Do you have plans to move to the United Arab Emirates? It's an amazing country with countless places to explore, so it would be convenient to have a car to drive around for work and leisure. Therefore, shipping your own car to the country might be ideal. Here is a detailed guide for those who need to have their vehicle shipped to the UAE.
Find a Reputable Shipping Company
If you must ship a car to a different country, the thought of it sounds daunting. You've paid thousands of dollars for it, so you don't want to entrust your vehicle with just any company. That is why researching auto shipping companies is important. Search online for well-reviewed international car shipping companies, particularly those with average Google star ratings of 4/5 that have operated for many years. Next, contact a representative of the company by phone or email. They should prove they're extremely knowledgeable on how everything works from beginning to end. See how well they answer the following questions to prove that they're a trustworthy company:
• Are shipments to the UAE guaranteed within a certain range of weeks/days?
• Where do you park or store vehicles overnight before they're taken for shipping?
• What insurance is there to cover for damages or theft during the shipping process? (Reputable shippers should explain they have reliable insurance covering any form of damage, with the value of filed claims ranging from 50,000 USD to 1 million USD.)
Select the Shipping Method
There are different ways your car can be handled and transported in the several stages of shipment, provided a reputable company does this. Hence, this is a decision you should carefully consider before making a booking.
• Roll-On/Roll-Off – This is the least expensive option, as it makes use of folding ramps that allow vehicles to be driven right onto the ship. It involves far less preparation before shipment and speeds up the loading and unloading processes. The only additional fees you have to cover are related to port and customs clearance charges.
• Shared Container – This comes with more extra fees than the "roll-on/roll-off" method as your car will be transferred to a container aboard the ship, and other vehicles will join it inside to fill up the space. That said, the charges involved for the added tasks for loading and unloading will be shared between you and other customers. Note that standard shipping containers measure 20-40 feet long.
• Full Container Load – It's nearly identical to the "shared container" method, except here, your car is the only vehicle inside the container, and you cover the entire set of additional fees. Still, this is the most secure and convenient method, particularly if you wish to ship certain bulky household items with your car. But if you choose this option, remember to pack these very carefully, as your shipper may not be liable for damages to those items.
Get a Shipping Quote
Use the website of your chosen shipping company to get a quote for your shipment, and the estimated cost will depend on the different values and pieces of information you provide in the form. In general, shipping a car overseas is expensive even if it's still cheaper than buying a new car altogether in another country.
You must consider the charges for freight duties, deliveries, import processing, storage upon arrival, cleaning of the undercarriage, and the logistics service provider fees. The exact amount is dependent on (1) the vehicle type and model, (2) the port that the vehicle will depart from, (3) the destination port (the most popular UAE shipping ports are in Ajman, Al Ain, Fujairah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain) and of course, (4) your shipping method. If you're wondering whether your quote might be a little higher than necessary, speak with a customer rep who can help sort that out.
Consider UAE Car Regulations
You must meet the requirements for shipping your vehicle to the UAE, as it is not permitted for just anyone planning to fly into the country and go on a holiday. For a foreign vehicle to be imported, the owner must have a valid residence permit unless they are a citizen of the UAE. The depreciation of the vehicle cannot exceed five years. Also, note that UAE customs prohibit the importation of right-hand drive cars, vehicles with tinted glass, and those manufactured more than ten years ago (unless granted special approval from the local office processing your shipment). Finally, you are required to pay a custom's duty fee of 5% of the market value of your car, as well as a value-added tax (VAT) of 5%.
When you are ready to book the shipment of your car, go to the shipping company's website to make your purchase or, alternatively, call a representative and do it over the phone. Have all numbers and important information about your identity ready, including your vehicle registration and driver's license. Once your booking is confirmed, and the payment has been processed, the company will contact you with an available date and time slot for your car to be dropped off or picked up. You can expect to get around one week's notice before that day.
Prepare Necessary Documents
UAE customs are very particular about people having the complete set of necessary documents. Therefore, take this step seriously so that you can avoid delays in the customs clearance stage of shipment. These are the documents you must prepare and have valid or notarized photocopies of:
• Your passport
• Your visa or residence permit
• Proof of insurance for the car being imported
• Original invoice or certificate (required for new vehicles)
• Trade license of the company exporting the vehicle
• Documents to identify the importer of the vehicle
• Bill of lading
• Export declaration from the customs department of your country
Furthermore, when it comes to completing the paperwork for shipment, ensure that you accurately include the model and model number of your car, color, year of manufacturing, chassis number, engine number, gross weight, and the car's market value. Take note also that you must obtain the required vehicle clearance certificate from customs during processing, which will be handed to the traffic department upon entry of the car.
Prepare Car Before Shipment
You should take the time to clean your car and have it in perfect 'shipping' condition. By doing this, it can be transported without a hitch and with minimal risk of theft or damage. It will also allow you to spot damages from shipment more easily, which you can potentially file a claim for. Therefore, you ought to do the following:
• Wash your car by hand carefully using clean rags.
• Remove any jewelry and other valuables from the seat pockets and compartments.
• Insert photocopies of your car registration and driver's license in the glove compartment, as these can verify more quickly that you're the owner of the vehicle.
• Shut off the car alarm completely, or have it disabled temporarily in a way that can be easily reactivated when you collect it at its destination.
• Leave the gas tank of your car around 1/8-1/4 full to reduce weight.
Turn Car Over to Shipping Company
Depending on the arrangement with your shipper, you should have your car ready about five minutes before the time for turning it over. If you drive to a port, leave early and aim not to just arrive on the dot, as you might encounter unexpected bad traffic. When you meet with the driver or staff member, take a minute to double-check all documents, including the shipping invoice, the certificate of origin stating where the vehicle is shipped from, and forms showing payments received plus outstanding balance, if any. Afterward, leave your car keys with the driver. Finally, spend a quick 30 seconds taking pictures of your car before leaving as later on, it'll help you compare the before-and-after conditions of your vehicle.
Collect your car when it's ready
After several weeks pass, the shipping company will notify you of the day you can finally collect your car at its destination (normally, you'll be given notice a few days beforehand). When you arrive, a staff member will have you sign the required forms and documents that confirm all payments have been finalized and that you're officially retrieving your car. But before you drive away with your vehicle, look at everything first and see if there are major scratches or any signs of damage. If you're sure that something wasn't there on the day you turned over the car, snap photos of it.
File Insurance Claim If Necessary
Contact the shipping company's insurance provider for damages to your vehicle for which you're filing a claim. You will be asked to explain the damage, and the insurance provider might request a written record of all damages to your car predating the shipment, as well as current photos of the vehicle. Be sure to email all these to speed up the whole process for your claim.
Your car has successfully made its way to the United Arab Emirates – congratulations!