Consumers opt for used cars in wake of price increases

Updated 10 March 2013
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Consumers opt for used cars in wake of price increases

Consumers are opting to buy used cars in the wake of the unprecedented increase in the price of new, unused models, which now cost a minimum of SR 60,000.
As a result, the used car market has witnessed a high turnout of customers. Consequently, a number of companies have begun opening exhibitions of used cars in a bid to attract customers who cannot afford new cars to their liking.
Several factors have contributed to the rise in prices according to experts in the automobile industry. These include rising fuel prices, the use of highly advanced technology in manufacturing vehicles and the increase of accessories and extra fittings for premium quality in newer models.
“Prices have reached unreasonable levels. Consumers who earn little more than SR 6,000 per month and have several financial obligations simply cannot afford to buy an unused vehicle. They therefore opt for used cars but often ask for rigorous checks to be conducted on the safety and maintenance of used cars,” Salah Al-Shaalan, a supervisor at a used cars exhibition, told Arab News.
Nevertheless, used car owners acknowledge that their second-hand purchase may not last for longer than three or four years and are fully aware that they will spend more money fixing it.
“I have paid SR 30,000 to buy a used Japanese car, but I have spent an additional SR 10,000 fixing and maintaining it,” Tareq Ismaeel, a Sudanese resident working in the private sector, told Arab News.
Faisal Abu Shousha, head of the National Committee for Automobile Agents at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, earlier stated that, “The variation in the value of major currencies plays a major role in determining prices of vehicles. The appreciation of the US dollar and the Japanese yen has resulted in a rise in prices of vehicles made in the United States and Japan. Similarly, the depreciation of the euro has affected the prices of vehicles made in Europe.”
A steady increase in the price of vehicles in the local market has forced several customers, especially youth, to purchase cars in installments. Abdul Aziz Naeem, a Saudi employee who is working in the private sector, told Arab News, “I have one option to own a car that is through monthly installments, which consume a major chunk of my salary.”
“It is hard to choose between purchasing a new car and used one. After all, cars are essential for transportation in the Kingdom in the absence of other modes of transportation. Newer car models are extremely expensive. At the same time, used cars require a lot more money than they are worth,” Naeem added.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”