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How To Buy Second-Hand Cars In Dubai – A Detailed Guide



Buying Second-Hand Cars

Are you one of the many people in Dubai who looks to buy second-hand cars in Dubai? As someone completely new to the used car market, many thoughts may be going through your head. Which is the best place to buy used cars in Dubai might be one of your main concerns.

The other worrying thought may be how to zero in on the right vendor who can guide you in buying cheap second-hand cars in Dubai.

Now, be absolutely relieved from all those worries. Here we present a detailed guide that covers various aspects such as what are the top factors to consider while buying a used car and where to buy second-hand cars in Dubai and get a good deal.

Is It Worth Buying Used Cars In Dubai?

The good news is that it is the perfect time to make your wish of buying a second-hand car in Dubai come true. Let’s check out the 3 major reasons why you should opt for used cars over brand-new ones. 

Is It Worth Buying Used Cars In Dubai

1. Weak economic sentiment – The poor economic sentiment is wreaking havoc among Dubai residents. With the news of a looming recession, people no longer want to spend a hefty sum on new cars. The other important reasons are threats of job cuts and the missing salary increments, thus making used cars a much-preferred option among Dubaiites.

2. Ease of mobility – Years back, hiring cabs was a popular trend among Dubai residents. However, nowadays people prefer to buy second-hand cars as it makes commuting within the city much easier. When you own a car, there is always the freedom to travel at your convenience.  Moreover, you don’t have to go through the hassles of spending a long time waiting for the cab.

3. Safety reasons – With the outbreak of Covid-19, people have become more health conscious. While hiring a cab, interaction with the cab driver elevates the risk of contracting the infection. Thus, it is always safer to travel in your own vehicle, thus increasing the popularity of used cars.

Most Popular Used Cars In Dubai

Now that you have made up your mind to buy a used car, the next important factor to consider is the brand. Here is the list of the top 5 used car brands in Dubai.

1) Mitsubishi Pajero

Sports utility vehicles (SUV) are the most popular models in Dubai’s used car market. If you are a diehard SUV lover, then without any second thoughts, go for a Mitsubishi Pajero. When it comes to the second-hand market, Pajero tops the wishlist of SUV buyers.

First launched in UAE in 1982, this model has grown to be the top-selling brand due to its high reliability and fuel efficiency. Since its initial launch, this model has undergone only 4 revamps and during each release it has improved tremendously in terms of build quality, engine performance and driving comfort.

 Mitsubishi Pajero

Pajero best serves the purpose of desert driving due to its high durability. The model is designed in such a way that it can easily deal with the toughest terrains and challenging conditions.

The All Wheel Control (AWC) feature of Pajero provides precise traction, power and slip control to each wheel independently, thus making it effortless to traverse any terrain. It also ensures that the driver has total control over the vehicle.

2) Honda Accord

An iconic product from the Honda stable, Accord has won the hearts of millions due to its rare blend of efficiency and performance. The external features that deserve a special mention include its sleek profile and flowing body lines.

The robust hybrid powertrain ensures that the vehicle delivers speed and control at the right time. With its spacious cabin and an 8-inch touchscreen display entertainment system, the interiors of Accord will captivate you for sure.

) Honda Accord

The other attractive features include the latest VTEC Turbo engine, Honda Sensing Suite that adds to your safety, Adaptive Cruise Control that makes driving effortless, and Collision Mitigation Braking System that cuts down the risk of accidents.

3) Toyota Camry

Looking for a sturdy vehicle that can traverse through any rough terrain? Then there is no better choice than Toyota Camry. Famous for its muscular design and classy interiors, Camry also offers high fuel efficiency.

 Toyota Camry

Another attractive feature is Toyota Safety Sense, a state-of-the-art road safety system that provides the utmost protection for drivers and passengers from road accidents. The other features include a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detector, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams that make the driver’s job quite effortless.

There are two models to choose from, the 2.5 L 4-Cyl 16V DOHC VVT-i and the 3.5 L 24V V6 DOHC Dual VVT-i.

