How Not To Be Used in Qatar's Used-Car Market

Buying a used vehicle in Qatar is not an easy task. Instead, it is a strategic contest. Despite boasting many glamorous and luxurious cars which appear "almost new," if not better, the used-vehicle market of Qatar hides some grime under its hood. This article offers some questions that must be addressed in order to avoid the expensive technical potholes which are often overlooked when purchasing a used vehicle in Qatar.

What kind of vehicle should I look for?

Bigger is better in Qatar. A large 4x4 truck or SUV will ensure you receive the respect you require on Qatar's dangerous roadways and will also allow you to explore Qatar's many off-road destinations.

How new is the vehicle?

One must not be deceived by delivery plastic on the seats or factory-sorting barcodes on the windows. This trick is intended to fool the gullible into believing the vehicle is newer than it actually is. Furthermore, when the strong sunlight of Qatar heats the plastic, it can melt, thus damaging the upholstery beneath it.

What about the price?

It is said that citizens of Qatar do not acknowledge the concept of depreciation. Therefore, it is very likely you will be asked to pay 10-20% over an acceptable price (almost the price of a new vehicle). That being said, American vehicles do depreciate rapidly since they are not especially reliable in the climate of Qatar. So if you are staying for only a short period of time, buy American.

Has the vehicle been in an accident?

It is rumoured that many of the 4x4 trucks or SUVs available on the used market have been driven or rolled while joyriding in Qatar's high sand dunes. Furthermore, due to the erratic and dangerous driving habits of motorists in Qatar, many used vehicles have been involved in accidents. Essentially, a prospective buyer must always make sure the vehicle is equipped with the latest safety features (i.e., airbags), as these are often not replaced after an accident.

Where should I look for a used vehicle?

The best place to search for a used vehicle is at the car auctions, held in the industrial quarter of Doha, Qatar's largest city. It is recommended you arrive late afternoon with a stack of hard currency (yes, you pay cash at the auctions), earmuffs, and a good attitude. Why the earmuffs? Apparently the noise of hundreds of revving engines resembles the noise made by a Boeing-747 prior to takeoff.

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