How to import a used car in Saudi Arabia?

After settling down in Saudi Arabia, many expats want to import a used car from the UAE or some other country. Here is the complete process to import a used car to Saudi Arabia;

Who can Import a car to KSA?

The following people can import a car to Saudi Arabia;

  • Iqama holder with a valid iqama.
  • A GCC Citizen.
  • GCC = Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain.

Any of the above-mentioned people can import one car a year. Importing more than one vehicle per year is considered a business of sale and import so only those people who have a valid registration in the business can import more than one vehicle in a year.

How to import a used car in Saudi Arabia?

Which car can be imported?

A vehicle meeting the following requirements can be imported to Saudi Arabia;

  • The origin country is not Israel.
  • Left-hand side drive (no modification allowed).
  • The vehicle’s body is not damaged.
  • No accidental car is allowed to be imported.
  • The police never use the car.
  • The vehicle is never used as a taxi.
  • The car is not more than 5 years old.

If the damage to the body has occurred at the port in Kingdom where the vehicle has arrived, a certificate stating the facts shall be obtained by the competent authorities of the port.

Required Documents for the Import

The following documents are required for the customs clearance in Saudi Arabia;

  • The export declaration is issued by the customs administration of exporting country.
  • Purchase Invoice.
  • Certificate of Origin.
  • An export form issued by the traffic police of the exporting country.
  • Certificate of ownership of the vehicle duly attested by the Saudi embassy of the exporting country.
  • A clearance certificate issued by the exporting country validating that the vehicle is free from debt, bank lease, etc.
  • A police clearance certificate for the vehicle.
  • Power of attorney is the importer is not the owner.
  • Declaration of import issued by the first port of entry in GCC.
  • Further guidance is available on the Saudi Customs website.

Custom Duties on the imported car

The customs duty on the import of vehicles is 5% and the VAT rate is 15%. The value of the vehicle for customs duty is calculated after taking into account the following factors;

  • The price list was issued by the manufacturer.
  • Depreciation @ 1% per month for the used car.
  • No depreciation if the car is imported in the first 6 months of the model.
  • The maximum rate of deduction can be 60% of the price of the vehicle to be imported.
  • Shipping charges and insurance cost is added to the price.

Demurrages and Detention

The importer is required to clear the car from the customs within 14 days of its arrival to the port by paying the customs duties, VAT, and other charges and fulfilling the required documents as explained above.

Starting from the 15th day, the Saudi ports would start charging demurrages on the importer which could be a very heavy amount. Some people say that the amount of demurrages is SR 50/day/ton.

It is always a good idea to hire a customs and clearance agent to do the process. He would save you much more money than his fee.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.