Renting a Car Versus Buying a Car

Buying a car in the UAE

If you’ve just moved to the UAE, you might be wondering if it is better to buy a car or just rent a car. Both options have some advantages and shortcomings. The experts at ServiceMarket have prepared this handy guide to help you make the smart decision. You should consider the following while choosing between these two options:

  • Renting a car costs more in the long-run: People who need a car for more than six months should definitely consider buying a car because it’s the more affordable option. While renting might seem attractive to you because there is no down payment and the rental company takes care of the tires, etc., buying costs less in the long run. For example, if you spend AED 50,000 on a 2015 Honda Civic, then its annual cost can be calculated as follows:
    • Registration: AED 340
    • Insurance: AED 1,500
    • Maintenance: AED 1,000 Β Β 
    • Depreciation: AED 7,500
      • Total: AED 10,340

On the other hand, a rented car Honda Civic will cost you around AED 2,000 to AED 2,500 per month, which means that the total annual cost will be between AED 24,000 and AED 30,000!

The amount a car depreciates depends largely on the age and brand of the car. A recent survey conducted by revealed that some cars can retain 75 percent of their value even after three years. Japanese cars such as Nissan Patrol and Honda Accord topped the list of cars that retain most value.

Commenting on depreciation, Imad Hammad, Co-Founder of, said, β€œBefore selecting a car to buy it is a good idea to consider its resale value in the UAE. And considering the highest amount of depreciation is in the first year, it’s usually best to buy a used car that can retain its value and is not more than a couple of years old”.

  • You can customize your insurance policy if you’re buying: While most rented cars are insured, you usually don’t have a say in what add-ons come with a policy. If you buy a car, you can choose a more comprehensive policy and select add-ons that match your exact needs. For example, if you like off-road adventures, you can include off-road coverage in your car insurance policy. Β Β 
  • There may be better solutions than renting: If you need a car for a month or two and you plan to use it frequently during this time, then renting might be a good option for you. However, some new services like UDrive have recently launched in Dubai. These pay per hour apps allow you to book a car instantly for short trips in Dubai and you can save thousands by doing so.
  • Renting limits your options: You don’t get much say in terms of customization if you are renting a car. Your choices will be restricted by cars owned by the car rental company. For example, you might not be able to get a car in a particular color and they usually only offer basic car models, without the added technology features that you may want in your car.

Our verdict: If you plan to stay in the UAE for longer than six months, then it is better to buy a car. Renting a car on a weekly or monthly basis would only make sense if you are planning to use the car frequently but only for a short amount of time. If you don’t plan to use the car often, then pay per hour apps like UDrive could save you money.

Whether you are looking for the most suitable car insurance in Dubai or want competitive car insurance quotes in Abu Dhabi, ServiceMarket can help! You can even compare and view ratings of car insurance companies in Abu Dhabi. Enjoy your stay in the UAE!

If you’re looking for a second-hand car, then check out Every car is hand checked by a certified mechanic and comes with a report and CarSwitch warranty. Every tiny detail is a click away so there will be no surprises! Once you find a car that you love, CarSwitch will help you get a loan (if you need one) and will guide you through all the paperwork required to take your ride home.

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