Renting & importing a car in Dubai

How to rent and import a car

Renting & importing a car in Dubai

Dubai is best experienced on its roads. Due to the fact that public transport does not reach everywhere in the city and that the cost of taxis, although comparatively cheaper than other places in the world, does accumulate - the best thing to do is drive. Having a temporary or permanent license is necessary to drive a private car in Dubai, as visitors to the UAE are not allowed to drive private cars. 

The process of obtaining a temporary license is fairly straightforward, however it is sometimes easier and cheaper to rent a car instead. Here you will find information on both renting and importing cars.

Renting a car 

Cars are generally rented inclusive of registration, servicing and insurance. Insurance documents are asked for when renting a car, and full cover is advisable on Dubai’s erratic roads.

In order to rent a car, you must be 25 years or older, (some companies offer rentals to under 25s, yet this requires at least 2 years driving experience) and have a valid driving license. Due to the nature of the visitors in Dubai, many car rental companies will quote prices per month, however shorter times are of course available. Customer service and care is important in Dubai and most car rental companies, owing to the competitive market, are reliable and attentive. It is important, however, to be aware of how much things ought to cost before you arrive to prevent being ripped off.

According to comparison websites  the average price range for car rental in Dubai is between 12.00GBP to 129.00GBP per day, depending on the desired model of car. The price per day decreasing considerably depending on how long the car is rented for. Shopping around on comparison websites for the best deals before travelling can be beneficial in that you are organised and prepared for your arrival. Renting while in Dubai however can be far cheaper, as you have the opportunity of negotiating with the company, something which is advisable. For example, the average cost of renting a car, in Dubai, is 58.33AED to 143.33AED (around 25.00GBP) per day. Depending on how long you plan to stay for, it is advisable to book a car for a short time for your arrival in order to have a hassle free journey from the airport and if you plan to stay for longer than a few days, shop around in order to receive the best deal possible.

The following websites offer a broad spectrum of car rentals in Dubai at competitive rates:

Importing a Car

Dubai requires proof of purchase for the vehicle being imported as the fee charged for importation is 5% of the vehicle worth. When importing a car to Dubai, the car must go through the customs process at which the owner needs to be present. The car cannot be resold in Dubai as the understanding is that it is for the owner’s use alone. In order to be able to drive the car in Dubai, the driver must hold a residence card and a valid Dubai driving license.

If importing through a shipping company then the documents required are: the invoice, the backing list, a copy of the passport and a lading copy. In the event that an individual brings the car then a copy of the passport and the invoice are required. Following customs and prior to registration, the car will be inspected by the RTA. The RTA require the import documents, passport (and copy), a fee (5% of the worth of the vehicle) and insurance documents.

To register the vehicle the owner must have filled out an application form, available from the RTA ; proof that the vehicle has been insured; proof of the vehicle’s purchase; blue export plates (which are given following customs); the clearance papers from customs; residence visa and proof of residency; Dubai driving license and a copy and passport. The car should also have had a roadworthiness test and certificate, which the RTA will have done.

Following registration, the blue plates will be replaced with standard Dubai license plates and an official registration card will be given to the driver. This card must remain in the vehicle at all times.

As residence papers are required to drive a private car and the customs' check is so stringent, it is not possible to drive a car with foreign number plates in Dubai.

Further reading

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