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Categories Of Classic Cars In The UAE & The Process Of Registering Them

By Martin Alva - September 14, 2018

Categories Of Classic Cars In The UAE & The Process Of Registering Them

CLassic Car Registration In UAE

In the last article we took a look at the distinction between classic, antique, and vintage cars. Today, let’s just say you don’t care what class your car comes under; you simply want to own the car you’ve always wanted to since childhood, and now finally have the means to do so. This is where the new history of your old car begins.

So you finally unearthed your dream car of a bygone era from the corner of an old, nondescript barn somewhere out in the hinterlands of (insert your preferred country’s name here). You want to restore it to its former glory, mechanically as well as aesthetically using period-correct and genuine parts and accessories. Most importantly, you want to have the time of life your life back home at the wheel of the old lady.

The Roads and Transport Authority of the UAE now allows you to realise your dream!

Getting said old lady to the UAE entails a methodical process of registering your car. For the sake of brevity we’ll call your treasured possession a classic car. As a rule of thumb, classic cars are those that are more than 30 years old. RTA UAE further segregates the classic car into six categories.

Category A: Cars falling under these category can be driven on all UAE roads with an annual cap of 10,000km. Cars built after 1950 are classed in category A.

Category B: Cars built before 1950 fall under this category. These cars can be driven on all the roads of the UAE for a maximum of 5,000km a year.

Category C: Cars coming under this category cannot be legally driven on public roads of Dubai. Such automobiles which cannot match Dubai’s minimum speed limit of 60kph are bunched under category ‘C’.

Category D: Cars which have insufficient lighting equipment are bunched under this category. Due to their poor lighting- probably because of the limited technology of their time- are only allowed to ply the roads during daytime keeping public safety in mind.

Category E: These cars can only be driven on internal, service, or private roads.

Category F: These cars can only be used for display.

So there you have it. Find out which category your dream machine comes in, and you are ready for the next step- registering your car with the RTA. A classic car can be easily registered for use on UAE roads following a thorough inspection by the RTA. The inspection will take into account multiple aspects of the car, from its levels of standard safety equipment to the overall condition of the car.

Cars imported from overseas are liable to be governed by import taxation. These cars are also inspected and declared fit or otherwise for use on UAE roads. Their category is also determined so that they can be registered under the correct category.

Once the car passes inspection, you can now file registration papers with the RTA. Once registration Is successful, a special licence plate depicting your car’s classic status is presented to you. The custom plate declares your car’s legendary stature to all those who look upon it with admiring, envious eyes. The RTA’s new legislation on registering classic cars now makes it easier for you to drive around in the classic machine of your choice!


Martin Alva - September 14, 2018

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