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Import regulations for used vehicles from Japan to The UAE

Quick Reference:  ・Low Duty ・Only LHD ・Low freight cost ・No tinted windows

Importing Is Simple and Affordable
Importing a car to the United Arab Emirates is as easy as getting the car cleared to customs, having it tested, insured, and registered with the Roads and Transfer Authority (RTA). Once your vehicle has been tested, insured and registered, you’re free to drive in all 7 United Arab Emirates!

Costs
Processing fees (cash or credit):

  • A clearance certificate fee: AED 4,700
  • Inspection of the Container: AED 700
  • Export Plates: AED 60
  • Clearance Certificate Paper: AED 10

Duty
5% of the commercial value
*The above costs do not include fee charged by the shipping company

Import Regulations

UAE Residency
To import a vehicle to the UAE, you must be able to prove that you are a legal UAE resident. This means you must have a valid passport, local visa and local driving license.

Limit on Individual Imports
Officially, individual car imports are limited to one car per year, up to two cars per private individual. However, our customers have imported more in one year.

LHD Only
It is important to keep in mind that only left-hand-drive (LHD) vehicles can be registered for use on UAE roads.

Age Limit
Import regulations for used vehicles in the UAE dictate that a car should be 4 years or newer for import. Older cars can be imported but they must apply at the RTA for “classic status” and receive classic plates in order to be registered for use on UAE roads.

RTA Regulations
The RTA has strict regulations on vehicle condition. They will not allow registration of cars with any evidence of accident damage or corrosion, and they only allow vehicles with original stock parts. For example, they have been known to refuse to pass cars with aftermarket steering wheels until they were replaced with the original stock steering wheel.

No Tinted Windows
Tinted window cars are not allowed to be imported. A fine will be imposed on the vehicle and will require all windows to be replaced.

Required Documents for Customs Clearance:

Provided by JCD:
・Bill of Lading
・Commercial Invoice
・Export Certificate
・English Translation of Export Certificate.

Provided by the Importer:
・Authority Letter (To be obtained by client upon arrival in Dubai)
・Passport (Original and copies)
・Driving License (Original and copies)
・UAE Residence Permit or Visa (Original and copies)

*The Name in the Title of ownership of the car should be the same as that mentioned in the visa

Documents required for testing:
・Original passport
・UAE ID
・Driving license
・Custom clearance papers
・Import documents

*  Testing fees vary by vehicle type.

Documents required for insurance:
・Vehicle inspection report
・Passport
・Driving license
・UAE ID

Documents required for RTA registry:
・Completed application form
・Customs clearance letter
・Vehicle inspection clearance
・Proof of purchase
・Blue export number plates
・Insurance documents
・Local Driving License
・Passport with valid visa

*  Proof of residency besides visa e.g. utility bill or rental agreement

Resources
Please visit the official RTA Website:
//www.rta.ae

For official information about the rules and regulations to import a vehicle into the UAE, please visit:
//www.abudhabi.ae/portal/public/en/business/international-trade/import-and-export/importing-vehicles-into-abu-dhabi?_afrLoop=2058303246950831

When you have time please read thru how-to-buy and FAQ on our site to learn more about how the business goes.

*   Information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge and is subject to change without notice.
** It is the responsibility of the importer to confirm their vehicle(s) comply with their country’s import regulations
Please read through our Terms and Conditions

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google-review
  • review rating 5  This was my first time importing a vehicle for my personal use and naturally I was leary about who to go through. After looking through a few other places and after getting in touch with a longtime customer of theirs I decided to try these guys out. I can say without a doubt I'm glad I did. They are definitely professional and know their craft when it comes to getting you your dream car. Everything from getting cars inspected and bidding was completely transparent and went smoothly. I couldn't be happier with the car I bought and I hope down the line I'll be able to purchase another using these guys!! Thanks for all you guys do!!! 11/7/19 Still have my MR2 and loving it everyday!! I'm going to Japan next month and hopefully I can find something fun for my car to bring back! Just re-read my review and I can still say my car has been nothing but great along with my experience with Yoshi and his team! Thanks again!

    thumb Kevin Heidari
    11/07/2019

    review rating 5  You made the purchase and export of my 1998 Rover Mini to Vancouver Canada so easy Thank you and I"ll be back

    thumb Scott Brunning
    10/17/2019

    review rating 5  A few months ago I set out on my goal of importing a vehicle from Japan through an auction. After tons and TONs of research and countless emails, I decided to use Japan Car Direct as my exporter in Japan. From the beginning of my interactions with JCD, I was thoroughly impressed. My contact, Yoshi, was amazing...definitely a huge asset to the JCD team. He answered all of my questions promptly, translated dozens of auction sheets for me, and advised me of what to watch out for when looking for a vehicle. He was beyond helpful! I picked up my Kei truck at the port in Newport News a few weeks ago and couldn't be more pleased. Since then, the truck has made it to its final home in Charlottesville, VA on my farm. Yoshi and the other guys at JCD are now my go to team for more of these soon. Thanks again JCD and keep doing what you guys do! You all are the real deal.

