Oman streets turning into car showrooms

Oman Monday 27/June/2016 22:51 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman streets turning into car showrooms

Muscat: Private streets across Muscat and other parts of the country are being turned into car lots with rows of cars for sale littering private sidewalks and access roads.
Locals have been increasingly displaying their vehicles and putting them up for sale during this time of austerity and inflation.
The vehicles are displayed in several areas in Muscat and other governorates where the sellers are looking for an easy way to sell their car and keep 100 per cent of the proceeds.
High fuel and other product prices are driving young, aspiring people to sell their vehicles to make some money during the difficult times. Yaqoob Al Suleimi, an Omani national, said that the fuel price is the number one reason why he displayed his car for sale in public.
“Petrol prices are too high. I used to fill up my car for 4 to 5 rials, but now it goes up to 8.5. The quality of the fuel doesn’t seem right either because my car was responding differently from it,” said Al Suleimi, a Honda Civic owner selling his car.
“I have two cars, a Civic and a Corolla. I decided to sell the Civic because it consumes too much petrol and its service and spare parts are too expensive. Everything is becoming expensive and I need the money, so putting one of my cars up for sale is the only option,” explained Al Suleimi.
Feeling the stress
Even those who own small, fuel efficient cars are feeling the stress of paying more than they were used to when the prices were low.
“I own a 4 cylinder, 1.6 litre car which I bough after I sold my SUV. I needed a fuel efficient car but all I’m doing now is paying the same amount for fuel which I used to pay when I had my SUV. I pay 8 rials for far less fuel than the same 8 rials to fill up my SUV,” said the Omani national, who asked to remain anonymous.
“Service charges and spare parts are relatively fair priced, but the petrol is sucking me dry; besides I have to drive long distances almost every day. So I decided to put it up for sale since I’m short on money,” he added.
Currently fuel prices for super grade fuel is 180 baisas per liter and regular fuel is 170 baisas while diesel goes doe 185 baisas per liter.
When asked why he doesn’t sell it with a used car showroom, he said he’s rather keep all the money and profit made rather than pay them a percentage.
Some people like Mohammad Al Amri, display their car hoping to land a good deal from potential buyers. “My car is there hoping for a good trade. I buy cars, fix them up and sell them,” said Al Amri.
“It is a business and a lot of people in the GCC are car enthusiasts. You will find a lot of people like me who do this kind of business,” he explained.
Legal provisions
Drivers, however, should understand that displaying vehicles that are up for sale in public areas could be assumed to be abandoned vehicles according to Muscat Municipality laws.
According to the Local Ordinance No. 1/2006 Regarding the Protection of Public Health from Muscat Municipality, Article (18) states: “The Municipality in coordination with Royal Oman Police can withdraw or confiscate the cars existing in public areas after putting a warning sticker on the car for one month and along with notifying the car owner on his home or work address, and also the qualified authorities can sell the confiscated cars at a public auction after confiscating them without being received.”
A penalty cited in Article (52) says: “Without prejudice to any more severe punishment included in provisions of other laws, Whoever violates the provisions of this Ordinance he shall pay a penalty of not more than OMR200 for the first and second offence and a penalty of not more than OMR500 within the three months following the commitment of the second offence. Whoever continues violating this ordinance after receiving a notice from the Municipality to remove that offence, he shall pay a fine of OMR50 and the fine continues per day, provided that the penalty shall not exceed OMR1,000 in total or imprisonment for a maximum period of six months or both punishments.