Should You Ship Your Car From Dubai?

Many people who move out of Dubai to another country often contemplate if they should have their car shipped over to their new home, or buy a new car when they get there. Some people want to keep their existing car because it has sentimental value. However, if that is not the case you are probably thinking most about the financial strains it could pose. This cost depends on where you want your car to be shipped to, as well as the make and model. Since it can be challenging to work out this cost, ServiceMarket, the UAE’s leading online marketplace for car shipping companies, has prepared this guide to make it easy for you to determine how much it will cost you to ship your car from Dubai so you can decide if it is worth it. 

Find out if your car is eligible for shipping

You need to start by finding out whether your car is actually eligible to be shipped and then registered in your new home country. Keep in mind that some countries will have restrictions for certain types of cars, e.g. you can’t export a car to India that has left hand drive.

As you may expect, you will not have any problems when you ship a vehicle with GCC specifications to any of the Gulf countries, but if you try to ship one of these cars to a country in Europe, you may come across complications. These countries need to ensure that your car meets their specific regulations and rules. Whether you get approval for registration in European countries is also dependent on factors like the car’s emission levels.

You will find that a lot of car shipping companies in Dubai specialise in getting car registration approval in Europe for cars with GCC specifications.

If you are thinking of selling your car, don’t have it shipped

If you relocate to another country and have your car shipped there as a relocation good, some regions, i.e. Europe, won’t allow you to sell that car for a whole year after it reaches that country. In some instances, you may get a certificate of exemption, in which case it is likely that it won’t be possible to sell your car there at all.

Shipping a car to some countries is very expensive

In countries where they ask for high import duties and taxes, it just makes more sense to buy a new vehicle. It can be expensive to ship your car to Pakistan, India, and the Philippines, depending on the car make and model. However, in countries such as the US and Kuwait, the tax rates are low, and in Europe you won’t face any taxes or duties.

This table outlines the approximate cost of shipping to popular countries, as well as the approximate taxes and duties that will be applied on the value of your car. 

Table 1: Approximate cost of shipping a car from the UAE
CountryApproximate costApproximate taxes and duties (applied on the value of your car)  
USAAED 9,000 – 15,0002.5%
EUAED 3,500 – 11,00029% – 32%
UKAED 7,000 – 8,00030%
JordanAED 6,800 – 7,500>48%
LebanonAED 6,800 – 8,000Up to 60%
IndiaAED 5,500 – 6,500> 125%
PakistanAED 6,000 – 7,00015% – 80%
PhilippinesAED 8,000 – 9,00065% -150%
Kuwait  AED 3,000 – 5,0005%
Saudi ArabiaAED 3,500 – 5,0005%

Shipping is worth it if your stay is temporary

If you plan to relocate to a country for less than one year, you may not have to pay import taxes or duties when you ship your car. When you export your car with a Carnet De Passage, this shows that your car will only be in the country temporarily and it will be returned to Dubai within a year. Over 75 countries will allow you to use a Carnet De Passage so that you won’t have to pay VAT or duties. If you wish to take advantage of this, you can get a Carnet De Passage through the Automobile and Touring Club in Dubai.

Compare and decide 

If a car will cost more in the country you are relocating to, it makes more sense to ship your car. Determine your car’s value by looking online, on a site like CarSwitch.com. Then determine how much it will cost to ship your car. 

Typically, if the country you are relocating to is nearby and no seas have to be crossed, the shipping costs are lower, and if the destination is far away and across seas, shipping costs will be much higher. You should contact any car shipping companies in Dubai you are considering to find out their exact fees, such as taxes and duties, border charges, and customs clearance. If you think that finding and buying a new car is too much hassle and will take too much time, shipping your car is just the easiest option.

Shipping your car may help you to save money in the long term, or you may simply be too attached to your car to even consider getting rid of it. However, it’s usually better to sell your car in Dubai and find a new one when you have relocated.

The easiest way to find vetted and licensed car shipping companies in Dubai is through ServiceMarket. Be sure to request free quotes from multiple companies and read customer reviews online to make an informed decision. 

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