Concerns about the quality of new cars after the recent closure of four leading car showrooms in Doha by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce has reportedly boosted demand for used cars.
The showrooms were shut down temporarily for selling damaged cars as brand new, after repairing.
Second-hand car dealers have reported an increase in demand and say it is unusual in the beginning of the year, when new model cars enter the market, a local Arabic daily reports.
“There is more demand for second-hand cars this time despite that this is not the season. Demand for used cars normally goes up during summer,” a dealer was quoted as saying. The marketing manager of a Qatar-based used car portal confirmed that sale of second-hand cars has gone up. There is more demand for family cars and sport cars, he said.
“People would trust second-hand cars because they go for technical check-ups to know their condition. Many customers are weary of buying new cars for the fear that they would discover some problems later,” he said.
Many people interviewed by the daily wondered if new cars will also require a technical check-up if dealers continue to take customers for a ride.
“Car dealers are damaging their reputation. They should deal with customers in a transparent way,” said Ahmed Jolo, Chairman, Qatar Engineers Society.
A respondent said he was not concerned about minor scratches and dents in the body of cars that could happen while transporting them. However, some dealers are getting cars from the first owner and reselling them as new ones.
A Qatari respondent said that some citizens are now thinking about buying cars directly from the manufacturers, having lost trust in the local dealers.
Another respondent said the dealers were bound to inform customers even if there was a small scratch or dent in the car. If they fail to do so it should be considered as fraud.
“The customer should be told every detail in advance so that they will not feel cheated later,” he said.
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