Getting Your Car Inspected in Qatar
Car Inspections in Qatar
In Qatar, cars older than three years must have a yearly check. Fortunately, the process of getting the technical inspection done is surprisingly painless and far more professional than in the UK. The most difficult part is actually getting to the traffic inspection company. The perils of navigating the traffic snarls and potholes of the industrial area is not a fun event (although see below for our tips on avoiding the worst of it), and after heavy rain the area can become dangerous.
The inspection itself is meticulous. There are two areas you need to pass: the technical test, which evaluates the condition of the car, and the legal test. On the legal test you can fail on things such as a bad scratch or having dark windows (these need a police report in Qatar).
Currently, you cannot access the industrial area via the awful fort roundabout at the end of Salwa Road this end of the Industrial Area is closed off for major road works. Instead, take Muntazah street. Be careful - although this is a three lane highway with only desert to each side, the speed limit is 100 kmph, not 120, and there are speed cameras.
This fast road will deliver you into the middle of the Industrial area. When you get to the Industrial area, go straight ahead at the roundabout onto street 33 and continue until you hit Al Kassarat Street. Turn right. You'll drive past the Qatar technical Inspection Company, come to a roundabout and come back upon yourself. Don't drive in through the front, instead turn right just before you get to the complex and drive round to the back entrance. Currently this route will steer you clear of the worst parts of the Industrial area.
Before Going To The Inspection Centre
Before going to the centre I had a mechanic check my car over for faults, and he polished out a scratch. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher mounted in your car (available at the technical inspection company). I was advised by my garage to get my car jet washed, prior to the test. This involves washing the engine and underside of the car, although to be honest I didn't bother.
What Do You Need
Your road permit (Estimara), or a photocopy of it. That's the small ownership card you get when you buy your car. That's all you need. Good, isn't it?
When you arrive drive round the back of the building and enter through gate number 1. Upon entering, take a ticket with a number on it. Park your car and enter the building. Wait for your number to come up, then hand your road permit and keys to the guy at the counter and pay the fee.
He will put them in a bag with a slip for the inspector and a receipt. Exit the building, drive your car to the garage to the left of the office (assuming you are now facing the building).
When your car is in the garage you exit your car and re-enter the building. You are not allowed to stay in the garage or speak to the inspectors, but you can watch from the office. (You can get a cup of tea while you do so.) When the car has been finished (the process takes about ten minutes) your number will come up again. Collect your keys, road permit and report. The report will tell you if you have passed.
If you fail you get a free retrial, so long as you take it within thirty days. You will only get tested on what your car failed. When you return, tell the man on the gate that this is your retest. The process is then the same, except you use the garage to the right of the building. You may find mechanics waiting at the Technical Inspection Unit offer to repair small faults.
When you have collected you report, don't just drive away. Turn left and join the queue of cars driving past the next building. A man will look at your report, sign it and stamp it.
Insurance And Road Permit
The second building in the complex contains insurance companies booths and a traffic department. Unfortunately, when I was there most of the booths were unmanned and a typist told me I would be unable to get my insurance there anyway, which was a bit disappointing. I renewed my insurance at Khaleej Insurance, on Grand Hamad Street. (Ring +974 4414151 for details).
You can ring the QTIC on +974 4604029/4604086.
QTIC operates a pickup service for addresses in Doha. Ring the number above to arrange. They also operate mobile testing units.