zaidane

Rather quiet in here!

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3 hours ago, Barry said:

I think the whole GCC v US spec is mainly to scare people into paying more for local cars. If an American car can handle the heat in places like Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, then it can handle the same heat in the gulf. Easy to get the history of American cars on carfax too. 30 or 35 dollars will give you the history and tell you if it has been wrecked, flooded, stolen etc.

GCC v EU is a different story but it's only small things like thermostats and fan switches that are cheap and easily replaced.

Barry when you buy one and drive for a year or two and sell it successfully then you will go through the real learning process. I can go on with this topic until my fingers bleed, but I'll keep it short:

  • Weather specs are only one worry and yes it does require alteration and modification and after that, you can safely enjoy non-gcc specs car in UAE. This process if you are not highly educated and mechanically well off then workshop here will rip you off and you will finish all saving you made by buying the non-gcc specs in one go.
     
  • Secondly, as desertdude mentioned, all imports are either flood damage or accident written off, again you should have a real keen eye to identify a clean car among the bunch of lemons. And trust me used car dealer here are so smart in covering things up that even the seasoned eyes can get fooled. I got saved twice purely by good luck, when all my experience and knowledge said its cleaned and even the testing guys generated a clean title report. Lucky while getting the insurance come to know that it has been written off by Al Tayer and that's why no guarantee on 4 years model who supposed to have 5 years guarantee. Workmanship here to hide things can get to real hideous level sometimes in the automotive industry. So take no chance in such pass the bug game, or else you might get stuck with that bug for LONG LONG time. I know more than 10 friends who are still driving import purely because they can't sell it.
     
  • Last but not least is the terrible resale value, as they depreciate faster than GCC cars and after getting it cheap, you will really regret selling at even cheaper resale value, as the market is always flooded with these imports and people are always desperate to knock them off and used car dealers are very competitively priced to drive these car prices lower every month due to endless supply from abroad.

Long story short, I highly advise everyone that pay 10-15% extra and buy GCC cars, so you will enjoy the ownership and you will be able to sell it off at a fair price after you are done.

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I enjoyed the detailed post @Gaurav.

I was actually thinking my next car may be US spec after doing all the background check (VIN number, checking chassis and finding out why a car was written off). Not sure if I will go ahead with it or not and the debate rages both ways, just leaving me confused lol.

Nothing to worry about just yet but for example on mustangs, you get some really crazy deals on US spec (30%+ savings sometimes).

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2 minutes ago, zaidane said:

Nothing to worry about just yet but for example on mustangs, you get some really crazy deals on US spec (30%+ savings sometimes).

 

I totally agree as my last car was 2012 Mustang 5.0 (GCC) and on same car I got saved by insurance reference that it is totaled car, another Mustang I was about to buy after getting tested in two places.

And 5 out of my 10 friends mentioned above is driving Mustang. So buy with very long-term intentions, lol.

One of the best reason to discourage non-GCC car I completely forgot to mention. If you are stuck with any rare issue or need a dealer support then the local dealer will not even look at you, let alone touching non-gcc car.

I had Lexus GS430 EU spec and the car died on road without any warning, sent to Al futtaim and they didn't accept the car. Checked outside with 3-4 top notch garage, no one can diagnose. Then wrote a nasty letter to Lexus Japan and then they requested Al futtaim to attend the car and Lexus Japan supported Al Futtaim with all wiring and diagrams. Then Al futtaim figured out that immobilizer got a short circuit and resulted in total car shut off. Btw, this ordeal went for 1-2 months to resolve the wiring and got my car back.

People here make endless stories that dealers scare and spread these stories to sell their GCC cars and often times import car dealer or owner swears million times that this car running without any issue, bla bla. To be honest local car dealers here are not evil, just to touch non-gcc car as they didn't make a profit on those cars but they are genuinely stuck with no wiring and diagrams support. And the moment they touch the car then it becomes their responsibility so they steer clear from that unwanted risk and problems, whose trace program itself can cost them a fortune to diagnose and fix.

 

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What I have taken from this is that local dealers refuse to fix cars specced from other countries. I would say that this is because they feel bad that they didn’t get the initial sale and are saying a big FU to the customer. Service information is readily accessible by emailing the manufacturer, even google, most service and parts manuals are available online. My country imports a lot of JDM cars. The dealers refuse to touch it out of pure bitchiness but the parts and information are available and people do fix cars with no apparent parts or service information. A good mechanic doesn’t care which country a car came from. He will understand how the systems work, find the diagrams and get the parts as necessary. As I can attest to. I had a rhd Japanese Mercedes in once. Gargash said I don’t know. I google the part numbers and called them, yes sir we have it in stock.

@desertdude is right. There are some bargains to be had with careful research. Not everyone is obsessed with selling a car after they have used it. Some people like to buy cheap, sell cheap. 

Take this for example. Buy a GCC mustang for 50k, sell it a year later for 40k. On the other hand, buy a US mustang for 30k, sell it a year later for 20k. You aren’t losing any more but your initial outlay is less so more free cash for beer!

 

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2 hours ago, Barry said:

Take this for example. Buy a GCC mustang for 50k, sell it a year later for 40k. On the other hand, buy a US mustang for 30k, sell it a year later for 20k. You aren’t losing any more but your initial outlay is less so more free cash for beer!

2

40k of 50k = 20% depreciation + no headache or fear of exploding or burning into flames due to a cheap fix

20k of 30k = 33% depreciation + 5k for bringing it back to GCC specs + repairs

20k of 35k = 42.8% depreciation overall + no peace of mind

https://gulfnews.com/news/uae/transport/total-loss-cars-from-us-hurting-dubai-market-auto-traders-claim-1.1708567

 

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There are some cars almost impossible to find GCC one. For example Lexus LS430. Even if you find GCC they are almost dead. In this case isnt it better to buy a clean American one.

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5 hours ago, sertac said:

There are some cars almost impossible to find GCC one. For example Lexus LS430. Even if you find GCC they are almost dead. In this case isnt it better to buy a clean American one.

If the doctor advised you to only buy that, do so as medicines are priceless.

Or you can wait to find a clean one and be ready to pay an extra premium. It took me 4-5 months to find a Range without a donkey mileage and when I found it, I closed the deal in 1 hour. 

My biggest worry with import is the substandard repair that might cost me arm and leg after a couple of months, no matter how smartly I check or find the history but you can never find the background on how cheaply it has been repaired or how unsafe it can be for me and my family usage.

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Btw, while I was about to buy my Mustang, I drove one of my neighbors Mustang (US Spec) in Warqa by chance and while hitting full gas, the car does burn out very aggressive but while doing burn out car tilt on left and move fwd. I tried few times as he was my neighbor and then thought that in all 4-5 attempts I can't lose the steering control and no matter how much countersteering I correct car still tilt on left and move forward. Finally, this guy confronted that this is how the car has been behaving since he bought soon after the import and it seems some driveshaft balancing issue has not been corrected in the past. Apart from this everything is fine "bro"

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With these Mustangs and LS430s though, a major portion of the cars in the UAE are US salvage.
Even in salvage cars, if you look at the Copart/Manheim/IAA auction car purchases and subsequent rebuilds documented, most of them have minor issues and are simple to moderate difficulty fixes.
But, the UAE used car dealers seem to buy absolutely totaled cars and fix them up. Moreso with latest models. I'd recently seen the latest Civic and Accord in such shambles, I wouldn't touch those cars with a barge pole.

On the other hand, two of my petrolhead friends have clean US spec cars that were non salvage and brought in because the manual versions weren't sold here. Occasionally, such cars do exist. So, due diligence and knowledge on the car and issues can help save some $$$

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