Working in Saudi Arabia is a challenge, but driving in Saudi Arabia, as mentioned in my earlier post, is a bigger challenge! It is extremely difficult for an expatriate, particularly those with their families, to be without a car. Public transport is scarce in Saudi Arabia and taxis may not always be convenient or available when you need them :-(
Usually, expatriates prefer to buy used cars from other expatriates, particularly those who plan to stay for the short-term. This would be by either word of mouth or through advertisements placed in supermarkets or malls.
Of course, new cars are also available, but they don't come cheap. If you are going to pay for the car from your pocket, (i.e., not company-owned car), I would advise you to go in for a used one, preferably one that is less than 5 years old. With the current problem of traffic jams and parking space in cities, a smaller car would be preferable. Used cars can also be bought from auction yards, but since you may not always know the previous owner, it would be purely your luck if you get a good car. In any case, the procedure is the same.
The car has to be kept in custody of an "exhibition" ( a place where trading is normally done) for 24 hours. The owner of the exhibition is a government-registered broker to whom the buyer has to pay a commission as transaction charges. The broker transfers the ownership of the car from the previous owner to you, after the mandatory 24-hour lock-in period is over.
You would be given two cards. One is the ownership card which proves that you are the owner of the vehicle. The other is the registration card, called Istemara :-B You must carry these two cards with you, along with your insurance card and original iqama, all the time. Believe me, the wallet of an expatriate working in Saudi Arabia has more paper than money /:-)
And by the way, if you didn't know, women are not allowed to drive cars in the kingdom and expatriates are not allowed to own pickup vehicles.