    thumb N W
    10/15/2019
  • review rating 5  Since a kid the FD RX7 has always been a dream car but i didn't pursue it till i graduated high school but the prices just for the shell over here in california was over 15k!! I kept looking around until I decided i would just import one. I found JCD while looking for the top 5 importers you could trust and they stood out more than all the other ones, and for a couple months of more research on their page until I ultimately decided I would go through them. Although this was my first time getting a car from Japan and having an endless amount questions spanning a couple hundred emails until it would freeze up and i had to make a new email thread .. Mathew always answered every question and helped me though every step. I didn't have all the funds in the beginning but they were very patient with it until i was fully ready, then after a month of having Matt give his thought on some of the FDs i was looking at we finally won the auction for a 94 Efini type R Fd3s. As we picked it up from Long Beach till the drive home I couldn't believe that it was here and soo much better just looking at the picture but i defiantly would recommend JCD to anyone looking to import their dream car too and and want to thank matt and the whole team with getting me my RX7.

    thumb Erwin Contreras
    10/10/2019

    review rating 5  I'd been looking to buy an RF series Honda Stepwagon to convert into a mini camper for a while but the UK prices always seemed too high. I had joined a few JDM import sites to get an idea of auction prices and costs (including Japan Car Direct) but just couldn't bring myself to take the next step, it seemed such a risk ! Finally after reading so many good reviews for JCD (and Mathew in particular) I took the plunge and contacted Mathew. After he answered my many questions regarding costs, fees etc I felt confident enough to pay the deposit and start hunting the Japanese auctions for my Steppy. My budget for the Steppy was pretty low (pathetic even !) but I felt Mat still put the same effort into replying to my questions and queries as he would have done if my budget had been into the tens of thousands. The result was I now have a very tidy Stepwagon with lower mileage than any vehicle I've ever owned, I've paid far less for it then I would have done buying in the UK and I've got a bigger budget now for the camper conversion. I wouldn't hesitate to buy through them again, and hope to do so soon.

    thumb Matt B
    9/30/2019

    review rating 5  5 star experience from start to finish. Transparent and easy process, and Mat was very patient to answer plenty of questions I had during the purchase! Can’t wait to do it again because the Japanese cars from this era are pure automotive art and these guys hold the keys to the museum!

    thumb Ross C
    9/13/2019
  • review rating 5  After an initial inquiry several years ago, I still wanted to get a Japanese Delica or Hiace. Matthew was immediately in contact and helped with all the details. His videos were perfect for my search. Matthew was able to answer all of my questions and my wife and I were able to make decisions based on the great information he provided. I would recommend Japan Car Direct to anyone interested in getting the right car at the best price.

    thumb Zach Matheson
    8/27/2019

    review rating 5  The staff at Japan Car Direct made what I thought would a a difficult process very easy. Matt explained every step thoroughly and his advice on details of cars was spot on.

    thumb nick creece
    8/20/2019

    review rating 5  I imported a van though JCD and they made the process super straightforward. They were amazing at communicating and quick to answer any of my questions. If you are looking to import a car I would highly recommended them.

    thumb William Bender
    8/02/2019
  • review rating 5  Awesome experience !! Their service was extremely good and efficient. Yoshiro was soo patient with my many requests for information and translations. The vehicle purchased was better than expected. I would definitely consider using their services again.

    thumb Rafael Cuadros
    5/20/2019

    review rating 5  All I can say about the experience is AMAZING! I worked with Matthew and he was helpful through the whole process of bidding, purchasing, and shipping the car to me. He had an answer for every question, and was always quick to respond. Enjoying my new Mercedes and I will be using them again!

    thumb chris casali
    5/15/2019

    review rating 5  All around exceptional experience! Matt was great to work with and guided me through the entire process with ease. As a first timer, importing was a bit nerve racking but JCD did a great job providing a cool little truck I can enjoy here in Delaware. I look forward to picking up the next toy/vehicle through them.

    thumb Jesse Wencius
    5/14/2019
  • review rating 5  The experienced, grizzled veterans of the import scene. They were very accommodating with all my questions and concerns. It was my first time importing, so everything was confusing and intimidating, but I'm happy to report everything went as planned! I'm definitely calling them back when I finally come up with an excuse to import another!

    thumb Joey Rodriguez
    4/12/2019

    review rating 5  Mathew was great to work with and made what could be a scary daunting experience very easy. I am super happy with my car and am sure I will be importing with them again!

    thumb Kayla D'Ambrosi
    3/18/2019

    review rating 5  Working with Mathew and his team was an absolute pleasure. I went from never knowing you could import your own vehicle to owning my own Suzuki Cara within 6 months. Mathew was so helpful and completely transparent with me during the entire process. We spoke on the phone and via email and he helped me pick the perfect car exactly within my requirements. He dealt with my excitement and inexperience with patience and understanding. I couldn't be happier with my experience and will absolutely use Japan Car Direct again when it's time for another project. I highly recommend Mathew and Japan Car Direct.

    thumb Tristan Gilbert
    3/05/2019
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