How to select Second Hand Car in UAE

June 23, 2017
Posted by: Dealer

The Tesla Model S isn’t the first truly autonomous car on the road and available for sale to the public. We’re not there yet, just as a society.

Once you have found your desired second-hand car, contact the seller via email or phone and arrange a time to view the vehicle, double check where the dealer is and what their timings are.

It’s a good idea to check the car out before agreeing to anything, and ask for the service history (if there isn’t any, it’s a risk!).

Also, ask the seller if there is any warranty remaining. If you know a trusted mechanic, it’s never a bad idea to ask them to come down with you to check the vehicle or drop the vehicle by, if the dealer agrees.

Second-hand cars are usually bought with cash only, unless it’s from a dealer and the car is of a certain age (usually 5 years or newer).

In such case, finance options are often available from the dealer. Paying by cash can result in a discount if you barter with the sale. Regardless, if you really want to go with car financing, your bank will often have a solution.

Now that your desired car has been purchased, it’s time to have it insured via a company that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recognizes.

The minimum level of insurance one can get is third party.

  • Third party insurance covers property damage caused by the insured vehicle, death or injury to any third party or person, fire if it’s not caused by the owner and if the vehicle is stolen.
  • Fully comprehensive insurance covers exactly the same as third party as well as covering the driver and depending on what packages are available 24/7 roadside assistance, car rental during damage repair and more are provided.  There are also additional cover which insures your vehicle in other GCC countries.


Note that if you are buying a car which is ten years or older, some insurance companies will not provide you fully comprehensive insurance.

Also note if you have had your licence for under a year or you’re under the age of 25 you cannot apply for fully comprehensive.

Insurance kiosks can usually be found within RTA buildings, most if not all insurance companies can arrange an insurance policy online or via the phone. The following documents are required in order to take out the policy:

  • Valid driving license
  • Passport with residency visa (copy is useful as well)
  • Vehicle registration details (the one you just purchased)
  • No Objection Letter NOC from your employer (in some cases)

Insurance policies are valid for 13 months or 12 months as standard and a one-month grace period given by the RTA.

With Insurance out of the way, it’s time to have the car registered.

If you are buying a brand new car, the dealer will take care of the process for you.

If you are purchasing a second-hand vehicle, the seller must be present or a sale deed from said person must be shown.

Documents required for registration:

  • Passport (copy and original)
  • Driving license
  • Insurance policy
  • If the car is financed, an NOC and documents from the place of finance
  • Old registration card (used car only)
  • Original license plates (used car only)

Once you have all the required paperwork, the vehicle must be tested by the RTA to make sure it’s allowed to be driven on the roads and conform to certain emission outputs:
1. Make your way to the nearest Dubai Traffic Department, Tasjeel Eppco, Shamil Emarat or Belhasa Wasel Car testing.
2. Fill in the mandatory forms (some places will do this for you).
3. Have an officer check to see if there are any fines on the vehicle. If any are present they must be paid. Fines can also be checked online, if you know the plate number.
4. Once all of this is completed and inspection is approved, you will proceed inside for your registration card to be printed.
5. You’ll be given the card with the same number plates to put at the front and back of the vehicle and a small date sticker to be placed on the plates.

If the previous owner owns the right to number plates, the RTA will issue you with a randomly generated plate.
If you would like to purchase your very own personalized plate you can for a fee. This plate will be yours unless you wish to sell it.

The RTA has a variety of these plates on offer and hold auctions frequently, prices range from 250 AED all the way to 50 million AED.

Number plates come in two sizes short and long each costing 420 AED and 470 AED respectively. Arabic only plates are available on request and new Dubai logo plates are available for 25 AED for short and 35 AED for long plates.

Registration on vehicles lasts 12 months with a one-month extra grace period, bringing the total to 13 months. Registration must be done annually.

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