Expat Family with less than 6 members cannot own a 7 Seater Vehicle

I always say this to my friends and family members living in Saudi Arabia that if you cannot drive an SUV here in Saudi Arabia, you cannot afford it in any other part of the world. All of us know that there is no tax on the import of vehicles in Saudi Arabia. As a result of this, you can buy SUVs and Jeeps at very reasonable prices which are available in other parts of the world at higher prices. Moreover, prices of Petrol are very cheap in Saudi Arabia which makes it very easy for almost everyone to afford a heavy engine vehicle in Saudi Arabia. However, according to the recent news emerging in media today, I don’t think it would be possible for us anymore.[irp]

General Directorate of Traffic has told Arab News today that expatriates with less than 6 family members would not be able to own 7 seat vehicle in Saudi Arabia. According to the Arab News, The General Directorate of Traffic has sent a circular to all its departments asking them to stop registering the vehicles to the names of expatriates if they have less than 6 family members. Why have authorities imposed this condition to allow expatriates to own a 7 seat vehicle? Why are Saudis excluded from this list? Well, we have answers for you below.

It has been further clarified that families with more than 6 family members will have to present a proof at the time of registration of 7 seat vehicle that they would not be involved in transporting passengers illegally. What kind of proof could it be? I really have no idea. Owaida Kishi, chairman of the Vehicles Committee in the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the purpose of imposing this ban is to stop expatriates from using these vehicles illegally like transporting children to School etc.

A question arises; Saudi authorities have banned expatriates with less than 6 family members from owning a 7 seats vehicle in Saudi Arabia, what about those expatriates who already own them? Would they be required to dispose of it? Well, the answer is “NO”. The ban is imposed on all new acquisitions. It will not impact on the vehicles already owned by the expatriates.[irp]

Based on my experience of working and living in Saudi Arabia, let me tell you that this ban which has been imposed on owning 7 seat vehicles in Saudi Arabia will not last for long. I think this is practically very difficult and would impact the market prices of the second-hand vehicles as well.