Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

How to sell your car remotely in the UAE: everything you need to know

Here’s how you can go about disposing of your vehicle – even if you’re outside the country

Imad Hammad is the co-founder of CarSwitch.com. Pawan Singh / The National
Imad Hammad is the co-founder of CarSwitch.com. Pawan Singh / The National

Whether you’re looking to sell a car to make space for a new one, or to free up some disposable income, there are a few things UAE residents will need to consider.

And if you are one of the hundreds of residents currently stuck outside the country because of coronavirus travel restrictions, it makes things all the more complicated.

For a start, it is not immediately possible for UAE residents currently not in the country to sell their cars. Physical presence is required for change of ownership, an RTA representative says. “If you have a Dubai-registered vehicle, and you want to change the ownership, we regret to inform you that the transaction cannot be processed online,” says the representative.

According to Car Switch, used cars in the UAE depreciate 20 to 30 per cent in the first year. Delores Johnson / The National 
According to Car Switch, used cars in the UAE depreciate 20 to 30 per cent in the first year. Delores Johnson / The National

However, if a person wants to dispose of a vehicle but is unable to be there physically, there is one option. “In case the owner or the buyer cannot attend the transaction, only a legal representative can do it, and he needs to have a power of attorney stating clearly in it that he is allowed to do the transaction,” the representative says.

Faiyaz Chand, co-founder of www.wecashanycar.com, says the process involves transferring power of attorney to a friend, family member or relative, so that they are entitled to sell the car on the owner’s behalf. “Car-sellers can get the power of attorney attested from the local UAE consulate. Fees may apply,” he says.

If you are in the country but don't want to step outside

With people increasingly reluctant to leave houses, there are a few ways to sell a car without having to step outside your home. Imad Hammad, founder of CarSwitch.com, says one of the options is to enter into a seller’s agreement from someone who is allowed to issue it. “Select dealers may agree to come to you, make the necessary payments and transfer the ownership of the car,” he says. However, dealerships may also not always give residents the best rates, he adds.

This process currently only works in the emirate of Dubai.

People can also opt for a third-party car-selling service such as CarSwitch.com or WeCashAnyCar.com, which offer at-home evaluation services. These platforms have professionals who can go to the car’s location, conduct inspections, take pictures and connect with buyers.

“You can now do your vehicle registration process online. The government launched the initiative, available for three months,” says Chand. “If you do need to leave your home to have your car evaluated, we recommend appointments so that businesses can manage flow according to the government’s guidelines.”

Last but not least, Hammad cautions that this might be a difficult time to sell a car as “dealers may not pay much”.

“Some dealers have even stopped buying cars because there is an excess of supply versus demand," he says. "Our numbers have increased substantially since restrictions eased, but there is still a supply-demand gap.”

Updated: May 6, 2020 07:03 PM

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