How to Import a Car into the UAE

How to Import a Car into the UAE; silver car is loaded onto a cargo container for import into the UAE

Do you have a vehicle you would like to bring with you to the UAE? Or maybe you are already in the UAE but don’t know how to import your car from elsewhere? We’re here to help you find all the information you require around how to import a car into Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.

Coming to the UAE: the essentials for import of vehicles

Firstly, those new to Dubai and the UAE need to know that we drive on the left-hand side, with steering wheels located on the left of the cabin. Cars from countries that have the steering wheel on the right-hand side cannot be registered in the UAE.

You will need to be a legal resident to import a car in the UAE, as a local visa and local driving license is necessary.

You can import a car that’s under 10 years old. Cars older than 10 years must be checked with the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) before shipping.

Essential documents for import of vehicles to UAE

Before heading to the import destination, make sure you have the following documents:

  • Original invoice of your vehicle to prove ownership and value
  • Certificate of Origin to prove where the vehicle was made
  • Your original passport, driving license and visa (bring copies as well)
  • Original shipping receipt
  • Cash or cheque to pay customs fees

How to collect your imported vehicle in the UAE and pay vehicle import tax

Import a car to the UAE; cars that have been shipped to the UAE and are ready for collection by their owners

Here is a rundown of the step-by-step process of collecting your imported vehicle in the UAE, including paying vehicle import tax and fees:

  1. Once shipped into the UAE, vehicles must go through clearance procedures at the point of entry. Import authorities will check the vehicle.
  2. Once import authorities are satisfied, a fee of 5% of the car’s worth in the UAE must be paid.
  3. Once paid, a clearance certificate will be issued which will cost you 4,700 AED plus another 700 AED for container inspection. (Note: this fee has to be paid upfront in order for the vehicle to be released.)
  4. Once all cleared, blue export plates will be given to attach to the front and rear bumpers. These plates cost 60 AED and an additional 10 AED for the clearance certificate paper.

Testing your imported vehicle in the UAE

Once imported into the UAE, vehicles are tested at local trusted testing centres.

After you’ve been given the green light by the import authorities, it’s time to get the vehicle tested.

Vehicle testing areas are located all over the Emirates. Here are some of the most trusted test centres across the UAE:

The documents required for testing are:

  • Original passport, Emirates ID and driving license (including copies)
  • Customs clearance papers
  • Import documents

Once at one of three locations, the vehicle will go through a set of detailed tests to prove its safety and durability. A payment then must be made depending on the vehicle type.

Once all the testing is cleared, it’s time to move on to the next step: registering and insuring the vehicle.

Imported vehicle insurance and registration in the UAE

Import vehicle into the UAE, a man insures and registers his imported vehicle at the UAE’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA)

It’s time for registration and insurance of your newly imported vehicle.

There are many insurance companies who insure imported cars. If you’re importing a car that is older than ten years, it can only be insured for third party cover. Imported vehicle insurance quotes can vary between companies and the vehicle itself.

The documents required for imported vehicle insurance are:

  • Vehicle inspection report
  • Passport, driver’s license and Emirates ID

Once you have your insurance policy, you must register your vehicle via one the the below options, depending on the Emirate you’re registering in:
• MOI smart application on Google Play or Apple Store
MOI website
Emirates vehicle gate
• RTA smart application on Google Play or Apple Store
RTA website
Abu Dhabi Police

The following documents and equipment are mandatory for registration:

  • Proof of purchase
  • Completed application form
  • Blue export number plates
  • Insurance documents
  • Customs clearance letter
  • Original driving license, passport and visa (bring copies too)
  • Proof of residency besides visa e.g utility bill or rental agreement
  • Vehicle inspection clearance

Once registration is completed, you’ll receive white number plates and a registration card for your vehicle which must be present at all times in the automobile.

Congratulations, you can now legally drive your imported car in the UAE!

If you’d rather buy a car in the UAE, head to the DubiCars website for used cars for sale in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ajman.

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