Are you planning to buy a car and import it to Dubai? The USA is one of the best places to get both the brand new and used cars. There is a wide variety of cars in the USA car market, and you will be free to choose the model that you like best. The good news is that you won’t deal with lots of limitations regarding the type of car you can bring to Dubai, meaning you can ship both new and used cars.
Since you will have to comply with the prescribed import requirements, take a look at this overview.

Importation requirements

As of 2015, changes have been introduced regarding the importation of cars from the USA to the UAE, including Dubai. The changes were meant to streamline the process of shipping cars from the USA. Some of the documents you have to have in order to import the car include your identification card, a bill of sale, a valid title and UAE residence visa. Note that there is a visa exemption for residents of AGCC countries which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and UAE.

If you are not a resident of the listed countries but you want to bring your car to Dubai, you need to have the UAE residence visa before you proceed to import a car from the USA.
You can import your car regardless of its age, provided it meets UAE specifications. All cars are subject to 4% duties on CIF value. However, cars with a Salvaged Title cannot enter Dubai.

Ways of shipping a car to Dubai

You can choose a shipping method depending on the type of the car you intend to purchase as well as your personal needs. Some of the preferable methods that you can use to get a used or new car from the USA to Dubai include:

Ro-Ro shipping: Roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping is a car shipping method that involves transporting your car in a specialized ship called the RoRo vessel. This is typically the most cost-efficient shipping method. Bear in mind that your car has to be in driving condition to be shipped via RoRo. Once aboard the RoRo vessel, the car is strapped and tied securely on or below deck to be shipped overseas.

Container shipping: Unlike RoRo shipping, container shipping means that your car is shipped in a container. Depending on whether you want the car to be shipped separately from other vehicles or not, you can choose between shared and exclusive container shipping. Exclusive container shipping is typically the most expensive shipping method.

How long does it take to ship the car from the USA?

The time required to transport your vehicle from the USA to Dubai will depend on the exact location of the US departure port. On average, the period will range from 3-7 weeks by water.

Looking for a reliable partner to ship your car and help you with import to Dubai? Contact Ship Overseas for a free quote! We have been in the business for over 3 decades and are fully licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission. We also make sure your vehicle complies with the federal and international regulations so the import process is smooth and seamless.

Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ΒΌ tank of gas.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.