Think value when considering car deals in Ramadan

Ramadan has become synonymous with car sales in the UAE but do your research and don’t be wooed by offers into buying a car you weren’t already looking to purchase, warn experts.

The new car market is down about 30 per cent on last year, says Bill Carter, the chief systems and innovation officer at Autodata Middle East.

Headline offers for Ramadan have been in place for months already, he warns, and some dealers still have last year’s models in stock.

The best deals are direct savings on the car value, says Imad Hammad, the chief executive of Potential buyers should be clear on the worth of the offers – free registration is, after all, only worth Dh300, he points out, while extended service contracts and warranties are attractive, but only if you plan to own the car for a few years. He also says it is worth choosing cars with the best resale value. According to research, that includes Japanese cars, standard colours such as white and black and basic features instead of “fully loaded” versions.

Mr Carter says the market downturn is the “new normal” and that the auto trade should look at “improving the whole customer experience” rather than just discounting and offers.

Mr Hammad also says new cars lose 20 per cent to 30 per cent of value in their first year and almost half by the second.

Buying a car that is one or two years old will “save you the depreciation hit”, he says, and “trump” any Ramadan offer.

Plus even second-hand dealers offer Ramadan deals – and that makes this a good time to bargain hard with the “summer slump around the corner”.

Best new car deals

BMW: Get the 15 per cent down payment paid by AGMC, plus one year's free insurance and a five-year service and repair package. Plus 15 per cent deposit on Minis, one year free insurance and three-year free servicing.

Honda: Five-year unlimited mileage warranty across the whole range and 100 per cent financing options.

Infiniti: Dealer pays the 20 per cent deposit, plus five-year free service and warranty, first year free insurance and a free courtesy car during each service.

Jaguar: 10 per cent cashback or five years' interest-free finance, five years' service and warranty and one year's insurance and registration on the XJ.

Kia: Five-year free warranty plus choose from one of four deals: 1.99 per cent interest rate for up to five years plus a year's free insurance; or three-year service contract plus insurance; or 1.99 per cent loan plus three-year service; or cash discount.

Land Rover: Five-year maintenance and warranty plus two-year interest free loans for the Range Rover Sport, Evoque and Discovery.

Mitsubishi: Zero deposit and insurance, free five-year warranty, 50,000 kilometre service package, free tinting and a two per cent trade-in bonus on your old car. The Pajero is on sale from Dh89,900.

Nissan: Discounts on the Altima, Juke and Pathfinder, plus three-year warranty as standard. Buy now, pay in 2018 on the Patrol Titanium V8 and free service up to 50,000km on the GT-R.

Toyota: Buy now, pay in Ramadan 2018 on most models – buy a new car without paying anything for a year. Plus four years of free maintenance and service. If you buy a Camry Platinum, the dealer will cover the 20 per cent deposit. If you are planning to buy a new Toyota, Jeep or Lexus, it may be worth getting an Al Futtaim NBAD credit card first, for 4 per cent cashback.

Volvo: Until the end of June, get deals on four vehicles. All with the 20 per cent deposit paid by the dealer. The XC90 and XC60 have a two-year buy-back guarantee, the S90 offers 0 per cent finance over three years plus three years servicing, an unlimited mileage warranty and roadside cover, and the V40 R-Design has a two-year buy-back, two-year servicing and the same warranty and roadside package.

Deals for your existing car

• BMW: AGMC will make the 10 per cent down payment on a pre-owned car.

• Toyota: If you already own a Toyota or Lexus, get 25 per cent off repairs with Al-Futtaim NBAD credit card and 30 per cent at Honda.

• At Al-Futtaim Automall: Until June 25, get a two-year warranty on selected cars plus either free insurance, protection pack or a discount of up to Dh10,000, plus trade in your old car for up to Dh10,000 off the purchase.

• Mazda: Existing customers can get a full free inspection and AC check plus a 45 per cent discount on parts and 25 per cent on labour until June 30.

• Mitsubishi: Free AC check and up to 40 per cent off parts this summer.

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