Renting a Car in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
Renting a car for self driving is a common practice among expats in Dubai and Abu Dhabi since it is easier to rent a car rather than to buy a car. Renting a car cuts down all the hassles that come with owning a car such as maintenance, insurance, govt documentations and yearly inspections. Tourists and travellers usually take rental cars from airports so that it is easy for them to visit and drop the rented cars back at the airport when they complete their tour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
- axis, although cheaper than in most other countries, can still make a dent in your travel budget
- Although, Dubai has several travel options, public transport does not cover all areas of the city and is not always reliable. With the arrival of the Dubai Metro system in 2009, the transportation landscape of Dubai has changed drastically, but the Metro is still being developed to reach some of the more remote areas of the city and is available for travel only within Dubai.
- Hiring a car enables one to visit nearby emirates such as Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with relative ease.
- When driving in an unfamiliar country, the chances of accidents on the road increase dramatically. If you do have an accident while driving a rental car, the hassle of police reports and insurance claims is born by the rental agency (provided you have all the required legal documents and relevant insurance) saving you the headache of having to deal with this.
- Most locals here are passionate about their vehicles and many rent-a-car companies stock luxury vehicles available for hire; if driving a Ferrari or a Rolls-Royce is high on your list of things to do, there is no better place to find one than here in Dubai.
- Off-roading is a popular pastime here and a great way to experience the desert environment of Dubai. Driving in the desert, dune bashing and exploring wadis (river beds) on the outskirts of Dubai require 4-wheel drives, which are readily available at most rental companies.
Procedure to rent a car in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
Rental cars can be booked online prior to arrival in the country, and can be picked up from the airport location of the rent-a-car company. This can save you the hassle of finding a taxi to and from your hotel and also makes it convenient to drop off your car and head straight into the airport when you are finished with your business. As in any country, make sure that you have all your documents and that the car has been checked thoroughly before you drive off with it. Below are a few checks you can perform to make your driving experience less stressful:
- Shop around before you rent. There are several on-line comparison tools that will allow you to compare rates from different companies. A compact car, such as a Toyota Yaris (one of the smallest cars on the road here) can range from USD 125 to USD 180 per week, while a mid-size SUV can set you back between USD 430 – USD 615 per week, depending on your rental company as well as the time of year when you are looking to rent.
- Check your insurance papers thoroughly and ask for supplemental insurance as your original policy may not cover rental cars. In Dubai, where people drive at hair-raising speeds, this is particularly important and the extra bit you pay for adequate insurance will give you much peace of mind when driving on the roads in Dubai.
- Check all the functions of your car and bring any scratches or defects to the immediate notice of your rental agent. These should be marked on the rental agreement so that you are not charged for damages not caused by you.
- Check the gas gauge on the car before you drive it away and check whether the car needs to be returned with a full tank of gas.
- Check with your rental agent as to return timings and charges for delays. Many companies will give you an additional allowance of a couple of hours over and above the return time for which you will not be charged extra.