Go back to the basics

Buying a car isn’t as complicated as it may seem, especially if you have an idea of what you want and what to look for in a car while making a choice. Let’s start with the basics. First, you will need to answer these questions:
[Find Used Cars on Carswitch.com]

  1. Why do you need a car? Determine what the most important aspects of a car are to you. Are you interested in practicality and comfort? Are you more interested in handling and performance? Does car design appeal to you more? What about car brand?
  2. What details should you pay attention to in a car? Once you have decided what you want to get out of a car, it’s time to start looking at the relevant details.
  3. What’s your budget? You have to be realistic with your financial capabilities as this should give you a hint about the car make and model that you will go after
  4. Do you prefer new cars* or would you consider buying a used car? Each has its pros and cos and your decision could affect your budget so think about it carefully.

*If you are looking for a new car, you can now book test drives for free on Souqalmal.com:

Consider car features

Once you’ve addressed these key points, the experience of buying a car can get a whole lot simpler.  The next step is to look at car features based on your needs:

  • Car type: When choosing a car many people tend to define its size and match that to how it can address their daily needs. For example, if you have a large family, you may consider a bigger car whereas if you plan to be the sole user of the vehicle, a smaller car may be a more appropriate choice and so on. Some of the different car types you can consider based on your needs include sedans, coupes, convertibles, wagons, Special Utility Vehicles (SUVs) or 4 X 4s, pickups and hatchbacks.
  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Handling
  • Options and special features such as comfort and space
  • Car design
  • Brand or car make

You may want the car that you choose to satisfy a number of the functions above. For example, you might decide that performance of a car and its design are equally important to you. Just remember to think about all of the features related to the aspects of the car you want when making your selection.

Book a test drive of the Jeep Grand Cherokee

Where to buy your car

Having gone through the thought process of choosing a car, you now need to look for it in the market. And to do so here are the factors to bear in mind:

  1. If it’s a new car head to the nearest dealership of the car brand you are interested in to book a test drive.
  2. If it’s a used car you’re after, there are several resources available in the UAE including:
    1. Second hand approved dealership departments: This can be a safer option as you will be buying from a company rather than from an individual and the process can involve less hassle to you. But be aware that car prices at second hand dealerships could be considerably higher compared to other used car outlets.
    2. Online classifieds and local forums: You can find several options for the same car type and brand here
    3. Classified magazines and newspaper listing
    4. Your local car market: this includes Al Aweer Market in Dubai and Abu Shaghara Market in Sharjah)

Remember: If you are buying a used car, make sure that you inspect it thoroughly at independent service centers or car dealerships before making your purchase.

[Related: How to get the best deal on a secondhand car]

Financing and insuring your car

Next, you’ll need to decide how to finance the car. You could purchase it entirely in cash or you may choose to obtain a car loan or personal finance. If you decide to take out a car loan, make sure that you have a down payment prepared as you will be required to pay up a minimum of 20% of the car’s value with the bank financing the rest. Just bear in mind that if you decide to resell your car before the end of your car loan tenor, you will be required to pay off the loan in full. This is because your car will be mortgaged to the bank and you will only be able to transfer the ownership of the vehicle to the buyer once the car has been released from the bank.

[Compare car loans in the UAE]

[Related: Got a loan on you car? How to sell it | Buying a car: Cash or loan?]

Personal loans are another option to finance your car. But something to bear in mind is that interest rates on personal loans can be considerably higher than those on car loans. Compare the various finance options and decide which one is best for you based on your financial situation.

[Compare personal loans in the UAE]

Once you have obtained the necessary funding, you’ll need to insure your car. Some of the factors that could impact the price of your insurance quote are your age and how long you have been driving as well as the value and year of your car’s manufacture. For a full list of the car insurance policy covers you can get in the UAE, read our guide to car insurance.