Renting & importing a car in Saudi Arabia

How to rent and import a car

Renting & importing a car in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a country built on petrol wealth and for this reason, cars are particularly cheap. It may not make financial sense to import a car as it may be cheaper to simply buy a car in Saudi Arabia. The red tape involved in importing vehicles (see below) makes it doubly complicated.

You need to make sure your car meets the following requirements if you want to import it.


Cars must be less than five years old and have no more than five seats, as it would be classed as a commercial vehicle. You can only import a four wheel drive if you can prove that you have family living with you in Saudi Arabia. If your car is eligible to be imported you must satisfy these further conditions:

  • Must be left handed and cars which have been converted from right-hand drive are also not allowed
  • Has never been used as a taxi or by the police
  • Has never been involved in a traffic accident or have any visible signs of damage to the car’s bodywork.

Expats with residency and employment paperwork sorted out can import a car themselves.

Renting a car

Under Saudi law, short-term male visitors can legally rent and drive in Saudi Arabia using their home-country licenses. They will need to provide their driver’s license and passport in order to rent a car.

Residents wanting to rent a car will need to present their Iqama (residence permit) and their Saudi driving license. Saudi Arabian rental companies include:

Further reading

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