Buying, selling and owning a car in the UAE has just got a little pricier for residents across the country. Following the implementation of a new unified federal decree on December 1, the fees for nearly all vehicle-related services have now increased - with some nearly doubling in price.
On October 4, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued the Ministerial Decision No. 30 for 2017.
The decree, which came into effect earlier this month and has been published in the official gazette, now means the fees of driving licenses and vehicles has been unified across all the emirates. It has been issued in a bid to regulate traffic services and safety.
When Khaleej Times called one of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) customer service centres on Wednesday to enquire about the new fee structure, the agent confirmed that "almost all service fees have been unified" under the new decree.
However, additional service fees may be incurred depending on the transport authority in the varying emirates. Under the revised fee structure, it will now cost Dh400 to register a light vehicle for the first time, and Dh350 for a renewal.
Additionally, those looking to transfer an international driving license into a UAE license will no longer pay one set fee, as the conversion process has changed.
Before, drivers in Dubai would pay a Dh400 (plus a Dh20 RTA fee) for the complete changeover. Now, they will have to pay Dh600 for the license conversion, Dh200 (plus a Dh20 RTA fee) to open a traffic file and Dh50 for the handbook manual. That's a total of Dh870 in all - nearly double the previous fee.
On the maintenance side, an inspection report for a simple accident will now cost a motorist Dh500, and a detailed technical test for a vehicle will cost Dh350.
For Indian expat, Sundaragopal Sundaresh, he told Khaleej Times he "welcomes any addition to increasing safety on the roads", however the timing is a concern.
"I'm thankful the government is implementing measures to increase road safety, however, the implementation of VAT will also follow. That means people need to really prepare for the additional outgoings in order to not feel the heat of it."
He said everything seems to have come into effect at once, but if it was in a more "staggered fashion, it would be a lot more pocket friendly".
"It will be telling to see how this will impact families. If you have five people in a household and three cars, it will prove very costly."
Though initially there has been some groans from motorists across the country regarding the fee hikes, this new unified decree is yet another move cementing the UAE's commitment towards road and traffic safety.
Back in March, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minster of Interior (MoI), had issued a ministerial decision, amending the federal traffic law.
The law included 17 articles which focused on re-examining traffic violations in terms of black points and raising the number of points for some of the serious offences. New violations were also introduced.
The law came into effect on July 1 and has since been well received. Like the Ministerial Decision No. 30 for 2017, the law was introduced to make the UAE one of the safest countries in the world.