Mercedes-Benz G63
Mercedes-Benz G-Class (W463) Geländewagen G63 [Stock image used for illustrative purposes only] Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Dubai: In the UAE, a car is not just a means of transport from A to B. More often than not, most people are able to finally find and buy their dream cars whether it be luxury cars or sports cars. UAE has a plethora of options when it comes to driving your dream vehicle – from leasing and renting to affordable loan options for ownership.

But what if you already have your dream car but want to drive around in India? For car enthusiasts, this can be adventurous, and perfect for a road trip while in India. 

Permanently moving your car to India is a much costlier approach wherein you end up paying at least 125 per cent of the value of your car in taxes and other fees in India. This also includes issues with the driving side on Indian roads, which is on the right-hand side. You’ll have to pay to change the side which will be an expensive modification, usually ranging around or over Dh150,000 depending on the vehicle. 

Here, we are going to focus on the process of transporting your car from the UAE to India temporarily – permits, fees, deposits and taxes vary depending on the destination country. 

First things first, you must be a resident of Dubai. Your residence visa, and UAE driving licence are mandatory documents for the process.

A passport for your car

Since you intend to ship and then use your car in another country for a period of time, you need a ‘passport’ for your vehicle and this document is called the Carnet de Passage en Douane or CPD. This travel document is internationally valid and legally required in most countries which allow temporary use of foreign-registered vehicles, and is aimed at motor tourists and travellers.

Road trip
The CPD is usually taken by travellers driving through various countries (where the CPD is valid and required) so they can seamlessly exit and enter with no major customs formalities. Image Credit: Creative Commons/Pixabay

The document includes all details about the vehicle and the permit holder including expiry and countries visited using the current CPD. The CPD ensures that customs officials of the destination country can do without the need for on-the-spot cash deposits, fees or other national documents for import.

You can get a CPD in the UAE from the Emirates Motorsport Organization (EMSO) office, which is issued by the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE, under the governing authority of the UAE’s Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime and Federation Internationale de l'Automobile – FIA.

Only after getting the CPD is a vehicle owner allowed to undertake shipping of the vehicle or any other process involving moving the vehicle out of the country. The CPD can be used for driving your vehicle through land borders or for shipping to the destination country.

Getting the CPD in the UAE

Application form

The process starts with an application form to be submitted by the car owner.

The application must include:

  • All relevant vehicle details including make, year, model and category of vehicle
  • Owner details and owner’s visa, UAE driving licence details
  • Contact details for two UAE-based references and two references in the destination country.
  • Make sure you have copies of all the required documents such as your visa, passport, driver’s licence, car registration which are required to be attached to the application.
  • Bank cheque and cash deposit

Refundable cash deposit, bank security cheques

These are the significant monetary guarantees that you’ll have to keep ready at the time of application. The authority requires a security cheque as well as a cash deposit – both of which are refundable on return of the vehicle to the country. You need to bring cash for all the transactions as credit/debit cards cannot be used for any of the transactions.

The amounts differ based on the destination country, vehicle type, year of manufacture, model and other factors. You can check which category your vehicle falls into while at the authority's office. 

For destination countries in a table including India and Pakistan, the following rates apply:

Model year: 1990 to 2005

Dh15,000 cash deposit and Dh15,000 security bank cheque for regular vehicles

Dh25,000 cash deposit and Dh25,000 security bank cheque for station vehicles

Dh30,000 cash deposit and Dh30,000 security bank cheque for luxury vehicles

Model year: 2006 to 2015

Dh20,000 cash deposit and Dh20,000 security bank cheque for regular vehicles

Dh35,000 cash deposit and Dh35,000 security bank cheque for station vehicles

Dh40,000 cash deposit and Dh40,000 security bank cheque for luxury vehicles

Model year: 2016 to 2021

Dh30,000 cash deposit and Dh30,000 security bank cheque for regular vehicles

Dh45,000 cash deposit and Dh45,000 security bank cheque for station vehicles

Dh70,000 cash deposit and Dh70,000 security bank cheque for luxury vehicles

The cash deposit and security cheque are fully refundable, once the CPD is submitted after the vehicle is returned to the UAE within the allowed time. These amounts will differ based on which other countries you plan on visiting with the CPD.

The service charges range around Dh1,200 for the CPD, not including the deposits.

RTA’s tourism certificate

Once the vehicle owner gets a CPD, which can be completed on the same day of application if all documents are in order, he or she will need a tourism certificate from the Roads and Transport Authority in the UAE. You can head to any Tasjeel office to get this certificate.

You will require:

  • Original Emirates ID
  • Vehicle ownership certificate
  • Electronic No Objection Certificate (eNOC) from the mortgagee if the vehicle is under mortgage
  • NOC from the Emirates Motorsports Organization in all cases except for citizens, diplomatic and governmental corps and GCC citizens who want to use their vehicles within GCC countries.

The service fee starts from Dh100 based on the weight of your vehicle. You will also have to clear all pending fines before you can get the certificate. You will need just 5 to 10 mins to get the certificate once all required documents have been submitted.

Shipping and collection

With these documents in place, you’re essentially all set to go. In terms of shipping, it is always best to go with a firm that can do door-to-door delivery of your vehicle which will take care of customs procedures and documents in the destination country as well. Shipping can take from 5 to 8 days by sea, which is the usually preferred method.

The shipping costs would depend on the size of the vehicle and the size of the container used to transport the vehicle.

You have to make sure that there is nothing additional in the car when it is shipped. Any additional items placed in the car trunk or anywhere inside the car will be considered unaccounted for and can result in problems with customs officials in India.

On an average, you can expect to pay around Dh6,000 to Dh7000 for one-way door-to-door transport of a vehicle in a 20-ft. single container when shipping to India. This rate is just an average for a mid-sized vehicle and can vary based on destination port, company rates, included services, container details etc.

*These rates are subject to change. Please do your own research and call ATCUAE directly for information specific to your vehicle to ensure that rules and requirements are the same.