Moving to the Middle East is an ordeal in and of itself, however it can be even more difficult if you need to ship a vehicle to use during your stay. However, with the right guidance and a little patience, you can easily setup transportation for your car. For anyone in this situation, please consider the following ten tips for shipping an automobile to the Middle East.
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1. Have proper international shipping documentation
No matter what country you are shipping to or from, proper documentation must be readily available and organized. This includes but is not limited to registration and the title to the car.
2. Keep all papers organized
The title to the car, registration and insurance papers, and shipping documents should all be prepared in advance. Having a car efficiently shipped to the Middle East with out said documents properly organized may prove difficult.
3. Citizenship Requirements
Not just anyone can ship a car to the Middle East. Unless given express permission, most patrons hoping to ship their vehicle to the Middle East will need to hold citizenship. Of course, this may depend on where in the Middle East you are shipping. If you would like to ship to Israel for example, they are even so strict as to require the vehicle to be in the name of a citizen and be no more than 2 years old.
4. Car Condition
It is important to remember that some Countries have strict standards for the cars they allow to be driven on their roads. You should check the transportation customs for the Middle Eastern country you wish to send your car to, as your vehicle may not even be eligible. Of course, the shipping company you choose may be able to answer this question for you.
5. Customs Issues
When shipping to some countries, having personal items in your car are fine as long as they are accounted for. However, other countries may have strict rules against having anything at all while it is shipped. Unless you have been cleared to do otherwise, clean out your car completely to avoid a mess at customs.
6. VAT Taxes
Several Middle Eastern countries, Israel being one of them, charge Value Added Taxes (VAT). Unfortunately, this includes vehicle shipping. The tax will need to be paid in full, and may vary depending on the size of your engine.
Get rates on shipping cars internationally with our shipping to the Middle East calculator
7. Drivers License
It may be necessary for you to have a valid drivers license for the Country you are shipping your car too. A copy of this should be provided with the rest of your validating documents should that be the case.
8. Government Transportation License
Some countries require a transportation license of sorts to be granted before you can have your car shipped there. You will need to verify if the country has something like a ministry of transportation, if they do indeed require transportation licenses, and what is required from you to receive one.
9. Get Insurance
Especially if you are shipping from the U.S all the way to the Middle East, you should be sure to ask potential transporters about insurance options they offer. While transport companies will generally provide insurance on cars they move, for longer trips they will sometimes offer additional insurance, to insure against unlikely but possible circumstances like a Somali Pirate attack.
Read our blog on reducing risk when shipping cars overseas
10. Give it Time
Especially with the documents you will need to put together, and possible licenses you will need to obtain, having plenty of time to spare before your car needs to arrive in the Middle East is prudent. Shipping a car can take several weeks on its own, so the sooner you get started putting your transport agenda together, the better. If you have any remaining questions, ask your transporter!