Why people leave their cars on roads and parking in Saudi Arabia?

The way how many of the people are treating their cars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seems absolutely insane. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Though there is a financial crisis and the oil prices are continually decreasing but the economy of Saudi Arabia is strong. Though the Kingdom is a well-managed state and state authorities work at their best but like any of the other modern states of this era, Saudi Arabia has its due share of problems. These problems vary from the typical problems of modern society such as poverty and high costs of living and there are truly weird problems as well. One of these weird problems is that a plenty of high ended luxurious cars are frequently found abandoned at the parking lots of local airports. This problem is seen at almost all the airports especially in the capital.[irp]

Dusty cars are seen abandoned from a long time and parking lots are clogged up. These cars do not include BMWs and Mercedes only rather Ferraris and Porches can also be seen commonly in these abandoned cars. According to media reports, even a Ferrari having worth of One Million US Dollars was once found abandoned at an Airport. One can think that why should a costly and perfect car be trashed by its owner? Why are people doing this with costly cars? The reason behind this act makes sense more than a common person will think.

The answer to all these questioning voices is simple i.e. Shariah Law in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom, Islamic or Shariah law prevails like many other Arab Countries. Under the Shariah law, if someone fails to pay his debt he has committed a criminal offense. If someone fails to make his car’s payment, a check is bounced, payment of credit card is stopped or mortgage defaults he will surely be sent to prison. There is no concept of bankruptcy protection in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The situation makes the point clear that these cars were abandoned at the airports by the people who preferred to leave the country rather be imprisoned. May of the owners of these cars had taken heavy loans to buy these fancy cars. They may have done so as they had high hopes because of the rising economy and their businesses becoming stronger but the situation turned over and the decided to escape from the Kingdom to avoid jail.

The list of owners of these cars includes both the locals as well as foreigners.  When an abandoned car is found by the police they issue a notice to the owner of such car. The car is impounded by police if the vehicle’s owner fails to appear within a period of 15 days. The fact is that most of these owners never claim their abandoned vehicles. These cars are then handed over to the company who leased this car to the owner who ran away.[irp]

The darker side of the scene is that this trend of high-end cars being seen abandoned at parking lots is not decreasing. Statistics show that thousands of cars are abandoned across the Kingdom every year. This ratio can be decreased if the system of giving loan for such purchases is reviewed and it is made difficult for the people to get such heavy loans. It shall also be made sure that none of the people fly away from the Kingdom if he has such heavy liabilities to settle in the Kingdom.

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