Preparing to Sell My Car in Dubai [Podcast]

 You’re thinking: “How do I go about preparing to sell my car in Dubai?”

There are some simple steps you need to follow to get the best value when you sell your car in DubaiWe spoke to Morrad Irsane, co-founder of Melltoo Marketplace, about preparing a used car for sale in Dubai. Morrad has been in Dubai since 2005 and has bought and sold a total of 6 different cars. Based on his experience and perspective as both a buyer and seller, he explains how to prepare your used car for sale in the UAE. 

Melltoo Social Classifieds MarketplaceQuestion 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself?


Answer [Transcript]:

Actually I’m from France with Algerian descent.

I’ve been living in Dubai since 2005.


Preparing used car for sale

Question: 2 What kind of cars have you bought and sold since you’ve been in Dubai?


Answer [Transcript]:

Well, Dubai used car is actually a very interesting and very good market and I believe since I’ve been here I’ve sold – I bought, four – if I remember four used cars since I’ve been here. 

Well, the first used car I bought was a Pajero 3.0 litres and I bought a Yukon.  It was a basic model Yukon and a Yukon Denali as well.  And the last car I bought recently was a Peugeot 307. 

Well, I sold for example – I bought in 2005 also Mercedes Benz, brand new from the dealer and I sold it two years after of driving and using it.  I sold my Pajero to buy my Yukon in 2011 I would say.  The next year I sold also a Sirion, a small car Daihatsu as well.  

Preparing used car for sale

Question 3: What do you look for when buying a used car?


Answer [Transcript]:

Well if I speak for myself, the first thing I will do is to look at the proper condition of the body of the vehicle.  I will look at the speedometer as well.  I will look at the inside of the car.  I don’t like people who are smoking usually, so I – inside the car, I’m looking for clean car.  I would look for the total booklet, maintenance booklet and see if the car has been well kept and sent to the “wakala” I would say the agency for maintenance, for regular maintenance.  That’s what I’m looking for the most.  Proper tyres, proper maintenance, no car accidents.  A minor car accident would be ok for me but I try to avoid any car that has been in any kind of accident and repainting.  That’s something I avoid, buying a car that has been even partially repainted, that’s the thing I’m trying to look for when I’m trying to buy used car.  The other criterion are also of course – less than two to three years vehicles and of a brand, basically that is quite depreciating quite fast at the first few years and then keep certain value and has a basically, a good resale value after the third and fourth year basically.  

Preparing used car for saleQuestion 4: Do extras like custom rims and sound systems add value when selling my car?


Answer [Transcript]:

I would say that, you know, it’s not something that I’m really interested in, it doesn’t add any value basically.  Is actually just for the, you know, it’s a gimmick but it’s not something I would be interested in actually.

Preparing used car for saleQuestion 5: How do I get my car ready for sale?


Answer [Transcript]:

Well first of all to answer your question that you just asked before, I would already remove the rims if I had any nice rim and put back the original rims because even though it might seem something small, but people they like to keep the vehicle original basically, that’s one thing.  So, second of all I would try if I had, if you have a little extra cash, I would try to give the car a showroom feel and look by spending 2, 300 dirham’s or depending on where you’re going to up to 600 dirham’s for a complete re-lifting of the – polishing of the painting and cleaning of the carpet and the inside of the car.  That will really give your car like a fresh look and attract people basically.  Other thing I would make sure that I keep track of all the receipt that I’ve been spending on your car to keep it, track record of the maintenance of the vehicle.  And of course, keeping your car with the urgency as much as you can, because this shows again that you’ve been taking care of the car properly and this will definitely give a proper resale value to the vehicle basically.  

Preparing used car for saleQuestion 6: Should I take my car for full servicing prior to selling it? Does it add value?


