Get a comprehensive vehicle test done at the relevant travel authorities. Each Emirate in the UAE will have a different authority offering this service, for example in Dubai it is the RTA and in Abu Dhabi it is done at ADNOC service stations. It will cost around AED 250 but the test is thorough and will give you peace of mind.
- Examine the car’s service history – If it says full dealer service history then check this against the dealer’s records. Don’t just take the sellers word for it!
- Check the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at the base of the windscreen and under the bonnet for signs of tampering. Make sure it matches the registration card.
- Look for rust, mismatched paint and uneven gaps between body panels
- Make sure all the car’s features work
Test driving a car
The test drive is your chance to asses every aspect of the car, from how it feels on the road, to making sure all its equipment works correctly.
- Always take a test drive of at least 15 minutes and on different types of road if possible.
- Ensure that the vehicle is insured
- Start the car when the engine is cold, and check for excessive smoke and unusual noises
- Check that the gears, brakes, steering and suspension work as they should with no unusual noises and vibrations
Negotiating with sellers
In the UAE it’s common for buyers to make an offer on the car they would like to buy, so don’t be afraid of negotiating on price.
- Know what the car is worth and what you’re willing to pay
- Start your bidding low and let the seller work the price up
- A tank of fuel or a service can be a good negotiating tool
- Show commitment to the deal, stay calm and don’t be confrontational
- If you can’t come to an agreement, remember there are plenty of other cars available