Dubai: Ramadan is the best time of the year to buy a new car — at least from dealerships that offer their usual generous discounts during the fasting month.
And these are many: the majority of dealers in the UAE are offering attractive discounts on car prices until September 9. Some discounts can reach even an overall 20 per cent on the list price and are combined with several add-ons such as free insurance, extended warranties or free registration. Some rebates will be in force even after Ramadan.
However, the offers seek to not only raise sales during the slack period, but also clear stocks of older models, an automotive salesperson of a large dealership told Gulf News. He said that the offers mostly helped sell off part of the inventory built up in the last few years, but have been extended to newer models this year on concern of slow response from customers.
Arabian Automobiles, the Nissan, Infiniti and Renault dealership of Aw Rostamani Group, offers discounts on all three brands. In case of Infiniti, the dealer offers "to take care of" 10 per cent of the down payment on any new model bought. The offer comes with free insurance and a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. For Nissan models, Arabian Automobiles offers "guaranteed cash rewards" of up to Dh25,000 plus free insurance on any model. Offers by Al Rostamani Trading dealerships include Ramadan discounts on Suzuki cars.
The dealership has also announced an exclusive promotion for fleet financing together with Emirates Islamic Bank, running until September 30 for all new Nissan models. The promotion includes free insurance for the first year, extended warranty, free service and special prices on vehicles. "We believe this combination of incentives and the highly competitive profit rate on offer will appeal to fleet managers looking for the best turn-key corporate fleet financing and maintenance deal on the market today," said Felix Welch, Director, Sales and Marketing at Arabian Automobiles.
Another Ramadan offer comes from Mercedes-Benz sold by Emirates Motor Company in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The discount comprises a free five-year or 105,000km service and maintenance package, according to an EMC salesperson, if one selected new model is booked during Ramadan. Trading Enterprises, distributor for Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda and Volvo, is currently running promotions for Dodge and Jeep, among others.
For selected cars such as Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee, the customers need to pay only 50 per cent of their instalments for the first year.
In addition, they get free registration, free service contract for three years, and five years' manufacturer warranty. For Volvo, Trading Enterprises offers "2011 models at 2006 prices", including a 50 per cent discount on instalments for the first year.
For Honda, Trading Enterprises is stepping up its discounts by giving away a Toshiba laptop and a Toshiba LCD television set on all Honda models sold during Ramadan. Other benefits include free one-year insurance, three years' unlimited warranty and 24 hours' roadside assistance.
Al Futtaim, distributor of Toyota and Lexus in the UAE, has launched Ramadan promotions on both brands by reducing monthly instalments on selected cars and other incentives.
Al Futtaim Motors kicked off their promotions even before the start of Ramadan. "It's an important commercial period and we tend to have a seasonal peak where sales tend to go up," said Hugh Dickerson, senior general manager for sales and marketing of Toyota at Al Futtaim Motors. On selected Toyota models (Yaris and Corolla), instalments are deferred until Ramadan 2011, an Al Futtaim spokesman said.
BMW dealer AGMC has introduced a special offer that includes free inclusive service for five years and "highly attractive prices", according to an AGMC salesperson at a Dubai outlet.
Kia Motors, through its dealership Al Majid Motors, offers low profit rates on financing and free one-year service. Al Habtoor Motors has introduced special-priced selected Mitsubishi cars and additional benefits such as free registration, and one year's free insurance. Galadari Automobiles' Ramadan discounts for Mazda include reduced interest rates on car financing, free insurance, service and registration as well as 24-hour roadside assistance.
Are you planning to buy a car? What do you look for when purchasing a car? Do offers play a big role in your decision making process?