4) Toyota Land Cruiser

If you are crazy about desert driving, then Toyota Land Cruiser would be a perfect choice. The high rigidity body and frame coupled with a robust suspension system ensures excellent on-road steering stability as well as sturdy off-road performance.

To deliver high-quality offroad performance, Land Cruiser comes with the Multi-Terrain Select feature. Here you can choose from one of the 6 modes: Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow, and Rock.

Toyota Land Cruiser

The Multi-Terrain Monitor with 4 cameras makes it pretty easy for the driver to check the blindspots from multiple angles and release the vehicle from a stuck position.

The other attractive features include the off-road information display screen, Direct Shift-10 speed automatic transmission and the latest Toyota Safety Sense safety measure.

5) Nissan Patrol

With 70 years of rich legacy, Nissan Patrol has carved a unique position in the minds of SUV lovers in Dubai. The 5.6 L V8 engine of Patrol provides 298 kW of power and 560 Nm of torque making it the apt choice for rough terrains.

Designed to conquer every terrain, it stands out with a V-Motion grille and a gleaming matte chrome finish that adds to its beauty.

Nissan Patrol

The other features that add to the appearance of Patrol are the Organic C-Signature lights, dynamic rear design and machine-cut alloy wheels.

Last but not the least, it comes with unmatched safety features such as the Nissan Intelligent Mobility and Nissan Intelligent Around-View Monitor that makes travelling in Patrol a superior experience.

Best Places To Buy Used Cars In Dubai

Now, you have a fair idea about the popular car models in the used car market. The next step is to find out the best place to buy second-hand cars in Dubai. Here is the list of authorised used car dealers in Dubai where you will get a wide range of top-quality second-hand cars at reasonable prices.

1. Dubizzle

An online marketplace in Dubai where you can buy or sell used cars with plenty of options to choose from, in various price ranges. That’s the advantage offered by Dubizzle, the most popular online platform in Dubai.

Irrespective of whether your plan is to buy an SUV, sedan or sports car, Dubizzle has an unending list of vehicles at different price points. With a wide range of filters on its website, searching for a vehicle becomes pretty easy here.

Generally, on other websites, you will find options only to filter vehicles by their price, model, make or kilometres run.  A unique feature of Dubiizle is that here you can narrow down your search criteria and shortlist vehicles even using parameters such as horsepower, colour, fuel type or body type.

To add on, there is also the option to create a targeted list rather than calling each seller for knowing the details. To get in touch with Dubizzle, please call 800-38249953. The phone lines are open from 9 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday.

2. Al Aweer Auto Market

Also known as Ras Al Khor Car Market, Al Aweer Auto Market is one of the most popular used car markets in Ras Al Khor Dubai. A major attraction of this market is that you can find the best authorised used car dealers here, that too in large numbers.

Be it a luxury car, a fuel-efficient budget car or even a limited edition model, Al Aweer Auto Market has proven to be one of the best places to buy or sell second-hand vehicles in Dubai.

Apart from buying and selling, the market also offers other services such as automobile testing services, police traffic department facility, Tasjeel Centre, Emirates Driving Institute, and much more.

Located in Al Awir Road at Ras Al Khor Industrial Area, Al Aweer Auto Market is open to visitors from Saturday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 08:00 pm. To reach out to them, please call on +971 55 156 7637.

3. Al Futtaim Motors’ Automall

Located at Dubai Festival City, Al Futtaim Motors’ Automall is the second option if you want to buy or sell used vehicles in Dubai.

Depending on your budget, you can pick from an endless list of options starting from the ultra-luxury Cadillac to budget-friendly brands such as Toyota. There is also the option to sell your existing car and upgrade to a premium model that best fits your needs.

The highlight of Al Futtaim Motors’ Automall is that they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee. After trying out a car, if you are not satisfied, there is always the option to return it.

