Non-GCC Spec Car in UAE: What to Know About Maintenance and Car Insurance Before Buying

Non-GCC spec cars that are typically imported from America are not designed for extreme UAE weather so have higher car insurance premiums in Dubai 14 Jun, 2022

Buying a car is exciting — whether you are buying your first one or the fifth. Whatever be the case, in the process of buying a car in Dubai, you will definitely come across the question of GCC spec car vs Non-GCC spec car. While for some the debate would be limited to brands and looks, for most it extends to their requirements of maintenance and car insurance in Dubai. Because after all, buying a car in Dubai comes with various caveats like extreme heat, off-road terrains, significant dust and salt in the air, etc. That said, if you already have your eyes set on a Non-GCC spec car, to help you make a better-informed decision, let’s first understand what makes for a Non-GCC spec car and what are the various factors that impact the car’s life and performance in UAE.

What is Non-GCC spec car?

In UAE, you can buy cars from two wide categories: GCC spec cars and Non-GCC spec cars. 

The exterior body, the interiors, and the mechanical parts of a GCC spec car are designed for the road and weather particular to the UAE (usually within the GCC member countries). On the other hand, a Non-GCC spec car is typically an imported American or Japanese car. Their body parts and functioning are primarily designed to work in the moderate environments of tropical countries - which is in contrast to the typical Gulf region environment.   

It is the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) that conducts rigorous professional tests on each car model sold in the region; giving them various ratings and certificates including GCC-spec or Non-GCC spec ones.    


Now that you know what a Non-GCC spec car is (and its basic difference from the GCC spec cars in UAE), let’s see the various factors of maintenance and car insurance in Dubai to consider when making a decision to buy one.

1. Non-GCC spec cars need an additional layer of corrosion protection

Once over the attractive shape and color of the car, the next thing that you would want to know is the durability of its body and the paint. Because the external body of a car is exposed to things like sun, humidity, dust, etc. which affect the life of its chassis. Being by the Arabian Gulf, UAE air has a significant humidity and saltiness in the air which have an adverse effect on a car’s body. 

Non-GCC spec cars do not come with the protective coating required to fight the corrosive air of UAE. However, you can get a corrosion protection layer painted on the entire exterior. 

2. The AC in Non-GCC spec cars in UAE will need an upgrade

While driving a car in the UAE, more than the traffic outside, you’d be concerned with the high temperature inside. To drive comfortably, it is vital that the interiors of the car be at optimum temperature. Hence, cars in the UAE need to have a resilient AC system that not only drops and controls the temperature with efficiency but can do it for a rather long duration as well.   

Because Non-GCC cars are primarily meant for snowy or tropical regions with cool or moderate temperatures, their air conditioning is not powerful enough for a regular Dubai drive. 

3. Need to keep the Non-GCC spec mechanical parts cool and clean

Heat and sand are common in UAE but it does not make them ignorable. Especially in the case of a car as they can cause an internal breakdown in the middle of nowhere. This makes the filtration and radiator system of the car must be of high quality. While a decent filter of Non-GCC spec cars works well in tropical areas, in Dubai sandstorms it won’t be of any use. The same goes for their radiators given the extreme temperature of the Gulf region.

To make do, the radiators and filtering equipment in a Non-GCC car usually need to be replaced with a custom one that can work in Dubai conditions. 



4. Regular maintenance and servicing should be readily available for the car

With all the specs in the right place, you’d still want to get your car through a regular maintenance trip to the service center for optimum performance. And every once in a while if something goes wrong, you may have to replace the parts out of your pocket - if your car insurance does not bear it.

As usually the availability of a car part depends upon how common is that particular car in that region, you may want to factor it in as well while choosing between GCC and Non-GCC spec cars in Dubai. 

While Non-GCC cars have service centers in select places across major UAE cities, it is still not common. In addition, not all the staff at those workshops are trained to repair an imported car.  

4. Only some select car insurance companies in UAE cover Non-GCC spec cars

It's only logical to buy car insurance as soon as you buy a car - new or used. With a little precaution and investment, it saves a lot of time and hassle of repairing a car in case of an accident or funding it in case of theft, etc. Along the same line, in case of an unfortunate event while driving a car, getting health insurance also makes sense. 

No wonder when a Non-GCC spec car comes with a relatively higher demand for maintenance and repair, finding a decent car insurance deal for them is difficult. However, select insurance companies do offer comprehensive car insurance for Non-GCC spec cars across UAE. 


Remember that buying a car comes with the responsibility of its upkeep. High maintenance costs and car insurance premiums put aside, Non-GCC spec cars are more affordable to buy than GCC spec ones. They have a huge used car market as well. Moreover, a trusted insurance company can leverage its extensive network of insurers to provide great car insurance plans for your Non-GCC spec car (and GCC spec ones as well) with ease.

So, while you weigh your options for Non-GCC spec cars, do secure it with the right car insurance in Dubai!

Contact us to insure your Non-GCC Car today!


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