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UAE Used Car Prices Dip; Anticipation Grows for Further Decline in 2024

 

In the UAE, pre-owned car prices witnessed a notable 14.8% decrease last year, attributed to an improvement in new car deliveries and the entry of new players, particularly from China. This shift was noted by AlgoDriven, an automotive digital platform, as new car inventories increased following the post-Covid-19 impact on production levels in the automotive industry.

The second half of 2023 saw a resurgence in the market, with used cars selling almost twice as fast compared to the beginning of the year. According to AlgoDriven, the average time for used cars to sell in December was 19 days. Industry players anticipate a potential further drop in prices in the current year, projecting a 15% reduction, driven by increased options for new cars and associated discounts.

Gulf Region CEO at Cars24, Abhinav Gupta, observed that the used car market exhibited relative stability in 2023. However, he anticipates a surge in sales during Ramadan, a peak period for car transactions in the region, estimating an overall 10% growth compared to the previous year. Cars24 itself recorded a 15% increase in inquiries and a 10% growth in units sold, defying the overall market trend.

Looking ahead, AlgoDriven's co-founder, Glenn Harwood, suggests that the UAE market may witness another 15% reduction in used car prices over the course of 2024. Despite this, he highlights the UAE's strong macroeconomic environment, a growing expat population, and heightened competition among used car retailers as factors likely to keep the market buoyant.

Cars24 projects an increase in demand, particularly for luxury models, in the first few months of the year, followed by an eventual plateau in rates. Gupta emphasizes that while the market offers numerous choices for pre-owned vehicles, customers are increasingly opting to test-drive multiple cars before finalizing a purchase.

According to Cars24, common inquiries from buyers revolve around cars aged 4-6 years, with mileage between 90,000 to 120,000 km. Buyers commonly seek information on warranty, accident history, and mileage when considering pre-owned cars.

Moreover, Gupta notes a shifting trend, with 70% of over 3 million cars on UAE roads owned by millennials, and Gen Z expected to surpass this figure soon. Notably, the preference for SUV models is on the rise, with 55% of Cars24 customers opting for SUVs in 2023 due to perceived safety and reliability, aligning with a global trend favoring SUVs.

Feb. 20, 2024 12:50 p.m. 2383

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