rent a car
The security deposit is required by car rental companies, to cover any damages, traffic fines and Salik charges that you may incur during your trip. Image Credit: Stock

Dubai: Planning to rent a car in Dubai? Most car rental companies require a security deposit, but don’t let that deter you. Here’s the key takeaway: You will get your deposit back in full within 30 days, as per Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), as long as you return the car in pristine condition and without any outstanding fines

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What is the security deposit?

The security deposit is required by car rental companies, to cover any damages, traffic fines and Salik charges that you may incur during your trip. The actual amount varies depending on each company’s policy and the type of vehicle you are renting. The amount does not have to be paid in cash and can often be a blocked amount on your credit card.

In a post on its official X account on March 4, DET informed customers about the policy related to releasing this blocked amount.

The post read: “When renting a vehicle in Dubai, ensure that your deposit is held or blocked, not purchased, and that it is released within a maximum of 30 days after returning the car if there are no additional charges or violations.”

What happens if the deposit is not returned?

If you do not receive your deposit from the car rental despite giving back the vehicle without any damages or fines, you are well within your rights to file a consumer complaint with the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Sector in DET.

You can register a complaint online through the official website - or contact the call centre - +971 600 545555.

It is important to note that you can only file a consumer complaint against a company that is based in Dubai and has a trade licence from DET.


What happens if there are fines on the rented car?

According to car rental owners and experts interviewed by Gulf News, if the car is still under the customer’s possession [when the fine shows up in the system], the customer will pay for it but in case, the fine comes in after they have returned the car, the rental company will charge the amount on the customer’s credit card.

The traffic fines are usually deducted from the deposit. However, if the fines are more than the ‘blocked amount’, car rental companies request the customer to transfer the money to the company account.

If the fines are not settled by the customer, the rental agency can file a civil case against them.


What are the requirements for renting a car?

In addition to providing a deposit, you must also provide the following documents:

For UAE residents:

• Valid Emirates ID (front and back) copy.
• Valid UAE driving licence copy.

For tourists:

• A valid passport copy.
• A valid visit visa copy.
• International Driving Permit (IDP) or your home country’s driving licence, if it is recognised by the UAE.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens and passport holders of GCC, US, UK, Canada and certain other countries can drive on their home country licenCe in the UAE. However, it’s best to check with a car rental company to see if your home country's licence will be accepted or if you need to obtain an IDP in advance.

Driving licences from the following countries are recognised and accepted by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority:

1. GCC Countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar
2. Lithuania
3. Portugal
4. Hungary
5. Bulgaria
6. Latvia
7. Serbia
8. Luxembourg
9. Iceland
10. Estonia
11. Cyprus
12. Slovakia
13. Malta
14. Albania
15. Romania
16. Germany
17. Italy
18. Switzerland
19. Poland
20. Finland
21. Spain
22. Holland
23. Greece
24. Sweden
25. Belgium
26. Ireland
27. Turkey
28. Denmark
29. Austria
30. France
31. Britain
32. Norway
33. The Republic of Montenegro
34. United States of America
35. Canada
36. Japan
37. South Korea
38. Hong Kong
39. People's Republic of China
40. Australia
41. New Zealand
42. Singapore
43. South Africa