Registering Classic Cars In The UAE: Preserving The Timeless Treasures

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) boasts a rich automotive heritage, with a fascination for classic cars that transcends time. Vintage vehicles evoke nostalgia, craftsmanship, and the sheer passion of bygone eras. 

As custodians of automotive history, enthusiasts in the UAE seek to preserve these timeless treasures. By registering them as classic cars, enthusiasts can continue to preserve them for the generation to come. The process of classic car registration in all Emirates is easy and convenient; however, there are a few details to note. Here’s how you can register a classic car in the UAE.

Requirements For Classic Car Registration In The UAE

In the UAE, for a car to be officially classified as a classic, it must have reached a minimum age of 30 years. Additionally, it is essential that the vehicle complies with the safety guidelines set forth by both the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the Automobile Touring Club UAE (ATCUAE). 

While relatively uncommon, there is an exception for right-hand drive vehicles that meet the age requirement of being 30 years old or older, as they can also be registered as classic cars and permitted to be driven on UAE roads. This classification allows enthusiasts to preserve and enjoy vintage automobiles that hold significant historical and sentimental value even if it isn’t left-hand driven.

Is Classic Car Registration Mandatory In The UAE?

Obtaining a classic number plate is not compulsory for classic cars in the UAE, as many of them can be seen with the standard white background plates. However, there are several advantages to opting for a brown classic plate. Firstly, having a brown plate grants Dubai registration for the classic car. Additionally, it allows membership in the Emirates Classic Car Club, providing enthusiasts with a community of like-minded individuals. 

Advantages Of Classic Car Registration In The UAE

Another benefit is the availability of discounted recovery rates for classic vehicles, ensuring assistance in case of breakdowns. Moreover, classic plate holders enjoy personalized service, catering to the unique needs and requirements of vintage car owners. These benefits make the option of getting a brown classic number plate attractive to classic car owners, further promoting the preservation and appreciation of these cherished automobiles.

Classic Car Test Parameters In The UAE

During the classic car inspection, the ATCUAE (Automobile & Touring Club United Arab Emirates) inspectors conduct two tests to assess the vehicle thoroughly. The first test evaluates the visual aspects of the car, while the second test focuses on the car’s safety measures and environmental impact. 

The inspectors carefully examine the following aspects of the classic car to ensure it meets the required standards and regulations:

1. Body panels, subframe, and chassis for rust or cracks.

2. Brake efficiency using an electronic brake tester.

3. Brake system components, including hydraulic brake cylinders, brake pins, rods, power brake system, levers, and handbrake.

4. Doors, locks, and the bonnet for proper functioning.

5. Emission test conducted electronically to check the vehicle’s emissions.

6. Engine compartments and driveline for leaks, excessive smoke, or noise.

7. Engine controls are visually checked.

8. Exhaust system’s general condition and mountings are examined.

9. Fuel system for leakages and overall condition.

10. Interior controls are visually examined and tested.

11. Lighting system to ensure all lights are working correctly.

12. Rear and side mirrors are inspected.

13. Seats and seat belts are checked for overall condition.

14. Steering system’s safety for road use.

15. Suspension is thoroughly inspected both visually and physically, including leaf and coil springs, air and hydraulic suspension components.

16. Transmission controls for both automatic and manual transmissions, including clutch inspection.

17. Tyres are visually checked for wear, tear, cracks, and roadworthiness.

18. Vehicle modifications, if any, are noted and assessed for appropriateness.

19. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification to ensure its authenticity.

20. Wheels, including metal rims for rust or damage and wooden wheels for splitting or insect damage.

21. Windscreen and side windows, including their opening mechanisms, are inspected.

By performing these checks, the inspectors ensure the classic cars meet the required safety and roadworthiness standards.

Classic Car Categories In The UAE

In all Emirates except for Abu Dhabi, classic cars are classified into six categories based on their usage and characteristics:

  • Category A: Cars built from 1950 onwards, are allowed to be driven across the UAE for up to 10,000 kilometers per year.
  • Category B: Vehicles built before 1950, are permitted to be driven on all UAE roads for up to 5,000 kilometers per year.
  • Category C: Motor vehicles restricted from driving on certain Dubai roads with minimum speed limits of 60 km/h.
  • Category D: Cars not suitable for evening driving due to insufficient equipment, specifically headlights for low-lit areas. Daytime driving is allowed.
  • Category E: Vehicles restricted to internal and service roads only.
  • Category F: Cars intended solely for display purposes.

In Abu Dhabi, classic cars are categorized into two groups:

  • Category For Road Use: Classic cars are eligible for driving on all roads, with a registration period of one year.
  • Category For Exhibitions: Classic cars not intended for driving, reserved exclusively for car exhibitions. These cars must be transported via truck and should never be driven on the roads.

Registering A Classic Car In The UAE

Once the tests are complete and the category is assigned to your classic car, you can move forward with the registration. Classic car registrations across all Emirates remain the same except for Abu Dhabi. For Abu Dhabi the category of cars changes and so do the rules and fees.

Classic Car Registration In Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah & Fujairah

Getting a classic car registered in the UAE will cost AED 1150. The registration cost includes the following:

  • 420 AED technical inspection of a classic vehicle
  • 300 AED classic plates fees (150 AED for each plate)
  • 400 AED licensing fees
  • 10 AED expiry sticker fees
  • +20 AED Knowledge and Innovation fees

Classic car testing and registrations are done at select Tasjeel centers. Once the registration for the classic car is complete, a special brown number plate will be issued with a number in English.

Abu Dhabi

As mentioned earlier, classic cars are split into two categories in Abu Dhabi

Category 1: Classic cars eligible for road use

  • Registration period: One year
  • Registration cost: AED 400
  • Renewal fee: AED 350

Category 2: Classic cars for exhibitions only

  • Not allowed to be driven on roads
  • Mandatory technical tests and Abu Dhabi car insurance
  • Registration period: Three years
  • Registration cost: AED 1100
  • Renewal fee: AED 1050
  • Transported via truck; not driven on roads.

Documents Needed For Classic Car Registration

The required documents for classic car registration are the same across all Emirates, and they include:

  • Previous Registration (if it has been registered before)
  • Original invoices from the manufacturer of the vehicle
  • Vehicle Customs Certificate
  • Insurance Documents
  • All historical Documents
  • Valid Emirates ID & Passport
  • Valid UAE Driving License (original)

If you are looking to preserve these treasures, here is a list of classic cars on sale in the UAE.

Also Read:

Comment on this article

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *