Cars in Qatar: Rent or buy?

Choosing your vehicle in Doha can be tricky, follow our pro tips Discuss this article

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First or second-hand
Once you have a Qatari driving licence, you will now need to decide whether to buy a car. The biggest decision you will need to make is whether to buy a new car or a second-hand one. There are pros and cons for both. Buying a second-hand car can be a good option but also a real hassle if you don’t know the ins and outs of cars in Doha. There are two ways you can buy a second-hand car, either by going into a second-hand car showroom or looking online. There are various showrooms that have been established in Doha for many years and have a good reputation for selling quality cars. If you see a car that you like from a showroom, it is essential that you get a full inspection done at a reputable garage. You will find most of these garages are on Salwa Road.

Like many expats here in Doha, there is a real urge to buy a brand new car. This of course depends on the person and their income. Many will take car loans from the banks to finance their new cars while a few will pay cash in hand.

To hire, buy or lease
Choosing whether to hire or buy a car is an important decision during your time in Qatar. It will depend on your finances, ability to drive and ultimately how long you will working in Doha for. There are many advantages for both of these routes while you are living in the country.

If you decide to buy your own car, there are a variety of ways in which to do so. Over the last few years, people have started searching for cars online. There are a variety of online websites offering cars for sale, including Cars in Doha, Qatar Sale, Al Futtaim Vehicle Rentals Company and CarSemsar. All of these websites promote cars for sale and are an excellent way of browsing what is on offer from the comfort of your home or office. If you see a car online that you like, simply call the number they have provided and arrange a viewing.

If you decide to go to an actual showroom while looking for a car then we suggest you head towards Salwa Road as most of the showrooms in the city are located there. There are a few other showrooms dotted around Doha.

Hiring a car in Doha is simple enough. The procedure involves going to a rent-a-car office with your original passport, original Qatari ID (if you have one), driving licence and form of payment (this can be a credit card or, in some circumstances, cash of around QR2,000 as a way of deposit). There are many companies who hire cars out.

Buying a car

Pros
• No monthly car rental fees

• Having the privacy of driving your own car (adding accessories, customising parts etc)

• Being able to travel outside Qatar in your car. Many people drive their cars to the UAE, Saudi Arabia etc. There are a few people who get their cars shipped to Europe if they are going on a holiday

• And, finally, you can sell the car when you want and get some money back

Cons
• Not all the roads are ideal for cars, which means they can get damaged easily

• Car parts for some brands can be expensive, so if your car needs fixing you could end up with a hefty bill

• If you’ve bought a second-hand car, it will most likely not have a warranty with it

Hiring a car

Pros
• You can actually save money in some cases as you won’t need to get the car serviced, spend money on car parts or worry about anything mechanical

• Often friends or flatmates can share a car, which is less costly throughout the renting period

Cons
• Costs can add up; it can be very expensive renting each month. Prices average around QR2,000 per month, depending on the make and model

• You don’t have anything to sell at the end, meaning you’ll have been paying for the entire period and won't get anything back

Leasing a car

In recent years, an increasing number of places have started offering car leases. This means that after all your monthly payments, you will own the car

Pros
• You pay only a portion of a vehicle’s cost, which is the part that you ‘use up’ during the time you’re driving it

• The monthly payments for lease are generally lower than the monthly amounts for a fully-financed car loan

Cons
• You may be required to pay three months upfront as a first payment upon signing the contract

• If you need to cancel the lease for some reason during the term of the agreement, there can be large fees to pay

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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