Dubai, known internationally for its awe-inspiring architecture, luxurious lifestyle, and vibrant culture, attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. The city is always bustling with tourists, visitors, and residents roaming around the town exploring majestic landmarks and gigantic malls.
To explore the town at their own pace and convenience, people usually rent a car in Dubai as a traveler. While the transportation system is a lot more advanced, visitors often prefer car rental services over public transport for a hassle-free commute.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about rent-a-car services in Dubai including tips, recommendations, and essential information.
Rent a Car Services in Dubai
As a tourist when you embark on your journey to explore the vibrant metropolis, you might often find yourself thinking of navigating the city at your own pace. Instead of moving around with a tourist group, people often rent a car in Dubai to visit landmarks and attractions.
Whether you are a first-time visitor or a frequent traveler, car rental in Dubai offers the flexibility to effortlessly explore hidden gems, majestic landmarks, and upscale eateries.
The good news is, the city has a myriad of car rental companies to offer rides ranging from the most luxurious ones to pocket-friendly options. Most companies have a diverse fleet of vehicles to best suit the needs and preferences of the customers.
Whether you want to cruise along the beachside or venture into the heart of the desert, renting a car provides a gateway to endless possibilities. If you too are thinking to avail of a rent-a-car service in Dubai, rest assured it could be the best decision you have ever made because it may take your vacation trip to the whole next level.
Boarding public transport and paying hefty amounts of fare to the taxis can be pretty stressful. While a lot of visitors use buses, trams, and cabs, renting a car may take the cake because you get the freedom to roam around with ease and admire the surroundings and scenic views in a much more relaxed way.
Now if you are all set to rent a car, here are a few things that you might need to know to make sure you get the best and most appropriate service for yourself.
Is It Worth It To Rent A Car In Dubai?
There are a lot of good reasons why hiring a car is a suitable option when on a vacation trip in Dubai. But if you are double-minded regarding your choice, here are some potential reasons to help you make an informed choice.
Dubai is a modern city with a well-developed network of roads spread across the entire emirate. The emirate has been designed keeping in mind the necessity to commute. All roads, streets, and highways have been adorned with boards, captions, and signs to help drivers navigate through the city with ease.
Rent-a-car services in the city are pretty cheap. If you calculate a rough average, renting a car may be more economical than moving around on public transport. While taxis and buses are affordable, when you decide to go to far-off places to visit attractions, the accumulated fare may take a toll on your budget.
The freedom and convenience that car rental services bring are matchless. You can visit all the favorite restaurants on your bucket list and visit landmarks and attractions located far off from the city’s center.
You get a range of vehicles at your disposal that you may choose depending on your needs and budget. From luxurious sports cars to economy cars, there is a plethora of options to choose from.
Essential Rules of Driving in UAE
The next thing that you must consider when choosing to rent a car in Dubai, is the driving rules and basics that one must adhere to when taking the car on the road. Following are some important factors that you must bear in mind when driving a car on Dubai roads.
- Cars in UAE drive on the right side and pass on the left.
- The minimum age for a driver is set at 18 years but you can only rent a car if you are over the age of 21 years. Some car rental companies in Dubai require the driver to be over the age of 25.
- If you belong to a GCC country, USA, Europe, or Australia, you won’t need an International Driving License and can drive using your own license as long as you hold a valid tourist visa. However, visitors from all other countries must obtain an International Driving License before taking a car on the roads.
You might also like to read: Dubai to other Emirates by public bus- How to travel for cheap
Ways to Find the Best Affordable Car Rental Companies in Dubai
Now that you have understood the advantages of renting a car and the rules of driving in Dubai, it’s now time to figure out how much does it cost to rent a car in Dubai? Is it cheap? Are there any discounts available?
Let’s get into the details to find out how much you would need to spend to enjoy a rented car in Dubai.
The car rental industry in UAE is thriving. It’s a competitive market which means you can find some really affordable deals and cheap car rental options. To see which of the company offers the most budget-friendly deals, you can either visit the official website of all popular car rental companies in Dubai or log on to RentalCars, which lets customers get a comparison of prices and benefits offered by various companies.
This website can be a lot handy as you get all the data in one place. You may use the platform to find the best price of car rental service for your trip. It’s more convenient to visit one single website to get cost estimates instead of browsing each rental company individually. The website guarantees the best price on car rental services and has a money-back policy in case you are dissatisfied with the service.
All you need to do is put dates into the system during which you need to hire a rented car. Provide location details along with pick-up and drop-off times to get relevant results. The website will crawl the web and provide you with comprehensive information regarding the price and facilities offered by different companies in the city. You may use filters and search by car type to find the best deals on a particular car.
