Does it make more sense to buy or lease a car for UAE residents? What will work best for you depends on your individual needs?
There are many benefits to leasing a car over buying a car in the UAE. When you lease a car, you pay a monthly consolidated payment which includes all costs, such as car maintenance, warranty, insurance – all you have to pay for is your car’s petrol. And, if you are anything like us and like to drive around in the latest squeeze, then you will be pleased to note you can trade your car in at the end of the contract for the latest model or simply, just a different color.
The rule of thumb is, the longer you sign up for a leasing contract, the cheaper your contract will be. At the end of the lease, you will have the option to buy the car at a predefined value, extend the leasing period for a lower rate or simply replace it with a newer model.
But is leasing a car over a 12-month or 24-month period really cheaper than buying a car?
We looked at a 2018 BMW 5-Series 520i valued at AED210,000 for both leasing and buying. According to our Seez data, leasing is more cost-effective for UAE residents over a 1 or 2-year period. Below is a simple comparison:
If you were to buy one, you can expect to pay roughly AED68,000 for one year and AED105,950 over two years, including depreciation, interest, insurance, registration, and extra costs.
When leasing, you can expect to pay AED52,980 in the first year (or AED4,415 per month) and AED87,254 over 2 years (which works out to be AED3,636 per month). These figures also include car insurance, car registration, maintenance, and loan interest, which makes it super easy for the car leasers – all you have to pay for is the fuel.
Leasing companies stay competitive by buying in bulk, which makes their maintenance car parts less expensive. And what Seez discovered is that even though many car manufacturers in the UAE have very competitive car leasing prices, they do little to advertise them – which is why it’s helpful to see them listed on the Seez app.
Depending on which car dealer you lease from, you may be required to make a down payment upfront (perhaps two or three months), although some car manufacturers do not request this. There may also be a penalty if you go over a certain mileage, but this is somewhat considerable and it would take you A LOT of driving to go over it.
For Ely, an expat in Dubai, car leasing suits her more transient lifestyle – she isn’t 100% sure what country she will be living in 2 years’ time as it all depends on where her work takes her. She likes the fact that she can give the car back at the end of the contract and she isn’t liable for re-selling it on.
“For me, leasing is the better option – I don’t have to worry about the wear and tear, maintenance costs, or car insurance. It gives me peace of mind knowing there’s only one consistent monthly installment that I have to pay each month. There are no added ‘surprise costs’ which you often get when you own a car. Also, I like to drive the latest model, and change the color of the car which is another benefit of leasing”
Gabie, who is also an expat in Dubai, prefers to buy a car. She intends on staying in Dubai long term, and even though her car will depreciate in value, she likes the fact that she will own the car as an asset.
Download Seez for free on Android and iOS to view all of our car leasing and second-hand car buying options so you can decide which option is the best option for you.