Dubai: The UAE on-call fuel delivery provider Cafu is expanding its reach into buying and selling pre-owned vehicles through its digital platform. The add-on service will be available in the UAE, but the company – which also offers on-demand car washing – could conceivably take this to new expansion markets.
That Cafu would be expanding its range of digital-delivered services was always a given, and there had been active speculation it would indeed do so in listing secondhand vehicles. Doing so would be a natural fit, and a top Cafu official said the focus will be on mid-to-high-end model listings.
The UAE already has a handful of high-visibility digital platforms offering the listing, buying and selling of secondhand vehicles. Cafu hopes to use its already well-established branding on fuel delivery to score with pre-owned car listings.
But how easy will it be? “Whether it’s fuel delivery, car wash, battery, tyre, oil change or emergency services, we tried to disrupt them by using on-demand technology,” said Alaa El Huni, the Dubai-headquartered company’s Chief Business Officer. “This we have done by leveraging AI-enabled routing algorithms, which raised our efficiency in providing this.”
And the end goal with the new secondhand marketplace? “Be the super-app of choice for all our customers,” said El Huni.
UAE’s secondhand car space
In three years, the UAE’s pre-owned car market has undergone a radical overhaul. Every other official car dealer now has standalone operations selling secondhand vehicles as demand from resident buyers grew in double-digit terms. (A major reason for this was the UAE’s fast-expanding resident base and the fact that in 2021-22, new car deliveries were falling far short of demand because of supply chain issues and chip shortages.)
At the same time, digital portals specializing in automotive services caught on, whether it was fuel delivery, offering parts change or emergency services.
Our ambition – obviously – is not just have a regional but a true global presence. We will never discount a single market in the region or globally for us to look for a launch
As for Cafu, it continued to make headway in the core fuel delivery side, widening its fleet and client base. El Huni declined to get into specifics on the client numbers. (The company is also offering EV charging services in Canada.)
“The new service is based on a no-pay model,” he added. “What customers can do is list or buy vehicles using our platform within minutes.”
Cafu is partnering with third-party entities which will do the other requirements such as vehicle inspection, certification prior to the selling, the valuation, and, of course, the actual selling itself. “So, customers can get the whole process done without going anywhere to get these processes done,” said El Huni. “The service will go to the customer’s place, and that’s what on-demand service is about.”