A large number of locals, expatriates and GCC citizens yesterday participated in a used vehicles auction organised by the Central Tenders Committee, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Interior. Many of the bidders tried to reach the spot - on Salwa Road opposite the Search and Follow-up Department - early in the morning, even before the process started at 8am. Hundreds of used police vehicles of different sizes and makes, including saloons, SUVs and pick-ups, are on offer. The auction will be held every day in the morning and afternoon until all the vehicles are sold out. The auction started with saloons - mostly different models of Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota.
Some of the vehicles were sold at relatively cheap rates. For example, a 2001 Nissan Sunny was sold for around QR4,000, a 2002 Toyota Avalon for about QR14,000 and a 2007 Mitsubishi Galant for QR21,000. The vehicles have to be taken as they are and bidders are allowed to check them only externally. For the bidders, the base price of some of the cars was a tad high. As a result, the auctioneer had to skip these vehicles. Interested bidders can increase the price by a minimum of QR500. When a car is sold, the winner has to pay a minimum of QR3,000 in cash, or 20% of the overall price as non-refundable advance. The vehicle is then marked as sold. The auction is open to all with no pre-qualification conditions for participants. Some of the bidders were seen buying more than one car. A good number of Saudi citizens were also present at the event, looking to buy certain types of cars.
Many preferred to wait until the auction gained momentum and big SUVs like GMCs, Nissan Pathfinder and Patrol and Toyota Land Cruisers are put up for sale. While the majority of those present at the auction saw it as an opportunity to buy a good used car at an affordable price, some were reluctant to bid as they feared that some of the cars might require serious repairs later, for which they would end up paying a hefty sum.