Dubai: A supercar rental business in Dubai may end up paying super fines, thanks to a reckless tourist.
On July 30, a 26-year-old British tourist rented a yellow Dh1.3 million Lamborghini Huracan from the car rental shop.
He then proceeded to drive on Shaikh Zayed Road at speeds as high as 231km/h, racking up Dh170,000 (about $46,000, or GBP35,553) in speeding fines in a period of just under four hours.
Between 2.31am and 6.26am on July 31, the tourist tripped 33 speed radars on the road, incurring 33 fines as a result.
The client was driving so fast that Mohammad Ebrahim, owner of the rental car business, claimed that he received three SMS notifications of speeding fines within a minute.
As the vehicle-owner, the car rental business is now liable to pay about Dh175,000 in accumulated fines — plus additional fees to recover the supercar that will be impounded.
Ebrahim told Gulf News on Monday that the tourist rented the supercar for Dh6,000 per day for three days.
“Most of the speed radars on Shaikh Zayed road caught him as he drove between 158km/h to 231km/h in some areas without stopping,” Ebrahim said.
He said that the car is still parked in a hotel in Dubai and that he is afraid of incurring a major loss as he didn’t take a deposit from the tourist.
“I don’t know if he [the tourist] will pay the fines as there is no clear procedure to crack down on customers who commit such offences,” Ebrahim said.
A Dubai Police officials told Gulf News that radars capture the licence plate numbers of speeding vehicles, not the people driving them.
He added that Dubai Police cannot interfere in such cases and advised the car rental owner to go to court seeking compensation.
“I went to the police station to file a complaint and they told me that I can only complain if the tourist didn’t pay the rental fee. There is no clear procedure for car rental companies to protect their rights in such incidents,” Ebrahim said.
He is now afraid that the tourist will leave the country and leave him in the lurch.
Ebrahim also has to replace the brakes of the Lamborghini as they were put through high speeds in such a short duration.
Meanwhile, legal consultant Hassan Elhais from Al Rowad Advocates suggested that the car rental owner can file a case in order to get a travel ban imposed on the tourist.
“The owner can file a civil lawsuit against the man who rented the car. Once a ruling is issued in his favour, he can request that the ruling be implemented by the country of the tourist,” Elhais said.
Speed and rental supercars
The last high-profile incident involving a rented supercar in Dubai happened in March 2016 when four people — two Canadian men and two American women — in a Ferrari were killed in a horrific high-speed crash on Al Sarayah Street in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
One of the American women was sliced in half by a utility pole after she was catapulted from the vehicle. The crash was attributed to a lethal combination of alcohol and speed.
The two-seater sports car was reportedly travelling at up to four times the 40km/h speed limit around 12.40am.