How to buy a car in Dubai

Once you have moved in and are totally sure that your job is safe, it is probably the time to buy a car in Dubai.

Dubai is a place where fuel is quite cheap - thanks to the country's richness in oil. Cars aren't expensive either. And the main thing - dream cars aren't really expensive. So, you may want to buy something you have wanted all your life. What about Ferrari, Porche or Hummer?

UAE is one of the major carbon emitters in the world. I think, a great part of this is the cars people buy here. Many expats want to drive 5+ litres monsters. You may have to drive a Peugeout 206 in Europe because of huge taxes and expensive fuel, but here you may want to feel what a real car is. Although I am always thinking about CO2 footprint and environmental issues, I wasn't an exception either when I bought a 4.6L Ford Mustang.

Ferrari 430 Skuderia

You've got three options here: either buy a new car from a local dealer, or buy a second-hand car from a used cars dealer, or make a deal with a private individual.

Some tips on how to buy a car in Dubai

  • Buy a car with Gulf specsGulf specs can be different from American, EU, or Japanese specs in the parts related to the engine and gearbox cooling systems and airconditioning
  • Do a full check-up if you buy a 4x4 from local guysThey like going to the desert, so the car can be in very bad condition, although it may be looking mint.
  • Don't trust statements "the car is in mint condition" but read the service history record.If there isn't any, think twice.

New cars in Dubai

In Dubai, you can buy almost any car model which is produced by the major car makers. Most dealerships are located at Sheikh Zayed Road between Burj Dubai and the Mall of the Emirates on the mall's side.

New cars are not that cheap, I would rather call the prices reasonable. Most dealers give quite a good deal including the first year of insurance and the service for the warranty period into the price, which will save you some money at the end. They don't give such deals for popular models though.

Any dealer has got a few banks they work with, which will be happy to assist you with the financing of your car. Many of the dealers offer trade-in deals.

However, keep in mind that once you leave the dealer in your new car, you can say good buy to a significant amount of money that you lose when your new car becomes a second hand one. Cars depreciate a lot here. I bought my 1 year old car for 30% cheaper than a brand new one costs.

Used car dealers in Dubai

Probably, used car dealers is the most convenient option to buy a car in a good condition with some warranty and free service left.

They mostly buy cars in a good shape from individuals for a thefty price and then re-sell them to other individuals for a bit higher price. The thing is that you can trust the dealers as they check every car before they accept it.

They will also make the deal as smooth as possible: they will secure financing, insurance and register the car in Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) on your behalf.

I would try to find a car that was bought from an official dealer less than 1 year ago with low mileage. That will make sure your car has got Gulf specs, service history and good condition. If you are lucky enough, you may get a free service package from the dealer continued from the previous owner (check with the dealer using VIN).

The leader in selling used cars in Dubai is 4x4 motors. I and a few colleagues of mine used them. The deal was done in 2 days. I saw the car in the evening on their website and called them in the morning. It wasn't in the showroom yet, so I had to wait for an hour or so. When it arrived, there was a queue to buy it but I was the first who called. Next day's night it was mine with HSBC financing, license plates and insurance. My car was bought from the Ford dealership and I've got free warranty for up to 3 years or 60,000 km mileage.

Dubai used cars classifieds

Buy a car from an individual if you are confident that you know what you are doing. First, I tried to find a car using dubizzle, but after reading some stuff about registration, car check-ups and potentially bad service history, I decided that it would be better for me to pay a bit more but use a hassle-free option.

I had a look at one car though. It was a 2006 Ford Mustang, which done 60,000 kms, driven by a young English. When we went for a test ride, he just pushed the accelerator to the floor. "Do you always drive your car like this?" - I asked. "Yes, sure. Why not?" - he answered. Also, he had not settled his loan for this car. I didn't want a car without any warranty after a guy who pushes the car like that and had not even settled the bill for it.

At the end, it is your decision. I have never trusted anyone selling a car and always prefered going to a dealership, even having to pay some extra for that.

Car loans in Dubai

Car finance in UAE is very easy. Your dealer should do everything for you. The rate will be around 5-7%.

If you buy a car from an individual, you need to secure the financing yourself and that will be just a personal loan with a rate of about 15%.

If you have just moved in, you may have to wait for a couple of months before a bank will approve your loan.

Car insurance in Dubai

Insurance is normally about 5% of the car price. Check with the dealer what kind of deals they have.

It was a bit of a problem for me as my insurance rate was supposed to be something about 12%. There were 2 reasons: I was 25 years old and the car was a sport car. They don't want kids to drive fast cars. Fair enough.

Finally, it was negotiated down to 6% with excess of 3000 AED that I would have to pay if there would be an accident due to my fault.

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great info! thanks for sharing

Yes it is absolutely viable. Many people do that. At least this keeps you safe from having bought a car and being fired after a week or so as it can happen here. In the current economic climate I would either buy a cheap disposable car or rent one.

Thanks, for your quick response(s)!

Can i use your price guide to financing a car as a bench mark to estimate what it would cost to rent/lease one?

i. Can you rent/drive under a UK licence & how long for?
ii. What do you need to do to obtain a UAE licence?

Thanks again!

Just to give you an idea - Toyota Yaris will be about 1700 AED / month. You can drive with a UK license until you get your residence. Once you get your residence, you have to convert your license into a local one. If you are a UK citizen and have a license from UK, it won't be an issue.

Great info...

Is long term lease/rent a viable option?

How much can it to set me back?


Dear Friend,

I have license from USA my residence visa will be ready by next week after that i will convert in to local.i would be able to buy own car?? paying cash to dealer,I heard from some one that i can't get a car till six months of license period gets finish?

Thanks in advance!

Hi, You can buy a car immediately after getting a UAE driving license

Would just like to add a couple of points.

Be very wary with the big car dealers. Despite what is said here many are unscrupulous and think nothing of selling you repaired write offs as "one careful owner". I bought a 1 yr old car from a so called reputable dealer. An accident a few months later revealed the car had been rolled and repaired.
Also - if you are buying a used car from an individual and he still has finance on it you can't touch that car until he clears his finance. This can create problems as the seller will want you to pay him first, so he can pay the bank. Be very wary.
Also - Agencies will not disclose a service or accident history unless the seller agrees - it works in their favour here.

Thanks Archie, appreciate your contribution!


You can find all the listed cable/satellite services in Dubai under "MARKET PLACE" and under "SERVICES" on

this is the direct link

Hope this will help

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im filipino to work in dubai as a driver.. my international driver licence alow for dubai?

im filipino to work in dubai as a driver.. my international driver licence alow for dubai?