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How to Sell Your Car in Dubai

Written by Zahra

Whether you’re buying a new car, or moving to a new country, it’s time to sell your car! Selling your car may seem daunting, but with this guide in mind, the process can be painless and successful.

Calculate the resale value

Many factors affect the car’s value, and before you start finding buyers, it is important to independently evaluate the potential price of the vehicle. If you don’t know your car’s accurate market value, it is much harder to negotiate a sale and you are likely to sell for less than what your car is worth.

Browse car listings

Search used car listings for vehicles that are of the same make, model, and year as of yours and evaluate how much others are charging as a ballpark reference.

Use online calculators

To get the exact age, you can use online calculators like SellAnyCar.com, CarSwitch.com, CashYourCarUAE.com, WeBuyCarsDXB.com, AutoMallUAE.com, VeryEasyCar.com, Taqyeem.ae, CarSellZone.com.

The DIY approach

A simple way to value your car is the 20-15-15 model (20-10-10 model for Japanese cars).

Let’s say you bought your car for AED 100,000. Expect a hefty 20-25% depreciation the first year depending on the model and condition of the car. Then the second year would be 10-15%, again depending on the condition of the car.

Be aware that good agency maintenance increases the resale value of your car. It is, in fact, an investment for future resale. 

If you buy a car one or two years old, you can avoid the biggest drop in value.

Depreciation in car’s value

Whether you are selling a brand new car or one that has been used a while, any car will lose its value the moment it is out of the showroom.

Depreciation of a new car’s value

Depreciation is the loss of value of your vehicle right from when you first purchase it. The drop varies for each model and make, but can plummet to 15-30 per cent in the first year and all the way down to half the original value within four years.

What is depreciation? Via TruFinancials.

Factors affecting depreciation in car’s value

Here’s a list of factors that affect a car’s potential value over the years.

Mileage

The biggest factor and should be at an average of around 17,000 kilometres a year. UAE is a big country and it is hard to keep to that scale, but more mileage directly equates to less value for your vehicle.

Reliability

Some car brands are considered to be more reliable than others, so their value remains constant.

Overall condition

Scratches or dents will reduce the value of your car. If you are looking to buy a used car, inspect it carefully. The same conditions are applied when you want to sell your car.

Service history

The service book should have up-to-date logs and stamps from the dealership to prove that the car is being maintained regularly.

Existing warranty

This is a big bonus point if you want to buy or sell a car because malfunctioning parts and repair costs will be covered by the dealership for the length of the warranty.

Fuel economy

Better fuel economy means you pay less for petrol, which is a big advantage.

Many factors affect a car’s depreciation rate

Tips to minimize depreciation in car’s value

  • Make sure you have a technical inspection done at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which will determine the proper functioning of the transmission, power steering, electrical system, and engine.
  • Look after and maintain the service of your auto and repair any damages as soon as you can.
  • Avoid modifications, especially if they are eye-watering expensive.
  • Sell at the right time – bikes and convertibles just before summer and others during winter.
  • Buy or sell a nearly new vehicle to avoid steep depreciation.

Cars that have the best resale value in Dubai

Keeping this in mind: it is always best to buy cars from an automotive that has good resale value.

  • Nissan Sunny
  • Mitsubishi Pajero
  • Nissan Altima
  • Ford Edge
  • Honda Accord

  • Nissan Sentra
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Lexus IS
  • Nissan Patrol

Find a buyer

The first step for you when selling your car is to find a buyer. Fortunately, there are many resources where you can easily do this:

Online

  • Sell Any Car
  • Yalla Motor
  • Cash Your Car UAE
  • Car Switch
  • Dubizzle
  • Al-Futtaim Auto Mall

Offline

  • Noticeboards
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Car magazines
  • Used car showrooms

Prepare before going to the RTA

Going unprepared to the RTA can waste time and result in multiple visits. 

Clear any outstanding fines and loans

Most of the fines on your car can be dealt with quickly at the time of transfer. However, if you need to clear any outstanding bank loans on your car, do it in advance because banks require a few working days to electronically file loan clearance with the RTA.

Pick a time & RTA location

Pick an RTA location where the lines are likely to be shorter, the counters are abundant, and they are open for longer hours. Choose a time convenient for you when the crowd is predictability lesser.

Bring required documents

These include original and copies of:

  • Passport and residency visa
  • Emirates ID
  • Car’s mulkiya

Cancel car insurance

Cancel your car insurance policy from the insurance company. If there are still months of insurance valid, you will be able to receive a refund for the premium paid.

You may need to provide your identification and registration documents (Mulkiya).

What to do at the RTA

Apply at the RTA to change the ownership of the vehicle. This service enables you to transfer the ownership of the vehicle and officially register it under the name of the buyer. At the end of this process, an ownership certificate will be issued under the name of the new owner.

Get the vehicle inspected

Every vehicle must pass an RTA inspection before the transfer of ownership. Get your car tested at one of the bays at the RTA. Get minor repairs done ahead of the transfer day to avoid failing the inspection. For example, cars with worn down tires or breaks do not pass.

Collect the license plate

If you wish to keep the license plate, then make sure to convey this to the buyer, so they remove the license plates and hand them over to the RTA agent during the transfer. The plate number can be held in your name for future car registrations, and the buyer will be given a new license plate at the RTA

Remove the ‘Salik’ tag

You can’t reuse an old ‘Salik’ tag on a new vehicle, nonetheless, you should still remove it because you will be charged if the buyer keeps using the tag. Don’t worry, when you sell your car, you won’t lose any remaining balance in your ‘Salik’ account. Buyers can get a new ‘Salik’ tag while at the RTA location.

Avoid scams when selling your car

When you are selling your car in Dubai, be upfront about the vehicle, and be on the lookout for con artists.

  • Deal with real persons who are willing to meet in person and are in full agreement of any legal terms and conditions;
  • Deal in upfront cash only, don’t accept post-dated cheques;
  • Don’t accept payments in instalments because if the buyer stops payment you have no way to collect;
  • Do not advertise on the windscreens of the vehicle, since this can result in fines from the RTA;
  • Make an agreement of sales with the buyer and proof of payment;
  • Advertise the car condition as it is, and do not hide any faults.

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Originally published Nov 04, 2018 13:21:15 PM, updated Apr 06, 2020

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