4 Myths About Shipping Your Car to Europe from the UAE (Yes, It’s Cheaper to Ship It!)

Yes, you read that right! It is actually usually cheaper to ship your car from the UAE to Europe than buying a new car from the European country you’re moving to. There is a lot of speculation around car shipping to Europe, but our expert car shipping partner Volker Risse, CEO of International Car Bridge (ICB) Dubai, has helped us debunk some of these myths. ICB, which has been operating in Dubai since 2003, is under German management and has over 20 years of experience in the car sales and transport business. They have sat down with us to provide you with valuable advice on how to ship your car to Europe.

Myth 1: “It’s so expensive to ship your car to Europe”

Our response: No. It’s actually cheaper to ship your car to Europe from the UAE than buying a new car there.

The first thought we all think is that there are a lot of taxes involved when shipping goods abroad.  There is a 10% customs tax applied on the value of your car and there is a VAT tax of about 20% as well.  However, if you are relocating to Europe, these charges do not apply to you! “All other Europeans have to pay huge customs and taxes when buying a car in Europe, you don’t!” explains Volker. “In my experience with car sales, it is also very difficult to achieve a reasonable resale price when selling your used car in the UAE, so I always tell my customers to take their car with them to Europe, if its value is still over AED 50,000.”

> Find out more about the prices and procedures for car shipping to Europe

Myth 2: “The EU has tons of restrictions on which cars can be shipped”

Our response: No, there aren’t as many restrictions as you may think.

Principally, you can ship ANY car to Europe. If you’re relocating to Europe and want to ship your car with you, you have the opportunity to ship it import and customs free as a relocation good. “But the restrictions that comes with this is that you’re not allowed to sell your car again in Europe for 12 months and you may need to pay high taxes because of the low exhaust emissions classification,” explains Volker. He further explained that when relocating you can also get a certificate of exemption, however, if you register your car with that certificate then you’re not allowed to sell your car again within the EU forever. Now before you worry, ICB specializes in attaining European car registration approval for GCC spec cars, and for 99% of their customers they’re successful in getting registration approval, the regular way, even with a high exhaust emissions standard for your car.

Myth 3: “I need to show a lot of documentation and approvals when shipping to Europe”

Our response: Again, no. It’s actually pretty standard.

You only need your passport copy, car invoice, and the Export Certificate (obtained from RTA or DoT).  However, if you plan on moving it as a tax-free relocation good you need a few documents such as your residence visa copy, Mulkia copy (shows the car was registered under your name for at least 6 months), employer/embassy letter stating you lived in the UAE for at least 12 months, and registration card copy from your native country.

Myth 4: “Good car shippers are hard to find”

Our response: Just go to ServiceMarket, and you’ll find the best car shippers in the UAE listed there.

There are many car shipping companies out there, but very few have the experience, proper licenses and certifications to handle something as personal and valuable as moving your car. On ServiceMarket, you can browse our partner car shipping companies, read their reviews, and contact them for quotes.

Do you have any questions about shipping your car to Europe? Let us know in the comments below!

20 thoughts on “4 Myths About Shipping Your Car to Europe from the UAE (Yes, It’s Cheaper to Ship It!)

  • Avatar
    June 19, 2017 at 10:31 am
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    Hi there,

    I would like to take my FJ Cruiser to Portugal but I have no idea what to do….. Is the FJ even allowed in Europe??

    thanks

    Reply
    • Avatar
      June 21, 2017 at 10:09 am
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      Hi Ian,
      I recommend that you submit a request on our website. A car shipping company will then call you with all details including the cost of shipping and details of all car requirements and taxes.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm
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    registration card copy from your native country. what about if i am not European citizen, however i will relocate to portugal. which documents i have to submit, as far as i got registration card must be from portugal? Do i need to have cancellation of my residence visa for receiving car in portugal later on. how many cars can be shipped and register for 1 person( we have 2 registered for 1 person) thank you

    Reply
    • Avatar
      June 4, 2017 at 10:42 am
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      Hi Ivan,
      Could you please submit a request on our website? Once you do this, one of our shipping partners will contact you and they will be able to answer all the questions you have in detail.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 10, 2017 at 8:18 am
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    We are considering shipping our Land Rover Defender from Oman to Italy. It is 11 years old and we would use it for recreational purposes in Italy. Please advise…

