06 April 2016
JEDDAH -- The Vehicles Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry has received several requests from car dealers and expatriates to review a General Directorate of Traffic decision issued earlier this month which bans expatriates with small families from the sale and purchase of vehicles having seven or more seats.
Car showroom owners are claiming that the sale of vehicles has gone down ever since this decision was announced, Vehicles Committee chief Uwaidha Al-Kashi was quoted as saying by Al-Riyadh Arabic daily on Tuesday.
"Many buyers suggested that luxury cars which cost over SR200,000 should be exempted from the decision as they are too expensive to be used as transportation vehicles," said Al-Kashi.
A car showroom owner said the market is undergoing a sharp recession. "Some showrooms -- which used to sell 20 cars a month -- are now only selling two cars a month," said the owner.
President of the National Committee of Vehicle Agents at the Council of Saudi Chambers Othman Abu Shoushsa said many expatriates have purchased vehicles on installments before the decision was announced, and they have not yet cleared the dues.
"The decision should be reviewed to take into consideration those expatriates who intend to simply own a vehicle and not use it to transport passengers. The decision should also study the effect it could have on car dealers and showrooms," said Abu Shoushsa.
Al-Kashi said the decision to ban expats from owning vehicles with seven or more seats was to curb the illegal use of private vehicles for commercial purposes.
Many private vans are being used to transport students and teachers to schools and colleges.
Saudi Arabia is the largest car market in the Middle East and the market is dominated by Japanese brands. The country is also the largest importer of both cars and auto parts.
© The Saudi Gazette 2016