Buying a new car can be hard, especially if you've never been through the process before. With around 60 different brands to choose from in the UAE and recent Facebook research revealing that most people only consider three brands to begin with it can be hard to know whether or not you're making the right decision.
The used car market is a great place to look if you want to get the most bang for your buck, but there are a number of uncertain-ties and pitfalls which can be challenging to navigate.
The best way to avoid the uncertainties of the used car market is to buy new - but how affordable is it, and what about depreciation? Read on to discover our six tips for buying a new car in the UAE brought to you by Simply New Cars, and Simply Concierge.
1. Do your research
Decide on what's most important to you - are you looking for the height and safety of a large SUV? Or perhaps the comfort and style of a luxury sedan? Deciding on exactly what you want your next new car to have allows you to start defining your choices, and sites like simplynewcars.com allow you to use that criteria to discover the cars that might match your needs.
2. Look, touch, feel
Just because a car matches your needs doesn't mean that you will be happy with it. Once you have narrowed your search down to a few cars head out to the dealerships and experience the car in the metal. Sit inside, adjust the seat, think about how you will use the car on a daily basis. Are the cup holders large enough? Does it have handy storage compartments? How's the visibility from your seat?
3. Secure your finance
A lot of new car purchases these days are made on finance. With low interest rates this can be an excellent way of levelling up to the perfect car for your lifestyle. Knowing what to expect before beginning the finance process can help ensure you give yourself the best chance of approval. - Some banks have a minimum salary requirement of around Dhs15,000 per month, and require you to have been with your company for at least three months. While this doesn't apply to all lenders you should be prepared to call around if you fall below these thresholds. - Your DBR (Debt Burdon Ratio) is important. In simple terms this is the amount of debt exposure you have, relative to your salary. Your debt (such as personal loan repayments, mortgage repayments, etc.) should not exceed 50% of your salary each month. - 5% of your credit card limit will be counted as part of your DBR. This means if you have a credit card limit of Dhs100,000 then 5,000 Dhs will be added to any other monthly repayments you have to calculate your DBR. If your credit card limit will put you over the 50% threshold then you can ask your bank to reduce your limit.
4. Don't be afraid to negotiate
Dealerships are eager to sell as many cars as possible. Always ask what kind of deal the company is able to offer you to buy one of their cars instead of the competition. They may not be able to take any money off the cost of the car but can possibly throw in extras such as extended servicing packages, free window tinting, or other products that add value to your purchase.
5. Depreciation matters, but so do your needs
With a few exceptions most cars will depreciate the moment you drive them out of the showroom. However, the rate of depreciation varies wildly from car to car, and is impacted by a number of factors - some of which mean that deprecation may not be as much of a concern as you might think. Generally speaking, the cheaper the car is new, the less you will lose on depreciation. New cars in the Dhs30,000 - 100,000 price range represent excellent value as a 20% depreciation loss doesn't translate to a huge amount of cash. When this smaller loss is compared to the benefits you receive from owning a new car (such as warranty & service packages, and freebies such as insurance & registration) then a new car purchase becomes a lot more viable relative to buying used. The used car market doesn't often identify the differences between each trim level very well, so while it may be easier to sell the top spec version, you won't necessarily receive much more money for it than someone selling a low-mid spec version of the same car.
6. Think of the long-term running costs
One of the most important questions to ask yourself when buying a new car is, "How long do I intend on owning this car for?". Combined with that, you need to consider what level of servicing costs you're prepared to pay for. Once you have made those decisions you should pay attention to the service contracts being offered (or not) by the dealerships to help you figure out how much you may need to pay in the coming years for servicing and maintenance. As a general rule, European cars will be the most expensive to service and maintain in the UAE, followed by American cars, then Japanese cars, with Korean and Chinese brands being the cheapest to maintain.
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