Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Purchasing a car in the UAE for export ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Purchasing a car in the UAE for export
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: sazarac-ga
List Price: $9.50
Posted: 05 May 2002 21:14 PDT
Expires: 12 May 2002 21:14 PDT
Question ID: 13305
Should I purchase a car in the United Arab Emirates, use it for a
year, and ship it back to the states after that year?
Subject: Re: Purchasing a car in the UAE for export
Answered By: drdavid-ga on 11 May 2002 11:53 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Your question seems to be premised on a customs law that no longer
applies! There was a time when it was fairly common practice when
living abroad for a year or more to buy a car that was cheaper, drive
it for a year or more, then bring it back to the United States. The
duty on a car that had been used abroad for more than a year was
substantially less than that on a new car and certain cars could often
be purchased for less money abroad. Even with $2000 or so in shipping
costs, the car could be cheaper than an equivalent car purchased in
the United States. These rules have, unfortunately, changed, and, in
most cases, bringing a personal car back to the United States is no
longer an attractive proposition financially. If you want to do it for
sentimental reasons, or because the car has some special
characteristics important to you (perhaps you plan to enter it into
auto shows), then it is certainly possible, but for "ordinary" cars,
you will likely come out ahead to sell your foreign car and buy
another in the United States.

If you still wish to consider bringing your car into the United
States, you can review the requirements and rules on line.

The US Customs requirements are described on their website:

You will find that the duty on an imported car (less than 25 years
old) is 2.5% of its purchase price regardless of whether it is new or
used. On a truck, it is 25%.

You will also find that your vehicle must conform to US and local
State safety and emmisions requirements. If it was not built for sale
in the US, it will likely need to be retrofitted to meet those
standards. These retrofits must be performed by a Registered Importer.
You can find a complete list of these requirements and vehicles which
can be so retrofitted at the website of the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration:

Good luck with your car purchases!

Google search:

import car one year united states
:// q=import+car+one+year+united+states

Clarification of Answer by drdavid-ga on 11 May 2002 11:54 PDT
Sorry about the extra space... The search link should be:

sazarac-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Great response - would have given it a 5-star rating but I have had no
other similar experience with which to compare; so thanks, keep up the
great work!

Steve Zalewski

Subject: Re: Purchasing a car in the UAE for export
From: luckyluke-ga on 10 May 2002 15:53 PDT
No, it is not a good idea to try to import a car into the US unless it
is a special car you personally love. When importing a car in to the
US there are safety standards set up to hinder that kind of
transaction like changing the bumpers. Another problem is that many of
the cars in that area of the world may be use to normal gas instead of
unleaded gas or require at least out super premium quality. The import
taxes bringing the car into the US are outrageous plus you will end up
paying around $2000 to ship it from as close as Europe. When you do
get it into the United States good luck finding cheep insurance or a
buyer for the car when you are sick of it.

The other angle is what some of my friends are doing here at my
international university. They are buying Renaults, Land Rovers
whatever from around Europe, one from Yemen and paying the $2000 or so
to ship the car to the east coast pick it up and can drive it for a
year on their student visas with European license plates and no
modifications is legal but then after that period you are stuck with a
car that should not be on the road that will sell for a good loss of

So my opinion is no just buy a car there sell it for a discount to
sell it fast then come buy a different car in the USA not even looking
for a deal you will still make out better in the long run than if you
were to ship it back.


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy