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The charge for greater transparency in the used-car market

The survey of over 1,000 UAE residents in November 2021 found that the leading issue among all buyers was the need for greater levels of trust and transparency in the auto sector

A new report released by CarSwitch, the UAE’s innovative mobile-first used car retailer, calls for greater transparency in the 60 billion dirham ($16.35 bn) GCC used-car auto industry. The survey of over 1,000 UAE residents in November 2021 found that the leading issue among all buyers was the need for greater levels of trust and transparency in the auto sector.   

CarSwitch announced the findings of its second consumer study that looked at the purchasing behavior of  1,024 UAE Drivers aged 25+ in the UAE and found that when asked about their biggest priorities when looking to buy a used car, 58% cited quality and reliability as the leading factor, calling for more consistency in the ability to see full accident and service histories of cars being sold. 

Imad Hammad, Founder and CEO, said: “Peace of mind has long been a key issue for buyers and sellers and the auto industry has been reliant on the dealer-led market. Technology can help deliver this and by incorporating technology at the heart of our business, we can empower our customers to take as much control of their transactions as they want while ensuring that they can do so safely, securely, and by skipping dealer margins, with ultimately better deals. “

He added: “We recognize that people need to get deals that are faster, more transparent, and above all else, of value to both parties. The UAE has a deep affinity for cars and over the last two years, people have increasingly used public transport less. However, financial concerns have meant that people look to the used car market over new vehicles. People need to trust that the car they are getting is as advertised without finding any hidden surprises.”

A Question of Trust

When asked about the key priorities, nearly 60% of respondents across all ages and nationalities identified quality and reliability as a key concern when looking to buy a used car. The most cautious segment was the 25-34 group at 59%  just ahead of the ​​35-44 group at 55%. Respondents who identified as being from Asian-Pacific background 59%, led the field from a geographic perspective. While the majority of both buyers and sellers remain male-focused, women 62%  felt that greater clarity was required to the ability to see condition reports, accidents, and the service history of the car. 

The report is part of the firm’s ongoing GCC-wide research into changing consumer priorities that have led CarSwitch also to announce today the launch of a new Get More Campaign supported by the introduction of a range of new features that will provide customers with even greater detail about deals. The launch of the 360 Spin feature for private sellers allows individuals to present their vehicle with validated features, options for warranty and servicing, professional-grade 360 photography – allowing sellers to bridge the gap and act as their own private dealership.  

The report follows CarSwitch’s recent expansion into Saudi and the launch of the brand’s new GET MORE campaign. The GET MORE Campaign will roll out across the UAE and KSA from January 2022 and the firm is looking to roll out new features to cater to the needs of the growing KSA market, particularly in the female segment.  

Over the last five years, CarSwitch has grown from a fintech startup to a business with over 500,000 app users and an annual turnover approaching $100 mn becoming one of the highest-rated automotive experiences in both iOS App and Google Play Store.

CarSwitch was recently awarded Most Trusted Pre-Owned Car Dealership Company by Dubai MEA Business Awards 2021 in December 2021.