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Hello,

I have a question about shipping a car from USA to UAE. I am moving to UAE for new employment. I have a brand new 2015 Honda CR V EX 2WD(4 months old) and I was contemplating on shipping the car from US to UAE. I live in Texas where the heat can rise upto 40 - 43 degrees Celsius. I just wanted some advise from the members if that is a feasible option, the car being brand new. Also, are there any specification difference between USA & UAE car models? Any previous experiences will be truly helpful.
Thanks
 

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If your car drives fine in Texas it it will be fine here as well.

There is a difference between US spec and GCC spec cars but nothing to worry about. However, if you ever plan to sell your car in UAE it can be challenging because people prefer GCC spec cars as in the past many US spec cars have been shipped to UAE that were written off in USA (flood damage)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I bought the car in Houston & it drives perfectly fine. I got the car brand new. Will it still be an issue if I ever decide to sell it?
 

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Thanks for the reply. I bought the car in Houston & it drives perfectly fine. I got the car brand new. Will it still be an issue if I ever decide to sell it?
Yes it will be an issue, but only one of value. As mentioned above, buyers here do not prefer US spec cars, so the value will suffer.

You can overcome the fear that the car was written off in the US before shipping it by showing documentation that shows you were the owner in the US. If the buyer is reasonable, that will be fine. However, you can't overcome the market perception (mostly based on inaccurate information) that US spec it not as able to cope with the heat as GCC spec cars.

Market perception = market value. Also, used cars generally depreciate faster here than in the US. When you look at some used cars here, you will see why.

You are in a tough spot because you just purchased the car so of course you will be sensitive to the depreciation you will take if you sell it now. However, generally when you take into account the lowered value of the car, shipping costs, and import duties, it isn't worth shipping an inexpensive car to the UAE. I think you would be better of selling the car in the US and buying something equivalent here.

Also, if your car is financed in the US, it's very unlikely your bank will let you export it.

BTW, I believe most cars' radios can be switched from US frequency spacing to European US frequency spacing by the dealer, with no need to physically replace the radio.
 

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You are in a tough spot because you just purchased the car so of course you will be sensitive to the depreciation you will take if you sell it now. However, generally when you take into account the lowered value of the car, shipping costs, and import duties, it isn't worth shipping an inexpensive car to the UAE. I think you would be better of selling the car in the US and buying something equivalent here.

Also, if your car is financed in the US, it's very unlikely your bank will let you export it.
This x 100!
 

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That's true, your car needs to be paid off before you take it out of US. There is one thing that you need to know, the warranties that you have in US, not necessarily gets transferred here. So if you had 50kmiles free service, it is not honored here.
 

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Not quite true.

European cars have terrible depreciation in the UAE because once the warranty/free servicing expires it's very expensive.

But Japanese cars hold their value extremely well. Six year old Prados with decent mileage are still getting 60% of their original purchase price. Four year old Accords and Pajeros others of similar calibre usually sell for 50-60% of original price. The OP has a Honda so he will get a good resale price in the UAE.

The big advantage of bringing his car to Dubai is that he can export it back to the US, whereas it's not really practical for any GCC spec car bought here.

Market perception = market value. Also, used cars generally depreciate faster here than in the US. When you look at some used cars here, you will see why.

.
 

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Not quite true. European cars have terrible depreciation in the UAE because once the warranty/free servicing expires it's very expensive. But Japanese cars hold their value extremely well. Six year old Prados with decent mileage are still getting 60% of their original purchase price. Four year old Accords and Pajeros others of similar calibre usually sell for 50-60% of original price. The OP has a Honda so he will get a good resale price in the UAE. The big advantage of bringing his car to Dubai is that he can export it back to the US, whereas it's not really practical for any GCC spec car bought here.
That's true in US as well. However, what we don't know is how much he bought the car for, there are sometimes rebates, and big discounts that drop the price of a new car, this is not something you'll find in Dubai for most new cars. If that's the case, you should look into bringing the car to UAE.
 

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Not quite true.

European cars have terrible depreciation in the UAE because once the warranty/free servicing expires it's very expensive.

But Japanese cars hold their value extremely well. Six year old Prados with decent mileage are still getting 60% of their original purchase price. Four year old Accords and Pajeros others of similar calibre usually sell for 50-60% of original price. The OP has a Honda so he will get a good resale price in the UAE.

The big advantage of bringing his car to Dubai is that he can export it back to the US, whereas it's not really practical for any GCC spec car bought here.
I was assuming a comparison between the market value in the UAE of a US Spec Japanese car, and a GCC Spec Japanese car. I wasn't making a comparison between European and Japanese cars. I'm not sure where that came from, as OP stated (s)he has a Honda. Your point about Japanese versus European cars may well be correct, but I don't see the relevance to this discussion.

UAE buyers tend to assume a GCC spec car is better than the otherwise exactly equivalent US Spec car, and market prices of US spec cars are lower as a consequence.

