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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Dirty cars look ugly, but what other options are there?

Abu Dhabi residents say they have no alternative but to face being fined

A dirty car with the fine ticket parked in the parking area near the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National
A dirty car with the fine ticket parked in the parking area near the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National

Most of us would agree that dirty cars bring down the tone of our neighbourhoods. Yet, keeping a car clean can be challenging, especially given the fact that it only takes a couple of hours for a thick layer of dust to gather on anything that's exposed to the elements.

While it is illegal to wash cars on roads and in residential areas because of environmental concerns, they can be cleaned at petrol stations, retail car washes and at some malls. But what happens when you go away on holiday? As The National reported, about 500 motorists have been fined Dh3,000 each since April for being the registered owners of excessively dirty vehicles.

The ban on washing cars on the street means the only solution appears to be to entrust this responsibility to a neighbour who can then take the car to a professional car wash. “It means,” as Mohammed Al Daqqaq pointed out, “I have to leave my car keys with them for two or three weeks, and I don’t think this is acceptable to anyone”. Many residents might share Mr Al Daqqaq's reservation.

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Read more:

Wash your car or risk having to pay a Dh3,000 fine

Abu Dhabi authorities fine 500 motorists for dusty cars

Dubai's RTA issues new range of road fines

Abu Dhabi drivers paying hundreds of dirhams a month for car cleaning to avoid fines

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The municipality has now said that residents can park their car at an open yard for a fee of around Dh15 per day. Most residents were not aware of the existence of such a facility. Equally, many car owners bristle at the idea that they will have to pay to park at the facility when they already subscribe at an annual fee for a parking permit.

The authorities need to launch an awareness campaign to make sure residents understand where this car park is and what possible other alternatives there are. And they need to cut a fairer deal with permit holders.