The finest way to rent a car in Dubai
Dubai is a fantastic place to visit per se; however, to truly feel this magnificent region and enrich the traveling experience, it is almost necessary for tourists to rent cars in Dubai.
So, naturally, to suit the demand, both the chauffeur service in Dubai and car rentals in Dubai are well developed and provide a great variety of offers and high-quality service. There is no need, for example, to search meticulously for the best “rent a car” in Dubai – after all, any Dubai rental car service will, at the very least, be decent.
Still, I think it will be valuable for you to learn about the details of why and how to rent a car in Dubai and the additional ten tips that will make your renting experience hassle-free and smooth.
Why rent a car in Dubai?
There are plenty of rationales why renting a car is the proper and correct decision for any time spent in Dubai. Still, all the skeptics and naysayers – are listed here down below. Check them out to make a well-informed and reasoned decision regarding why you should rent a car in Dubai.
A question of urbanistic
The city of Dubai is explicitly designed for personal transportation via automobiles. There are great, wide major roads, guaranteeing driver safety – and a public transport system that leaves a lot to be desired. Public Roads Administration ensured that all the road signs were easily readable and understandable by the drivers of diverse nationalities and backgrounds operating in Dubai.
Rent a car to save your money
As was mentioned above, the public transport system is not yet perfect and very reliable, and naturally, you won’t be able to travel everywhere you wish using solely public transport. Alternatively, there are plenty of taxi services; furthermore, they are relatively affordable, but despite this, the fares from multiple taxi rides will take a toll on your budget, especially if you decide to go to attractions or landmarks situated away from the city. Therefore, renting a car in Dubai might actually be a low-cost option for your journey, particularly if you intend to move around a lot.
Nothing beats freedom
Indeed, the feelings of freedom and independence resulting from driving your own car in a foreign city are hard to match. Hence, the best accompanying mood to explore all the tourist attractions and magic Dubai offers.
A great variety of cars
In Dubai, you can choose from an enormous fleet of cars to rent from. Depending on your budget, desires, and perhaps a little bit of vanity, you can either rent small econoboxes or decide on the most extraordinary luxury possible, including not only relatively “traditional” Mercedes Benzes or BMW but also the high-end hypercar models from Lamborghini, Koenigsegg or Ferrari.
Pleasing the adventurer’s spirit
If you are the type that enjoys adventurous, reckless driving, and going off-road to explore what nature has to offer, then there is no better place to do this than the great Emirate desert. The landscapes are vast, bright, and perhaps even untouched. In addition, there are not many people around – you can have endless amounts of fun on your 4×4 SUV, reliving the Lawrence of Arabia experiences!
What about the public transportation system in Dubai?
Now we will thoroughly evaluate the question of using a rental car with a driver instead of public transportation in Dubai.
- Using public transportation is environmentally friendly – with many passengers, the carbon footprint for the meter of transportation of individual passengers is brought down to a minimal level even when the medium of transportation is using the internal combustion engine – with electric means of moving, the carbon footprint per capita is basically negligible.
- It can be a cheaper option – should you plan not to travel much but rather limit yourself to one-two rides a day (to the beach and back, perhaps), the public transportation will be functional enough for you without taking a hefty fee from the wallet;
- Great for solo travels – furthermore, if you travel all alone and don’t have an opportunity to split costs for the car rental, public transportation will be your best bet.
- Limited freedom – naturally, public transport will not adapt to your requirements; you will have to learn the timetables and adjust. Furthermore, the public transportation system does not cover everything, not even all the tourist attractions, so you are limited in your movement choices (or required to use a taxi service).
- Car rental can surprisingly be a cheaper option – and that depends on how much you plan to travel. So, if you insist on leaving many miles behind you with plenty more waiting ahead – car rental is surprisingly a cheaper option than constant taxi fares. Besides, the fuel in Dubai is incredibly cheap (yeah, what a shocker) – locals often do not turn their engines off during stops.
- A personal rented car is an excellent option for large families – particularly with large families with kids that you took together with you on a journey. Indeed, small kids can feel uncomfortable in buses, so an SUV is a preferred choice.
- Freedom and independence – that’s what a personal car provides you with a plethora of options of where-when-how to travel, and you don’t have to rely on the public transport’s adherence to the schedule;
- Finally, road quality is incredible in Dubai, and the emotions you can get from driving on wide roads of high quality in rented luxury vehicles are unmatched.
- It isn’t environmentally friendly – traveling alone, or even with a family, in a humongous luxury vehicle with a giant engine will make your per capita carbon footprint exorbitantly high. So, this is not a choice for environmentally conscious people.
