Renting a Car in Abu Dhabi and Dubai - How to Do it?
Whether you're new to the UAE or a tourist, renting a car opens up a world of possibilities for you. For residents not ready to commit to car ownership, a rental car is a convenient solution. And for vacationers, it's a ticket to creating your own adventure, ensuring you don't miss out on any must-see attractions.
The good news is that some tourists can use their home country driving license in the UAE. After a bit of paperwork, you can either borrow a friend's car or rent one of your own. But if you're from the GCC you may not even need an international driving permit, according to the Ministry of Interior.
But how do you go about renting a car in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? Let's dive into the details.
Where to Find Rental Cars
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are teeming with options for renting cars. You'll find major international car rental companies, some even stationed at the airport, making the process seamless.
Car rentals are available for various durations – daily, weekly, and monthly and the prices vary based on the car model and rental company you choose. For instance, one leading rental firm offers a Toyota Yaris 1.5L at AED 70 per day, AED 536 per week, or AED 1,575 per month. If you're in the mood for a sturdy SUV, their Montero Sport 3.0 HL can be had for AED 189 a day, AED 1,134 a week, or AED 3,150 a month.
But if you're feeling a bit extravagant and want to experience Dubai's glamor, you can splurge on a Ferrari or an Aston Martin. A day with a Ferrari SF90 Stradale will set you back AED 10,000, while an Aston Martin Vantage can be yours for AED 2,500 a day. For the eco-conscious, many rental firms now offer electric and hybrid cars. Plus, premium cars are often available for hourly rentals.
Remember to budget for additional expenses. You'll have to pay a 5% VAT on your final bill. Toll charges can vary depending on your rental company. Dubai has eight operational Salik gates, so factor in these costs if you plan to use the main highways frequently. There's also a vehicle registration fee of AED 5 per day, up to a maximum of AED 75 per month.
UAE residents will need their Emirates ID and UAE driver's license, while tourists should carry their passport, tourist visa, and driving license or international driving permit. Digital copies may not cut it.
When renting, most companies take full payment and block an amount ranging from AED 1,000 to AED 4,000 on your credit card as a security deposit. This ensures that any traffic fines are covered, though the deposit is higher for premium cars.
What if There's an Accident?
Accidents happen, but rental cars are insured, so you're covered. The process for handling accidents is the same as it is for any other drivers. For more serious offenses, you might need to visit a police station or court.
However, keep in mind that insurance won't cover damages in cases of drink-driving. In such instances, the rental company can seek compensation from you. If you were driving a friend's car, you'll be responsible for all damages and fines.
Crossing Borders: Can You Drive to Oman in a Rented Car?
Not all rental companies permit driving to Oman, and those that do may charge a one-way rental fee and additional expenses. You'll likely also need comprehensive insurance and a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the rental company.
What about Off-Roading in Sedans? Not a Good Idea
If you're dreaming of desert adventures, remember this: you can't take a sedan off-roading. Using one for desert driving holds you fully responsible for any resulting damage.
So, whether you're here for a day or a month, renting a car in Abu Dhabi or Dubai opens up the UAE's wonders for you to explore, providing freedom and flexibility to make the most of your journey.