Posted on June 24, 2014

Cars that foreigners CAN’T own in Saudi Arabia?


I’ve spoken on the blog before about shopping for a car in Saudi Arabia, but it never dawned on me that I like all the other expats would face limitations. When shopping for a car the natural limitations that everyone faces are whether their bank balance will allow the purchase, obtaining
proper licensing, and if they are physically capable of driving the car (stick vs. automatic). Well, for us unlucky expats in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia there is yet another limitation to keep in mind while browsing the car lots.

According to Saudi Arabian officials, expats are permitted to purchase any type of vehicle that transports individuals but cannot be used for cargo purposes. For example if you are a pick-up truck kind of gal/guy you are not allowed to own it. So that goes for open back trucks, trucks of any kind really, cargo vans and larger haul type vehicles.
Owning doesn’t mean buying and that is when the lines get blurred. Many expats who are determined to get such “prohibited” vehicles will have a Saudi National buy the car on their behalf thus ownership papers are in the Saudi person’s name. Dozens are doing it, but I advise againstit, as like all things if you don’t own it, it’s not really yours for the keeping. Also, you have no rights on the car in terms of insurance and lease agreements; they will all have to be handled by your chosen “Saudi Owner”
 So, hope this helps any of you in your car-buying adventures.


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