Junk the thought!

IMAGINE the UAE without the used car industry, or driving around streets looking for a workshop to repair your vehicle and finding none.


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Published: Fri 17 Jun 2005, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:01 PM

Imagine a situation where you have bought a shining car on finance, and you have to junk it as soon as you repay the loan in five years, even before the sheen has worn off. Imagine yourself stranded at the bus stop because the buses are all overcrowded. No, this is not some mind game where you allow your imagination to play tricks. This could be for real, if the decision of the traffic police chiefs of the GCC countries to put a cap on car registration and usage at five years comes through.

While the efforts by the top cops to find solutions to traffic congestion and keeping the accident rate under check need to be commended, we would be failing if the inherent flaws in some of the decisions are not pointed out. For one, this particular move would put the thriving used car industry out of business.

And for the majority of expats, it would be unthinkable for them to replace cars every five years, given the spiralling prices and salaries not keeping pace with the outgoings. Besides, the argument that the five year cap would put “ailing” cars out of action, and thereby minimise accidents, does not hold water.

Under the present arrangement, one has to go through the registration process every year after a thorough check-up of the car. No vehicle is registered unless it is certified as fit for road use by the authorities concerned. When there are such stringent laws for road-worthiness of vehicles, the decision to junk vehicles at the end of five years appears to be self-defeating. This is not to say that life expectancy of vehicles is eternal, but a time period of five years is too short, particularly for the vast middle-class.

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