Another helpful platform to get the best price on car rental in Dubai that you may consider is Invygo. It’s a car subscription platform based in Dubai which offers a flexible and convenient car rental service.
The unique online platform allows individuals to rent a car on a monthly basis without any ownership. While this service is best suited for residents, it can be a good option for visitors who plan on staying in the city for a long.
You may log on to the website to browse through a diverse selection of vehicles or may download the app for a more convenient experience. Once you find a car of your choice, you can click on it to subscribe for a month. The total cost covers all essential expenses like maintenance and insurance. The subscription fee also includes the registration cost and license fees as well.
As a subscriber, you may renew or return the car by the end of the month. You may change cars every month according to your personal needs and without being stuck in a long-term commitment.
You may compare prices for each vehicle and make the decision depending on your budget and travel preferences. Overall, it’s a convenient and flexible alternative to public transport especially for tourists who plan on staying in the emirate for months.
Estimated Average Cost of Renting a Car in Dubai
If you choose to rent a car in Dubai, the cost per day on average is as follows:
Peak Season = 230 AED, Off Season: 230 AED
Peak Season = 275 AED, Off Season = 250 AED
Peak Season = 325 AED, Off Season = 325 AED
Peak Season = 715 AED, Off Season: 625 AED
The cost of car rental services in Dubai doesn’t drastically between the peak and off-season. The peak season lasts from November to March and the off-season lasts from April to October. The major reason for price stability is the fact that tourists and visitors flock to the Emirate all year round. The need to commute stays atop and rates for car hires only very rarely drop.
If you wish to explore the city like a boss in a luxury car, you can still manage to do so on a budget. Local Rent is an online platform where you can hire luxury cars and premium vehicles for quite reasonable rates. They have a versatile fleet of vehicles including Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, luxury SUVs, exotic sedans, and a lot more.
Money Deposits for Car Rentals
Most car rental companies in Dubai hold a certain amount of money on your credit card for deposit. This is the norm in the emirate so if somebody asks you for a cash deposit, refrain from handing over the money.
Many times fraudulent activities may scam visitors with no chance of a refund. Card payment for deposit is a reliable option but it may take anywhere from one or two months to revert the payment once you return the car.
Here is another interesting article on 10 Easy Money Saving Travel Tips and Hacks that you might find helpful.
Fuel Prices in Dubai
Fuel prices in UAE are quite economical compared to other countries. Petrol is affordable so most of the residents use cars to commute around within and between the emirates. It’s important to be abreast of the latest fuel costs so that you may calculate the total budget that you would have to spend when renting a car in Dubai.
Here is a quick look at the fuel per liter price in Dubai at present:
Super 98: AED 3.16
Special 95: AED 3.05
Diesel: AED 2.97
Car Parking Rates in Dubai
When visiting Dubai, the majority of tourists flock to malls, landmarks, and attractions. Malls in UAE offer free car parking if you park your car for 3 hours or less. Parking is usually free on weekends and on public holidays.
As for parking prices on streets, the costs may vary depending on the location, time, and duration. However, public parking across Dubai is free on Sundays and public holidays. For a detailed overview of parking rates, you may visit RTA.
Important Factors to Consider When Renting a Car
There are some important things that tourists usually don’t think of when choosing to rent a car in Dubai. Here is a list of factors that you must bear in mind when renting a car as a tourist.
- Make sure you rent a car that has ample space to store your luggage.
- Check if the vehicle you chose has a GPS tracking system.
- Obtain a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) (Europeans, Americans, Australian nationals, and GCC residents are excluded).
- You must be over 21 years of age
- You cannot take a rented car out of the UAE’s border.
- Damage to the vehicle is on the renter and all maintenance costs must be paid at the time of the payment when returning the car.
- Avoid drinking alcohol when driving. In case of accidents, strict punishments and heavy fines may incur if the driver is found intoxicated.
- The speed limits must be strictly maintained when traveling in a rented car to avoid fines and legal repercussions.
- When picking up the car, inspect it thoroughly and take photos of any dents or damages it comes with. This would help you in defending yourself in case of damage accusations.
- Ask for a contact number from the rental company that you can contact in case of an emergency or trouble with the vehicle.
- Make sure the vehicle documents are placed inside.
- Check if the air conditioner is working fine to avoid any surprises.
- It’s recommended to take pictures when returning the vehicle to refute any false claims of damage.
Car Insurance Options for Rented Vehicles in Dubai
The law in Dubai requires all car rental companies to provide 3rd party liability insurance to the renter. The cost of the insurance is generally included in the rental rate. However, there are some car insurance options that you may consider to save yourself in the face of unforeseen circumstances.
