Published on August 7th, 2016 | by SellAnyCar.com Team0
The Best Way to Sell a Used Car in the UAE and Avoid Fraudulent Car Buyers
Three years ago, I was trying to sell my car in Dubai and realized how difficult, lengthy and risky it was. I was not an automotive expert, did not know much more than the make, model and year of my car, let alone anything about the required legal second hand car selling process.
3 months later, I have founded the Middle East’s first car buying service, which guarantees to purchase any car within 30 minutes. Two and a half years later, we have served 20% of the entire UAE’s population and became the largest used car buyer in the region. Here are my learnings, tips and tricks on how to sell a car in the UAE and which questions to ask to avoid fraudulent car buyers.
How much is my car worth?
First, I had to figure out the value of my car. Well, a quick look at online classifieds left me confused. There were 20 similar cars with price differences of 40-50% without enough car details to understand the reasons. I realized what was probably happening. When someone tries to sell a car on classifieds, they will look at the highest price of a comparable car and add another 1-2% to leave space for negotiation. However, when someone is trying to buy a car, they will filter for the lowest price of the desired car. Hence, the vast difference in expectations, major waste of time and annoyance, while trying to buy and sell a car on classifieds. Moreover, the prices all seemed to be a wishlist (prices sellers submit), rather than anything close to reality (prices buyers end up paying). So, I went with a price somewhere in the middle.
Today, SellAnyCar.com has delivered millions of price quotes for almost any car ever produced. With this experience, we are able to give you a free and instant online car valuation within 15 seconds. This saves precious time trying to figure out your car’s real market value.
- Check SellAnyCar.com’s online car valuation for a free estimate
- Do not rely on online classifieds prices, as they are merely wishlists of other sellers
- Selling to consumers will mostly require you to fix all damages your car might have. This might cost you a hefty repair bill.
- Hiding damages of your car to a consumer, which endanger the roadworthiness, might leave you with warranty claims by the buyer 6 months down the road.
- How will you get paid? Selling to a consumer bears the risk of not getting paid, receiving bouncing cheques or getting paid with fake cash.
How to find a buyer for my car?
After posting my car on an online classifieds site, I have received numerous calls from various (weird) people at random times – day and night. Most of them just tried their luck by offering half of what I had asked for and negotiated without even having seen my car. I have received 19 inquiries; frantically scheduled appointments to meet them at my house and almost all of them either didn’t show up at all or came significantly late. I had to keep myself available to end up meeting strangers at my doorstep. I disliked having to tell unknown people my home address – there was no privacy at all. After 4 weeks of irritating haggling practice, no one had bought my car – they all either complained about the price or some mysterious damage or sound in the car. Today, I know that a car loses between 2-3% value every month, so I had already lost a chunk of money by not being able to sell quickly. Furthermore, every time someone asked me for a test drive I was taking a risk, as that person was not insured driving my car. He could have just smashed it.
Nowadays, it even costs you money to list a car on classifieds without any guarantee to sell.
I was agitated and swore to solve this consumer problem. SellAnyCar.com was born with one vision in mind: To guarantee to purchase any car, in any condition, at fair market value, within 30 minutes; 100% free and without obligation.
- Do not waste too much time trying to sell your car, while your car depreciates in value every day.
- Do not pay to sell your car
- Avoid risky test drives with strangers
- Keep your privacy. Do not share your home address or personal phone number with random people.
Selling to a dealer?
Consequently, I have tried my luck with selling my car to a dealer’s showroom.
The first thing, which struck me was that most of the dealers I visited didn’t show interest in my car, as it was not “certifiable”. In other words, my car was older than 1 or maximum 2 years and didn’t fit their “brand strategy”. In layman’s terms: It wasn’t worth their showroom real estate, unless I promise to purchase a brand-new car from them. In any case, he would have just forwarded my car to some other trader for a kickback. Either he would just flat out reject to buy my car, or he would offer me a low price. Some even tried to give me a “good” price on my old car, while just reducing the discount he would have given me on a new car purchase. I ended up visiting 5 dealers all across the city with no luck. Another week wasted. Most of the “prime” location dealers even charge for a car inspection to just eventually tell you what’s wrong with your car.
The reason I have named the company “SellAnyCar.com” is that I didn’t want it to ever start rejecting any seller because of his or her car’s make, model or condition.
SellAnyCar.com is unique, because it wins with the seller and offers a real-time market coordination mechanism. This is how it works: When you come for a free car inspection in one of our nationwide branches, your car will be checked based on a standardized process. The report will then be uploaded into our global auction system, where we and thousands of our automotive partners are bidding on your car, globally. The highest price wins (irrespective of where your car is located) and we give that to the seller, minus our commission. Every car is guaranteed a binding offer based on the only way to determine a fair market price: by demand and supply.
SellAnyCar.com is not a broker. We always buy your car and pay you straight after title transfer.
Beware of many fraudulent companies claiming to buy any car or being interested in your car for cash payments. Always check for their proper and valid trade license, which needs to read “Used Car Trading” – not anything, which sounds similar or is different. Dealing with fraudulent, wrongly licensed or unlicensed dealers, you might end up not getting paid or still liable for a car you have sold already.
