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Thread: Importing car from UAE to UK - No paperwork

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Importing car from UAE to UK - No paperwork

    Hi everyone,


    So after having a quick browse one some car auction sites in the UAE (whilst bored at work ) I have spotted a very rare gem of a car which is currently sat covered in layers of dust in the middle of Dubai, its a police repossession auction but this thing must have been sat there for a few years and on top of the missing bumper and other odd parts it could be an absolute bargain and a great project.

    The problem is the auction finishes tomorrow evening and I have no idea about UAE to UK shipping, on top of this the car comes with out any paperwork so the auction house has put it down as 'scrap' as its not transferrable in the UAE but can I import and then register the car in the UK?

    The VIN checks out, from what I understand its been a repo years ago but due to the amount of cars and legalities there it can take these cars years to go to auction, they then just sit in the middle of the desert awaiting terrible photos before being put online.

    Its not a huge amount of money, I will probably put about 5-8k on the auction, expect to pay about 1-2k in shipping and fees but its still super cheap at that price.


    Any advice on this would be appreciated, I have contacted a couple of shipping companies in UAE and awaiting their reply however with it being late on a friday afternoon there now I am not expecting much until Monday at least and the auction will have ran out then, plus I need to pay and ideally move the car from them within 2-3 days.

    I am keeping the car secret for now though, if I win it then I will keep you all updated of course!

  2. #2
    Before thinking about the car. First question I would ask is, have you had any dealings out in the UAE previously and do you have anyone out there that you can rely upon to help?


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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by GC2012 View Post
    Hi everyone,


    So after having a quick browse one some car auction sites in the UAE (whilst bored at work ) I have spotted a very rare gem of a car which is currently sat covered in layers of dust in the middle of Dubai, its a police repossession auction but this thing must have been sat there for a few years and on top of the missing bumper and other odd parts it could be an absolute bargain and a great project.

    The problem is the auction finishes tomorrow evening and I have no idea about UAE to UK shipping, on top of this the car comes with out any paperwork so the auction house has put it down as 'scrap' as its not transferrable in the UAE but can I import and then register the car in the UK?

    The VIN checks out, from what I understand its been a repo years ago but due to the amount of cars and legalities there it can take these cars years to go to auction, they then just sit in the middle of the desert awaiting terrible photos before being put online.

    Its not a huge amount of money, I will probably put about 5-8k on the auction, expect to pay about 1-2k in shipping and fees but its still super cheap at that price.


    Any advice on this would be appreciated, I have contacted a couple of shipping companies in UAE and awaiting their reply however with it being late on a friday afternoon there now I am not expecting much until Monday at least and the auction will have ran out then, plus I need to pay and ideally move the car from them within 2-3 days.

    I am keeping the car secret for now though, if I win it then I will keep you all updated of course!
    Have you confirmed shipping? You may be surprised at current shipping costs.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GC2012 View Post
    Any advice on this would be appreciated, I have contacted a couple of shipping companies in UAE and awaiting their reply however with it being late on a friday afternoon there now I am not expecting much until Monday at least and the auction will have ran out then, plus I need to pay and ideally move the car from them within 2-3 days.
    I think what you state here suggests you should not even try. Unfortunate, but you don't know the costs of the shipping, let alone have the shipping booked in within 2-3 days after the purchase, so I don't know how you can consider proceeding?

    Also, shipping a car from there to here these days will be brutally expensive, as dougair notes.

    The customs arrangements must be extremely complex too.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GC2012 View Post
    Its not a huge amount of money, I will probably put about 5-8k on the auction, expect to pay about 1-2k in shipping and fees but its still super cheap at that price.
    Presume you’d have to pay VAT (and other duties??).

    Interestingly, lots of people offer car import services when you Google. Eg, this:

    https://mycarimport.co.uk/import-pro...bai-to-the-uk/
    Last edited by David_D; 7th May 2021 at 17:07.

  6. #6
    Master
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    Being Friday it's the weekend out there so you may hear something on Sunday.

  7. #7
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    And beware that it's Eid next week so you have a tight window.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  8. #8
    I read a piece a while back that lots of foreigners drive to the airports to fly back home and just leave cars in the multi-storey car parks, it seemed that some are sat there a long while covered in a thick coating of dust and sand. So it could be one of these cars, it might have belonged to a foreigner - legal ownership questions could be interesting!..

  9. #9
    We have had the misfortune to import a few Porsche , Ferrari, Mercedes Benz cars from that neck of the world. All were low mileage with reasonable provenance but each one was a terrible money pit. The extreme temperatures play havoc with the electrics and softer materials , making each one an absolute disaster, financially.

  10. #10
    We have had the misfortune to import a few Porsche , Ferrari, Mercedes Benz cars from that neck of the world. All were low mileage with reasonable provenance but each one was a terrible money pit. The extreme temperatures play havoc with the electrics and softer materials , making each one an absolute disaster, financially.

