Buying or selling a used car is a tricky business that has been greatly eased by the availability of online portals that are custom-built for this purpose. The ease of accessing and filtering information on these portals is a key differentiating characteristic versus the options of working directly with dealers and making purchasing decisions on the spot. As buyers try to cut down on the time they have to spend physically looking at cars, even dealers are using online platforms to woo customers to visit. DubaiCars.com is an upcoming portal acting as a meeting place of car sellers and buyers in the UAE.
UAE Online Car Sales Market
A Google search reveals that the leading players in online car sales in the UAE are: Dubizzle (around 40,000 ads), Auto Trader (around 9,000 ads), and Rocket Internet’s Carmudi (around 4,000 ads). The comparison of this number to the estimated 1.3 million cars registered in just Dubai and 100,000 new cars registered in 2013, shows that this market is still in its nascent stages and there is great room to expand and capture a larger number of of the sales.
In comparison, Dubaicars.com is a new entrant (1.5 years old) in this market with about 3,000 ads. In order to stand out from the competition, the website claims bringing online visitors who have a strong intent of purchasing a car.
UAE Car Market
This expansion would be tricky because of the way cars are purchased in the country. This dynamic differs across countries, for instance in the United States – used cars go for a fraction of the price of new cars, which are mid-priced on average. The low price of gasoline and the relative wealth of UAE residents translates into a market where the average new car is not a mid-priced sedan. This translates into a different used car market in terms of how old the average used car is, how pricey it is and depending on those numbers, how is the average consumer financing their car purchase. In Pakistan, for instance, the average used car is valued at less than $5,000 – this figure might be touching $20,000 in UAE.
The DubaiCars.com website and its ad directory are easy to browse. The search criteria panel help you pick out the kind of car you are looking for by first specifying the make, then the model and version. After you make your choices, or choose to use the Advanced Search tool, you are led to the search results where there are plenty of tools to further filter the results by price, city, year, transmission type, fuel type, body type and seller type (owner/dealer). Once you have it right down to all aspects of your criteria, you can browse through the results with a description, price, photo and summary statistics on mileage, transmission type and fuel type showing upfront for each listed car.
It is important for any portal to keep visitors engaged in between the times they are intending to sell or purchase a product. Dubaicars.com attempts to that be providing a host of ancillary services such as breaking news on car-related events, new technologies, guide to driving in the UAE and a guide to financing options for your next purchase.
On the supply side, there are usually two channels in this market – the owners and the dealers. In a market like the UAE where the dealers would have the majority of the inventory to sell, DubaiCars.com targets that supplier option by providing a platform that makes it easy for dealers to post information about the cars that they intend to sell.
Dubaicars.com is an entrepreneurial venture of a 31-year old Pakistani: Muqadas Javed Wattoo. The Pakistan connection is also apparent by how similar the site’s design and functionality is similar to the super-famous PakWheels.com (in the Pakistani market). Inspiration is a great way to start but Mr.Wattoo would have to keep at this mission to bring sellers and buyers together in the most efficient way possible in order to make an indelible mark on the online car sales market in the UAE.