Dubai: Whether you are looking for a temporary arrangement or a long-term lease, renting a car is a great option to consider for people in the UAE. Here is a breakdown of all you need to know and do to rent a car in the UAE.
Where can I rent a car?
There are several car rental companies that have brick and mortar shops, where you can visit the shop, submit the necessary documents and drive off with a car. There are also several companies that are now operating online businesses, where they offer the option of picking up the car from one of their locations or getting the car delivered to you for an extra charge.
What is the benefit?
The first benefit of renting a car instead of owning one is the lack of paperwork – you do not need to pay for registration, servicing or maintenance. Also, if you have an accident or a breakdown, the rental company will replace the car for you.
Another advantage of renting a car is that brand new car experience a significant depreciation value and even used cars experience depreciation in cost year after year. No such issue comes into play when you are renting a car.
There is also no commitment from the side of the driver. The moment you are done with your need for the car, you can return it to the company with no strings attached.
Another advantage is that you can drive different cars and enjoy the experience of driving different models, without it costing an arm and a leg.
What are the disadvantages?
With a rental car, one of the first limitation is on who can drive the car. The drivers have to be named when a car is rented, which is important for the auto insurance to cover the driver. In the case of a car that is owned by someone, anyone with a UAE licence will be insured while at the wheel.
Is it cheaper than owning a car?
While for long term use – one year or longer – buying a car might make more financial sense, for short term use, renting can be a smart, budget-friendly option.
If you are willing to drive a budget hatchback or sedan, you can get great offers from Dh30-Dh70 per day.
Do I need to be a resident in the UAE?
No. Cars are offered on rent, whether you are a resident or a tourist to the UAE. The documents required will vary accordingly.
What are the documents required?
For UAE residents, these are the documents required:
1. Passport copy
2. Visa Page copy
3. Driver’s Licence copy
4. Emirates ID (Front and Back) copy
If you are a tourist visiting the UAE, you need to submit:
• Passport copy
• Visit Visa copy
• Home Country Driving Licence/International Driving Permit
Passport holders of GCC, US, UK, Canada and certain other countries can drive on their home country license in the UAE.
Speak to the rental company to find out if your home country’s licence is accepted or if you need an international driving licence to be able to drive in the UAE.
What are the extra charges?
While some rental companies do promote a ‘no deposit fee for residents’ option, many rental companies do charge a refundable deposit. However, this deposit is not refunded immediately on returning the car. Most companies return the deposit up to 14 days after the car is returned. This is to ensure that any fines incurred by the driver are checked before the dues are cleared.
While the regular charge of passing through a Salik gate is Dh4, many rental companies mark up the cost, charging Dh5 of Dh6 per crossing.
Apart from these charges, a driver needs to account for the petrol price that they would need to pay as long as they are renting the car.