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Exporting cars from Dubai to Europe

Discussion in 'Middle East' started by joejoeDK, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. joejoeDK

    joejoeDK Rookie

    Feb 7, 2021
    3
    Denmark
    Full Name:
    Joachim Skovgaard
    Hi everyone,

    I am looking into the possibility of importing cars (Ferraris and other premium brands) from the UAE to Denmark. I've done my due diligence in regards to profit calculations, shipping, legal stuff, and so forth. I've carefully looked through Dubizzle and various dealer websites to find EU spec cars, that I can make a decent profit on given that I can sell them for sligthly less than market price in Denmark.

    However, I am reading and hearing that a lot of people have serious concerns about Dubai cars. They are generally not interested in cars from the UAE even though I would be able to offer them at a lower price than others. Is there a legitimate reason for this or is it just prejudices?

    Do any of you have experiences in regards to the quality of EU spec cars for sale in Dubai? Is there anything to be said in general, or do one just need to beware like with any other used car deal?

    I have found a company in UAE that offers to do a mechanical check of the car and sort all the legal and practical aspects of exporting the car from Dubai. Are such companies to be trusted (especially in regards to thoroughly checking the car for any signs of damages, accidents or other stuff that would make it unsuitable for importing to Europe)?

    That was a lot of questions, but I guess they all add up to the same thing: Do any of you have experience with the quality of cars for sale in Dubai? Would you deem it worth the trouble to export selected cars from the UAE if there's a profit to be made?

    Hope to get some input - thanks in advance!

    Joe
     
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  3. e21jason

    e21jason Karting

    Jul 27, 2015
    52
    Dubai
    Full Name:
    Jason
    Dubai cars are viewed negatively as the quality of maintenance can be poor and 8/10 times is, the climate dry rots a lot of the plastics and rubbers. A lot off the cars are USA/Europe cars that are crashed and rebuilt., or japan imported that often have a R rating at auction. People will pay full price for car but spend the minimum to repair/maintain it.

    That said there are still good cars, and lot get exported at the end of their warranty period you will hardly find an FF for sale locally when 3-4 years ago they where common. There are lots of expats buying cars like this and exporting them, i know a guy that does about 3-4 Porsche/Ferrari/Mercedes a month. Most are bought privately or word of mouth so if its still at a dealer fro several months there is probably a reason.
     
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  4. joejoeDK

    joejoeDK Rookie

    Feb 7, 2021
    3
    Denmark
    Full Name:
    Joachim Skovgaard
    It does seem that it might be a tough business to go into - especially without a network in the country.

    Thanks for taking your time to answer. I appreciate it greatly!
     
  5. JohnMH

    JohnMH Formula 3

    Jan 28, 2004
    1,073
    Dubai, UAE
    I have lived here for 15 years and bought a few cars for myself. With one exception, all needed serious work, none were in sellable condition. I like projects and they were cheap at the time, but fixing my $20,000 TR over the last decade has cost me more in repairs than buying a really good one (which mine will never be).

    There used to be some decent cars to be found out there (I probably paid the lowest prices ever for my Countaches and my Testarossa) but such opportunities no longer really exist here. The internet means everyone thinks their car should be sold at the top of the market. Certainly more recent cars like 430s and 599s are cheaper here, but after going to look at a few with a friend, advertised cars have serious flaws, usually accident or serious underside damage (the world is full of ridiculous speed bumps here). On rare occasion you do find an expat leaving who is keen to sell and took better care of their car and needs to sell, but typically every rubber item has perished and needs replacement. The climate is really harsh here. Such cars also usually sell by word of mouth (I found all my cars that way).

    In addition, be very careful about stolen cars. They are easy to buy, sell, register and drive here, but exporting one will result in a rude shock. I know of two local TRs and one Enzo here which were stolen in Europe.

    Finally, even if you do find and export one, the market discounts them so much that the whole exercise may not be worthwhile.
     
