Although there are several public transportation options in Oman, some expats may prefer to have their own private vehicle. If your work involves traveling, or if you like to drive around and explore, consider buying a car, especially if you will be staying in the country for a year or so.
There are two main options for buying a car in Oman: purchasing a new vehicle, or a secondhand vehicle. To help you make an informed decision, we will be discussing the requirements and procedures for both options, as well as their corresponding advantages and disadvantages.
How to Buy a Car as an Expat in Oman
Before anything else, you need to make sure that you have the necessary documents for buying a car in Oman, be it a new vehicle or a secondhand one. You must have a residence visa (not a tourist visa or visit visa), and you should also have a valid driving license.
- Passport (original and photocopy, including visa page)
- Passport-sized Photo
- Copy of Labour Card (for employees)
- Copy of Sponsorship Certificate (for non-working residents)
- Valid Driving License (original and photocopy)
- Vehicle Purchase Form
NOTE: The Vehicle Purchase Form is available at the car dealership or at the nearest police station. This will be signed by your sponsor before being given to the insurance provider.
Buying a New Vehicle
You will find car dealerships in different parts of Oman. In particular, there are showrooms between Al Wattayah and Wadi Adai Roundabouts, as well as along the highway.
Aside from the fact that the vehicle is new, other perks of buying a new car include:
- Good warranty and free servicing for a certain period;
- Great discounts throughout the year, especially during Ramadan;
- All paperwork is taken care of by the car dealer; and
- Different ways to finance the car (e.g. cash, bank loan, post-dated cheques).
Perhaps the greatest advantage in buying a new car is that the dealer will take care of all the paperwork, such as getting insurance and registering your new vehicle. In this regard, purchasing a new car may be costly, but it is certainly more convenient.
As for financing, you can pay with cash, take out a bank loan, or leave a post-dated cheque for every month of the financing period, which is usually between 12 to 36 months.
Buying a Used Vehicle
Throughout the year, expats in Oman come and go, with many putting their cars up for sale. Hence, you can buy from a used car dealership or buy directly from the previous owner.
If you are planning to buy a secondhand car, you can check out the used car dealerships at Al Khuwayr, Al Wattayah, Wadi Kabir, and other locations. The advantage of buying from a car dealership is that they will typically take care of registration, insurance, and other paperwork.
Another option is to buy a used car from a private individual. You can browse newspapers or bulletin boards in supermarkets, where people usually post various ads. There is also a “Car Souk” at the Friday Market, where you can find secondhand cars for sale.
Of course, while buying a used car is easier on the pocket, it comes with certain risks. You will need to have it checked for any major faults. You also have to take care of all the paperwork by yourself. This includes arranging for transfer of ownership, registration, and insurance. You also need to make sure that the previous owner has no outstanding loans on the vehicle.
For more information about registering your car in Oman, please read this article as guide. As soon as your car is duly registered, you will receive a vehicle registration card or “mulkia.” You should have a copy of this in your car at all times, as you never know when you might need it.