If you’re thinking of investing in a new set of wheels, why not buy secondhand?

How to get the best deal on a secondhand car

Whether you’re looking for something simple, sturdy or sporty, Dubai’s burgeoning secondhand car industry means there are plenty of great deals to be had. With a little bit of research – and a lot of patience – you could bag yourself a real bargain.

Most of the main car dealerships in Dubai sell secondhand models, so this is a good place to start. In a bid to protect their reputations, these dealerships will only offer cars that are in a decent condition and will carry out multiple tests before putting them on the showroom floor. These cars will usually also come with a warranty and a full service history, and the dealership will help you with the purchasing and registration process. However, you will pay a premium for all of this and there will be limited scope to haggle, so if you’re looking to pay as little as possible for your next motor, you may be better off going through an independent dealer or private seller.

Head down to the Al Aweer Used Car Complex in Ras Al Khor, where you’ll find row upon row of car dealers selling every imaginable type of vehicle, in every conceivable condition. There’s plenty of choice but you’ll have to be discerning and keep an eye out for companies that seem dodgy.

Another option is to look for private sellers. Check out the message boards in your local supermarket or your office, or websites such as Dubizzle, Yalla Motor and Auto Trader UAE. These are your best bet for getting a good deal as there’s plenty of opportunity to haggle, particularly if the seller is leaving the country and in a rush to complete the transaction.

Whatever route you choose, do your research. Decide in advance how much you want to spend and stick to your budget – it’s always easy to be tempted by a newer or fancier model once you start shopping around. Once you’ve decided on a specific model, read up on it. Find out if it is suited to the harsh climactic conditions in this part of the world, whether it is easy to get hold of spare parts and whether it will hold its resale value. For example, Japanese cars are popular because they generally hold their value well, assuming they have been reasonably well looked after. Korean cars, such as the ubiquitous Kia Sportage, are also gaining in popularity because they are are cheap to purchase and maintain, and also seem to hold their value.

Whatever brand you opt for, here are some key points to look into

– look for low mileage and a full service history ideally performed by the manufacturer

– Make sure to take the car for a test drive before you commit and,

– even if it drives well, have it checked out by an independent mechanic or garage

However perfect it looks, make sure to find out exactly what’s going on under the bonnet.

Once you’ve found the right car, think carefully about how you are going to finance it. And then protect your new asset with an appropriate motor insurance policy. There’s no point bagging a bargain and then undoing all your good work with unnecessarily hefty loan and insurance payment terms.