Expatriates working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia face a number of challenges and one of which is driving in the country. For them to be without a car is extremely difficult most especially to those who have families. Public transport is insufficient in the country; taxis may not always be accessible or obtainable when you need them. That’s why emigrants prefer to buy used cars Saudi Arabia is selling, most especially those who are planning to stay in the country for a short-term only.
Obviously, brand new cars are available as well; however the rates are not reasonable. If you are going to pay for the car from your own pocket, it is advisable to go for used ones. If you do, purchase one that is less than five years old. Due to the ongoing problem of traffic jams and lack of parking spaces within cities, it is advisable to buy a small car.
Used cars are available in an auction yards. Because you may not know the background of the prior owner, you would really be lucky if you get a good and well conditioned car. Some used cars look good from the outside but the inner parts, particularly the machines, are no longer efficient.
The used car for sale has to be kept in supervision of an “exhibition” in a place where trading is normally done for 24 hours. Usually, the exhibition is managed by a government-registered broker. Basically the buyer is obliged to pay the transaction charges that will serve as a commission to the broker. Consequently, the broker will do the transfer of ownership of the car from the prior owner to the buyer, just after the end of the required 24-hour lock-in period.
The buyer will be given two cards, the ownership card and the registration card. Ownership card attests that you are now the new owner of the said vehicle while the other card, the registration card, typically called as Istemara will serve as the proof of registration of the vehicle. You may always carry these two cards together with your insurance card and your original iquama. That is why the wallet of an expatriate in Saudi Arabia has more papers than money, and that is true. And incidentally, just to inform you, women are not allowed to drive vehicles in the country and emigrants are not allowed by the government to own pick up vehicles.
Few months ago the used car market of Saudi Arabia went through a crisis. In fact the profit margin of sellers of used cars imported from Germany and United States has fallen by 2 percent since the beginning of 2010. The crisis is mainly credited to a general lack of cash liquidity with both Saudi nationals and expatriates.
Moreover, capitalists in the used car industry are vanishing from the market because of the declining returns along with other factors like the rising rentals of showrooms. As a matter of fact the rent for parking spaces have increased by about 60 to 80 percent to reach an annual average of SR500,000, up from SR240,000 in the past.