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October 22 2021 7:38 PM ˚

Choosing the right car for Jordan and local regulations

Cars for sale are seen in the Zarqa Free Zone. (Photos: Mohammad Zaro/Jordan News)
Cars for sale are seen in the Zarqa Free Zone. (Photos: Mohammad Zaro/Jordan News)
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Around the world, you rarely find a consumer who faces difficult choices like the Jordanian citizens when it comes to buying a car.

اضافة اعلان
Cars for sale are seen in the Zarqa Free Zone. (Photos: Mohammad Zaro/Jordan News)

The customs tax equation, which considers the revenues collected from imported cars annually as an important factor in the balance of the Treasury’s budget, makes Jordan among the top five most expensive countries in the world in terms of new car prices.

This reality results in new cars constituting 25 percent of car imports, meaning that out of every four cars imported into the Kingdom, there are three used cars versus only one new car. Consequently, Jordanian consumers have many used car options, but are limited in their ability to choose a new car, which only a quarter of the consumers are likely to be able to afford.

But the question that must be asked is, does the consumer realize his or her best interest? And do they actually choose what suits them based on proper information and research?

An expert observer of the reality of the market would beg to differ; the market actually interacts with cars with values within the reach of consumers’ financial capabilities, which explains why cars form the Hybrid and electric categories, as well as trucks, and, generally, all cars that benefit from customs exemptions and tax reduction of all kinds, constitute the majority of imported cars. Some Jordanians are willing to buy a truck with an eight-cylinder engine only because it is within their price capacity, and they may not care if it fits our narrow streets and consumes large quantities of fuel daily.

The reality of the car market is organically linked to the laws and regulations governing car prices. If the decision maker wants to change this reality positively in terms of road safety, petrol consumption, or environmental protection, they would be able to do so by simply favoring the appropriate tax levies on better cars, instead of the current reality, where a luxury hybrid car or a big-engine truck is less expensive than a small gasoline engine family car.

The government insists on subsidizing hybrid and electric cars exclusively, and does not follow the lead of the European Union, for example, where cars and vehicles are rewarded with exemptions based on the amount of pollution they cause and the amount of fuel they consume, regardless of the engine technology. This can be considered a fair measure, especially if we know that the technology used in conventional gasoline engines has made great strides in fuel saving and reducing harmful emissions, which gives them advantages close to those provided by hybrid cars.

These regular-engine cars also require less costly maintenance and do not leave harmful waste to the environment after they reach the end of their operational life, in addition to the fact that they cost much less than high-tech hybrid systems.

It is necessary to reconsider the national strategy related to vehicles and cars, so that it becomes more objective and fair, works to direct car sales towards the safest and least harmful options for the environment and for traffic safety, and does not favor one category of cars alone, leaving the choice in the hands of the consumer, rather than directing them towards the best options for the national interest.

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