Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Buying a used car is still a hefty purchase, or sale, and everyone wants it done as safely as possible. We speak with CarSwitch.com, who can handle the transfer process for  used car buyers, and sellers.

From the experiences have put together this how to guide to keep you safe during the most critical step of the process, transferring ownership!

Pick the time & place – Authorized locations

Once you have agreed with the seller, or buyer, on the car transaction and arranged the funds, you will need to officially transfer the ownership of the used car. This can be done in one of several RTA authorized centers in Dubai, some of which operate through late hours of the night, including Tasjeel, Shamil, Mumayaz, etc. If the car is currently registered in another Emirate though, you would need to first transfer ownership in that Emirate and then proceed to an authorized center in Dubai to register the used car and issue license plates.

The seller prep

Some up-front preparation will help you save multiple back and forth trips and other time sinks! The first on the list is clear all your fines in advance, as some of the more severe fines cannot be cleared online and require in person payment at Police branches. Second, make sure your used car will pass the RTA mandated vehicle test. This test can be conducted at the same centers for transfer of ownership, and once conducted the test is valid for 30 days. Finally, don’t forget to bring your valid ID and car registration card. If the car is not registered under your name, you will need a valid and attested Power of Attorney that allows you to transfer ownership.

The buyer prep

Make sure you bring along your original and valid Emirates ID and proof of residency (copy of your Dubai visa or valid Ejari contract) for the transfer of ownership. You will also need your valid UAE driving license, and an insurance policy for the car in your name, to register it and be able to issue license plates to drive the car. The insurance policy can be purchased in most RTA authorized centers, but you’ll certainly get a better deal shopping online in advance!

The money exchange

This where things may get a bit dicey, so remain vigilant. Buyers should only pay for the car once they are in front of an authorized counter and ready to receive ownership of the car. Paying in advance of that could leave you without money before you actually take ownership for the car. Meanwhile for sellers, at CarSwitch.com we always recommend you ONLY accept payment in cash or manager’s check (with this check funds are immediately deducted and payment is guaranteed by the bank). This ensures the buyer does indeed have sufficient funds to buy the car, as a personal check can bounce due to insufficient funds. There have been recent instances of foraged manager checks, so do visit the bank first with your buyer to validate the authenticity of the payment method and then proceed to transfer ownership and funds.

The last watch out - outstanding loans

If the seller had bought the car through a bank loan, the outstanding loan amount will need to be cleared prior to transferring ownership. The car registration card, next to the “mortgaged by” field at the bottom, will indicate if the car has a bank loan on it. If that is the case, the seller will need to clear the loan and bring along a release letter from the bank confirming it in order to transfer ownership.

There are definitely a few steps to get through the whole process, but as long as you stay safe, the value saving of buying a used car make it totally worth it! For sellers as well you need to remain vigilant, but the alternative of selling your car to a dealer will leave you with only 70-80% of your car’s value. If it just sounds like too much work though, sign up with CarSwitch.com or other services that essentially sell used car for you.