UAE | Traffic and Transport

UAE no place for old cars

The average age of vehicles on Dubai roads is just 5.6 years, therefore the new rule to discard 20-year-old vehicles will not have much impact on motorists, a senior official said.

  • By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
  • Published: 23:47 August 30, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • From January 1, 2009, traffic departments across the emirates will stop registering or renewing licences of vehicles older than 20 years, according to a recently announced Federal Law.
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Dubai: The average age of vehicles on Dubai roads is just 5.6 years, therefore the new rule to discard 20-year-old vehicles will not have much impact on motorists, a senior official said.

"There are only 10,277 vehicles that are 20 years old and that will be taken off the when the new rule comes into effect from January 2009," Sultan Abdullah Al Marzouqi, acting director of the Vehicles Licensing Department at the Licensing Agency of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said.

Al Marzouqi told Gulf News the average age of vehicles in Dubai is much lower than in many countries due to the strong purchasing power of residents and the trend to drive new vehicles, which is considered a status symbol.

According to a study conducted by the RTA, the average age of vehicles on roads in the UK is 6.7 years, it is 8 years in the US, 10.3 years in Australia and 15 years in Bulgaria.

From January 1, 2009, traffic departments across the emirates will stop registering or renewing licences of vehicles older than 20 years, according to a recently announced Federal Law.

From January 2010, vehicles older than 15 years will not be registered and licences not renewed.

Also, motorists with 10-year-old vehicles will not be able to transfer ownership, but they will be able to renew it in their names.

"They will have the option either to scrap the 20-year old vehicles or export them to other countries," Al Marzouqi said.

Once the rule is in place, more than 67,000 out of an estimated 1.8 million vehicles across all the emirates will be taken off the road from next year.

The number of registered vehicles in Dubai reached 853,827 in 2007, compared to 739,547 in 2006, an increase of more than 114,000 vehicles in one year.

"I believe the rule will not affect the majority of motorists for years to come as only 10 per cent of cars are older than 10 years, and some 82 per cent of cars are between one and five years old," Al Marzouqi said.

He said the aim with the rule is to reduce pollution and accidents because mostly old vehicles break down, causing problems.

He said even used-car showroom owners will not be afffected much as the average age of cars sold by them in Dubai is 3.7 years.

The new rule stipulates that only vintage and classic vehicles that are more than 20 years old, will be allowed to be registered or have their licences renewed. "We are working on the plan to make rules about vintage and classic cars. We will have a dedicated section in the Licensing Agency to decide whether a vehicle is classic before registering it," said Al Marzouqi.

Worldwide: Average vehicle age

  • Dubai 5.6 years
  • UK 6.7 years
  • US 8 years
  • Australia 10.3 years
  • Bulgaria 15 years

Banned

  • From December 1, 2008, cars older than 20 years
  • Import of cars older than 5 years
  • Import of heavy vehicles older than 7 years
  • Taxis older than 5 years
  • Ownership transfer of light vehicles older than 10 years
  • From January 1, 2010, cars older than 15 years

Do you own a car that is over five years old? Are you aware of the new rules? How will this impact you? Do you know of any international rules related to old cars? Tell us at letter2editor@gulfnews.com or fill in the form bellow to send your comments.



Your comments


Yes I do own a 2000 car which is 72k on the speedo,what should i do? 20 years old off the road makes sense,but 10years,we cannot sell or tranfer ownership is a vague idea,lots of ppl would not agree,if the car is road worthy,let it be...
Zeb
sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 11:56

I appreciate the way Dubai is booming very fast towards technology and modern age, but what about the people who prefer to keep old cars or who cannot afford to buy new cars. It will be very difficult for us to recover if we move out our cars which are 20 years old, I request RTA to give some solution and I thank Gulf news for the chance to give out our opinion.
sayed
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 11:24

I feel the condition of any car depends on the distance travelled, the way it is driven, and above all the make. Can you compare a chinese car to a japanese, german or an american??? The road-worthiness of the car can only be determined at the time of renewal ... as is being done at present! I appreciate the way Dubai is booming very fast towards technology and modern age, but what about the people who prefer to keep old cars or who cannot afford to buy new cars. It will be very difficult for us to recover if we move out our cars which are 20 years old, I request RTA to give some solution and I thank Gulf news for the chance to give out our opinion.
Shaikh Ahmed
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 11:13

I believe rule wouldnt stop cars from breaking down or causing pollution. They should implement new rules for testing vehicles at their testing centres. Perhaps a better and stronger check on vehicles that are more than 20 years old and a normal safety check on newer vehicles.UAE's new rules are getting unbeliveable day by day and i think its something unfair for the residents.
Zab
Melbourne,Australia
Posted: August 31, 2008, 11:09

I cannot agree with the comment that old cars are making accidents. Accidents are happening only due to careless drive and uncontrolled speed.
NAZAR
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 10:18

Has there been a study of the implications of scrapping so many vehicles? The energy required to build a new vehicle and ship it to the UAE far outweighs the impact of keeping an older vehicle on the road.
Alan
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 09:33

I would like to know if there is any place we can sell our old cars. I have 1994 Audi and it would be a big problem for me to dispose of it once the rule is implemented.
Ernani
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 09:32

What the RTA should do is have a strict emission test and safety test for old vehicles. I believe there are old cars out there that are still road worthy.
Ian
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 09:24

I feel this rule is ridiculous. If the cars are maintained properly by the owners, the cars should be allowed to be on the road. I have been using my car for the last seven years and have been regularily servicing it with authorised agents. This car has been a part of my family since day 1 and I feel it will be painful to part with it once the rule is in place.
Jacob
Dubai,UAE
Posted: August 31, 2008, 08:29

While the US doesn't have a ban on old cars, if you want to have the car treated as an antique, you have to apply for a special series of license plate and agree only to drive the vehicle on weekends, holidays, and in parades. Perhaps the UAE should look at a similar approach.
Stuart
Detroit,US
Posted: August 31, 2008, 01:03

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