Dealers, motorists frown at car ‘retirement plan’

DUBAI - In response to Dubai Municipality’s recommendation on phasing out 10-year-old vehicles from Dubai roads in a bid to reduce pollution, used car dealers in the emirate are suggesting that the government introduce compulsory smoke emission tests before renewing registration of vehicles every year.

By Joy Sengupta (Staff Reporter)

Published: Mon 10 Mar 2008, 8:20 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:41 PM

“This could actually resolve the problem and reduce air pollution,” the dealers said, pointing out that several old cars are in good running condition because they are well looked after by the owners. It is not right to force such cars which are as good as new to be phased out just because they are 10 years old,” said an employee of Auto Classic, a Dubai-based showroom dealing in old cars.

“The RTA officials can make emission tests obligatory for those vehicles which go in for their registration process every year. And only the vehicles that are in a bad shape be barred from the roads,” he pointed out.

The Dubai Municipality had recently conducted a study under the project ‘On-road Vehicle Emission Measurement Using Remote Sensing Device’ (RSD) on Dubai roads.

The project, which ran for 10 months revealed that the vehicle pollution in Dubai is around 13 per cent (for vehicles using petrol) while the pollution rate in American cities like Virginia is 2.5 per cent and Michigan 2 per cent.

Based on these findings, Redha Hasan Salman, Head of Environment Protection and Safety Section at the civic body has recommended that vehicles that are 10 years old be phased out from the roads in order to improve the environment.

The proposal, if implemented, is expected to have an impact on the business of used car dealers in the emirate. It is also expected to affect people who can’t afford to buy new cars.

Motorists say that phasing out old cars to clean the environment is not a good suggestion. “The municipality or the RTA can make emission test compulsory before the car registration each year to check air pollution. This is a better way than simply banning 10-year old cars from plying on Dubai roads,” they say.

M.K. Jaiswal, an Indian national, said, “The authorities must concentrate more on cars that are harmful for the environment and not the ones which are just very old.”

“This step is not really going to help. What people need is a permanent solution. And people will not stop buying old cars as they are cheap and can be afforded easily. The authorities should look for some other alternatives,” noted Zakib Ali, an official of the Auto Biz, another dealer of used cars in Dubai.

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