Ownership, while often touted as the bedrock of a capitalistic democratic society, is also overrated. But there is a way out of this maya — it's called rentability.
Think about it, how often have you been eager to own something, but the minute you do, the honeymoon's over? You maybe the proud owner of your dream car, the gleaming silver Aston Martin, but with it comes the nightmare of maintenance, upkeep, insurance, registration, and parking. Before you know it you are eyeing your neighbour's Ferrari F430.
Renting works on so many levels, for instance the above dream was scenario number one, in scenario two, your dream car is the Porsche Cayenne but all you can afford is a Honda Accord. No point being glum, all you need to do is head to your nearest automobile rental agency and live your dream for a day, week, month or even a year.
"Renting a car is a perfect solution for almost everyone in Dubai, from the business traveller and leisure vacationer to the large transient expat population," explains Abdul Maksene, Managing Partner, Luxury Limo.
While renting a car to get you from home to work is a necessity, spending Dh8,500 (per day) on the Lamborghini Murcielago Spyder is not. "My wife shops for designer handbags and I treat myself to a day of auto decadence," says a gleeful Vipul Jain, a jeweller from Ahmedabad, India who comes to Dubai on business twice a year and always rents a Lamborghini.
For Jain it's not so much the affordability that prevents him from buying his dream car in India but the fact that, "Driving a Lamborghini in India is like getting a Cordon Bleu chef to cater your daughter's Barbie-themed fifth birthday party — completely pointless."
Jain is one of the few Indians who drive the luxury car rental market in the UAE. "When it comes to high-end car rentals, 75 per cent are GCC clients, with the remaining slice of the pie comprising of Americans, English, Germans, Russians, French, Chinese and a few from various parts of Africa," says Prasanna Wadugedava, Sales Manager, Excellence Luxury Car Rentals. The company has seen an 80 per cent increase in their exotic car fleet over the past seven years. The bulk of luxury car rentals are short-term leases with most visitors wanting the car for a day or two. Then there are the occasion-based rentals, "We often get booking orders for stag and hen parties, weddings, engagement parties or award shows, where arriving in style is very important," points out Maksene.
With per-day tariffs ranging from Dh6,500 for the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to Dh5,000 for the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Dh3,500 for the Aston Martin, it's not chunk change, but it is a small price to pay to burn some rubber.
While these prices are pretty impressive, it would be wise to go looking around before you decide on a suitable rental agency. Factor in the deposit that can be as high as Dh10,000 to Dh20,000 depending on the model and make of the care. And keep in mind that most dealers offer the first 250 kilometres free and then charge anything between Dh5-Dh20 per kilometre, again depending on the wheels you have chosen.
• Lamborghini Murcielago Spyder
• Bentley Flying Spur 4-Door