Answer [Transcript]:

Well, regular maintenance, I would say oil change and filters and it’s of course it’s something that should be done prior to selling the car.  But since you about selling the car basically, you try basically to avoid the major bills basically that might come after that.  If the tires are pretty discerned you leave them, if everything else is pretty discerned you leave them actually.  The new buyer’s actually the one who’s supposed to take care of the rest of the issues that will pop up eventually.  But definitely, if it’s a time for the oil change, just change the oil and you know keep things, if the tires need to be remove and change, you know it would be nice, but it’s not really your responsibility after you sell the car basically. 

Preparing used car for saleQuestion 7: My car has been in a minor “parking” accident. What should I do?


Answer [Transcript]:

Well keep track of the Police report if you have any Police report.  Try to fix it at the “wakala” the agency, and taking pictures that prove that this has been a very minor accident and the bill should reflect as well the fact that the car’s been really in a minor accident as well, you know?  

The repair bill, and you can also ask the future buyers to bring, if he’s interested, to bring the car to a shop, a body shop and he can inspect the vehicle either at the body shop or directly to the “wakala” to the agency.  

Selling a Used Car in Dubai – Step 1: How to Value Your Car

How to Sell a Used Car in Dubai, UAE

A step-by-step guide for selling your car for the best price

Used Car For Sale

Step 1: How to value your car

Before you are ready to put your car on sale, you have to determine the market value first. There are a number of ways to do this.

Blue Book Value and Dealer Valuations

There is no such thing as ‘blue book value when selling your car in Dubai. There are a few businesses and websites that will propose to buy your car for cash. Don’t expect to get fair market value from them. For the most part, these businesses will squeeze you and give you the lowest possible price for your car. They have to make money afterall.

The same thing applies to dealers who are are a poor option if you want to get the best valuation for your car. They will offer you a ridiculous price and depress you! Authorized dealers are no better, they are just a bit politer and smarter in getting you to resell your lovely car to them. In some cases, authorized dealers will even make you pay for a valuation (up to 300 dhs) before they give you an estimated price on your car. The good news is, if you accept their offer, the valuation fee is waived.

Online Car Valuation

The other option for determining the value of your car are online valuation sites such as: – they give you an online valuation of your car in few minutes – they seem to be giving very low prices for cars  – they seem to be accurate…following a 20-15-15 depreciation model

These sites should give you some idea of the ballpark value for your car. Their price range reflects what you should expect when dealing with potential buyers and accounts for the kilometerage you have on your car. However, these sites would require a vehicle inspection before they give you a final price. This estimate also assumes that the vehicle has GCC specifications and is not purchased outside and imported to Dubai.

The DIY approach to valuing your car

I recommend the Do-It-Yourself valuation. A simple way to value your car is the 20-15-15 model (20-10-10 model for Japanese cars).

Let’s say you bought your car for 100,000 dhs. Expect a hefty 20-25% depreciation the first year depending on the model and condition of the car. The second year would be 10-15%, again depending on the condition of the car. Be aware that good agency maintenance increases the resale value of your car. It is, in fact, an investment for future resale. Do not neglect this.

Valuation Example: 2011 Mercedes C200

Original purchase price = 100,000 dhs

First year depreciation 20% = 20,000 dhs

Resale price in 2012 = 80,000 dhs

Second year depreciation 10%

Resale price in 2013 = 72,000 dhs

Third year depreciation 10%

Resale price in 2014 = 64,800 dhs

Another way to value your car is to look at dealer showroom prices of current year models and pre-owned models and going prices on classified websites, such as,, or dubizzle etc. Of course, my recommendation is that you use our app, Melltoo, for iOS and Android to research the going price and to post your car for sale.

Please be careful when doing price research to compare apples with apples. Many cars in Dubai are used cars imported from other countries and have very little documentation. In many cases, these cars have a “salvage” title in their own country. Don’t be fooled.

Determining the correct valuation for your car is important when putting your car up for sale. If you don’t know how much the market value for your car is, it is much harder for you to negotiate a sale and you are likely to sell for less than what your car is worth (or not sell  because you are asking for too much).

Once you’ve figured out how much to sell your car for, download Melltoo for iOS and Android and post it for sale on the app!