Sharing our car buying experience in Amman!
We finally bought a car yesterday. It was one hell of an experience. Neither my husband nor I ever bought a used car before. So there was a steep learning curve.
Please bear in mind that some things that’ll mention here might or might not apply to you, depending on your situation. My husband is Jordanian, although he’s lived most of his life abroad...So we weren’t eligible for a custom-free car.
For so many reasons, we decided that we wanted to go for a bigger car (SUV, pickup, etc.). Now that we knew what car type we wanted, we had to decide...used or new?
New didn’t make any financial sense. We’re planning on staying in Amman for 2 years max. Once you buy a new car, the price drops 25% automatically, before you even drive it. So, by the time we want to sell it (1.5 or 2 years from now), who knows how much more we’ll lose. And with the car prices here in Amman...that’s a lot of money.
So, we started looking for a used car. And you won’t believe the stuff we found. Every time we saw an ad, we called the owner and asked for the VIN number to check the car’s history on websites like CarFax and Autocheck. More than 90% of the cars we checked were salvaged. Some reports even had pictures of the car in its salvaged state back in the US. They were wrecked! What blew our minds was how good the cars looked after they were fixed. That was very alarming, especially after we learned that sometimes CarFax won’t give an accurate report depending on many factors (bear in mind that CarFax we’ll only give a report of cars that were imported from the US).
We were lucky. We found a car that we liked and it had a very clear history on CarFax and the timeline made sense (how many previous owners, when it was first purchased, when it was sold, when it was imported to Jordan). The only negative thing reported was a minor damage which was described as cosmetic (dents and scratches only).
From our experience checking out used cars’ history, we noticed that sometimes we find additional information in different websites. For example, there was a car that didn’t have negative history on either CarFax or Autocheck (can’t remember), but we found out about an accident it was involved in from another company.
That’s why we decided to check the car we liked with 3 different companies (CarFax, Autocheck, and Epic VIN).
Now that we confirmed its history in the US, we took the car to a test center here in Amman. After asking around, we found out that Al Shareef Car Test Center was the most recommended by people here. We also found out that banks use their reports to verify the status of a car. So we felt confident getting the car checked there. They give a report that rates 7 things. Chassis rating (front right and left, back right and left), the engine, the gear and the axle. Jayed (meaning good in arabic) is what you want to see in the report.
A couple of things to bear in mind:
-From our experience, car dealers charge way more than individuals who’re trying to sell their cars.
-We found our car on OpenSouq.com (you can also try Dubizzle.com). If you don’t speak arabic, it might be a problem since most ads are in arabic. Maybe ask an arabic-speaking friend for help?
If I remember anything else, I’ll post it in the comments section.
Good luck :)