How to sell your car in the UAE to get the best possible price
6 August 2019| Last updated on 17 February 2021
It's not an easy ride when it comes to selling your car in Dubai
To sell your car in Dubai is to commit yourself to the possibility of a time-consuming and often frustrating experience. Your aim is to get the best possible deal for your car in the shortest time.
Selling a car by yourself is not a difficult task, but it does require you to dedicate some time and effort. However, you'll have the most control over how much you want to get for your car. You can do this by listing your vehicle in classifieds whether online or by posting them on boards.
Alternatively, the most convenient and fastest method to trade in your car for quick cash is by selling it to a car-buying business. A disadvantage of this is that these businesses typically pay you a lower price and then re-sell your car to a buyer for a higher price, often after giving your vehicle an inner and outer touchup.
Read on to weight the different ways how to sell your used car in Dubai and see the best method for your situation.
Prepare your car
Before you sell your vehicle, you'll need to prepare beforehand. Here are 5 things you should do before selling your car:
1. Get your car evaluated from a car dealer or a car-buying business
It's not necessary to bring your car to them. You can find out a good estimate for your vehicle over the phone or chat. Try to avoid relying on prices of similar cars on classifieds to determine your price. You're doing this to...
2. Set your sale price
The figure you receive from a professional valuation should give you an idea on the figure you could get for your car. You could add a few hundred or thousand dirhams, but make sure not to make your car more expensive compared to the others on the market. You should still be asking for less than a used-car dealer would for the same vehicle.
Once you've decided your price range...
3. Clean your vehicle
It makes for better presentation and will look more attractive for potential buyers. The last thing a potential buyer would like to see is a four-week-old drink spill from a drive-thru run.
And now that your car's as dolled up as possible...
4. Photograph your car during the morning or late afternoon
The light then will make your car look better and easier to see. Pick a clean background - a spacious parking lot is fine - and snap shots of the front, rear three-quarter view, interior, dashboard, engine compartment, and boot. Take pictures of the logbook, steering wheel, and tyres, as well because some people like to see that.
Always make sure that the whole car is in focus in the photo and isn't being cut off the frame.
5. Make sure people can contact you with ease
Especially if you're planning on selling your car through classifieds. Where you're giving your contact information so openly, you should be prepared to answer calls and reply to messages and e-mails. They will inquire about your car so you should be ready with information and other details.
Sell your car on classifieds
This method involves posting your vehicle as an ad on classified websites or pages.
Advantages of selling your car on classifieds
- Posting your ad is usually free
- Quick sign up and posting process - will typically only ask for your name, contact number, car details, photos, and price
- Can reach a wider audience
- You have more control over the final price
Disadvantages of selling your car on classifieds
- Often a time-consuming and slightly frustrating process
- Buyers may call you at anytime of day and expect full details and information about your vehicle
- Potential "no shows" - false buyers who will express their interest and set up a meeting, but will not show up
- Pranksters, scammers, and frauds messaging or calling your number if you make it public on your car advertisement
Selling your car through classifieds is an easy route mostly because there's no cost and you have a bigger say in the price. Unfortunately, it's usually a slower process as you will need to wait for interested buyers, communicate with them, negotiate, and set up a meeting which may take some time. It may take weeks to months to finally settle a deal with a buyer, and if you're fortunate enough it may take less than a week.
How urgently you need to sell your car is a key factor in determining whether this is the ideal choice for you - if you have the time for it, then the answer is simple.
Online classifieds you can post your car ad in
- ExpatWoman Classifieds
- Total Dubai
- Dubai newspapers
Print classifieds you can post your car ad in
You can also post classifieds in your neighbourhood, such as a community board if security permits it.
Sell your car through a car-buying business
Advantages of selling your car to a car-buying business
- Generally fast and easy, especially if you need to rid of your car soon for quick cash
- You won't have to publicly post your contact number
- No false buyers, scammers, pranksters, and frauds contacting you
Disadvantages of selling your car to a car-buying business
- No strong control over the selling price
- You will not get the best price as they will purchase your car for significantly less than its current market value and condition
Selling your car through a car-buying business is the fastest and least profitable route. It will involve paperwork, a possible fee, and you will get a lesser deal. However, if don't have the time to spare waiting and negotiating with buyers and you urgently need to trade in your car for fast cash, then choosing this method is more favourable.
Important things to consider after selling your car
- Give the buyer a receipt for their deposit paid and/or for the total sale price for the vehicle
- Provide copies of relevant documents including warranty if it's still covered by a dealer or manufacturer warranty
- Give the new owner any spare keys, manual, logbook, service booklet, and accessories
- Take your e-tags and personal items out of the car
- You and the purchaser must complete the process of transferring vehicle ownership
- Phone your insurance company and cancel your insurance policy on your old car
- Unregister the car from your accounts so you can ensure that any Salik charges, traffic violations, and other road fines issued after the sale go to the new owner
- Do try to accept payment for the car once you and the buyer are at an authorised RTA centre to transfer car ownership. To avoid potential frauds, if you receive a cheque to pay for the used car, bring it to a bank to have it validated before proceeding with transferring ownership
How to transfer car ownership in Dubai
Once you've agreed on a deal and arranged the payment, you will need to transfer the ownership of the used car. Here's how you can transfer vehicle ownership in Dubai:
1. Visit an authorised location
You will need to officially move the car ownership to the new owner, and this can be done at any one of the RTA authorised centres across Dubai. However, if the car is currently registered in a different emirate, you are required to transfer ownership in that emirate first. Only then can you proceed to an authorised centre in Dubai to register the used car to the new owner. Vice versa if the new owner is in a different emirate and the used car is registered in Dubai.
2. Clear all due fines and payments
You cannot transfer ownership if you have any pending traffic fines and payments issued to your account. Clear your payments first.
3. RTA mandated vehicle test
Your used car will need to pass the RTA mandated vehicle test, which can be held at the same authorised centre you choose for transferring car ownership. Once taken, the test is valid for 30 days.
4. Bring the necessary documents
Bring your valid Emirates ID, driver's license, car's insurance policy (can be purchased at most RTA centres), and car registration card. However, if the car is not registered under your name (e.g, if you are selling your spouse's used car), you are required to have a valid and approved Power of Attorney that will allow you to transfer ownership.
5. Clear loans
If you had purchased the car using a bank loan, you will need to have any outstanding amounts paid before transferring ownership. The car registration card will show if the vehicle has a bank loan on it, next to the "mortgaged by" field.
Once you finish paying off the remaining bank loan, you must bring a release letter from the bank confirming so.