A lot of expats get confused about making the right choice between buying and renting a car during their stay in Dubai. After settling in the city with everything in order, the next question becomes whether to rent or buy a car. Some expats recommend renting a car during your stay, but is that financially profitable?
While this can be a huge dilemma and a tough decision to make, I decided to share this article to help you make the best choice. After spending five years in Dubai, I finally deciphered that the greatest determinant of this decision should be the span of your stay in the country. This is because it would be illogical to buy a car if you would only be spending a few months or even a year or two. But, if you are aiming for a stay longer than two years, owning a car would seem to be the best option. After reading this article, you should be able to make the decision that’s best for you.
Is it better to buy a car in Dubai?
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Yes, it is better to buy a car in Dubai if you are staying for an extended period. You will find largely all automakers in the city, including most of their models. Most expats prefer Japanese and American manufacturers compared to German models. This is because it’s easier and less costly to get Japanese and American parts than German ones. Plus, because of their popularity among expats, they have higher resale values.
However, German cars have higher quality, and they are a great option if you prefer more durable cars. Of course, luxurious models are higher in value than common cars. Expect amazing deals during festive periods, such as discounted prices, a service warranty period, and a year of insurance coverage.
Pros of buying a car in Dubai
- You have the option of selling when you’re leaving the UAE. Expats widely accept Second-hand car options in the UAE. So if you are ready for a newer ride, choose to sell your car to generate income. There are options to suit everyone.
- Buying a car gives you access to instalment payments (Equated Monthly Payments EMI). In the long run, paying for a car is cheaper than car rental payments. After you finalise the payments, you can drive it as long as you want.
- You can customise the car to your taste. If you decide to change the car colour or seat covers, you can do this at your free will.
- A new car comes with warranty coverage and advanced safety features. Depending on the vehicle’s make and model, you can have up to a year of insurance coverage. More so, new cars come with advanced security systems such as lane monitoring systems, side airbags, rearview cameras, keyless entry systems, which are absent in older cars.
Cons of buying a car in Dubai
- You are solely responsible for the car maintenance. When the warranty ends, you need to bear the cost of maintaining the car for the long term.
- A car depreciates. If you plan to resell, there’s a higher chance of getting less than the initial value of the vehicle.
- The monthly payments can often be expensive, depending on the car model. If you are a salary earner, keeping up with the payments can become burdensome.
How much does it cost to buy a car in Dubai?
Costs vary depending on the car model and make. Also, you will spend a few bucks on registration fees, insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs. If you intend to buy a new car, the car dealer should handle the registration formalities.
Is it better to rent a car in Dubai?
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Renting a car in Dubai can be a viable option if you plan to stay for a short while.
Pros of renting a car in Dubai
- It saves you from extra costs such as registration fees, maintenance, etc. Most leasing companies offer free maintenance or the option of exchange if anything happens to the car. Furthermore, some contracts come with full insurance coverage.
- It offers the same comfort as having your own car. You can drive anywhere you want without the worries of car insurance, damages, and depreciation losses.
- Renting a car gives you access to choose from a wider variety of cars. While this option largely depends on your financial capability when buying a car, renting a car has no restraints on the model or type of car you choose. You can decide to switch cars, depending on the occasion.
- There is no commitment when you rent a car. Anytime you want to leave the country, go on a vacation or just do not need commuting vehicles, you can easily save reasonable costs by stopping the rental charges.
Cons of renting a car in Dubai
- The costs of renting a car can be quite high. This is why most expats would rather buy a car than rent one.
- You don’t have the choice to remodel the car to your taste. The car rentals require you to return the car.
How much does it cost to rent a car in Dubai?
Averagely, you can spend $24 daily to rent a car in Dubai. There are different car rental services in Dubai, and they offer different rates and plans. You can explore other offers, including hiring a driver throughout your stay in Dubai. Most car rentals have a fleet of cars up for rental, ranging from supercars like Ferrari to economy cars like Kia. However, before choosing a car rental service, ensure you check their reviews from other expats.
To minimise costs, you can opt for used cars instead of new ones. New cars record much steeper depreciation for the first year of purchase, which is the highest cost of owning a car in Dubai. As long as the vehicle is in good condition, then you can save some unnecessary costs.
In summary, if you won’t be spending a long time in Dubai, prefer to be chauffeured around without the headache of driving yourself, or you are concerned with the cost of car maintenance, it is advisable to rent or hail a cab. However, if your primary concern is the lack of free will to alter the car designs or rent for a long-term period, you would be better off buying a car.