Used car values in Dubai are not as predictable as a more mature and conventional market. To date, there is no price guide such as the Kelly Blue Book, Parkers or Glass’ guide. The closest you’ll get is Dubizzle’s online classifieds, but the accuracy of the prices there are about the same as Dick Cheney’s accuracy in quail hunting. To make things interesting, the price of cars literally depends on the weather; we’ve seen it! Cars of course depreciate annually but the biggest drop in value generally occurs during the summer months. Depending on the type of car, it’s value can display different sensitivities to the season. For example, a convertible is always going to be more desirable in Dubai’s winter months. An SUV is often more desirable during the summer months.
If you’re looking to get a quick and free valuation of your used car, one that considers all the factors that we have outlined below, then WeCashAnyCar.com is your best option. Our experienced team has a very healthy knowledge of the Middle East’s car market and our robust network of dealers throughout the region ensures we can get you the maximum value for your car and give you the best offer you can get.
How to Value a Car in Dubai
When trying to value your used car, first thing you should do is take a look at the market and see what your specific car is selling for. If you can’t find a car with the same specifications as yours, then you’ll have to infer its value using similar cars. For example, if you have an Audi A4 with a V6 engine, but you can only find the prices of A4’s with the 4-cylinder engine, then you’ll have to figure out what premium you should charge. A good way of doing this is finding listings of another Audi, say an A5, with both the V6 and 4-cylinder engine, and then calculate the premium in terms of a percentage that is generally charged for having the V6. When doing this, do your best to make sure the that the other pricing factors remain constant (e.g. both cars have a sunroof, leather, etc.). The cars’ generation, body style, and trim package should be the same. The model year and mileage should be similar. In the case of the model year, in some cases, even a one year difference can throw your valuation calculations way off. Make sure it is the same generation, and that both models you are comparing are either pre or post facelift. Cars are refreshed mid-cycle, usually termed a “facelift”, which includes several design changes such as: different headlights and taillights, subtle changes in the body panels, and more. Sometimes the car’s tech changes; a complete redesign of the infotainment system for example is not uncommon these days. The important factors that determine a car’s value in Dubai are provided below.
Important Car Valuation Factors
The effect accident damage has on value is of course dependent on the extent of the damage. Extensive damage that includes chassis damage, even if it has been thoroughly repaired, can decrease a car’s value by 75 %. Small scratches and dents, if they haven’t been repaired, can decrease a car’s value by 35 % depending on how easily repairable they are, and how extensive the damage is. If these small dents and scratches have been repaired by either a reputable workshop or the agency itself, value should only drop by around 5-10 %. You may have heard the phrase “no paint” in your car buying or selling adventures. This simply means that the body panels have not been painted since the car’s manufacture. Having original paint can increase the value of a car as this is a strong selling point.
People in the UAE are seemingly allergic to manual transmissions in anything but a work van. A manual transmission in passenger vehicles can decrease the value of a used car by nearly 30 % in the UAE. The drop in value can be so bad that sellers will sometimes export their cars to more manual-friendly markets. There are exceptions, however. Some sports cars are only available with a manual transmission, so their value will not be greatly affected by the transmission type. A manual-only car’s value can still take a hit in the UAE as sellers will often have to wait longer to find the right buyer who wants that specific car, or is specifically looking for a manual transmission car. In certain sports cars such as the Subaru Impreza WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a manual transmission will not hurt the resale value of the car. In fact, in rare cases such as these, a manual transmission is often a must as buyers generally care more about driver involvement than convenience.
In the vast majority of cases, personal modifications, such as cosmetic or performance modifications, hurt the resale value of a car. Buyers are few and far between because their taste has to be similar to the seller’s for them to even consider the car. Performance modifications are usually a red flag for buyers because the car is likely to have been driven aggressively. Even people interested in modding or tuning their car often prefer doing the modifications themselves and will look for stock cars to modify as opposed to looking for a car that’s already been modified. In the case of cars that were modified by renowned and well established car modification companies such as Brabus for Mercedes-Benz or Hamann for BMW, the resale value of the car is usually higher. Still, the increase in resale value pales in comparison to the costs involved with modifying the cars in the first place. Modifications that add value usually depreciate at twice the rate as the car itself. Different modification companies add value differently as well, Brabus is far more desirable than Lorinser for example.
