Old cars escape the scrap yard

Thousands of motorists have been given permission to keep vehicles older than 20 years old.

More than 140,000 motorists in the UAE who own cars over 20 years old will be able to keep their vehicles after the UAE president postponed a law banning them.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has "deferred until further notice" the enforcement of the law banning the registration of light vehicles older than 20 years, which was due to come into force December 1.

Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the delay was aimed at granting low-income owners of cars "ample time to find adequate alternatives", according to state-owned press agency WAM.

Sheikh Saif said the move would also give authorities enough room to conduct further studies into testing and licensing of vehicles to come up with "common, comprehensive executive regulations".

He said "this would ensure more efficiency upon enforcement of the resolution". The announcement did not touch on other regulations pertaining to ageing vehicles, including a ban on transferring ownership of cars older than 10 years, due to come into force. in January 2009, and ban on cars more than 15 years old, to come into force as of January 2010.

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