Have you recently obtained your license or maybe you have recently moved here with a valid overseas license. If so, it’s the perfect time to buy a car. Even though public transport has greatly improved over the years with the introduction of the Metro, a vehicle is a necessity for most residents in the UAE.
First step: Make sure you have the following paperwork;
- Passport and a copy of it (make sure it’s not expired)
- Emirates ID
- Valid UAE residency and a copy of it
- Valid UAE or GCC driving license
- Salary certificate from your employer (This is not required of your buying from a private seller)
- No Objections Letter from your employer (This is not always required, get one just in case)
Depending on if you are buying a new or second-hand car, not all of the documents mentioned above are required.
Before you do any hunting for the perfect car, plan a budget of how much you expect to spend! Of course, you can get a bank loan for the vehicle as well.
Finding the automobile
When looking for a new or used car to purchase, there are few ways to choose from:
- The easiest & most secure way to buy a new or used car is to get online and use dubicars.com! From here you can see high-definition pictures, exact specifications and sometimes a video of new and used cars for sale from car dealers in Dubai and other Emirates. You can search with highly specific options and then call the dealer directly or send an email.
- Head down to the nearest dealer you may have seen an advert for or heard about it from a friend or work colleague.
- Newspapers and print magazines also contain vehicle advertisements, usually with few pictures and basic specifications with contact details of the seller.
If you choose to buy a new car, give the dealer a ring or email them to check that they have your preferred car in stock, double check their location and arrange a time to meet a sales representative. Once arranged, proceed to the dealership. As long as you have a UAE or GCC driver’s license you can go for a test drive. Two methods are available for payment; cash in hand or financing over the years. Dealers have bank representatives working in-house to make the process as smooth as possible. If you are buying a car new during Ramadan or Eid, great deals pop up ranging from discounts to extended warranty to free registration and insurance.
Once you have found your desired second-hand car, contact the seller via email or phone and arrange a time to view the vehicle, double check where the dealer is and what their timings are. It’s a good idea to check the car out before agreeing to anything, and ask if there is any service history (if there isn’t any, it’s a risk!). Also, ask the seller if there is any warranty remaining. This can also be seen on many of the car ads on Dubicars. If you know a trusted mechanic, it’s never a bad idea ask them to come down with you to check the vehicle or drop the vehicle by if the dealer agrees.
Second-hand cars are usually bought with cash only, unless it’s from a dealer and the car is of a certain age (usually five years or newer). In such case, finance options are often available from the dealer. Paying by cash can result in a discount if you barter with the seller. Regardless, if you want to go with car financing, your bank will often have a solution.
How to get car insurance in Dubai
Now that your desired car has been purchased, it’s time to have it insured via a company the Roads and Transport Authority recognises, such as AXA, AIG or RSA. The minimum level of insurance one can get is third party.
- Third party insurance covers property damage caused by the insured vehicle, death or injury to any third party or person, fire if it’s not caused by the owner and if the vehicle is stolen.
- Fully comprehensive insurance covers exactly the same as third party as well as covering the driver and depending on what packages are available 24/7 roadside assistance, car rental during damage repair and more are provided. There are also additional packages which insure your vehicle in other GCC countries.
Note that if you are buying a second hard car in Dubai which is ten years or older, some insurance companies will not provide you with fully comprehensive insurance. Also, note if you have had your licence for under a year or you’re under the age of 25 you can not apply for fully comprehensive.
Insurance kiosks can usually be found inside RTA registration centres. Alternatively, most if not all insurance companies can arrange an insurance policy online or via the phone.
The following documents are required in order to take out the policy:
- Valid driving license
- Passport with residency visa (copy is useful as well)
- Vehicle registration details (the one you just purchased)
- No Objection Letter NOC from your employer (in some cases)
Insurance policies are valid for 13 months or 12 months as standard and a one-month grace period given by the RTA.
Prices vary depending on the insurance company, how many doors the vehicle has and other factors.
How to Register a car in Dubai
Now that you’ve got insurance out of the way, it’s time to have the car registered. If you are buying a brand new car, the dealer will take care of the process for you. If you are purchasing a second-hand vehicle, the seller must be present, or a sale deed from said person must be shown.
Documents required for registration:
- Passport (copy and original)
- Driving license
- Insurance policy
- If the car is financed, an NOC and documents from the place of finance
- Old registration card (used car only)
- Original license plates (used car only)
Once you have all the required paperwork, the vehicle must be tested by the RTA to make sure it’s allowed to be driven on the roads and conform to certain emission outputs:
- Make your way to the nearest Dubai Traffic Department, Tasjeel Eppco, Shamil Emarat or Belhasa Wasel Car testing.
- Fill in the mandatory forms (some places will do this for you).
Have an officer check if there are any fines on the vehicle. If any are present, they must be paid(No longer required as of May 16th, 2019, this is no longer required). Fines can also be checked online if you know the plate number.
- Once all of this is completed, and inspection is approved, you will proceed inside for your registration card to be printed.
- You’ll be given the card, same number plates to put at the front and back of the vehicle and a small date sticker to be placed on the plates.
If the previous owner owns the right to number plates, the RTA will issue you with a randomly generated plate. If you would like to purchase your very own personalised plate you can for a fee. This plate will be yours unless you wish to sell it. The RTA has a variety of these plates on offer and holds auctions frequently; prices range from 250 AED all the way to 52.2 million AED.
Number plates come in two sizes short and long each costing 420 AED and 470 AED respectively. Arabic only plates are available on request, and new Dubai logo plates are available for 25 AED for short and 35 AED for long plates.
Registration on vehicles lasts 12 months
with a one-month extra grace period bringing the total to 13 months. We’ve discovered the grace peirod is only for the insurance.
Registration must be done annually. Late renewal fees are charged at AED 20 per month.
Congratulations you’ve just bought a car, why not comment below and tell us what car you’ve recently bought!