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Getting a car in Muscat

Getting a car in Muscat

Old Mar 1st 2019, 6:37 am
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Default Getting a car in Muscat

Hello all,

We are just looking at arranging a car of some sort, once we get to Muscat.

My employer has kindly offered to lend us a car for a couple of weeks whilst we get ourselves sorted, so am looking at the best options.

One is to buy a second hand car, cash. Is it easy enough to arrange a bank loan with an Omani bank, once I have one set up?

Second one is to lease a car from a dealership. I’ve been online and it seems none of the dealers openly advertise the cost, so I don’t know if I’m looking at £300 a month or £3000!

Has anyone any experience of leasing and, if so, what can I expect to pay (looking at a 4x4 SUV)

Finally, insurance. I understand it is the car that is insured, not the driver, so what is the rough cost of this per annum? Also, are there other costs involved; road tax, licence fee etc?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 1st 2019, 7:51 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Can only help (a bit) re insurance. You’re correct, it’s the car which is insured not the driver. Another consideration is obviously whether ir not you choose to go for a fully comprehensive policy. We have a 2013 Landcruiser for which we have a fully comprehensive policy. The premium came down quite a bit last year when it was five years old because, up to that time, had it required work after, say, an accident it would have had that work carried out by the dealership from which we bought the car. Now that it is over five years old the insurer decides where to get the car fixed should it be necessary. Our most recent premium was something under OMR500, I can’t recall exactly the amount - that takes into account our no claims discount. That premium is based on the residual value of the car as decided by the insurer. Low mileage or other factors which you may think mitigate towards a lower premium are irrelevant.
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Old Mar 1st 2019, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

I also meant to say that there is an annual registration fee which is based on engine size.

Have a look here for more information:

ٌROYAL OMAN POLICE
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Old Mar 1st 2019, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Wow, almost £1000 a year insurance seems steep, but I guess I have nothing to compare that to!

Thanks for the link - all those fees are annual, I’m assuming?

Initial thoughts are that i’ll go for a second hand one - sounds like getting one over 5 years old is the key
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Old Mar 1st 2019, 8:37 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Originally Posted by DVN999 View Post
Wow, almost £1000 a year insurance seems steep, but I guess I have nothing to compare that to!

Thanks for the link - all those fees are annual, I’m assuming?

Initial thoughts are that i’ll go for a second hand one - sounds like getting one over 5 years old is the key
you don’t have to have the agency repairs option on a newer car. So you can have a three year old car with non agency repairs. Cuts the premium a lot - I stopped buying agency repairs when I dropped my car off at the agency and collected it at a third party garage that was being used for spill over work.
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Old Mar 1st 2019, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Ooops, sorry. Just been and checked. The last premium was ’only’ OMR230.
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Old Mar 1st 2019, 11:31 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Originally Posted by DVN999 View Post
Wow, almost £1000 a year insurance seems steep, but I guess I have nothing to compare that to!

Thanks for the link - all those fees are annual, I’m assuming?

Initial thoughts are that i’ll go for a second hand one - sounds like getting one over 5 years old is the key
i think you can only get 3rd party once it hits 6yrs old. Also be aware that it’s incredibly hard to sell anything over 5-6 years old and you almost have to give them away. The cars degrade very quickly with age and Rae sometimes literally driven into the ground, by locals commuting to and from their villages to Muscat.

Buy from a dealer eg Toyota for Toyota or from another expat (though some are complete sharks as well).
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Old Mar 4th 2019, 7:00 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Avoid buying a second hand car from an Omani - it will have been thrown around at the weekends when they drive home to their villages. Check out OLX and try to find something from an expat family, that will hopefully mean that it has been looked after and serviced regularly. There also a couple of notice boards in local supermarkets where people advertise (Spinneys/Al Fair,) these are fairly good.

Insurance is really easy, there are lots of firms. I was with Axa and they are in most shopping malls. The registration side is fairly easy, you will need to visit the ROP once a year to pay the tax and get the registration card (Mulkiya.) If the car is over 8 years old (I think it's 8) the ROP will want to inspect it. The insurance must be valid for the ROP to issue a new Mulkiya card. Most people set-up their insurance and Mulkiya to expire within a couple of days of each other, and then do all car related tasks on the same day.

Avoid renting/leasing for too long, it's expensive and it is wasted money. You will always sell your car eventually and get some money back. I rented for a couple of months whilst I was waiting for my residency to be completed and for my salary and bank account to get sorted. As soon as I was able to, I applied for a loan through Bank Muscat, all they wanted was a salary certificate from my employer, passport and Omani ID card. The loan was approved within hours and the money was available within a couple of days.

If you do buy a second hand car there are plenty of garages who can check it over for you. I think I paid around 40 OMR for a 300 point inspection - it flagged a couple of minor things which was helpful.

If you decide to go for a new car then try to wait for the end of Ramadan, most dealers will have Eid Al Fitr sales and you might grab yourself a nice deal.

Driving isn't too bad in Oman, I went for a 4x4. I felt quite safe in it, it was great on the motorways and lots of fun off-road.

Fuel is fairly cheap! Treat yourself....
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Old Mar 4th 2019, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Thanks for taking the time to reply - that’s some really useful info

Been looking on OLX and seen some great expat owned vehicles, so I think that’ll be the path we head down. Hardest thing now is to not get carried away; been looking at jeep/Land Rover/Pajero.... and then a Lamborghini popped up - uh oh!
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Old Mar 4th 2019, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

My company put me in a hotel just opposite the main Porsche dealer in Muscat. I spent quite a lot of time looking out the window at the nice shiny cars. I test drove a second hand Cayman a few weeks later, I almost did it, then I found out that a 10,000 KM service would set me back around £1000 GBP!!
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Originally Posted by DVN999 View Post
; been looking at jeep/Land Rover/Pajero.... and then a Lamborghini popped up - uh oh!
I'd avoid a Land Rover unless you're good with the spanners.

Most folk will recommend Japanese cars and its hard to disagree as they're superior for longevity, maintenance, reliability, AC, resale etc but Yank mobiles like Jeeps are popular too.

Worth looking at resale values as most European cars don't fair too well (with some exceptions Golf Gtis etc) and high end German motors (BMW, Audi, Merc) all drop like stones.

Always best to get a decent trim level as basic trim models are not desirable.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 7:31 am
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Default Re: Getting a car in Muscat

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
I'd avoid a Land Rover unless you're good with the spanners.

Most folk will recommend Japanese cars and its hard to disagree as they're superior for longevity, maintenance, reliability, AC, resale etc but Yank mobiles like Jeeps are popular too.

Worth looking at resale values as most European cars don't fair too well (with some exceptions Golf Gtis etc) and high end German motors (BMW, Audi, Merc) all drop like stones.

Always best to get a decent trim level as basic trim models are not desirable.
My Jeep is a fantastic car - everyone agrees with me... including the owner of the garage I take it to every month.

The Jeep GC SRT is simply awesome and so much nicer than any Jap car I've ever driven - so much so that when it comes up for replacement I'll probably get a toyota.

Last edited by Millhouse; Mar 5th 2019 at 8:10 am.
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