The other services worth mentioning include issuing vehicle valuation certificates, service, maintenance and finance solutions offered while buying a car. To get in touch with them, call on the phone number 600-567-005. 

4. Emirates Auction

Founded in 2004, Emirates Auction L.L.C. is a specialist in automobiles, vehicle licence plates, real estate and much more. A huge number of vehicles are on display here making it quite convenient for buyers like you.

Also, the largest online auction portal in UAE, Emirates Auction is an avenue where you can choose from a broad range of collections starting from Ferrari, the ultra-luxury brand to the Honda Accord.

Located in Manama Street at Ras Al Khor Industrial Area, Emirates Auction is open for visitors from 09:00 am to 06:00 pm from Saturday through Thursday. Reach out to them on 600 545454 | +971 4 331 3333 or shoot an email to [email protected].

How To Buy A Used Car In Dubai (Step By Step Guide)

In this section, we will explore the steps involved in buying a used car in Dubai.

 Used Car

1. List out your requirements

The first step is to fix your budget. Once you buy a car, it involves several expenses such as the price of the car, insurance, registration fees, maintenance costs, repair costs, etc. Thus take all these aspects into consideration before deciding your final budget. Always keep in mind that your budget should not cross 20% of your monthly income. 

Before deciding on the model of your car, first, consider your purpose. If your family is big, then you need to buy a big car to accommodate all your family members.

Safety is another important aspect that you need to take into consideration. The next factor is your usage. If you go on long trips often, then better go for a fuel-efficient car.

2. Find a dealership

One of your major concerns may be regarding where to buy second-hand cars in Dubai. Check out the online used car platforms for buying the car of your choice. The best part about these websites is that they will provide detailed information about the cars listed on their platforms.

Moreover, they offer a good deal as they don’t have to pay huge rent amounts, unlike traditional brick-and-mortar showrooms. Thus, online platforms prove to be the best avenue for buying cheap second-hand cars in Dubai.

They also provide the arrangements to make the car reach your doorstep so that you can test drive the vehicle. One more benefit is that they have a standardised refurbishment and repair process to make sure that the vehicle is in good condition.

It is always better to stay away from traditional car showrooms as there are chances that the salesmen may try to push their dead stock without giving priority to your requirements and preferences. 

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3. Inspect the condition of the car

Before purchasing your car, it is quite necessary to make sure that the vehicle is in perfect condition. Hence, take an expert mechanic along with you while going to see the car.

A good mechanic can easily assess the condition of the car and tell you the estimated amount it will cost to repair the vehicle. In case you don’t know any good mechanics, take a friend of yours who is quite knowledgeable about automobiles.

Otherwise, there are chances that the salespersons from the car selling platform may persuade you to buy a vehicle that is in poor condition. Never fall into such traps as you may have to shell out a huge amount in the future for repair and maintenance costs.

4. Explore the payment options

Now comes the last and the most important part, arranging the finances. Compare the interest rates offered by different banks for providing the loan.

The interest rate is arrived at by multiplying 80% of your car’s value against the interest rate charged by the bank you are opting for.

The next step is to multiply the resulting figure by the loan tenure or number of years. It will generally be around 48 to 60 months.

The term of loan repayment also matters a lot. In the case of a longer loan repayment duration, you will end up paying higher interest. On the other hand, a shorter tenure comes with the burden of a higher instalment amount every month.

Depending on your financial condition, check which one suits you best. The Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) for your car loan is calculated based on the loan tenure. Apart from the principal amount, it also includes the interest applicable for an auto loan. Some of the popular banks offering car loans in Dubai include Emirates NBD Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, RAK Bank and Mashreq Bank. 

Things You Should Check Before Buying A Used Car

Let’s quickly delve through the top 4 areas you should pay attention to before buying a preowned car.

1. Warranty

To start with, first, check the warranty of the car you are planning to purchase. If your budget permits, it is always better to opt for a relatively new car that has a warranty.

It comes with many advantages such as excellent condition and a transparent record of the vehicle’s service history.

