How to Import a Car into Dubai

By | February 7, 2024

Getting a car in the United Arab Emirates can be a costly proposition. You’ll need to pay an annual fee of Dh225, and you’ll also incur taxes on top of that.

These additional costs make buying a car significantly more expensive than it is in other parts of the country, which is why they aren’t as common as in other emirates. If you do want a car but don’t have the cash for one, there are ways you can get one without spending a fortune.

This article will explain how to import your own vehicle into Dubai if you don’t own another one or simply want to purchase another for personal use. Keep reading to learn more about this process, as well as potential pitfalls to avoid so that it doesn’t cost you more than necessary.

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 car import to Dubai, as a local visa and local driving license is necessary.

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

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.

Imported vehicle insurance and registration in the UAE

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

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.

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