Can expats buy SUVs in Saudi Arabia_

Feb 10, 2021
Can expats buy SUVs in Saudi Arabia?

Good news, expats can now buy sedans in Saudi Arabia. This revokes the earlier 2016 ban. Saudi Government Authorities had banned expats from owning large 7-seater vehicles like the large SUVs. According to the General Directorate of Traffic, foreign residents in Saudi Arabia with less than five family members will not be allowed to own a vehicle with seven seats or more. A circular was sent to all its traffic departments, saying that registration or ownership of such vehicles by expats should be rejected if the condition is not met.
Only families with five or more members can be excluded if they present proof and assure to the authorities that they will not engage in transporting passengers illegally. However, the Vehicles Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry received several car dealers and expatriates’ requests to review a General Directorate of Traffic decision issued earlier.
As a result of these restrictions, car showroom owners claimed that the sale of vehicles had gone down ever since this decision was announced. The ban was announced in 2016 and implemented through 2018. According to the President of the National Committee of Vehicle Agents, Othman Abu Shoushsa — many expatriates had purchased vehicles in installments before the decision was announced. They had not cleared their dues.
The decision to ban expats from owning vehicles with seven or more seats was to curb the illegal use of private vehicles for commercial purposes. In Riyadh and many other cities, many private vans are being used to transport students and teachers to schools and colleges. As per data, Saudi Arabia is the largest car market in the Middle East, and it is also the largest importer of both cars and auto parts. Japanese brands dominate the market.
While this restriction on the sedans is lifted, expats can own only up to two cars under their names. With the lack of public transportation, cars are a lifeline for expats. Earlier, there was a ban on women driving in the kingdom, which has been lifted in 2017. For expats, this ban’s revoke is great because owning is a car is essential in the country. Saudi Arabia levies no income tax, and petrol prices remain low, and cars are relatively cheaper than in Western countries, so buying 2 cars is not too tricky.
Expats in Saudi Arabia have a high standard of living and can afford luxuries often impossible in their home countries — and owning a sedan is just a part of the experience.
If you are looking for a used sedan, we have quite a few available at:
You can also try our ‘Verify Before Purchase’ service. For a fee of SAR 150, we will verify the condition of the car for you.
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