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  6. joejoeDK

    joejoeDK Rookie

    Feb 7, 2021
    3
    Denmark
    Full Name:
    Joachim Skovgaard
    Thanks for taking your time to answer!

    Do you know whether newer cars (I'm thinking 2016 and newer), will have suffered the same damages from the climate? And from your experience will possible damages be identifiable by a skilled (independent) mechanic, or is it more often than not, something that won't show until it's being driven?

    As you might be able to tell I am clinging on to the last hope of there maybe being a potential of doing this as a side business - even though all logic tells me otherwise.
     
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  8. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    13,222
    That is disheartening to read. I feel bad for those that lost their cars that way...hope their insurance made them whole so they could have gotten a replacement no problem.
     
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  9. JohnMH

    JohnMH Formula 3

    Jan 28, 2004
    1,073
    Dubai, UAE
    At 10 years, most rubber and leather perishes in this climate - I replaced all the bushings and coolant hoses on my TR in 2010 and will replace everything again this summer, even though it is stored indoors and rarely sees the sun. A 2016 car may still be ok, but that assumes it has not been left in the sun, etc.

    As for inspection and service, I am pretty negative about the industry here. Dealers will generally sway the results of the inspection in favour of a seller, especially if the seller is likely to buy a new car once their old car is sold. As you are out of the country, they have little to fear from misrepresenting the condition of the car to you, or even saying that a major service was done when in fact it was not (I have personal experience with that).

    Non dealers probably lack the skills and electronics to verify a complex exotic car’s condition properly and still may want to please the seller for various reasons. It is possible to find a good car, but that is an exception- it may be far easier to find a rough car and buy it cheap, but that may not be your business model. Restoration would probably cost too much and the market will always discount your example due to its years in the Gulf.
     
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  10. Camp Freddie

    Camp Freddie Karting

    Oct 19, 2015
    128
    London, Doha, Beirut
    Just to chip in here, although I am in Qatar and not the UAE I concur with what JohnMH is saying, its a general ME thing. Yes you might find a great deal somewhere but these are rare and you need to be on the ground living day to day when these opportunities present themselves - usually people call me saying 'I heard you are the guy who buys sportscars, I have a beautiful condition ferlambastonmazzer' - they are never beautiful condition.

    Most cars here are never going to be 'mint condition'. The climate, road conditions and the general poor diving and lax attitude to servicing means even the 'deals' will need work.

    I probably got the World's cheapest working accident free Scaglietti 5 years ago but it will never be concours condition and yes I have had to spend quite a lot comparatively to get it to a good state. It will always be a 'driver' and i am under no illusions that when I finally bring it back to the UK it will be worth substantially less than a UK / European car.

    I passed last year on a stupidly cheap Diablo offered to me as it needed so much spending on it, it just wasn't worth it. At all. Even to say 'hey i own a Lambo'. It was totally neglected and abused. And the crash repaired Balboni was a close escape.

    I just started the same process now with my DB9 - I paid only approximately 50% that a similar spec / year UK Aston would cost - although it seems to have had a fortune thrown at it previously it still has fundamental issues to correct.

    In my opinion thinking prestige sportscars can be snapped up here at a big discount, shipped back to Europe and you can clean up big profits is very wishful thinking.

    For me it's the opportunity to pick up some great 'drivers' cars relatively cheaply and then improve them over time. And keep them.

    And yes i fully agree with JohnMH that the vehicle inspection services here are laughable, they will pass any car for a fee. I have a Filipino good mech / tech guy I trust. Even taking my car to the Ferrari main dealer here is something I dread - expensive and terrible quality service.

    As in everything in life, nothing good comes easy.
     
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  11. willcrook

    willcrook Formula 3

    Feb 3, 2009
    1,263
    UK
    when I was in Dubai I was shown a Diablo that was for sale at what worked out to be around £35k which is nuts!

    really interesting place and as you say if the timings right and you know the right people then some good deals are around
     
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