Saudi Arabia bans used car imports older than 5 years
The Saudi Customs Department has officially started implementing a government decision banning the import of used cars older than five years into the Kingdom.
“The ban is on used cars, buses and other light goods vehicles more than five years old. Heavy vehicles more than 10 years old are also not allowed to be imported,” Suleiman Al-Tuwaijeri, director of the Customs Department, told Arab News in Jeddah.
Apparently the ban does not cover spare parts for old vehicles in use, and used car importers get a six-month grace period to figure out their situation.
More than 140,000 used cars were imported into Saudi Arabia last year, accounting for 24% of total car imports in 2008.
Some traders say that Saudi used car dealers had hoarded cars expecting demand to rise after the import ban.
Several used car dealers also say that used prices rose 20% over the past two months. This is likely due to the stubborn new car dealers who refuse to reduce prices during this recession.
A meeting of the Automobile Committee of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged the authorities to relax the rule and ban cars older than eight years.
While any ban on old cars is stupid, this is still an easier idea to digest than the ill-conceived blanket-ban on all 10-year-old cars that the UAE almost implemented at the end of 2009, before the country’s president put a stop to it. And to think that the majority of the public supported that ban, thinking they won’t be affected since they drive brand new cars bought on bank loans. That was until their friendly neighbourhood banks hounded them once they lost their jobs.