Dubai Car Rental

How to Grab the Best Car Rental Deal

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Car Rental in Dubai

Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It attracts tourists from all over the world with its beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels, and modern architecture. Renting a car is one of the best ways to explore Dubai. Car rental companies offer different options for tourists visiting Dubai. They offer short-term rentals, long-term rentals, airport pick-up, and drop-off services, chauffeur-driven cars with drivers, and luxury cars. From car rental companies operating at a global level to local businesses, finding your ideal rental car and exploring Dubai in comfort and ease should be a piece of cake.

Is it Worth Renting a Car in Dubai?

The Emirate of Dubai is known for its efficient subway network, along with its modern, safe, and somewhat affordable taxis. However, the high temperatures make Dubai exactly the opposite of a pedestrian city. Thus, finding a way to transfer from one destination to the other with the least walking possible is crucial to enjoying your stay. Called taxis offer just that. However, they prove to be much costlier than a rental car when exclusively used throughout the entire journey’s duration. On the other hand, parking in Dubai can be a hassle. Still, many hotels provide their guests with complimentary parking spots. If that is the case and you are willing to discover Dubai’s surrounding areas as well, think no more. An autonomous rental car will definitely pay off.

How to Rent a Car in Dubai?

Do you want to feel safe under the wing of a big, global car rental company? Do you prefer trying the local car renting services? No matter what you are looking for, the key to finding the top value-for-money car rental in Dubai is to thoroughly check your options, eliminate the unsuitable ones and settle on the ideal for you. Briefly, all you have to do is search and compare. After reaching your decision, you will fill in the respective booking form and receive a confirmation email with your voucher number. Now, you can rest assured as your car rental will be waiting for you as soon as you arrive in Dubai!

Tips & Hints to Help you Find the Best Car Rental Deal in Dubai

Besides the “check and contrast” process, there are a few more tips  and useful hints to dig out the top car rental bargains:

  • As soon as you decide on your journey to Dubai, make your car rental reservation as well. Early bookings come with lower prices and, of course, with a wider variety of available vehicles.
  • If you can’t settle on the car rental company or the car type, take a look at customers’ reviews to clear out your decision.
  • It is advisable to refill your car before returning it, as car rental companies usually charge fuel higher than local gas stations.
  • You should choose the return time carefully so as not to be charged for an extra day.
  • Before starting your journey, inspect the vehicle for potential damages, and inform your car rental agent. It would be very useful to take some pics too.

What do I Need to Rent a Car in Dubai?

The following paperwork is required to rent a car in Dubai: once arriving at the car rental agency, you will have to hand over your passport and your visa, your driver’s license, the voucher sent to you by email, and a valid credit card in your name. In some cases -especially if your license isn’t written with Roman characters- an International Driving Permit will also be needed. IDP is issued by the country of origin, and it is basically an official translation of the driver’s license.

However, if your license was issued in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands (Holland), New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom(UK), United States of America, or in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, an IDP won’t be necessary. In any case, you should check it out before your upcoming journey, as regulations may change unexpectedly.

What Age do you Have to Be to Rent a Car in Dubai?

The legal age for driving in Dubai is 18. However, you can’t rent a car unless you are 21 years of age. In fact, some rental companies have higher age limits for their luxury car categories. In any case, your driver’s license must have been issued at least one year before the rental date.

How much is a Car Rental per Day in Dubai?

The exact price of car rentals in Dubai depends on the vehicle’s type, the chosen insurance coverage, the addition of extra amenities (GPS, Bluetooth, child seat, etc.), and the rental period. In general terms, the longer the rental period, the cheaper the fare per day. Overall, an economy rental car in Dubai should cost about 40 AED(10.14€/10.14$) per day.

Where to Rent a Car in Dubai?

Apart from the airports, car rental offices are to be found all over Dubai. The airport is generally considered a slightly pricier pick-up location. So, if you are traveling on a tight budget, you should think about picking up your car from a Dubai location. On the other hand, nothing is more convenient than getting the car after landing at DXB Airport and starting your journey right away. Moreover, you can choose a different pick-up and drop-off location. In that case, though, some rental companies may charge a small fee, especially if the two locations lie within a long distance.

Can I Rent a Car Without Insurance?

RTA (Roads & Transport Authority) defines that basic insurance is obligatory to rent a car. Therefore, uninsured vehicles cannot be rented in Dubai. It is also recommended to opt for the Collision Damage Waiver as well. This way, you will be fully covered in the unfortunate case of an accident. On the other hand, if you want to save some money from the insurance, you should check if your credit card offers any type of car rental coverage.

Can I Rent a Car with a Debit Card in Dubai?

Most car rental agencies require a credit card. Nevertheless, a few providers accept debit cards too. What’s more, some of them claim to also accept payments in cash, for the entire amount of money, or even for just the deposit.

Where can I Park my Car in Dubai?

Dubai offers some paid parking spots, yet free parking is challenging. For the time being, free parking spaces are available from 10:00 pm to 08:00 am on Fridays and public holidays. Moreover, during Ramadan, 2-hour free parking applies. Alternatively, shopping centers and malls, along with some of the main city’s attractions (such as theme parks) and specific subway stations, offer free parking lots. However, these spots are addressed to mall customers, sightseeing visitors, and subway users correspondingly.

As far as paid parking is concerned, Dubai is divided into zones (commercial, non-commercial and special areas). Each zone has different price lists. Payments can be made via automatic machines, Nol cards, prepaid cards, or SMS or RTA app. Finally, many private parking garages are also to be found in Dubai.

A Few more Guidelines for a Pleasant Car Renting Experience in Dubai

  • It is recommended to choose the right car type according to your needs and preferences. For example, are you going on a safari? Do you travel with children? Do you plan on staying in the city or heading to the nearby areas as well? Luckily, Dubai car rental companies provide all vehicle types. However, please note that most cars are automated. 
  • You should always keep the car’s documents inside the vehicle.
  • Road policing is a priority in Dubai. Hence, you should always follow the traffic rules unless you want to get fined.
  • However, the locals often don’t. Thus, it is highly likely to witness local drivers driving fast or maintaining short distances between vehicles.
  • Dubai’s highways are usually large roads, with up to 6 lanes per direction!
  • Most Dubai highways are toll roads. Dubai has adopted an automated toll system named Salik. Your car rental will most probably have a toll tag. Thus, each time you pass by tolls, your account will be charged, and you will pay the total sum when dropping off the vehicle.
  • Seatbelts are mandatory. In fact, the driver is held responsible if the other passengers don’t wear seatbelts. 
  • The use of mobile phones is prohibited while driving.
  • Drinking (even one drink) and driving are strictly banned.
  • Goats and camels often stray onto the streets and provoke accidents. Hence, you should be careful. Moreover, locals usually give camels priority.