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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Top 5 affordable dream cars in the UAE - if you buy second hand

Always hankered after a Porsche 911 or a Rolls-Royce Ghost? It is possible to own a luxury motor if you choose the used car market over brand new options

Rolls-Royce's 2011 Ghost can be snapped up for between Dh360,000 to Dh600,000 - far less than the minimum Dh1.4m you need to shell out for the 2017 model. Wenhao Yu / EPA
Rolls-Royce's 2011 Ghost can be snapped up for between Dh360,000 to Dh600,000 - far less than the minimum Dh1.4m you need to shell out for the 2017 model. Wenhao Yu / EPA

Whether you are a Mercedes fan or your ultimate desire is a Porsche, buying a dream car is often just that - a dream.

But according to CarSwitch.com, a UAE platform for buying and selling certified used cars, luxury motors that might seem out of your financial reach are more affordable than you realise.

Rather than scouring the glossy showrooms for a brand new motor, by going second hand you can pick up a much more wallet-friendly option.

CarSwitch has put together its top five picks for second hand dream cars, with the Rolls-Royce Ghost taking the No. 1 spot.

While starting prices for a new Rolls-Royce Ghost in the UAE start from Dh1.4 million, according to YallaMotor, buying a second hand version with the model years 2011 to 2014 will cost a mere Dh360,000 to Dh600,000 in comparison.

Imad Hammad, the co-founder and chief executive of CarSwitch.com, says picking up a used luxury car in the UAE “comes at a great discount”.

“That’s because the average life of cars in the UAE is low at three to four years versus the six to eight found in other markets,” he says. “This means they lose value very quickly – more than 50 per cent within three years. A second hand Porsche 911, for example, is Dh300,000 in London but only Dh200,000 in Dubai.”

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Other factors that increase the chances of getting your hands on your ideal motor is the lack of additional costs, according to CarSwitch, such as a lack of emission taxes and special registration fees for luxury cars.

“Fuel and insurance costs are almost one fifth the price of other place,” says Mr Hammad. “Insuring a Mercedes Benz G-Class is more than Dh100,000 in London versus Dh2,200 in Dubai.”

Another factor in favour of purchasing a luxury vehicle is the UAE’s safety record. According to CarSwitch, less than 133 cars were stolen in Dubai in 2016, with the majority of that figure due to owners abandoning their vehicles.

But it is not all good news for luxury car lovers. The company warns that repair and maintenance costs on high-end cars be significant.

For those still set on a luxury vehicle, they might get lucky and buy a bespoke version. Today, about 80 per cent of Rolls-Royce buyers customise their chosen cars with details that cost an additional 20 per cent, on average, according to the car maker.

“They’re getting more comfortable with splashing out a little,” Gerry Spahn, the head of communications for Rolls-Royce North America says of its customers. “Honestly, we’ve done seven-figure cars this year.”

Here are CarSwitch.com's top five dream picks for models released between 2011 to 2014:

1. Rolls-Royce Ghost: from Dh360,000 to Dh600,000

Rolls-Royce's 2011 Ghost can be snapped up for between Dh360,000 to Dh600,000 - far less than the minimum Dh1.4m you need to shell out for the 2017 model. Wenhao Yu / EPA
Rolls-Royce's 2011 Ghost can be snapped up for between Dh360,000 to Dh600,000 - far less than the minimum Dh1.4m you need to shell out for the 2017 model. Wenhao Yu / EPA

2. Mercedes Benz AMG GT-R: Dh440,000 to Dh800,000

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R. Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R. Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg

3. Mercedes Benz S-Class: Dh90,000 to Dh230,000

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class. SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class. SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg

4. Mercedes Benz G-Class AMG: Dh150,000 to Dh350,000

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG.

5. Porsche 911: Dh140,000 to Dh230,0000

The Porsche 911. Tannen Maury / EPA
The Porsche 911. Tannen Maury / EPA