Importing a car
As of 2015, expats are only allowed to import one car per year and should hold an Omani residence card. Lefthand-drive vehicles are not allowed to be imported into the country under any circumstances.
Here is a list of all the required forms and steps that have to be taken to register your imported car:
- A completed ‘Form of Registering a New Vehicle';
- A completed ‘Form of Registration';
- The original export form, two export number plates or 'evidence of clearing' plus a vehicle licence that is valid for 3 months;
- Customs card;
- Valid insurance;
- An import permit for the vehicle issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry;
- The vehicle must pass the technical inspection to meet traffic laws and bylaws;
- The owner of the car or an authorized person has to be present;
- A copy of the Oman resident card.
Registration can be done during office hours, and the entire process will be finished during that time. Expats will immediately receive their permit for the vehicle. Payment in cash is not permitted; only by credit card. More information and a table of fees can be found here.
Renting a car
Renting a car in Oman is very common, with some expats even opting to rent a car long-term. The best option is to rent a car at one of the airports. Oman Air, which is located 32 km from the city of Muscat in the Seeb district, has a lot of rental options. Renting a car at one of the airports is also safer than renting one from a local town dealership, as they always provide insurance and most of them work internationally.
While driving in Oman, it is smart to always know where you need to go. Missing a turn or an exit can cost you a lot of time since the distances are so great. If you do not have access to the internet or a GPS, then make sure that you bring a paper map with you. And don’t be afraid to ask for directions!