Obviously, mileage and resale value are inversely proportional. A high mileage car versus a low mileage car can differ in price by as much as 50 %. Generally, though, a price difference of 30 % is to be expected for low versus high mileage cars.
Warranty & Service Contracts
A car that’s still on warranty can be a huge incentive for buyers. For the warranty to have a significant impact on price, the warranty should be good for at least 6 months and a minimum of 10,000 km. A service contract has a smaller effect as it only really covers consumables such as oil changes, brakes, bushings, and other small maintenance jobs. In general, a comprehensive warranty will add up to 15 % to a car's value and a service contract will about 5 %.
A full service history (FSH) not only provides pertinent information to the prospective buyer and removes much of their doubts, but is also demonstrates that the seller is a responsible owner that took good care of their car. Depending on the car, a FSH can add up to 10 % to its value.
In the UAE, buyers prefer a Gulf-spec (GCC spec) car to other regions. This is because the vehicle’s history is more traceable and Gulf-spec cars are more suited for the UAE’s harsh environment. Oftentimes buyers are wary of buying an imported non-Gulf-specs car because of the well-known practice of importing salvage title cars that have been repaired and trying to sell them as cars that have never been seriously crashed or damaged. The effect on resale value a non-Gulf-spec car has is around 10 %.
Color & Options
The color of a car can be an important factor to consider when buying a car as it can affect the resale value and how easy it is to sell the car. In general, popular colors like white, black, silver, and dark blue have no issue being sold. But burgundy, dark green, baby blue, yellow, and others can be difficult to sell. There is no real way to estimate the value lost in having a car with a contentious or polarizing color as the drawback is usually in terms of how long it takes to sell the car. You just need to wait for the right buyer who likes the color.
In general, options depreciate a little faster than the value of the car as a whole. If the option added 5 % to the price of the car when it was brand new, it will add about 60 % of that 5 % in the future. Some options are more equal than others, though. Leather and a panoramic sunroof can be big selling points in the UAE. Especially in luxury cars which are expected to have such features.
Pending repairs on a vehicle usually end up costing the seller more than the cost of repairs as it signals to the buyer that the seller is perhaps haphazard about the maintenance of their vehicle. Even something like having old and/or bald tires will be a noteworthy indication to an astute buyer. Major problems such as oil leaks, a misbehaving transmission, or a misfiring engine are often a red flag to potential buyers. Buyers know the repair costs are often undefined, even if there is a quote for the repairs, because things often change once the car goes under the knife. A car in need of major repairs signals to prospective buyers that the owner might be selling the car because the repairs are becoming too frequent and expensive to justify continuing owning the car. It can also signal that the car simply isn’t worth repairing, or the owner either didn’t have the necessary funds to properly maintain the car, or just didn’t care.
Number of Owners
The more owners a car has had, the more likely there are gaps in the service and repair history, and the more likely one of owners was a poor caretaker of the car. A one-owner car can often demand a small premium in price, and multiple owners usually means the resale value takes a bit of a hit. Prospective buyers often forget to ask the current owner how many people have owned the car before him/her, and sometimes that information isn’t even available. A full service history trumps the number of owners, so even if a car has had multiple owners, the prospective buyer will feel at ease knowing the history of the vehicle is well documented.
Age and Depreciation
Depreciation is a complicated factor to try and define and metricise. Depreciation varies by make and model, the type of vehicle (e.g. sedan versus SUV, economy versus luxury, etc.), demand and supply in the used car market, engine type (e.g. petrol versus diesel), region, among others factors.
The second a new car is driven off a dealership lot, it loses about 10 % of its value. After the first year, the car has lost 25 % of its original value. Beyond this, it loses about 15 - 25 % each year before levelling off. After five years, you’d be lucky to retain 60 % of a new car’s value.
In other markets, a notable factor is what kind of fuel the engine uses, i.e. petrol or diesel. Diesel engines are known to last far longer than their petrol counterparts. It is not uncommon to see passenger diesel cars and trucks with 500,000 km on them. For this reason, diesel cars and trucks retain their value much better and often have fewer owners as diesel buyers tend to keep the car for very long periods of time. In the UAE, diesel engines are usually only found in large, heavy-duty work vehicles.
Color & Options
Color & Options
Color & Options
Color & Options