  11. #11
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    I recently read an article about a mid-1950s Mercedes 300SL in Cuba which was 'gradually' shipped to Europe after being dismantled and crated ... some brought back in suitcases ... contents probably declared as used car parts. Whole car was reassembled / restored in Europe. Required the cooperation of friendly Cuban freight forwarders. Article may have been in Classic and Sports Car magazine.

    If your potential purchase is a similarly valued car you could try the same.

    EDIT: The article https://www.classicandsportscar.com/...ggled-out-cuba
    Last edited by sundial; 7th May 2021 at 20:20.
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" … Samuel Pepys

  12. #12
    Master
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    Importing car from UAE to UK - No paperwork

    You’ve little chance of securing freight to door at £1-2k. You need to double that at the minimum at the moment depending on whether you go for part or full load. With no ownership paperwork you’re looking at minimum 10% Duty on cost + freight value plus 20% Vat on C&F + duty price iie 10k invoice value + 3k freight = duty £1300 + vat £2600. A 10k car will end up costing £18k+ to drop on your drive probably


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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by notnowkato View Post
    We have had the misfortune to import a few Porsche , Ferrari, Mercedes Benz cars from that neck of the world. All were low mileage with reasonable provenance but each one was a terrible money pit. The extreme temperatures play havoc with the electrics and softer materials , making each one an absolute disaster, financially.
    I was going to ask something along these lines - you mention it as rare etc but I would factor in loads of repairs based on environmental damage, let alone the unknown of why it was abandoned and any service history.

    From the short time I have spent around the gulf, it is a hard place on even well-cared for machines


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  14. #14
    How old is the thing and what make/model??

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  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    Brought my motorbike back to the Uk. after living in Dubai for a long time. Was relatively painless as I had it for about 8 years or so so no vat coming into the uk. Went into the shipping container with my furniture but even that wasn’t so cheap. I remember paying about £700 for the paperwork associated with shipping the bike plus I had to get the battery out and drain it all of fluids.

    I wouldn’t be so worried about the temperatures causing issues. I put 360,000 km on my Nissan patrol and it took it in its stride including desert camping and dune bashing. Rough on batteries - only 18-24 months max.

    There were a lot of dumped cars at the airport in 2009 after the financial crisis but doubt that this is one of those these days. Apart from that period never really saw any abandoned cars of any substance. There are a lot of shipping companies out there and Dubai can be very bureaucratic. Was a bit of a faff getting my bike deregistered at the RTA and don’t know how that works in an auction bought car.

    Might be buying into some shipping problems but nothing ventured nothing gained!!


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  16. #16
    My father in law has imported cars from South America in various states of disrepair and with and without paperwork. DVLA will work with you as long as you can establish what the car is/its identity, usually through having it inspected and verified by a specialist and/or DVLA inspector, and they will issue you with an age relevant registration, etc. If you can't establish the identity, you will have to go through an approvals process and be given a Q plate.

    The VAT, duty, etc. charges will largely depend on the age of the car and where it originated.

    My first port of call would be a transport company which specialises in cars and they will be able to give you all of the information and usually collect the car and store it until they can combine the shipment to reduce the costs.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by lughugger View Post
    You’ve little chance of securing freight to door at £1-2k. You need to double that at the minimum at the moment depending on whether you go for part or full load. With no ownership paperwork you’re looking at minimum 10% Duty on cost + freight value plus 20% Vat on C&F + duty price iie 10k invoice value + 3k freight = duty £1300 + vat £2600. A 10k car will end up costing £18k+ to drop on your drive probably


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    I haven't done this for many years but if the car has never been registered in the UK there is (or was) a further 'new car tax' which approximated £1K for an E Type we brought in from California (and if I remember correctly just about the same for a couple of 3 litre Austin Healeys that came in later). We managed to avoid import duty by getting Jaguar Heritage to certify it as UK manufactured from the VIN, but still got hit with the VAT.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by lughugger View Post
    You’ve little chance of securing freight to door at £1-2k. You need to double that at the minimum at the moment depending on whether you go for part or full load. With no ownership paperwork you’re looking at minimum 10% Duty on cost + freight value plus 20% Vat on C&F + duty price iie 10k invoice value + 3k freight = duty £1300 + vat £2600. A 10k car will end up costing £18k+ to drop on your drive probably


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    I haven't done this for many years but if the car has never been registered in the UK there is (or was) a further 'new car tax' which approximated £1K for an E Type we brought in from California (and if I remember correctly just about the same for a couple of 3 litre Austin Healeys that came in later). We managed to avoid import duty by getting Jaguar Heritage to certify it as UK manufactured from the VIN, but still got hit with the VAT.

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    I’d be more concerned about the shitty fine sand .It gets into and onto everything out there.

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