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How to buy a car in Dubai

Porsche sports car
(©Mikael Damkier –

Public transportation in Dubai has greatly improved with new innovations, ideas and new modes of transportation in the City, yet you may wish to travel regularly and also as a working class citizen your punctuality is mandatory in your place of work. That is why owning a vehicle is a necessity for most residents in Dubai. Dealers in car and car show rooms are very plentiful in the Middle East region, so as a foreigner is it is and you have little problem in finding a place to buy your dream car.

In general cars are less expensive in Dubai than cars selling in the UK and USA. Purchasing a car in Dubai requires less paperwork and approved waiting times. So buyers find it less stressful, also fuel and maintenance costs are far more affordable than other regions. There are many new and used car dealerships in Dubai offering you plenty of choices and services including car rental, so if you are in the market to purchase a new vehicle this is a step-by-step guide on how and what you need to know in order to buy a car in Dubai. But first before we even talk about purchasing a car you need to ensure that you have a suitable paperwork this includes:

  • Passport and a copy of it.
  • Emirates ID
  • Valid UAE residency and a copy of it.
  • Valid UAE or GCC driving licence.
  • Salary certificate from your employer (not required for private sellers).
  • No objections letter from your employer.

Depending on whether you are buying a newer fairly used car not all the documents mentioned above are required. If you have all these documents then you are on the right track to the next step which is choosing a suitable vehicle.

Choose a suitable vehicle

The first and important step you need to take after ensuring that your paperwork is complete is choosing a suitable vehicle. There are many car brands with many car dealers offering them in Dubai, you need to do an extensive research on the car brand, version and type of car you want to purchase whether it is a luxury or economic model, this is based on your budget and also on reasons such as the type of work you do and what you really want to use the car for.

After this you can call and make enquiries from many dealers about the availability of your favourite models. If they are available in stock, you could visit their showrooms to get more details about the car. This helps in knowing the complete specifications and having a first time feeling of the car and you can now go ahead to make a purchase.

Explore finance options

There are many options in which you could buy your car either with cash, through a car loan or via leasing whichever way, it depends on your choice and circumstances.

Securing a car loan

This is the most convenient and popular option of purchasing a car. If you don’t have spare cash in hand or you wish to use it for other expenses, you can always apply for a loan to finance your new car if you wish to apply for a loan be aware of the eligibility criteria offered by different banks in Dubai, the popular ones include:

  • Loan application requesting documents such as a passport, Emirates ID, Salary certificate, labour card, 3-6 months of bank statements and a driver’s licence. The car’s registration valuation certificate and insurance policy documents will also be provided.
  • You need to be at least 21 years of age to apply and a minimum salary requirement ranges from AED 3000 to AED 5000.
  • Banks finance 80% of the car’s value and require 20% down payment in advance. It could be paid to the bank or settled directly with the car owner.
  • Some banks grant loans for new or used cars for a maximum period of 60 months.

Paying in cash

Just like you are purchasing your regular item or commodity, buying vehicles via cash is hassle-free and transfers immediately; you don’t need to worry about interest rate or late fees.


This option is acceptable especially when you don’t intend to stay in the country for too long. when you rent a car, you pay a monthly fee and you don’t have to worry about insurance, registration, down payments etc. If you want to lease a car, you can go to trusted car rental franchises to rent a car Dubai. Set up a long-term lease for 12, 24 or 36 months after settling the car and length of lease you sign the contract amidst providing documents such as passport, UAE driving licence or a valid international foreign driving licence, Emirates ID or a Dubai resident visa and a credit card.

Vehicle registration process

After buying your car, you proceed to the RTA to get it registered for the first time. Car registrations in Dubai last for only a year as they have to be renewed on a yearly basis. When you buy a new car, the registered insurance companies will complete the registration for the first time after this it becomes your responsibility to renew registration for subsequent years.

The registration requires a copy of your driving licence and ownership details of your vehicle after paying the required fees and submitting relevant documents your car will be registered with the RTA (Roads and Transport Authority).

Car insurance

Insurance policy protects your newly bought vehicle i.e. any damage that happens to the car can be covered with the policy. This is done via a company the RTA recognises such as AXA, AIG or RSA. Either you get the third party insurance or a full comprehensive insurance.

  • Third party insurance covers property damage caused by the insured vehicle death or injury to any third party or person if it’s not caused by the owner and if the vehicle is stolen.
  • Fully comprehensive insurance covers the same as the state party as well as covering the driver car rental during damage repair and more are provided.

Insurance policies are valid for 12 to 13 months as standard and one month grace period given by the RTA. Above are the simple necessary steps to follow on how to buy a new or used car in Dubai. Proper registration and insurance of your vehicle will ensure you avoid future troubles, stay safe and enjoy your new ride in Dubai.

augusta free press
augusta free press