Ramadan is traditionally one of the best times of the year for UAE residents to pick up a good deal if they are planning to buy a new car.
This holy month, dealers are offering potential buyers a range of incentives, such as extended warranties, free service packages, discounts on selected models and even free home charging stations for electric vehicles.
However, when buying a new car, it is important to remember that it is easier to negotiate add-ons rather than trying to lower the price, says Tarek Kabrit, chief executive and founder of Seez, a mobile app that aggregates vehicle listings across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan and South Africa.
“There are a lot of deals this Ramadan but because it is a more supply constrained market, they may not be as much or as good of a deal as in years when the market was more demand constrained,” Mr Kabrit says.
Demand for private car ownership increased during the Covid-19 pandemic as people sought more protection from the virus, US management consultancy Arthur D Little said in its Future of Automotive Mobility survey in February last year.
“In the short term, Covid-19 has influenced people’s thinking about car ownership … nearly half [48 per cent] of all respondents globally think that owning a car is more important than it was before the pandemic,” Arthur D Little said in the report.
The pandemic has also changed the way consumers buy their cars in the UAE, with many now open to purchasing vehicles online, according to a survey last month by e-commerce platform Cars24 and market research company YouGov.
About 28 per cent of respondents favoured buying a second-hand car online, while 43 per cent said they would prefer to buy it from a showroom, the survey found.
However, when broken down, the data showed that 30 per cent of Emiratis, 34 per cent of Arab expatriates, 27 per cent of Asians and 22 per cent of westerners would prefer to buy a car online, it said.
“We are confident that in the very near future, there will be a significant crossover from the offline car buying medium to the online domain,” says Abhinav Gupta, chief executive of the Gulf region for Cars24.
Meanwhile, pre-owned cars offer better value compared with new vehicles, which begin to depreciate shortly after they are bought, Mr Kabrit says.
“But make sure you buy from a reputable dealer or get a thorough inspection, so that you ensure the best quality or at least know what you are getting into,” he says.
Here is our round-up of the Ramadan car deals on offer in 2022:
The deal: Audi Middle East is offering a range of benefits to customers across the GCC region and in Jordan.
In the UAE, customers who buy one of Audi’s electric vehicles will be offered free home charging installations, along with five-year roadside assistance, five-year unlimited mileage warranty and free insurance for the first year.
Audi buyers in Saudi Arabia are being offered a free five-year service package with roadside assistance, as well as a five-year warranty on the seven-seater Q7. Starting at 331,300 Saudi riyals ($88,346), Q7 buyers will also have an option to pay 50 per cent upfront and the remaining 50 per cent in two years' time with zero per cent financing.
In Oman, customers will receive a seven-year service package and roadside assistance, while in Jordan, Audi is offering consumers up to 10 years’ free servicing and a five-year warranty on select models.
Valid: until the end of Ramadan
The deal: Al Masaood Automobiles is offering customers in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra a number of benefits if they buy an Infiniti model, including a 15-day exchange guarantee and up to five years’ warranty.
Buyers will also receive a service package, free insurance and window tinting. Customers choosing to trade-in their vehicle when they buy a new model Infiniti will also be offered a five-year service package.
Valid: until April 30
Al Ghandi Auto, Cadillac’s dealer partner in the UAE, has rolled out its Ramadan deals on a range of 2021 and 2022 models, including the Escalade, XT4 and XT5 compact SUVs and CT4 and CT5 sedans.
Benefits include reduced finance packages, as well as enrolment in Cadillac’s Premium Care Plus programme, which provides customers with a five-year warranty, service and maintenance, as well as roadside assistance.
Customers will also receive free insurance and registration for the first year, and free tinting and paint protection if they purchase a CT or XT model. Escalade customers can also claim free registration and free tinting.
Valid: until the end of Ramadan