Recently, the Dubai government has been very helpful in shutting down infringing companies and/or have forced them to rebrand, which have imitated or fraudulently claimed to offer similar services as “SellAnyCar.com”.
- If you have a car, which is older than 1 or 2 years, most dealers will not consider it worth their showroom real estate and reject.
- Do not pay for a car inspection to evaluate your car
- You do not have to promise to buy a car, in order to be able to sell your car.
- You do not have to drive long distances or compare several dealers. SellAnyCar.com is located nationwide, which saves you time and money.
- Your car’s value does not depend on a dealer’s brand focus, inventory situation or perception of the market. Only a true marketplace based on demand and supply can determine your car’s real value. Use SellAnyCar.com’s free and global car pricing mechanism.
- Remember, your car might be worth more in a different country.
- Make sure to check the dealer’s trade license, which should read “Used Car Trading”, nothing else.
- Do not fall prey to fraudulent car buyers. Make sure you are dealing with “SellAnyCar.com”, not anybody, which just sounds similar or claims same services.
What’s the legal car selling process in the UAE?
So you have finally decided to sell your car and found a buyer. I was in the same situation and did not know about the required steps to transfer ownership of my car. I went to the RTA office, waited in line and later figured that I didn’t even have any sales contract. No protection at all. What if I never got paid? What if I got paid less than what we agreed to? Do I transfer title first or do I get paid first? How do I get paid? Cash above a certain amount is illegal, due to money laundry laws. Moreover, it could be fake cash or less. A cheque could just bounce and a wire transfer might never arrive.
What if my car still has an outstanding loan? Who will pay that? If the buyer pays my loan, what type of guarantee does he have? How long does it take and what are the required documents? What happens to my number plate, salik tag and insurance? How do I get home after selling my car and how do I get to work on Sunday?
Well, there were a lot of questions in my mind and I have spent 2 full days trying to educate myself about the right process. At the end, I was not comfortable selling my car to a consumer or unknown dealer on my own.
At SellAnyCar.com we take care of all paperwork and even clear your outstanding loan and bank documentation process for you. You don’t even have to visit the RTA office in Dubai, as we have been authorized by them to sign certified purchase agreements in our own locations. SellAnyCar.com pays you straightaway, even gives you a free chauffeur drive home and a free rental car up to 1 month, subject to the car you are selling to us.
- Sign a binding, certified purchase agreement with the buyer, before transferring title (SellAnyCar.com has certified purchase agreements [“Mubaya”])
- Do not accept cheques from strangers
- Make sure the company you are dealing with is reputable and licensed appropriately.
- If your car has an outstanding loan, make sure to request a liability letter from your bank.
- After selling, make sure to remove your personal belongings, number plate and salik tag from your car.
- After title transfer, ask for a copy of the new ownership certificate of your car, send it to your insurance company to receive a potential refund and notify them about the change in title.
- If you are selling to a stranger or unknown dealer and are not sure, if you will get paid, use an escrow payment service, which will cost you a significant amount of money.
- All in all, selling privately might leave you with less cash in your hands due to loss in time (and hence car depreciation) and transaction costs, including costs of reducing risk and process education.
About the Author Saygin Yalcin
Saygin is the Founder & CEO of the Middle East’s (ME) first & largest car buying service, SellAnyCar.com, Founder of the first & largest online private shopping club in the ME, Sukar.com, Partner at Jabbar Internet & Souq.com Group, the largest ecommerce company in the Arab world, with 2500+ employees. He is also Advisory Board Member & Academic Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the Canadian University of Dubai and has been selected as a UBS Industry Leader, a network of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals.
Souq.com has acquired Sukar.com in Apr’12 to form the Souq.com Group with Tiger Global, Naspers (MIH) & Jabbar Internet Group.
In May’13, he was referred to as “the region’s online business guru” by the National newspaper in the UAE.
In Mar’14, Arabian Business named him as “one of the region’s finest young entrepreneurs and a major part of the entrepreneurial scene in recent years”.
In Nov’14 & ’15, Fortune magazine (mag) named him in the 40 under 40 list, as one of the most influential young people in business, Turkey’s highest circulated newspaper Zaman called him “a fine example of a new generation of entrepreneurs who can make a fortune out of nothing more than a rewarding idea”, Entrepreneur mag ME awarded SellAnyCar.com, with Saygin at its helm, as the “Fastest Growing Company in the ME” & Arabian Business awarded SellAnyCar.com as the “Digital Business of the Year”, while the National newspaper sees it among a handful of tech companies to “have the potential to break the $1bn barrier”.
In a cover story about Saygin in Jan’15, Entrepreneur mag ME titled him as “undoubtedly one of the youngest & most successful internet entrepreneurs in the ME” and, in May, awarded SellAnyCar.com as “Technology Innovator of the Year” in the presence of HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud.
In Aug’15, Gulf Business selected him as 1 of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in ME.
He was also Founder & CEO of Joe Suis, which has been acquired by KupiVIP.ru to become one of the most successful private labels in Russia.