We love our cars in the Middle East don’t we? It’s almost like a love affair. With a lack of public transportation in most of the region and petrol prices substantially lower than anywhere else on the planet, there are some good reason’s why we are.
So it’s not really a surprise then, that even with the worldwide economic collapse takingit’s toll on car sales, 2013 was a year of growth in the car industry for the Middle East.
In addition to this growth there has also been a very interesting shift.
With banks unwilling to lend, it seems a lot of consumers have been forced to change their buying habits and quickly learned the benefits of buying second hand cars. It is now a common site in all of the major cities across the Middle East to find large, second-hand car markets a hive of activity, full of anxious buyers.
Not only will the amount of people in these markets astonish you, so will the range of automobiles being offered for sale. You will find the ordinary, family friendly sedans, both small and large pick-up trucks and even flashy sports cars.
To look at the availability of cars being offered for sale, as well as the number of people flocking to the market to see them, it is obvious that the business of selling second-hand cars in the Middle East is a flourishing one.
If you are currently in the market for a second hand car then what does this explosion of used car sales mean for you?
Firstly the major car manufacturers have caught on to this trend and have begun to make their presence known in this used car phenomenon. During the last 5 years, through extending their dealer network and making certified pre-owned vehicles readily available, they have all been able to increase their growth in the Middle East. This is not just for mid-range pre-owned vehicles. Even the luxury car companies such as BMW have gotten on board and are showing growth in sales through its program BMW Premium Selection.
Secondly the way in which used cars are being marketed is also having a huge impact.
While dealerships are experiencing growth with their pre-owned vehicle programs, the real impact is seen by the almost 80% of car sales that are taking place either in the hundreds of car lots that have sprung up in every large city or through the use of online classified websites. Many distributors, such as Arabian Automobiles have followed the lead of dealerships and are able to instil a sense of trust in the consumer by offering informed and quality services.
It’s also worth knowing that a few countries in the region have enacted legislation that restricts the import of used cars over five years old, causing traders and dealers to have to increase the price of their used cars. While this has caused a slight decrease in the amount of cars being sold, the used car lots are still teeming with consumers, and on-line classifieds are still generating plenty of traffic and sales. This in part can be attributed to the realization that certain brands increase their pricing depending on their locale, for example a car buyer in Kuwait is likely to pay up to 15% more for a new car than a consumer in Doha.
With so many options available it is easier then ever before to buy a used car and there are some great deals available if you look for them.