UAE Car Rental Handbook: Everything You Must Know


UAE boasts one of the world's most impressive public transportation systems, offering varied commuting options. However, for those who find daily use of public transport exhausting, especially for work purposes, there's an alternative solution. You can either rent or buy a car. And now, if you're contemplating owning a car in UAE but prefer not to make a substantial upfront investment, renting is the ideal choice.

You can rent a car in the UAE over the weekends, for a week, a month, and even for a year. To ensure you navigate the UAE's driving laws and rental regulations easily, Connector has compiled the ultimate car rental guide for you. Continue reading to know everything about it. 

Duration Of Car Rental 

Now that you've decided to rent a car in the UAE, your next concern is the duration of the rental, as rental companies in UAE offer a range of packages to suit your needs. You can choose between short-term and long-term options, with flexible offerings that include hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly packages.

Short-term car rentals are ideal for tourists, individuals planning a weekend getaway in the UAE, or those requiring a vehicle for special occasions. On the other hand, long-term car rentals are for individuals who consider using the vehicle daily for work purposes. Long-term car packages are often more cost-effective than short-term options, making them an attractive choice for extended use.

Documents Needed To Rent A Car In UAE

Whether you rent a car as a tourist or a resident, there are certain documents that you need to submit while renting the car. First and foremost, you need a driving licence. 

Driving Licence: If you are a UAE resident, you must have a valid UAE driving licence. To acquire a driving licence in the UAE, candidates must ensure they are in good health and meet the required minimum age criteria for the type of licence they wish to obtain. The minimum age requirement for operating cars and light vehicles is 18 years, while for heavy vehicles, it is 20 years, and for buses, it is 21 years. Driving licences are eligible for renewal for 10 years for UAE and GCC citizens and 5 years for residents.

In fact, certain UAE residents hailing from countries such as Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, Norway, Montenegro, Ukraine, Canada, USA, South Korea, Sweden, South Africa, the Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Belgium, and others have the option to apply for the exchange of their driving licence issued by specific foreign and Gulf nations, with UAE-issued driving licences. 

However, in some instances, this service is exclusively available to citizens of those respective countries. For instance, an individual holding a Portuguese driving licence must be a citizen of Portugal to be eligible for licence exchange. Detailed information about this process can be found on the websites of RTA and TAMM. 

When it comes to tourists, tourists who are passport holders from all GCC countries, the United Kingdom, USA and Canada can use the driving licence issued from their country to drive in Dubai. Visitors from other countries should have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) to rent and drive a car in Dubai. However, these rules can change, so it's always advisable to check with the rental companies in advance.

Insurance: Following your driving licence, one of the most crucial documents to consider is car insurance. According to regulations, all car rental companies in the UAE are required to provide third-party coverage. However, many car rental companies in the UAE offer supplementary insurance options for an extra fee. Therefore, it's advisable to enquire about the available insurance options and their details before finalising your car rental.

Credit Card: When renting a car in UAE, it's important to note that most rental companies typically require you to use a credit card for payment. This credit card is often utilised automatically in cases where fines or additional fees are accrued during the rental period. Additionally, some rental companies may request a security deposit, which serves as a safeguard against potential loss or damage to the vehicle or any associated equipment throughout the car rental agreement. The car rental security deposit between Dhs 1,000 and Dhs 10,000 is taken at the start of the rental and is related approximately 30 days after the car is returned. 

Things To Keep In Mind

Age Limit: While the legal driving age in the UAE is 18, you must be aware that to rent a car in the country, you must be at least 21 years old. However, specific rental companies may impose a higher minimum age requirement of 25 for some vehicle categories. Therefore, it's vital to follow these age restrictions and enquire about them in advance when planning your car rental.

Speed Limit: Primarily, if you come from a left-hand driving country, be ready for a switch in UAE, where driving is on the right-hand side of the road. It's essential to adhere to the minimum speed limits, typically set at 60 km/h, during your drive.

Don't Drink And Drive: Never mix alcohol and drive in UAE. There is zero tolerance for alcohol consumption while driving, so if you've been drinking, do not drive.

Inspect The Car: Prior to taking possession of the rental vehicle at the rental company, it's essential to conduct a thorough inspection. Take a close look at the car's exterior and make note of any dents, bumps, or scrapes, if present. If you identify any external issues, communicate them to the rental company to ensure they know of the pre-existing condition. Inside the car, make sure all components are in working order, including the air conditioning system. This precautionary step ensures a smooth and hassle-free rental experience.

Rental For Long Getaway: When considering a long road trip from UAE to Oman, it's important to be aware that using a rental vehicle outside the UAE is rigidly restricted. In such instances, it's best to opt for a car owned by a friend or relative. To drive in Oman, make sure your car insurance covers it. If it does, ask your insurer for an "orange card," which can be digital or physical. If your insurance doesn't cover Oman, buy temporary insurance at the border, but it usually only covers third-party damage.

Car Rental Companies In UAE 

Diamondlease, Speedy Drive Car Rental, Hertz, Rental Cars UAE, Dollar Rent A Car, Al Emad, and Thrifty are some of the car rental companies in UAE that offer hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly car rental packages. 

Luxury Car Rental Companies In UAE 

Bevip, Sixt, OneClickDrive, Master Key, Superior Rental, Falcons and Prestige Exotic Car Rental are some of UAE's luxury car rental companies.

Approximate Car Renting Cost In UAE 

Hatchback car rentals typically begin at approximately Dhs 55 per day, while sedan car rentals start at around Dhs 70 per day. For those interested in SUV rentals, prices usually start from approximately Dhs 110 per day, while luxury car rentals are available starting at approximately Dhs 225 per day. It's important to note that these are approximate price ranges, and actual rates can vary based on factors such as the specific car model selected, the rental company chosen, the duration of the rental (whether days or months), and other references.

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