Secondly, I think it is correct to say that cars in general depreciate faster here than in the US. A 2 year old car here is considered "old". That's not the case in the US (although of course in both countries, you take a whopping depreciation as soon as a car is initially titled).

So net effect is that OP should consider that moving a car to the UAE would depreciate its value a bit more than would be the case in the US.

Your point about being able to ship a previously-US titled car back to the US is correct, but some issues apply there:

First of course, you have to pay shipping to get it back again. That's another $3,000+ depending on shipping method. I'm not sure that shipping an even older Honda back to the US makes sense from a value proposition.

Second, I think it would take another depreciation hit once it is back in the US. If you told the average US buyer in the US that the car they are going to buy was driven for a number of years in Dubai they are going to assume that the dusty desert environment and heat here has worn that car more than if it had not been driven here. Most American buyers haven't been here, and the mental image Dubai conjures up is basically Tatooine.

BTW, I shipped a car from the US to the UAE, so I am not against the concept. I just don't think it would make economic sense for OP in this particular case. Of course, what might tip the balance would be if OP can get shipping and duty included in a relocation package. That's what I did, and then it might (just) make sense.
 

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Fair enough, but if you are going to get pedantic about it was you who originally wrote:

"Market perception = market value. Also, used cars generally depreciate faster here than in the US. When you look at some used cars here, you will see why."

You didn't include any of the latter clarifications.

The one thing I've observed about the UAE (not just the car market) is that market perception is difficult to gauge. Taking the case of a car imported from the US and later resold, it's true that many people avoid such cars in fears of being sold a formerly wrecked/flooded car. But I had one coworker who specifically bought a car imported by an American expat who had all the initial bills of sale and shipping paperwork. He paid a very good price for it. His reasoning was that he wanted a car he could take to the US with him when the time came, and he did.

If it's a popular Japanese model he will not have any trouble selling it for a decent price, whether in Dubai or back in the US. The actual losses he might face is probably negligible when compared against the loss of selling the car right now. And rebuying the same car in Dubai may cost more money as not all cars are cheaper here. If he buys the same car in Dubai and sells it when his posting is up, then there's that depreciation he needs to account for too.

And there are other factors we may not be aware of, such as perhaps the shipping costs will be covered by the company? A car can fit into a 40' container plus that car can also be packed with his other belongings.

When it comes to car ownership and comparing the pros and cons and variable expenses, people tend to agonize over a handful of factors without realising the larger picture includes many more factors that also have an impact. As it is, there isn't a right or wrong answer and I suspect at the end of the day the differential between selling now vs shipping ranges from negligible to no more than a few thousand (assuming the shipping is covered by the company).




I was assuming a comparison between the market value in the UAE of a US Spec Japanese car, and a GCC Spec Japanese car. I wasn't making a comparison between European and Japanese cars. I'm not sure where that came from, as OP stated (s)he has a Honda. Your point about Japanese versus European cars may well be correct, but I don't see the relevance to this discussion.

UAE buyers tend to assume a GCC spec car is better than the otherwise exactly equivalent US Spec car, and market prices of US spec cars are lower as a consequence.

Secondly, I think it is correct to say that cars in general depreciate faster here than in the US. A 2 year old car here is considered "old". That's not the case in the US (although of course in both countries, you take a whopping depreciation as soon as a car is initially titled).

So net effect is that OP should consider that moving a car to the UAE would depreciate its value a bit more than would be the case in the US.

Your point about being able to ship a previously-US titled car back to the US is correct, but some issues apply there:

First of course, you have to pay shipping to get it back again. That's another $3,000+ depending on shipping method. I'm not sure that shipping an even older Honda back to the US makes sense from a value proposition.

Second, I think it would take another depreciation hit once it is back in the US. If you told the average US buyer in the US that the car they are going to buy was driven for a number of years in Dubai they are going to assume that the dusty desert environment and heat here has worn that car more than if it had not been driven here. Most American buyers haven't been here, and the mental image Dubai conjures up is basically Tatooine.

BTW, I shipped a car from the US to the UAE, so I am not against the concept. I just don't think it would make economic sense for OP in this particular case. Of course, what might tip the balance would be if OP can get shipping and duty included in a relocation package. That's what I did, and then it might (just) make sense.
 

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Howdy! Question for y'all. We are shipping our BMW x3 2014 to Dubai. Can I get insurance/plates before it arrives and if so, how? Will I be able to drive the car from the port to our apartment or will I need to have insurance & plates before I can drive it? Are there recommendations for companies that will help with this? Do you recommend any weatherproofing to help the car withstand sand and sun? THANK YOU for any help you can provide!!!
 

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I've some bad news for you on the insurance front. Since January UAE insurance companies can only offer third party only insurance on imported cars regardless of whether they are new or second hand. You can't get plates sorted before it arrives but it's very quick to get it registered at a test centre.
 
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