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Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Old Oct 19th 2008, 4:35 pm
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Default Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

As you may have read from an earlier thread, I'm going to be buying a car fairly soon.

A deciding factor in the selection of the car I'll ultimately buy is whether or not I can ship it back to the good ol' USA. A 4x4, no, but a decent sedan, say a Saab, may be worth the expense rather than trying to offload it at half its value in two years' time, especially if the Dubai economy collapses (which I fully expect to happen) and expats start leaving the country in droves and trying to sell their worldly possessions.

So-people with experience in shipping goods to/from their home country, what is the general going rate for shipping a car to the US (or even Europe?). I once shipped half a container's worth of furniture from the UK to the US two years ago, and the bill for shipping and packaging ran up to 5,000 USD. Is that a decent benchmark to use for shipping cars?
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

It doesn't matter what's in the container for the cost- it's the paperwork and getting the car road legal for the other end which costs. Try these guys.
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 2:57 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Unless it's a US spec car, bringing one into the US is a no goer, apart from the requirements, it's the getting a registered importer to do it for you.
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 3:24 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

personally the paperwork alone would put me off
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 4:13 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

I have been told by the US embassy in Abu Dhabi that I can take a car back to the US. It's the modifications (changing the speedometer from kilometers to miles, and adjusting the engine to increase the size of the heater and reducing the capacity of the air conditioning tank) that will have to be done once the car arrives in the US.

But can anyone tell me what makes the paperwork so formidable? A few hours filling out forms can't be too bad? Especially if it means not buying a car in the States once I return?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Unless it's a US spec car, bringing one into the US is a no goer, apart from the requirements, it's the getting a registered importer to do it for you.
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 7:16 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Originally Posted by Ethos83 View Post
I have been told by the US embassy in Abu Dhabi that I can take a car back to the US. It's the modifications (changing the speedometer from kilometers to miles, and adjusting the engine to increase the size of the heater and reducing the capacity of the air conditioning tank) that will have to be done once the car arrives in the US.

But can anyone tell me what makes the paperwork so formidable? A few hours filling out forms can't be too bad? Especially if it means not buying a car in the States once I return?
exporting from here is allegedly a nightmare, getting papers approved, translated into Arabic etc etc. Not sure if I have ever heard of anyone who has managed to to do it.
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

obviously you havent lived in abu dhabi, otherwise you would know what happens here with the red tape etc.
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 9:38 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

You would be required to de-register the car, apply for export plates, and pay off any fines before you can arrange shipping. This can be done through an agents but it is time consuming and costly.
Provided you do all this, you then need to consider the other end. The car needs to meet the US emissions and all other regulations which it may not depending on the make and model. Some manufacturers build cars for the ME because they have no emission controls and lower quality control standards.
You then need to consider any import duties that may be applicable, which can depend on the age of the car.
Finally, when you come to sell the car in the States, it will be flagged as an import which will adversley affect it's resale value.
I know of people who have shipped bikes back to the US, but not a car.
IMO, not worth the bother!
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Originally Posted by Ethos83 View Post
I have been told by the US embassy in Abu Dhabi that I can take a car back to the US. It's the modifications (changing the speedometer from kilometers to miles, and adjusting the engine to increase the size of the heater and reducing the capacity of the air conditioning tank) that will have to be done once the car arrives in the US.

But can anyone tell me what makes the paperwork so formidable? A few hours filling out forms can't be too bad? Especially if it means not buying a car in the States once I return?
Embassy won't know buggery...and if you search the bundle of threads in the US forum, handy that...you'd see why it's a no goer.

It's not you that does the form filling, it's the getting an importer to import your car that's your stumbling block.
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Old Oct 21st 2008, 2:05 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Originally Posted by Roadking View Post
The car needs to meet the US emissions and all other regulations which it may not depending on the make and model. Some manufacturers build cars for the ME because they have no emission controls and lower quality control standards.
Actually, the US has almost the lowest emissions standards in the world. Cars from the US aren't even allowed to be imported into China because their standards are so much lower.
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Old Oct 21st 2008, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Originally Posted by Desert Dweller View Post
Actually, the US has almost the lowest emissions standards in the world. Cars from the US aren't even allowed to be imported into China because their standards are so much lower.
Not completely true. California, for example, has one of the tightest emission controls in the world. All vehicle there must be equivalent to Super ULEVII standards. My point was; UAE has no emission standards and this could impact on importing a car to certain states.
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Old Oct 21st 2008, 6:52 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Originally Posted by Roadking View Post
Not completely true. California, for example, has one of the tightest emission controls in the world. All vehicle there must be equivalent to Super ULEVII standards. My point was; UAE has no emission standards and this could impact on importing a car to certain states.
True- but California is having trouble getting the Bush administration to bring it down to an even acceptable level. Let's hope the change does start in 14 days!
Anyway- we digress. I think it is agreed that taking your car out of AbDab is not the way forward.

Are you sure the UAE has mo emissions controls? I remember having a widget thing put in my exhaust pipe during the car test.

Last edited by Desert Dweller; Oct 21st 2008 at 6:55 am.
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Old Oct 21st 2008, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Originally Posted by Desert Dweller View Post
True- but California is having trouble getting the Bush administration to bring it down to an even acceptable level. Let's hope the change does start in 14 days!
Anyway- we digress. I think it is agreed that taking your car out of AbDab is not the way forward.

Are you sure the UAE has mo emissions controls? I remember having a widget thing put in my exhaust pipe during the car test.
Cali is basically the standard level your car has to meet or no one bothers bringing cars over, extra cost in having two levels of standard and all that.
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Old Oct 22nd 2008, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Cali is basically the standard level your car has to meet or no one bothers bringing cars over, extra cost in having two levels of standard and all that.
So what would happen if you live in Nebraska (as a random example) and relocated to San Diego? Would you be able to register your car in Cali or would you either not bring it or keep your Nebraska plates on?
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Old Oct 22nd 2008, 6:24 am
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Default Re: Shipping a car to the US from Dubai

they do check the emission here as part of the test, well in ad they do, and yes cars have been known to fail this test but the ones that i know that have have been jap cars.
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