Buying a used car from a private seller. Help!?

Hello all,

After recently arriving in Doha from USA, I am ready to buy a used car. I am sure that buying a used car from a dealership is easy because they help you through the process. But I plan to buy a used car from a private seller. I hope to get some advice from readers on what I must do to be able to drive the car. I have my USA licence and international permit but not my RP yet. My wife has her RP but no Qatar driver licence yet.

Here are some questions that I hope someone can answer:

After I look the car over and agree on price, is cash the expected way to pay? (car costs 54,000 QAR)

After payment can I drive the car home with USA licence and international permit?

Do the old and new owner need to go together to the insurance company and title transfer office to do the paperwork or can I do that myself?

How soon must this be done? Will these places will be open during EID?

Is there anything else to do other than the insurance and title is transfer?.

Thanks for your advice.


I presume both of you are US citizens with US driving licenses. Since your wife has her RP she can easily get Qatar temporary driving license by visiting the licensing department and submit copy of her driving license, RP and a letter from her employer. For full license you need to pass the tests.

When buying a car in Qatar whether from private party or dealer make sure to have it inspected. Here cars lose value if painted.

For title transfer both of you need to go to the licensing department and never make any payment before transferring the title in your name. The system here is different from US.

I don't think you are legally allowed to drive a Qatari car without local Qatar driving license but you may check with the licensing department at time of buying the car. Also, check this government link, they mention insurance issue not legal issue which is a bit confusing to me at least … inglicense

Thanks for the information!

One question I have is, are you are saying that I should get the car transferred to my name before giving the seller any money?

Is that the normal way to do it?

The seller  can transfer the ownership online it takes seconds and its yours. It's a mobile app and its called metrash. Since you do the have an RP your wife need to be the buyer.


Thanks to those who responded with information about buying a used car. I successfully bought a used car from a private seller a few days ago and would like to share with other expats our experience so you will know what to expect should you want to buy a used car from a private seller.

The seller was kind enough to pick me up at my flat with the car I was buying. We went to where my wife works and picked her up because the car would be in her name. We went to my wife's bank where she took out the money to buy the car. We then went to the seller's bank so he could pay off his loan on the car. He gave us his passport to hold for security until the transaction was complete. We then went to the huge traffic building where the seller paid off a traffic ticket and then on to the registration counter where he paid for the registration transfer fee. The last stop was the insurance counter where we paid for a year of insurance minus a prorated amount for the months of insurance the car still had. The representative walked out to the car with us to take pictures of its condition to complete the transfer. Finally, the seller dropped us off back at our flat with our "new" car and we thanked him and he rode away in a taxi. The process took about 4 hours including the driving time.

Hope this is helpful to those who are wondering about what to expect, good luck!


Congrats to your new car. However is worth mentioning that in most cases it's easier to use Metrash2. The seller can transfer the car online immediately and you can chose to either pick up or get your new registration card delivered to your house for I think 20 QAR. The mandatory insurance is transferred automatically while for the 3rd party insurance you need to go to the insurance with your new registration card and transfer it also for free or a very small fee. I think the only reason you need to pay for  for 3rd party insurance till the end of the remaining registration is when the is from a company.

Congrats on your new car

Sorry I didn't reply earlier coz I'm not always online here

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