By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: Vehicle brokers can be found all across Kuwait, calling on motorists to have their cars evaluated and seeking to buy them at a specific price. But these brokers have no official permit to practice this job. They usually target expats’ cars, especially women, due to their ignorance in bargaining and information about car parts. In addition, they have created groups among themselves to fix car prices, despite this being unfair, according to citizens and expats Kuwait Times spoke to. Ali Al-Fadhli said he witnessed a car broker agreeing with someone not to offer more than a specific price for a car.
The car was owned by a woman and was worth KD 600 more than the offered price. “People are not accusing all car brokers of being scammers, but from a personal experience, I always advise people to evaluate their car prices first at an agency, then sell it to these car brokers” he said. The difference between selling a car to brokers and an agency is the selling price — brokers claim to give a better and higher price, while the truth is that brokers in the same area collude with each other to fix lower prices, while it could be much higher at a car dealership.
In some cases, according to a citizen who preferred to remain anonymous, some car brokers who have not been able to buy or sell a car for a while intentionally damage parts of a car, especially inside the hood, to offer a lower price and force the seller to sell it to them to earn a higher profit. Many people stressed to Kuwait Times that car brokers have great skills in convincing people to sell their cars, as they have alpha personalities and easily make others trust their opinion due to their experience.
Organize the Profession Despite the negative opinion that some people have about this profession, a car broker, who are mostly bedoons, explained to Kuwait Times that this profession is one of the hardest jobs, as they start their day at 7 am and work until sunset, depending on their luck and skills to convince motorists. He added they had requested the authorities to provide them with official permits. “We do understand that we don’t have citizenship or nationality.
But we grew up with this profession, and it is not easy for us to change it now after all these years,” he said. Meanwhile, through Kuwait Times, a number of car brokers called on local car dealerships to provide them job opportunities based on their skills and experience and protect them from culpability. They said they have tried for years to collaborate and work with agencies, but they keep them at arm’s length for a variety of reasons.