FAQs for Buying a Car in Dubai

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It’s cheaper to buy a car than importing your vehicle from abroad. In this Middle East area, dealerships and showrooms are abundant. This means that visitors won’t have to go through much in order to find a credible platform selling their favorite car. 

This article by CarSwitch answers some of the common questions associated with car purchases in Dubai. But if you want to sell any car in Dubai, visit our website for more information. 

How do I buy a car in Dubai?

  • Research to know which automaker and model you’re interested in
  • Make a list of private sellers and dealerships selling your chosen car. Compare their prices
  • If needed, discover financing options
  • Buy the car
  • Register and get the vehicle insured

What’s the price of owning a car in Dubai?

Purchasing a vehicle in Dubai is cheap as compared to other countries. As a buyer, you can get a low upfront and monthly payment. Even though the exact price depends on the brand and model, owning a car is still very cheap. When it comes to fuel, Dubai being an oil-rich city boasts some of the lowest petrol costs in the world. The gas price is 1.80 per gallon. 

Where and how can I find a car?

It’s almost the same as anywhere in the world. After knowing which car you’re after, figure out which automotive platforms sell your preferred car. See that vehicle by private seller and dealerships in person. Check the newest inspection certificate. To determine that the car doesn’t have outstanding charges, search for the car on Dubai’s police website. 

According to Dubai law, each automaker can have one dealership in each territory. If you want to buy directly from the automaker, go to the nearest branch. 

How can I pay for a car?

Payment can be done by cash or banking card. Many Dubai dealerships approve cash plus famous credit cards. If you want to pay via a foreign account, it’s advised to use Wise instead of your personal bank. This is because Wise includes no hidden charges, unlike traditional banks. 

How do I register for a car?

Without existing UAE registration, you can’t drive a car in Dubai. Go to the nearest RTA branch to register your vehicle which is a quick process and can be completed in one business day. If you are buying a new car, the dealership might have tackled the registration conditions without bothering you. 

But in case you are buying a used car, you need to have a local ID or passport, the previous registration card, a copy of the vehicle’s insurance agreement, and if needed, the car inspection certificate. 

All vehicles must be registered again each year otherwise the drivers will experience legal issues. 

Both the registration and driving license can be renewed on the Dubai Police website which costs AED 340. 

Which driving licences are approved in Dubai?

Expats from more than 33 countries can exchange their driving license for a UAE driving license without experiencing any testing. This must happen if you want to drive in Dubai for a long period of time. 

The 33 approved countries include Canada, the USA, South Africa, and Germany. In order to see the full list, you can ask RTA. As for the ex-pats from non-approved countries, they are obligated to attend driving lessons and pass the practical driving test if they want to drive in Dubai. 

People from the approved countries who are staying in Dubai for a short time do not have to apply for a UAE driving license as their native card will be enough. As for the visitors from non-approved countries, they also don’t have to but they need to get an international driver’s permit from their native country before arriving in Dubai. 

What should I know regarding driving in Dubai? 

Just like Canada or the USA, Dubai drivers operate on the right side of the road. If you are an ex-pat from a country where you were driving in the opposite direction, you will have to adjust accordingly. 

During driving, make sure to not make exaggerated hand gestures to other drivers as they can be misinterpreted as offensive. There is no lack of foreign or even American cars on the streets of Dubai. This makes it clear that the guidelines for driving in Dubai are lenient and accommodating. A tip is to utilize the hazard lights for indicating that you are slowing down. 

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