Car ownership in Qatar is common, and buying and running a car tends to be considerably cheaper than in Europe. The cost of fuel is a fraction of European prices, for example, while the retail price of a new car can be as low as half of the cost of buying elsewhere. Insurance too can be reasonably priced, so there are plenty of incentives for expatriates to buy cars.
Most major makes of car have a dealership in Qatar, and due to the economic advantages of buying here, larger 4x4 and SUV vehicles are widely available. Popular models include Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, Hummer, BMW, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Renault. Local dealership details can be found via the main websites of the car manufacturers.
In order to buy a new car, the purchaser must have:
All cars purchased, whether new or second hand, have to be registered with the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department. For new car purchases, however, the registration procedure is usually taken care of by the dealer.
Obtaining finance for new cars is usually straightforward for buyers on a good level of salary, and can be arranged either directly through the dealer, through the buyer’s bank, or through their employer.
There is also a substantial second hand market for vehicles in Qatar. Options for buying a used car are either to go through a second hand dealer, of which there are many, or to search through classified advertisements or listings and buy privately.
Cars are advertised in the main newspapers, on websites and expatriate forums (popular due to the high turnover of vehicles from departing foreigners), or through advertisements placed on local or community notice boards.
Second hand car dealers vary in quality, so buyers should be sure to shop at a reputable showroom, as the service and repair history of vehicles is not always well documented.
With any used car purchase it is always prudent to have the vehicle checked over by an independent mechanic, or at least someone with a good knowledge of cars.
The main difference between the procedures for buying a new or used car is the transfer of ownership, which must be carried out between the seller and purchaser of a used car as part of the registration process.
The procedure for selling a car is the same as for buying a used car, but from the other perspective. Cars for sale can be advertised in local newspapers, on websites and on notice boards. Once the sale has been agreed, the seller must attend the Ministry of Interior Traffic Department with the purchaser, and complete the steps listed in Registering a Vehicle. The seller should also ensure that any finance agreements are honoured and settled before the car is transferred – some banks may require that the outstanding amount owed on the car is paid off before the car can be transferred. A certificate of final payment can be requested from the bank.
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