How to Ship Your Car from and to Abu Dhabi

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Planning a move and contemplating bringing your car? You might be curious about the car shipping procedure in Abu Dhabi. This blog compiles essential details from movers and car shipping companies. It aims to provide you with comprehensive information. Rest assured, you’ll find all you need to know right here! The process is pretty simple, and you can get quotes from some specialized car shipping companies in Abu Dhabi.

Car Shipping From Abu Dhabi

Just like in Dubai, it is super easy to export your car from Abu Dhabi. But it’s comparatively a little more expensive. Make sure you always have copies of your valid passport and UAE visa because you’ll need them for everything. Once you have a few copies, you’re ready to take the next step of getting your car to your desired destination. Follow these steps:

  1. Begin the procedure by driving your car to the nearest Department of Transportation testing center. The main office is located in the Al Maqtaa area, Street 15, next to the Fairmont Bab al Bahr Hotel.
  2. Before entering the center, remove your license plates from the front and back of your car and take them with you. This is so you don’t need to come back out and get in another long queue!
  3. You need to first do a car test, which will cost AED 120, then once passed, you will need to buy an β€œExport Insurance Certificate,” which will provide insurance for your car for 14 days (costs AED 250). You are required to ship your car within the period your insurance is still valid, in other words, you have 2 weeks to get it loaded in a container!
  4. Next is the β€œExport Certificate” which is the official document that re-registers your car. You’ll need your driver’s license, number plates, and the export insurance certificate you just got. You might also need other documents such as a mortgage release letter and proof of ownership certificate. This certificate costs AED 350.
  5. With these two documents in hand, you’ll be given your new blue export license plates for your car, which you’ll need to put on your car before you drive off.

It’s that simple! Just 5 quick steps and you’re ready to take your car with you on your next journey.

A Few Things to Remember

  • Start the process of shipping your car by already having a car shipping company lined up for you before you go deregister your car. It would help to get quotes from multiple car shippers, so you can make an informative decision based on reviews, price, and additional service offered.
  • You cannot ship your car with items inside! It’s a huge risk, and insurance doesn’t cover it. If you need to move household goods with your car, let the mover know, so they can arrange to get you a full container to move your items in the same container as your car.
  • Don’t fill gas before you give your car to the freight forwarder! Once it reaches the port, the petrol is drained from the fuel tank and your battery is disconnected to prevent a fire risk.

Car Shipping to Abu Dhabi

Importing your car to Abu Dhabi follows similar procedures as exporting it, and it’s pretty simple. Follow these steps to begin your shipping process:

  1. Make copies of your passport, Emirates ID, and UAE residence visa, plus passport-sized photos. You’ll need them for everything from renting a new place to issuing your new driver’s license.
  2. Before arriving in Abu Dhabi, make sure you have your Vehicle Ownership Certificate on you. The moving company you’ve hired should remind you of this, as you’ll need to clear your car from the port. The paper should state the value of your car, which will be used to charge customs duties.
  3. You’ll also need to get documents that state that your car complies with Abu Dhabi’s strict safety standards from the traffic department of the export country, which is usually called the Vehicle Clearance Certificate. Make sure all the documents are stamped to show authenticity. Collect all these documents and submit them to customs, and your car will be waiting for you in Khalifa Port.
  4. You’ll need to then pay the customs duties which are 5% of the value of the car, 1% insurance, and shipping cost. Once you pay that along with the customs clearance charges which are approximately USD 1180, you’ll be given a certificate of registration that you can then use to register your car from one of the Department of Transportation offices.
  5. Once you go to one of the DoT offices, you’ll need to register your car and receive your new local license plates, which will cost either AED 275 (for short plates) or AED 265 (for long plates).


If you’re still thinking about moving your car with you to or from Abu Dhabi and haven’t started the process of finding companies to ship it for you, ServiceMarket can help you. Simply visit their website now and book car shipping in Abu Dhabi.

6 thoughts on “How to Ship Your Car from and to Abu Dhabi”

  1. Hello i have a1995 jeep wrangler UK registered that i am keen on shipping to Abu Dhabi but i cannot find anywhere if it is eligible for registration given age and also what i need to check for conforming to Abu Dhabi DOT standards.i.e. i have bigger tires (31 inch) that slightly extend out from the fenders – is that OK by abu dhabi DOT standards or will it fail the test and therefore not register? i just neeed to find somewhere (i ve looked everywhere and cannot) a check list of what it needs to conform to before deciiding if i should ship it or not?

    1. Hi Mario,
      I would suggest that you do two things. Firstly get in touch with the RTA ( They should be able to send you a list of requirements for registering your car. Age should not be an issue as long as the car is road worthy, but there are restrictions in place in terms of modifications to Jeep Wranglers. Another thing that could be helpful is for you to get in touch with one of the Jeep Wrangler community groups in the UAE, as they will probably be able to offer you good advice. There are many such groups – Jeepers Club is one example ( Hope that this is helpful!

  2. I am looking to buy a used car from Dubai, but I want to register it in Abu dhabi on an export plate.

    The seller is a dealer in Dubai. Kindly advise the process, also can I drive the car to Abu Dhabi and then register the plate.
    Also what happens if the export insurance expires in 14 days ( are there fines, renewal charges for insurance, etc involved) until the car gets registered / or if the export plates gets renewed.

    I am buying this for my brother, and plan to register in his name( currently he is out of the country on leave)

    Seeking your inputs.

    1. Dear Abraham,

      Thank you for reaching out to us! We are specialized in the export of cars not the registration. Therefore we kindly advise you to have a look at RTA (Roads & Transport Authority –, who will be able to provide you more details on the process.

      Thank you,

  3. Hi

    Thanks for the informative comments. I have one question I am moving from Riyadh to UAE (Dubai) and planning to drive my car through the boarders and then all way to Dubai.

    I will enter UAE on a pink visa; my question can i drive my car inside UAE or do I need to use a shipping company at the boarder?

    Note that by the time I enter I would not have a UAE driving license – but I have UK and Saudi driving license.


    1. Dear Imad,

      You would not need to ship your car; however there maybe additional documentation requirements to drive in Dubai. We would advise that you check with the Border control authorities.

      Thank you!

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