As you transition to life in Qatar and consider vehicle ownership, you'll want to keep some key factors in mind – affordability, type of vehicle and age of vehicle. Whether you're considering buying new, secondhand or renting; we've reached out to expats in Qatar who have undergone the vehicle-buying process for tips to help you make the right decision.
Here's what current expats have to say:
"Buy new if you can afford it. New cars come with warranty and no history. If you can't buy new, buy from a reputable second hand dealer. If you buy a cheap second hand car, you'll end up spending the cost of a new car on repairs in the long run."
– John, British expat in Qatar 3 years
"Choose a car depending on how long you intend to stay in Qatar. At the time that I bought my car I did not see myself living in Qatar very long so a very expensive car was not an option. I chose a car that was safe, affordable and easy to resell."
– Kathryn, Pilipino expat in Qatar 7 years
"Rent for a month or two to get use to the roads as driving conditions in Qatar can be dangerous."
– Jean, Indian expat in Qatar 5 years
"My car preference was based on the loan amount that my salary would allow. Think about a car that will be suitable for your family, if you have one. And get feedback from friends."
– Jose, Spanish expat in Qatar 15 months
"Registering a car can be very time consuming. Prepare for a lengthy process with the traffic department."
– Michael, Irish expat in Qatar 8 years
"Financing is very important. Decide whether you'd like to finance your vehicle with a personal loan or a vehicle loan. A personal loan allowed me to maintain ownership of my car whereas a vehicle loan, although lower in rate, would have kept my car under bank ownership."
– Simon, Filipino expat in Qatar 10 years
"Glad I did not rush into buying a car. Be very careful buying a second hand car, the resale value of cars in Qatar is not good. Be very careful of the cars you buy and do research on the agency. Maintenance of cars is costly. Buy a car that is new to save on maintenance cost. If you have to buy second hand, buy something relatively new. In terms of models that are reliable and have good resale value, I would recommend Toyota. You can get better deals if you go to sub-dealers."
-Kishore, Indian expat in Qatar 4 months
"I used online classified sites such as Qatarliving.com to search for my ideal car and came across a great offer from Commercial Bank for a low interest vehicle loan. I initially considered a second hand vehicle but after seeing the offer, I decided that a new vehicle would be best. I spoke to a loan representative at the bank and he told me to choose my car, let him know the showroom and he would take care of the rest. Three days later I had my car."
– Cyril, Indian expat in Qatar 18 Months
"You can buy quality used cars at bargain rates directly from sellers who are looking to leave the country. Expats who buy new cars then have to leave Qatar for whatever reason need to sell their car in a hurry. Often times these cars are in very good condition with a dealer warranty that is transferable."
– Maha, Indian expat in Qatar 5 years
This article was cross-posted on Qatarliving.com. Tips for buying a car in Qatar