2. Chassis Number

The next step is to check the complete history of the car you are planning to buy. Just key in the chassis number of the vehicle on the official website of Emirate Vehicle Gate (EVG), Ministry of Interior (MOI) and RTA website and you will get the complete details. Alternatively, you can visit one of the Tasjeel Service Centres and make use of the self-service kiosks to get this information instantly.

3. Interior

When it comes to the interior of the car, just smell and see whether there is any smoking or flood damage. The other areas to inspect are the seats and electronic items.

This includes checking the buttons of the music system, air conditioning, Bluetooth and other electronic components to make sure that they are in proper working condition.

4. Body damages

The last step is to check for car body damage. See whether the paint colour of the door is different from the rest of the body.

Then it is a clear indication that the door has been replaced. Also, look for any major scratches or rusty spots.

Inspect the condition of the tyres and the body panel alignment as well. If there are any body damages, get them fixed before you purchase the car.

What Is VIN And How Do We Find It?

Every vehicle manufactured comes with a Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. It is a 17-digit number and provides a lot of useful information about the vehicle, its history, where it belongs and even its features.

If the car you are planning to purchase in Dubai doesn’t have a VIN, then better drop your plan of buying. A vehicle with no VIN is a clear indication that the vehicle has some serious problem. It may also be stolen.

In every vehicle, there will be some area where you can easily find out the VIN. Some of them are the dashboard and the driver-side door panel or door post (B Pillar).

The VIN will also appear on the engine block, to be exact, attached to the firewall inside the engine compartment. There are instances where VIN will be displayed on the boot below the spare tyre and one of the rear tyre wells.

Dealer Or Private Individuals

There are two options when buying your car. Either, you can purchase it from a dealer or from a private individual.

Private individual – While buying from a private individual, you may get the car at a cheaper rate. The reason is that he/ she wants to dispose of the car as early as possible to buy a new one. However, a major drawback is that the vehicle may have several defects which you missed noticing. Hence, in the future, you will end up spending a huge amount on repairs.

Dealer – When you buy the car from a dealer, they will thoroughly check and service the vehicle. Moreover, most of the reputed dealers offer a 12-month or 20,000km warranty. Hence, if you come across any repair during the warranty period, they will replace it for free of cost. Thus, you will be relieved from all the worries unlike buying from a private individual.

Advantage Of Buying From Dealers

Apart from the advantages discussed in the earlier sections, there are some other benefits of buying your used car from a dealer. They are:

1. Easy to arrange finance

It is quite easy to arrange finance when you are buying from a dealer. Spread out the cost of your investment over a stipulated period so that it becomes affordable and easy to pay.

2. Avail special offers and cash discounts

As part of sales promotions, dealers generally offer good cash discounts and special offers. Research ongoing offers and makes the utmost use of them.

3. Buy online from the comfort of your home

Nowadays every other dealer offers the convenience of providing a test drive at the doorsteps of customers. Thus, just by remaining at home, you can take a test drive or even arrange finances for buying the car of your choice.  

Things You Should Do Upon Seeing The Car

When you see a used car for the first time, there are certain aspects to check, without fail. They are:

1. See the engine bay

Always keep in mind that the power, performance, and mileage of a car purely depend on its engine condition. If it takes multiple attempts to start the car you are interested in, then it is a clear indication that there is a problem either with the ignition system or the engine.

Speak to the owner and see what is the issue. If the engine condition is perfect, then you will be able to start on the first attempt itself.

After seeing the car, go for a drive for a few minutes. Then stop the car, open the bonnet and see whether any burning smell is emanating from the engine.

If it is there, it is a sign of worn components inside the engine. The next step is to open the bonnet of the car, check the engine carefully and see if there are any visible signs of oil leakage.

Minor leaks can be ignored, but if there are large spots of oil on the engine, it is an indication of damaged internal components or gaskets. In such cases, it is always better to drop the plan of buying that vehicle.

