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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:
https://www.rta.ae

For official information about the rules and regulations to import a vehicle into the UAE, please visit:
https://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

google-review
  • 5 star review  Trustworthy group here! They made it easy from point a to b. So glad this was the first group I tried as I have heard horror stories about the import process. Highly recommended.

    thumb Cory Cheyne
    9/22/2020

    5 star review  Yoshi and team were patient in helping me find the right car (green 2016 Prius 4WD) and get me through the process. Flawless service, prompt response to communications, on delivery the car was better than expected, very close to new looking. Their recommended partners for shipping and entry into NZ were on the ball too. Highly recommended! Pro tip: don't mess around; decide exactly what you want, then bid to win.

    thumb Mike Ross
    9/18/2020

    5 star review  I had been toying with the Idea of importing a Land Cruiser from Japan for a while and to be honest was quite hesitant about doing so, as the process for a first timer seemed quite daunting. Mathew at JCD made the whole process SUPER EASY! Been a pleasure dealing with him and was kept informed every step of the way and super fast communication kept the whole process stress free! Thanks again Mathew and I'm looking forward to the next Cruiser! Cheers!!

    thumb Mike Dorsch
    9/16/2020
  • 5 star review  Mathew at Japan Car Direct has been a HUGE help and continually went above and beyond with assisting me. It was my first time bidding on vehicles at auction and having them shipped to the US. He even helped me arrange a mechanic in Japan to do some work on the Hiace I purchased so that it would arrive in the US in tip top shape and be ready to hit the road. I look forward to doing more business with Mathew in the future and you should too!

    thumb Charles Gross
    8/12/2020

    5 star review  I was totally clueless and was having a really hard time finding someone that I felt I could trust to help me with these auctions. A couple folks recommended Mathew over at JCD and I very reluctantly reached out. Yeah, I have trust issues. Dude put me at ease and really walked me through the whole process. After a couple months I didn’t end up buying a vehicle, but that’s on me. When I changed my direction, Mathew helped me wrap things up and wished me well. I have zero reservations about reaching out to these guys or recommending anyone else to do so. Very helpful, knowledgeable, prompt and everything I needed. You won’t be disappointed.

    thumb largejohn77
    7/17/2020

    5 star review  Ordered an Acty Van with these guys. five star service all the way. everything went perfect!!!. I was so afraid to import a car myself. JCD made it seamless. I would import wit them and only them again and again. Thanks guys!!

    thumb Scott Irby-Ranniar
    7/17/2020
  • 5 star review  Discovered KEI vehicles about a year ago and spent many hours searching the internet in hopes of finding an affordable van state side, to no avail. That is until I sent a message to Mathew at JCD. He was quick to respond, answered way too many of my silly questions, and worked diligently to find the right van for me. He is thorough, clear, and timely. Made the process simple and enjoyable. I am more than excited to work with him again. I highly recommend the service these gentlemen provide.

    thumb Benjamin Ferguson
    7/09/2020

    5 star review  Matt made importing a few mini trucks for our farm a breeze. Super easy to deal with and transparent with all the details involved in bidding and winning auctions, the import process, and everything in between.

    thumb Ben and Maggie O'Brien
    6/30/2020

    5 star review  My truck had been stolen and Matt was helping me bid on mini-trucks to replace it. Of course once we started bidding the truck was recovered, but Matt was upfront and very helpful both getting into and out of our auction based relationship. I would not hesitate to work with JCD again!

    thumb William Gundy
    6/28/2020
  • 5 star review  I worked with Mat and i believe i couldn't have done any better. This was my first time dealing with importing, Mat was so patient and helpful through this purchase. I also feel he got me the best deals, i have since the first purchase made two more and will continue to do business with Mat.

    thumb robert barnowsky
    6/16/2020

    5 star review  I purchased three vehicles from auction with Matt, he made it extremely easy and was available whenever I needed him throughout the entire importing process. This is not the last time I will be dealing with them. I plan to order more vehicles in the near future! If your looking for a trustworthy company to order vehicles through I highly recommend JCD!

    thumb dylan christner
    6/07/2020

    5 star review  Mathew was super helpful if helping me get more info and bid on cars I was interested in.

    thumb Matt Sparkman
    5/16/2020
  • 5 star review  Mathew and the gang were great with helping me with the acquisition of my 1994 Subaru Sambar dump kei truck. I was so excited about getting a truck I was ready to buy just about anything. Matt put the breaks on that and used his experience and knowledge to weed out the potential problems. I use my truck almost daily around our farm moving things and as a work surface. It is great. Mathew and Japan Car Direct helped my sister get a kei truck as well and I have and will continue to recommend them to anyone who has expressed interest in my great little vehicle.

    thumb Eric Amon
    5/12/2020

    5 star review  I purchased a 1994 4wd Suzuki Carry Kei truck through JCD. Yoshi helped me during the process and after nearly 3 months and over 100 emails back and forth between questions and translations of auction sheets I finally decided on a truck. I've now had it for nearly a month and couldn't be happier with the purchase. They are extremely promt with responses and answered all questions I had. Being completely new at the importing process I never felt uneasy with my decision. If I ever decide to import another vehicle I will definitely use them again.

    thumb brandon spaur
    5/06/2020

    5 star review  Excellent service from beginning to end. I registered over the new year holidays and received an automatic out of office response and also still received personal response indicating when auctions resumed. The process takes doing your own due diligence to study the cars you want but the guys at JCD will assist where they can as well.

    thumb Mike Witting
    4/10/2020

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