Rented cars usually include the necessary insurance and registration and are completely legal to drive. You can be issued a rental car as long as you have a valid driver’s licence from an approved country for a maximum of 7 days from your arrival, after which point you will need to get a temporary licence or a Qatar driver’s licence.
In order to rent a car in Qatar you must be 21 years of age and have a minimum of 1 year driving experience. You may have to pay an additional fee depending on your age or if you have less driving experience. Most company’s quotes are based on drivers aged 25 years and older with at least 2 years driving experience. Prices can begin from around 30€ a day but can reach 1000€ depending on the company and type of car you wish to rent. It is worth bearing in mind that the longer you wish to rent a car, the lower the daily cost will be.
There are a large number of hire car companies available in Qatar considering its size which means you should shop around and look for the best deal available to you. Many of the companies have airport sites so you are able to pick up your car as soon as you arrive. Popular rental companies are Budget Rent a Car, Strong Qatar and Oasis Rent a Car.
The first thing you should consider when importing a car is, whether it is cost effective to import as opposed to buying a car while abroad. Furthermore, is the car you plan to import suitable for the climate. The high summer temperatures in Qatar can cause serious strain on vehicles and it may be difficult to source parts for certain models if yours does break down. Therefore this all needs to be considered carefully before booking the shipping company.
Bringing a car from a neighbouring GCC country is fairly common practice, however it is relatively rare to see cars being shipped over from further afield due to the aforementioned difficulties. However, if you are set on bringing your pride and joy across with you, there are certain things you will need. Firstly, you need a residence permit before you can import a car in Qatar, however as it can take several weeks for these to be given, it is possible for the car to be brought over by a separate party. The documents you need to provide are: proof of ownership, original invoice/receipt of purchase with the car’s value, original import manifest, the registration certificate from your home country and your current insurance policy.
The original receipt/invoice stating the value of the car is necessary as the custom’s charge is 5% of the car’s value. Any car that is being imported into Qatar has to be less than 5 years old, it must be left-hand drive and it must meet gulf standards which you can view here. Once in Qatar the car must be registered with the Traffic Department of the Ministry of Interior within 15 days and the registration renewed annually. You will need to bring proof of purchase, your ID, the filled out registration form (in Arabic), your insurance document, and pay the fee.
Insuring a car in Qatar is very straight forward as most dealerships will take care of insurance for you. If you need,or wish to, insure the car yourself, you can find a number of online companies that can help you. You have to renew your insurance annually and undergo a vehicle inspection to make sure it meets the legal road standards.
Insurance costs vary depending on the value of the car but an average quote is around 4000-6000 QR (1000-1500€) a year. It is important to remember that car insurance only covers the vehicle and not the driver or passengers. Most companies will provide extra cover for the driver and passengers for an additional fee. Popular insurance companies are Qatar Insurance Company, QIC Group and Doha Insurance Company, however it is always advisable to shop around. Comparison websites are a very useful resource.