• Saudi Customs Enforces Ban On Cars Older Than 5 Years


    Beginning on Tuesday, 6/9/2009, the decision to ban the import of used cars older than 5 years for passenger cars, buses and light transport will be enforced. The resolution also prevents the import of heavy trucks over the age of 10 years but does not, however, cover spare parts for old vehicles in use. A six-month grace period has been granted to importers to set matters straight.
    Market specialists cautioned that the prices of used cars covered by the resolution could rise because of what they described as the consequences of the decision and weaknesses in the market.
    One car dealer from the Eastern Province, Mesh'aal Al-Qahtani, said that prices of cars covered by the resolution had risen up to 15% over the last several days because of the decision, but warned that some traders may try to use the decision to make extra money. Al-Qahtani pointed out that the biggest problem will be finding affordable cars for university students and the poor after the decision. He added that the new car prices are generally stable, unlike the cars covered by the resolution which have clearly increased.The Managing Director of one car dealership, Thaabit Aal-Hanboot, agreed that car prices had increased between 10-20%, for models 2000 to 2004.
    140 thousand cars more than 5 years old were imported to Saudi Arabia in 2008 at a value of more than SR 17.5 billion, representing only 24% of the total of used cars imported to the Kingdom during the same year. Compared to 104,157 used cars older than five years that were imported in 2007 valued at 13 billion riyals, equaling 21% of the total of used cars imported to Saudi that year.
    During its last meeting, the Automobile Committee of Asharqia Chamber, chaired by Ahmed ibn Yusuf Al-Dosari, called for modifying the decision to prohibit the import of cars older than 8 years instead of 5, while stressing that all imported cars conform to the specifications and standards of Saudi Arabia.

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