It’s not been an easy year and counting the dirhams has become a national hobby as we recover from lockdown and wisely plan ahead for 2021.
Downsizing your car is quick way to free up cash, but that doesn’t mean downsizing your image. There is a surplus of good, used cars available, and with some due diligence and an open mind, you could end up with a premium brand for less than the cost of a service on a new equivalent.
To show how far your dirham can drive you, we’ve gone bargain hunting for 10 cars under Dh10,000 that will get keep you on the road and looking good for the school run.
Make/Model: BMW 745i
BMW's 745i limo introduced i-Drive and an elaborate infotainment system. With state-of-the-art technology, its controversial styling impacted its resale value and prices soon plummeted. A 2003 model in Dubai in good condition with a mild body kit, lots of black leather and timber inlay with just 107,000 kilometres on the clock is a Bavarian bargain.
Make/Model: Jaguar XJ8
If it's curvy hips, timber and leather you're after, then the classic Jaguar XJ is for you. Even better if it's powered by the 4.2-litre V8 that's in the 2004 model we found in Abu Dhabi with 170,000km.
Make/Model: Ford Mustang
Making a statement on a budget doesn't get better than this. Sure, this Mustang in Dubai with 88,000km misses out on the burbly V8, but it looks identical and its 3.8-litre V6 still has a nice rasp to the exhaust.
Euro hot hatch
Make/Model: Audi A3 Turbo
The 1.8-litre turbo Audi A3 provided excellent performance for a small car in a nice-looking, well-built package. We found a Japanese import with a 5-speed manual transmission and full documentation having covered just 82,000km.
Make/Model: BMW Z3
BMW introduced the Z3 in 1995 as a zippy, four-cylinder, rear-wheel drive runabout based on the hugely popular E36 3 Series sedan. This Japanese import, 1.9-litre model has manual transmission and 206,000km, and can be found in Dubai.
Make/Model: Fiat 500
"Exceptionally cool and gets more looks than a Ferrari," were the sorts of comments motoring journalists made about the Fiat 500 in 2010. The little Fiat brought flair back into the compact market, but at a hefty price. However, it included luxury levels of equipment as standard. This auto model is a steal with 148,000km and a huge sunroof.
Make/Model: Nissan X-Trail
The five-seat Nissan X-Trail was a hit with the urban warriors. Powered by a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, it includes a CD player, remote central locking and fog lights that were cool for their time. We found a 2006 model with the same features and 182,000km in black with tan leather and alloy wheels.
Make/Model: Ford Expedition
No one does big like the Americans, and Ford launched the Expedition in 1997. The second gen landed in 2003, and featured independent rear suspension and could tow over 4,000kg. We found a 2004 XLT model with 268,000km, but is in excellent condition. You won't find more bang for your buck.
Make/Model: Renault Safrane
A Nissan Altima by another name, the Safrane is often forgotten and is the result of product sharing from the Renault-Nissan alliance. It has a unique nose and Renault badges, but otherwise is a thinly veiled Altima, which is no bad thing as you get Nissan reliability at a Renault price. We found a near new-looking 2011 model in Abu Dhabi with 99,000km that includes a year's insurance.
Make/Model: Infiniti G35
Infiniti made the G35 to tap into the prestige coupe segment in the US with the Middle East being one of its few non-US export regions. Rear-wheel drive and running a 3.5-litre V6 with a five-speed auto, it was a worthy attempt, but never got the recognition it deserved. We found a 2005 model with 185,000km carrying all the options and GCC specs for a bargain in Dubai.