Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has licensed three companies to provide hourly rental vehicle service - Udrive, eKar and Yaldi. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you are a tourist or resident in Dubai, and need to rent a vehicle for a few hours to explore the city or head to a meeting, you can opt for the ‘hourly vehicle rental’ service provided by short-term vehicle rental companies licensed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

One of the main perks of booking a vehicle through these companies is that you don’t need to worry about fuel, parking or insurance, because it is all covered. Also, you are not required to pay any deposits as a financial commitment.

According to RTA, the ‘hourly vehicle rental service’ allows drivers to rent a car within the city for a maximum period of 24 hours.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has licensed three companies to provide hourly rental vehicle service - Udrive, eKar and Yaldi. Picture used for illustrative purposes.

Which companies provide this service?

Three short-term car rental companies have been approved by RTA for this service:
1. Udrive
2. ekar
3. Yaldi (which provides eco-friendly vehicles)

How much do short-term rental cars cost?

According to RTA, licensed short-term rental companies calculate the cost per minute or per day.

However, it is important to note that there is no fixed cost for renting a vehicle, it depends on the model and mileage of the vehicle. However, the RTA has set a minimum and maximum fare for hourly rentals:
• Minimum Fare: 50 fils per minute (Dh30 per hour)
• Maximum Fare: 3.5 fils per minute (Dh210 per hour)

The only additional cost you are liable to pay is the cost for Salik, as per your use of the toll system, and if you incur any traffic fines while driving.

You will be billed at the end of your trip, once the total amount is calculated.

Required documents

When you register for the rental vehicle, you have to provide the following documents:

For UAE residents:
• Emirates ID
• Valid driving licence

For tourists:
• Valid passport copy
• Valid driving licence or international driving permit.

Age requirement:

You need to be at least 21 years old and have at least six months of driving experience in the UAE or your home country.

How does it work?

Step 1: Download the app for the short-term car rental company

The process for renting a vehicle by the hour is done entirely online. You will have to download one of the following apps:
• Udrive
• ekar
• Yaldi
All of the apps are available for Apple and Android devices.

Step 2: Enter personal information

Next, you will have to provide your full name, email address, date of birth, nationality and create a username and password.

You will then have to upload the required documents, as listed above.

Next, you will receive an activation email. Click on the link and log in again with your newly created account.

You will also have to provide your credit or debit card details. While signing up, you will be charged a nominal fee, which will be used for card validation.

Step 3: Choose your car

Once the registration is complete, you will have to allow the app to detect your current location.

You will then be able to view the locations of all the nearest vehicles near you. Select your vehicle on the map. When you reserve the vehicle on the app, you will have to select the duration for renting the car.

Step 4: Unlock the vehicle and start your trip.

When you are at the location of the vehicle, unlock the car through the app. You will find the car keys in a lock in the glove box. You will have to enter a passcode, which will be provided to you to release the keys, and you will now be able to start your journey.

To end your trip, park the car at any public parking zone operated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for free - except in zones ‘I’ and ‘J’, which are both parking zones in the Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) area,

Insert the key back into the lock and place it in the glove box. To lock the car, open the app and select the option to lock it.