Friday, December 14, 2012

Looking the Part — Luxury Car Use in the US and UAE

People buy luxury cars for several reasons. Some do because they have the money for the finer things in life. Some do because they love cars and spend more money on them than their house.
Some do because they want to look the part.

In terms of the popularity of luxury cars in the US, there’s been a titanic struggle this year between Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. In the summer, BMW were out in front, but then Audi and Mercedes hit back. The Audi A6 is the number one luxury car in the US.

One country where you will see luxury cars on the road is the UAE. The UAE has a high standard of living, the lower price of cars makes it easier to find car insurance, and there is a large expat population. It all creates quite a demand.

What cars will you see there?

People want to look the part in the UAE. Porsches, Chevrolets Camaros, Ford Mustangs, Dodge Chargers, Subaru Imprezas and Bentley Continental GTs are just some of the luxury and sports cars you’ll see on the UAE’s streets. You’ll also see Nissan Z series models on the roads.

What the drivers might keep secret, however, is that they may not actually own them. Car rental companies are capitalizing on the flow of expats entering the UAE. Some want to impress, others just want to drive their dream car, and these companies are making it happen for them.

Maybe they do own them but still have their secrets. Many UAE nationals and expats took advantage of the lower car prices out there and all was well and good. Then the financial crisis kicked in and they became unable to keep up with the payments. Facing prison for this debt, some have taken the drastic action of abandoning their luxury vehicles in airport car parks or other places.
One thing is feeling free on the roads, another is actually being free.

These cars go on auction if they’re not claimed within 15 days. If you bid hard enough, you may just pick up a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for a price that would have the original dealers or manufacturers in tears.

What about taking your luxury car out on the roads?

Be careful. There are mixed reports about the UAE roads, so make sure you have good car insurance.
Motorists there are notorious for driving badly. However, a lot of expats have reported they feel safer on the UAE roads, or that the road conditions are better, than in their own countries.

Perhaps they’re not aware of a dangerous new trend which has emerged there: female drag racing.
Police have arrested a series of thrill-seeking young women who are tearing up the UAE’s roads without a driver’s license recently.

So if you want to buy a luxury car in the UAE, put in a good bid and you can buy one for a crazily low price in an auction. But even if you just want to sit in a Ferrari or Lamborghini for just a few hours, that’s also possible. Either way, you can certainly keep up appearances.

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