Japanese cars rule the UAE's used car market with Toyota the most popular

Nissan is the second most sought after brand in the secondhand car marketplace, according to CarSwitch.com

Toyota and Nissan are popular brands in the UAE due to their affordability and reliability. Manuel Salazar / The National
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Japanese cars dominate the UAE's used-car market with Toyota the most favoured brand, according to new data from CarSwitch.com.

While Toyota leads with an 11 per cent market share thanks to its popular Land Cruiser models, Nissan was close behind with a 10 per cent share with the Altima and Patrol models leading the charge, according to the used online car platform, which handles hundreds of customer buy and sell requests a month.

“Land Cruiser, when combined with Prado, represents approximately 25 per cent of all Toyotas sold in the UAE," said Imad Hammad , the co-founder of CarSwitch.com. “Toyota's Corolla, Yaris and Camry follow with approximately a 35 per cent share of Toyota.

“Nissan displays similar trends with the flagship SUV, the Nissan Patrol, representing a whopping 30 per cent approximate share of all used Nissans in the market. Given its considerably higher price point relative to mass saloons, this suggests that while Toyota wins the volume game, it seems Nissan is ahead in the value dominance game."

This is the second year CarSwitch.com has released the ranking, with Toyota also taking the top spot in 2016.

Mr Hammad said Japanese brands dominate the UAE’s second-hand marketplace because the entry price points are quite affordable and service and maintenance costs are among the lowest in the country.

“The total cost of ownership is very competitive, anchoring Japanese cars quite strongly in people's minds,” he said, adding that Japanese brands also cater to luxury seekers with their higher end models.


Read more:

Which cars retain the most value in the UAE?

Used cars in the UAE: 'It's a minefield out there'


Bill Carter, the chief systems and innovation officer for Autodata, a vehicle data company, said Japanese models have topped the popularity charts in the Middle East for decades in both new and used-car sales due to their reliability.

"They have proved they can stand up to the harsh climate with very few problems,” he said. “The manufacturers have ensured things such as the air conditioning systems, cooling systems and filtration can deal with the combination of heat, humidity and dust. This is why the vast majority of taxi fleets are Toyota and Nissan vehicles with a few Hyundai models making up the rest. It has taken years to build this reputation and they are ensuring that they do not lose it. The other makes have to play catch up.”

German engineering did not trail far behind, though, with used BMWs and Mercedes occupying third and fourth places in the ranking of popular second-hand models with a 9 per cent market share each.

BMW’s top model was the X5 while Mercedes led with the executive’s choice the E-class. The US marque Ford retained the final spot in the top five with an 8 per cent share in thanks to its Mustang brand.

Mr Hammad said Ford has been the most dramatic change from the 2016 rating; 12 months ago it was not in the top five.

In a separate CarSwitch.com study last year, the company analysed the top five cars for retaining their value in the UAE. Nissan Patrol came out on top, followed by Honda Accord in second and Ford Edge in third. Toyota's Camry and Land Cruiser took fourth and fifth positions, respectively.