Here are some insurance options that you may avail of when renting a car in Dubai.
- LDW (Loss Damage Waiver):
This type of insurance provides cover if the vehicle is stolen or damaged.
- Personal Accident Insurance:
This insurance offers coverage for medical expenses in case of vehicle collisions or accidents on the road.
- Personal Effects Cover:
In this type of vehicle insurance, the company will provide cover in case of theft of personal belongings from inside the rented car.
Usually, rental companies provide the customer with various insurance options at the time of registration. Some banks also provide car rental insurance and it may be included in your credit card to be availed for free. You may contact your bank to check if you have such an option to save money.
Road Tolls for Rented Cars
Road tolls or otherwise known as Salik cost AED 4 every time you cross a toll on a car. These electronic road toll systems charge the driver automatically when they go through a toll in the city. When a person drives a rented card, the toll charges are deducted from the person’s account on whose name the vehicle is registered.
When you rent a car in Dubai, the rental companies will put a deposit on your credit card for these costs. When you return the car to the company, they will keep the total amount spent on the tolls while you were using the car.
Look Out For Hidden Charges and Additional Costs
If you have been renting cars for some time now, you might know that rental companies often put some extra charges on the total bill. If you request any add-ons you will be charged separately.
- Most car rental service providers in Dubai only offer third-party insurance that is included in the total cost but for any additional insurance you may have to pay extra.
- If you request for GPS tracker to roam around the town seamlessly, you would have to pay extra. But the cost may be worth it considering the ease it provides.
- Any traffic fines or road toll charges will be deducted from the deposit money. Also, keep the fuel policy in mind. Generally, when you rent a car, the vehicle is provided with a full tank.
- You are supposed to refill the fuel when returning the car. It may be an additional cost that you might overlook.
- Some locations in Dubai are considered prime. When you choose to pick a car from a prime location, you may be charged 15% extra of the total price. The same goes for the drop. When you drop the car at the time of return to any location other than the company’s address you may be charged extra depending on the area.
These are some of the most common extra charges that renters usually don’t think about when renting a car in Dubai.
Discuss these costs with the company beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the time of bill payments. This will also help you in getting an accurate estimate of the budget that you might need for hiring a car for your trip.
Is It Better To Rent a Car in Dubai or Use Public Transport?
If you are still confused between choosing public transport or car hire, here are some facts and figures to help you make an informed decision.
Take a look at these pros and cons of using public transport and renting a car so that you may have a clear understanding of which option works best for your travel needs in Dubai.
- Public transport aids in the mass movement. This helps in burning lesser fuel and is an environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
- It can be an affordable option if you do not plan on traveling much.
- Public transportation may also cost less if you are traveling alone by yourself.
- It gives less freedom as you simply cannot go anywhere. One has to follow the route and plan the trip accordingly.
- Public transport isn’t available all across Dubai. Some places require traveling by private vehicle or cabs. If you choose a taxi to go to far-off places from the city center, it may cost you a fortune.
Car Rental in Dubai
- Fuel is cheaper in Dubai. If you choose to rent a car, you may fill up the tank for a 100 dirham or so and it will last for a good couple of days.
- Car rental offers greater freedom and flexibility to travel around the city. You may move around at your own pace with convenience.
- It’s a great option for families with small kids.
- If you plan on traveling a lot during your trip, it can help save you money on travel expenses.
- As cars burn more fuel, using a car rental may not be a very eco-friendly option to travel. This is of importance for eco-conscious travelers.
- UAE has drivers from all corners of the world. So you need to be really good at driving and be ready to expect some unlooked-for things on the road.
Is it Beneficial to Rent a Car in Dubai?
While Dubai offers multiple modes of public transportation for residents and tourists, traveling through buses, trams, and taxis can sometimes be a bit stressful for tourists. Buses and metros are cheap but do not take you everywhere plus you have to plan your day trip around the arrival and departure times.
If as a tourist you choose to travel by taxi, it may offer greater freedom and flexibility but may cost you a fortune for the entire vacation trip.
Renting a car on the other hand can be an affordable, flexible, and convenient option for tourists and visitors. It offers the freedom to explore the town and its surroundings at your own pace and convenience.
If you follow the facts, tips, and recommendations mentioned in this post, you would most probably be able to get the best price for a rent a car service in Dubai.
Make a decision wisely considering all the factual information and keep your budget in mind before choosing a specific option. So, pull up your socks and be ready to get behind the wheel to discover the charm and wonders this magnificent metropolis holds.
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