- On the Dubai roads, drivers worldwide can meet different ethnicities, backgrounds, and driving traditions; indeed, you should be maximally concentrated on the road conditions when driving during peak hours. Always expect the unplanned and be ready to react accordingly.
Where can cars be rented in Dubai?
Plenty of rental car offices spread throughout the city, both local companies and major transglobal brands like Hertz or Avis. For tourists, the most convenient option is renting a car from a well-known brand at the airport; however, the prices for car rental there are about 15% higher than usual – consider this to be “airport premium,” as with literally any other service and product in the airport.
10 tips on how to rent a car in Dubai
Ensure that your documents are valid
It should go without saying that you are better to have all the necessary documents on you when visiting a car rental office. But do you know which documents are required? For example, a valid driving license, a medical test, and any ID card are required for a UAE resident. The list of documents for a tourist is relatively more extensive. You will need:
- Your passport;
- Not-expired visa;
- Domestic driving license;
- International driving license;
It is also probable that some firms will require additional papers, so be diligent enough to check their website to get the whole list of required docs.
Check the contract
Undoubtedly, this rule is relevant for literally any document you will ever have to put your signature off, not only for the car rental contract in a foreign country. So, as you’ve ready to sign an agreement and go off with your newly acquired car, meticulously go through every point of the document. It is essential to clearly distinguish your rights and obligations and those of the rental company. Do not hesitate to clarify anything you find unclear to you – while this process may sound tedious. It is of utmost importance.
Examine the car
The renting contract is not the only thing that requires an inspection before hitting the road. To guarantee that you will travel without issues, you should ask the rental company’s employee to show you the car you will rent before the documents are signed. Then, thoroughly examine the car visually, see that there are no major issues, ignite the engine and be sure the “check engine” light is absent. Should something be wrong, report it immediately to the rental company – this will save you from any unfounded accusations once you return the car. Finally, sign the documents and take the vehicle if everything is fine.
Do not drive outside the UAE
Remember this – driving out of the sovereign land of the United Arab Emirates with a rental car is prohibited – and this can’t be negotiated. Should you trespass this rule, you can receive verbal warnings or simple fines and actual jail time – and you don’t want to spoil your vacation like that. And if you are really decisive about crossing the UAE’s borders on a rented vehicle, you have to get corresponding permission papers from the local authorities.
Age Rules: keep in mind its minimum
Regardless of your driving experience, following the minimum age rules is always better. In UAE, the age limit for car rental is 21 years; however, many companies would instead not rent cars (costly luxury and sports cars) to fiery young heads under the age of 25.
Insurance for your rented car in Dubai
Generally, Car rental insurance may not be significant – Dubai car rentals only offer to cover the third-party damage as standard insurance. Therefore, you may consider expanding your insurance protection to reduce your liability in case of any damage inflicted on the car. Expanded insurance in the form of CDW (collision damage waiver) adds additional daily fees but rewards the driver with a piece of mind. Finally, you should also give your credit card company a call, as many of them offer some car rental insurance as a card benefit.
If you have rented cars before, you might know that there are always additional fees, tolls, and charges to be considered. While some may be useful, some are entirely situational, and some are best to avoid. The additional spending may come from:
- Extra premium insurance;
- GPS navigation;
- Traffic fines;
- Road tolls;
- Fuel costs;
- Location premiums.
IDP: Have your driving license and International Drivers Permit
Usually, an International Drivers Permit (IDP), issued by your country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, is required to rent a car in the United Arab Emirates. However, there is a list of countries, the citizens/natives of which can rent a car in the UAE using only their local driver’s license. The list includes:
- European Union countries;
- Gulf Cooperation Council countries;
- United States of America;
- New Zealand;
- Hong Kong;
- The people’s Republic of China;
- South Africa;
- South Korea;
- The Republic of Turkey.
Type of car should you choose
The type of car to choose depends mainly on the function you require and your personal wishes. For example, if you only need a vehicle to make short informal trips on a budget, econobox is your choice; do you have a family with you? – then secure a large SUV. Perhaps you want to explore the off-road mysteries? – it is crucial to have an all-wheel-drive system in your car. Finally, do you want to experience speed, thrill, and notoriety? Rent a supercar.
Last but not least – don’t forget that there is right-hand traffic in the UAE. While such organization is standard for the European countries and the United States, drivers in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan are used to left-hand traffic. Thus if you are a resident of these countries – be especially careful.