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Cars for sale impounded in Saudi Arabia as bloggers debate

Social network-users divided over merits of fine, ban

Gulf News

Manama: Saudi social media users were divided over a decision by the traffic authorities to impound vehicles marked “for sale” and parked on roads and public areas of the capital Riyadh.

“Vehicles for sale or for rent should be offered only in showrooms or in garages owned by car dealers,” the authorities said. “Any for-sale vehicle that is not in line with this directive will be impounded and a fine of up to 1,500 riyals (Dh1,468) will be imposed,” they said in their statement, local Arabic daily Al Riyadh reported.

However, the warning against the “unlicensed sale” sparked a heated online debate in the Saudi blogosphere.

“I totally agree because there are laws and regulations and they should be upheld and respected by all people at all times,” Fahd Al Maliki, a blogger, commented. “We have showrooms and car garages and their owners should not be deprived of their right to make money,” he said.

Abu Raneem said that showrooms and garages were “a more attractive bargain.”

“It is safer to have the car in a showroom or in a garage because leaving it outside could be risky,” he wrote.

However, Sa’ad said that the decision amounted to “stifling us as we try to deal with life’s increasing challenges.”

“We have no space and we have to make payments all the time,” he posted. “In advanced countries, such a practice is normal and there are no fines imposed.”

Mohammad Bin Abdullah called for applying the law against the car rent offices that had taken up parking areas in major and side roads for their vehicles.

For Shwayya Saaba, another blogger, the car dealers were reaping huge benefits.

“Some of them might be honest, but many people have been cheated by them,” he said.

Abu Mohammad said there was nothing wrong with the private sale of vehicles.

“It is a brilliant idea and it is being used in many countries,” he posted. “I truly wonder if there are valid reasons for banning it here.”