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Hi All,

Looking at purchasing a Used 2012 or 2013 Rover Rover Sport when I re-locate to Dubai in a couple of weeks. I know my way around cars, so I know what to look out for. Been keeping my eye on Dubizzle, Dubai Cars & Auto Trader. Couple of questions: 1) Most vehicles are advertised GCC Spec and then I find a few advertised as USA spec. I sort of understand the difference, but what effect does this have on re-sale down the track? Are USA spec cars a no no or does it not make much difference? 2) Is the used car market in Dubai fairly negotiable, can I drive a hard bargain without fear of insult?
 

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1) People prefer GCC spec even though USA spec cars function quite well here as well. Especially a Range Rover should be fine. So in that sense there shouldn't be much of a problem. However, I have read that USA spec cars have sometimes been in major accidents in the USA, written off, fixed in Dubai (or somewhere in the region) and sold on the market as a car that has never been in an accident... Personally, I would never buy a USA spec car.
2) You can try to drive a hard bargain since that is what most people normally do, but it really depends on the person you have in front of you. When I sell something on Dubizzle the first thing people do is offer less than 50% of what I ask, even though I'm selling it for a very reasonable amount. I think even when you offer a car for only 34 AED people would still offer 10...

Sometimes you find people who need to urgently sell because they are leaving Dubai, with them you can probably drive a hard bargain (unless there are 50 buyers...)
 

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1 - All pub talk but GGC = bigger radiator and better a/c than US imports. To counter that, people say there is desert in the USA too. I've also heard that a lot of American cars are flood damage, insurance right offs. Which is why they'll pass even if you check chassis's and for welds etc. I've no real experience but I'd assume you'd struggle more to resell a USA spec car. Like Froglet, I'd personally avoid them but I've not knowledge or interest about cars beyond driving them.

2 - You should always haggle but advertise a car on Dubizzle and you're inundated with time wasters and dealers low balling you with ludicrous offers. They certainly don't care about insulting despite the fact they p!ss people off endlessly. Be aware that many cars for sale on Dubizzle are by unregistered dealers posing as private sellers, you won't get much off the asking price from them.
 

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If I remember correctly, you can't get comprehensive insurance on imported cars in the UAE.
I don't think that is correct. I had no problem getting comprehensive insurance on a personally-imported US-Spec car. The only issue was later on once it had its 7th birthday, but that is all cars here and has nothing to do with it being imported.

On balance, I would try to get GCC spec but not because of any technical issues. US spec cars are generally a slightly higher specification than GCC spec cars, but the market hates them and that's a good enough reason to avoid them unless you have a good reason to want a US-spec car (e.g. rarity, or a desire to reimport it to the US).

If OP goes US spec then the thing to do is to factor in the generally lower market value of the car in this market. Also, I'd want documentation of the history of the vehicle. For example, when I sold my Cayman I was able to my US title, several years of ownership and maintenance records, so it was pretty obviously not a write-off.

By the way, you can run a US vehicle identification number through services such as CARFAX for a small fee and over the internet to check for insurance write-off and other title issues. However, it's not 100% foolproof.
 

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I have imported and bought US spec cars here locally so speaking with first-hand experience and not via a broken telephone:

#1 you can negotiate harder on a US spec car so the deal you get now versus resale will be the same ratio as if you bought GCC. There is a demand on both options based on potential savings. (yes you need to be careful about flood/wreck damaged cars, although it can easily go for cars from the region as well)

#2 warranty period is most likely over at this point so it doesn't matter which spec you go with. (depending on manufacturer they don't offer global warranty on most)

#3 insurance companies only offer 3rd party coverage after a certain amount of years depending on the company...

#4 you CAN get full coverage on an imported car.

#5 the whole "larger radiator blah blah blah story" is irrelevant.
 

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I also imported a personal vehicle from Canada and I didn't have an issue bringing it in or getting insurance. The A/C held up just fine in the middle of the crazy summer and selling it wasn't a problem being "U.S. Spec'd." But if you ever want to bring it back to the US and i'm guessing their rules are either as strict or even stricter then Canadian import rules for used vehicle then your going to want to bring your vehicle from the states into the UAE so you can re export t back to America.
 
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