Dubai Skyline

A handy guide to importing a car to the UAE

With such stunning scenery, the UAE is a haven for anyone who truly loves to drive. While there’s a booming new and used car market within the UAE itself, you may find the car of your dreams abroad and want to import it. That’s great!

Here’s what you need to remember.

Before you beginDubai Car Park

There are a series of checks you need to make sure you have passed before you start the process. Firstly, the car must be left-hand drive for safety reasons, and under ten years old. If it’s over ten years old, it’ll need inspection and verification with the Road and Transport Authority.

You must also be a registered UAE citizen, with a valid visa and a current local driver’s licence.

Dubai RoadsOnce your car arrives

The paperwork you will need includes the original sales invoice for a record of both the make and model, as well as the estimated value of the car. A certificate of origin is necessary for confirmation of the country the car has been imported from, along with all of your documentation too.

This includes original copies of your passport, visa, and driving license, along with receipts for both shipping and customs fees you may have paid.

Inspection and payments

With all that taken care of, the car will then be inspected. Following this, an upfront payment of 5% of the car’s value will be required in duty fees, along with payment for the clearance inspection.

After that, you should receive a pair of export plates for the front and rear of your vehicle.

Getting on the road

Vehicular inspection follows at an RTA-approved testing centre, to ensure the vehicle is in roadworthy condition. For this, your passport, ID, driving licence, customs and import papers will be required. Once the vehicle has been deemed roadworthy, you’ll be able to register and insure it to drive.

Ideally, get the vehicle insured before you register it. For registration, you will need a filled-in application form, proof of residency, your vehicle’s customs and inspection paperwork, and your export plates.

With that done, the beautiful roads of the UAE are now yours to explore!