    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 14, 2017 at 4:47 am
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      Hi Sandra,
      I would advise you to submit a request on our website. You will be contacted by car shipping companies who can inform you of all costs associated with moving your car and any car restrictions or requirements in Italy.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm
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    Hi, I am having Mazda 6 2016 model. I am shifting to United Kingdom from UAE and planning to take my car with me. Can I be able to drive the same car in UK since the drive style is different (left and right hand drive).
    2ndly, any idea approximately how much it will be the total cost of sending car to the UK.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 10, 2017 at 6:59 am
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      Hi Nasar,
      Please submit a request on our website to receive quotes for shipping your car. You should be able to drive the car in the UK, provided you make the required safety alterations. The shipping company will be able to answer any questions you may have and give you full details of all UK registration requirements.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    April 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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    Would it make sense to buy a 2008 Ferrari F430 Spider in Dubai and sell it in europe? What are the costs involved in moving the car to Italy (for example) and what taxes do I have to consider paying?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      April 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm
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      Hi Elia,
      It would depend on the car’s value and on where you are looking to take the car – the taxes and duties differ significantly from country to country. Importantly, you would need to ensure that the car complies to the country’s car regulations as there are strict rules in place in most European countries. If you’re an expat looking to ship it to Italy, you’d be looking at duties around 11% and a VAT rate of 22% unless you can prove that you have owned the car for over a year. The car would also have to pass an road-worthiness test to ensure that it complies with Italian car standards before you could get the car plates, so I’d advise you to check that the car complies to all Italian car requirements before you purchase it. If you would like to get a better understanding of the shipping cost involved you can enter the car’s details on our website to receive quotes from car shipping companies. These companies would also be able to advise you of any additional costs involved.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    March 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm
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    We are looking to ship our KIA Sorento 3.3 (2017) to the Netherlands but the BPM (CO2 emission) tax is very hefty as the car has over 168 grms/km. Is there a way around it as it seems crazy to pay around USD 17,000 to import.
    If this is the case, we might try and sell the vehicle here and buy a 2nd hand car on the Netherlands

    Reply
    • Avatar
      March 16, 2017 at 12:08 pm
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      Hi Suzanne,
      Unfortunately in this case I think it might make more sense to sell the car here and buy another car in the Netherlands. Shipping a car is typically quite expensive and there’s no way around paying tax. If you haven’t heard of CarSwitch, they could be a good option to help you to sell your car before your move.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    December 20, 2016 at 8:17 pm
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    Can i take every car from Dubai with GCC specs to the Netherlands?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      January 4, 2017 at 12:52 pm
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      Hi VanGeel,
      Please submit a request on our website. Our partners will be able to advise on the requirements to ship your car to the Netherlands based on the details of your car.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    September 25, 2016 at 6:26 am
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    Hi, I wish to purchase a new Dodge Charger in UAE. I plan to take along with me to New zealand after receiving my PR (within 2 years). I have following questions.
    1. Is it fair to carry GCC spec. car and to change as per EU spec.? or should I buy EU spec. car in UAE?
    2. Do I need to change the drive pattern (LH drive to RH drive)?
    3. Complete charges (door to door service) and duration for shipping?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      September 28, 2016 at 10:23 am
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      Hi Raj,
      I have sent you an email to put you in touch with an expert from one of our car shipping partners. He should be able to answer all of your questions and give you the best advice. When you are ready to move, you can use ServiceMarket to get competitive quotes.
      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    August 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm
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    Thinking about buying a Land Rover Discovery 2016 HSE model to ship to Spain in around 18months time. How difficult is it to get such a car imported and registered there now? Realise that regulations may change, but have a good opportunity to buy at a good price now and want to use it here in UAE in the interim.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      September 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm
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      Hi Peter,

      You will be able to get quotes from multiple reputable shipping companies by entering all the car’s details on our website. These companies should be able to answer all of your questions in detail.

      Thanks,
      Emilene

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 29, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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    Great document indeed…

    I have a mother questions:
    what are the minimum requirements for GCC car spec to be changed to EU car spec?

    I have a 2010 model ford edge limited and I would like to take it with me to The Netherlands, someone told me the mirrors needs to have the indicator lights but mine does not, do I need to change the mirrors? are there any other requirements?

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Avatar
    February 20, 2016 at 9:51 am
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    Great article, very helpful, thank you.

    Reply

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