2. Check The Colour Of The Liquids Like The Transmission Fluid

The colour of the transmission fluid is something you need to check without fail. If it’s brand new fluid, it will be dark red and normal will be darker brick red in colour.

The deep blood red/rust red colour is a signal to service that vehicle soon. Last but not the least, the burnt/almost black colour shows that the vehicle should be serviced immediately.

If there is a transmission fluid leak, you can find it in the middle area of the front of your vehicle, beneath the engine bay.

3. Always take a test drive

The car you have seen may look pretty appealing from the outside. However, it is quite important to take a test drive to check the real condition of the vehicle. Thus, it is always recommended to take someone with you who has the necessary expertise and several years of experience.

Once such people take the test drive, they will be able to comment on whether the car is in good condition or if there is any serious issue with it. Some of the warning signs include noise from the engine and the colour of the smoke emanating from the exhaust pipe. Check the air conditioner and other important parts.

Make sure that all of them are in perfect working condition. Last but not the least, check the trunk to find out whether the car comes with a spare tyre. If not, you have to spend money to get one.

take a test drive

RTA Testing And Transfer Of Registration Documents

As per the Roads and Transport Authority safety regulations in Dubai, all vehicles must go through vehicle tests at their respective frequencies. This is done to make sure that the vehicles are road worthy. This is a step taken towards increasing safety measures. Vehicles that are unsafe will not be able to clear the tests. Thus, such vehicles have to correct the defects before they are driven on Dubai roads.

There are several vehicle testing centres (VTCs) across the emirate where they conduct these tests. Some of them are 

Vehicle Testing CentreBranch / LocationTime of Operation
TamamRas al KhorCommunity 613, Rasal Khor 48:00 am to 10:00 pm
CarsDeira No. 8 Al-Khabeesiarea, OppositeHamarain CenterP.O. Box 52397:00 am to 10:00 pm
TasjeelWarsanWarsan, UniversityCity Street8:00 am To 10:00 pm

For registering a used car in Dubai, you need to keep the below documents handy.

  • Original Emirates ID
  • Vehicle insurance policy – As a buyer, make sure that you buy one for the car in advance. It is mandatory to have insurance before buying a car. You can buy the insurance policy for the car you are planning to buy at any of the RTA-authorised centers. There is also the option to purchase them online. 
  • Valid driving license

For transferring the used car’s registration, you need to go along with the seller to any of the authorised centres of RTA in Dubai.

There, they will inspect your vehicle and if there are no outstanding dues, the RTA will transfer the ownership of the vehicle to your name.

Subsequently, they proceed with the registration process. Once you pay the fee amount, you will get vehicle expiry stickers, the licence of the car, new vehicle number plates and a new registration card.


Hope you found the detailed guide quite informative and arrived at the solution for where to buy second-hand cars in Dubai. As we discussed earlier, buying cheap second-hand cars in Dubai is pretty easy with a lot of online and offline options available today. As we have included a comprehensive list of used car buyer dealers in the city, all you have to do is to just perform the necessary research and finally decide on the best place to buy second-hand cars in Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the documents I need to have for buying a second-hand car in Dubai?

Here is the list of documents that you need to possess for buying a used car in Dubai.
1. UAE residence visa
2. Passport copy
3. Emirates ID
4. Car insurance agreement copy
5. Valid Dubai driving licence 
6. Previous registration card for the vehicle
7. Inspection certificate you have secured from an authorised Vehicle Testing Centre

Which brand of cars comes with a low maintenance cost in Dubai?

Generally, Japanese car brands such as Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi come with lower repair costs. The reason is that they fall under the 1300cc and 2000cc engine sizes and hence are relatively easy to maintain.

Why are second-hand cars cheaper in Dubai?

It is because some of the banks in the UAE do not provide loans for buying cars beyond a certain age limit.

Which is car commonly used in Dubai?

The most commonly found car is Toyota Camry. It is a favourite among taxi drivers.

What is the average life of cars in Dubai?

On average, the life of a car on Dubai roads will be around 5.6 years only.
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