Be it upon buying a new car, transferring ownership of a car or meeting the deadline of your regular inspection, vehicle testing is inevitable when driving a car in Dubai.
As per legislation in Dubai, vehicles must undergo vehicle tests to ensure vehicles are road worthy, and failing this test means that the vehicle may not be taken out on the road.
Failure of the technical test occurs quite regularly, according to recent numbers presented by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
In fact, 19 per cent of light vehicles, 30 per cent of heavy vehicles, and 10 per cent of motorcycles fail the test, said Sultan Al Marzooki, Director of Vehicles Licensing, RTA’s Licensing Agency.
“The most common reasons for the test failure are related to chassis attachments, like the axles, wheels, tyres, steering linkages, arms, and shafts,” he said.
When a vehicle fails the technical test, the owner must repair the vehicle defect within 30 days, during which one vehicle re‐test is permitted.
If the test is not cleared within this period, the vehicle cannot be registered and the owner will be fined for every day that goes by without registration.
In addition, police may stop the driver on the road and issue a fine for the absence of a valid registered vehicle.
Here are some tips to prepare for a successful vehicle test:
Book the test appointment
Vehicle testing can be a time-consuming job. Depending on the time and location of the service centre, car owners may end up in long queues while waiting for their test to be done, or the test result.
“The average end-to-end service time ranges from 20 – 40 minutes, depending on the volume of customers,” says the RTA.
The RTA recently launched a booking option for the vehicle testing. Individuals as well as companies can contact the call centre of the RTA (8009090) to book an appointment for technical testing of their vehicles, or directly contact the service centres listed on RTA’s website.
Prepare the vehicle
Any vehicle must have a valid registration plate and chassis number.
The vehicle must be cleaned, as well as the number plate. If an underside cover is present, it must be removed.
In any vehicle, a safety triangle, spare wheel and fire extinguisher (as applicable to your vehicle category) must be present in a visible/accessible location.
Advertisements and/or stickers of any sort on the vehicle may only be present if prior approval from the RTA can be demonstrated.
What will be tested?
For a light vehicle, the test will include inspection of the braking system, steering and steering wheel, visibility, lighting equipment, axles, wheels, tyres, suspension, chassis and chassis attachments and other equipment, such as safety belts.
Heavy vehicles will undergo similar inspections, but lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment will also be tested.
Further, the vehicle will be inspected for noise pollution.
Heavy vehicles and trailers must have barriers to protect the back and flanks of the vehicle, to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath the heavy vehicle or trailer in the event of an accident
Which documents are required?
In order to get a vehicle tested, a valid vehicle insurance card and Emirates ID card must be presented.
In case the registration is up for renewal, the previous registration card should be presented.
Commercial vehicles should be accompanied with a commercial license copy.
When should the test be done?
When a vehicle is newly purchased, bought second hand or from an authorised vehicle agency outside the UAE, it must be registered and, therefore, tested.
When a vehicle is about to be exported, it must be tested before this can be done, and when a vehicle is damaged it too must undergo testing.
After the initial test is done, the testing should be repeated every year.
The vehicle test can be performed up to six months prior to the expiry of the vehicle registration.
In the case where the vehicle test is not performed within six months of expiry of the vehicle registration, the test must be performed no later than one month after expiry of the vehicle registration in order to avoid penalties of any form.
Vehicles from another emirate
Previously, only vehicles registered in Dubai could be re-tested in service centres in Dubai.
This has recently changed, and vehicles registered in other emirates can also be tested in any federal service centre in Dubai.