Everything you need to know before renting a car in Dubai | Solo Female Travel
Whenever I visit a country, I make sure I explore as many places as I can on my trip. This requires tons of travelling from one place to another. While public transportation is great for travelling (since it is budget-friendly), having your own car has its own benefits as well. Now you all must be thinking, why go through the hassle of renting a car for a few days, right? Well, one of the benefits is it saves up a lot of your time. Also, Dubai has high-quality roads and highway networks built for driving that make the experience of driving a car even better.
When I visited Dubai on my solo trip, I was hesitant before renting a car. But I finally decided to go ahead with my decision, and guess what, it made my whole experience of exploring Dubai a lot better!
In this blog, I will share with you everything that you need to know before you rent a car in Dubai. Some of these tips are from my personal experience and a few others that I read up on the internet.
But before that, let’s answer the question of whether renting a car in Dubai is really necessary.
1. Why you need to rent a car in Dubai
There are plenty of reasons that prove to rent a car in Dubai a great decision. Here are a few of them.
- If you are good at driving, the experience of renting a car in a foreign country and driving to places all by yourself will ensure you have a great time on your solo trip.
- Public transport may not always take you to places worth visiting. Booking cabs and taxis are easy and reliable, but sometimes, the fares can take a toll on your budget. So having your own car will save you money and enhance your travel experience.
- Driving on your own will make you feel independent, especially when you know you will be moving around a lot!
- Even if you are on a tight budget, you can still rent a car. Dubai has a variety of cars for you to rent at your convenience!
2. How to rent a car in Dubai
Before you go on to rent a car in the country, it is important that you compare the prices of the cars. The chances are that some rental platforms may charge extra than others. Being a solo female traveller, I understand how important budgets are. So it is important to pick the best car you want at the lowest price.
To compare the prices, you can check out this rental company website called RentalCars. This website is your one-stop solution for comparing car rentals from different companies and selecting the best price that suits your needs.
How does the car rental service work?
This is quite simple. All you have to do is enter the dates you want to hire the car for, the pickup and drop-off times, your location, and done! Once you enter these details, you will be presented with the options of cars that match your preferences. To make your driving experience even better, you can select an automatic car as well by using the filters on the website.
3. Average prices of the car rentals
When I was planning on renting a car for myself on my solo trip to the country, I came across three different types of cars that can be rented. The price varies depending on the time of the year you visit the country. Here, the low season refers to the months of April to October, and the high season is from November to March.
- Economy car: low season – AED 228 and high season – AED 228
- Mini car: low season – AED 250 and high season – AED 275
- Luxury car: low season – AED 625 and high season – AED 717
You can also rent out a 4×4 if you want to try out different desert activities in Dubai, such as dune bashing!
But here is an important thing you need to keep in mind before renting a car in Dubai. Always use your credit card for the deposit. The rental company will hold the deposit amount off of your credit card. Never give your deposit in the form of cash. I had read up about how some rental companies scam their visitors and never return the money back to them.
4. Documents required
Tourists are required to submit the following documents before renting a car in Dubai.
- Visit Visa
- Driving License of your home country
- International driving permit
5. Gas prices in Dubai
Dubai is one of the few countries where fuel is easily available. This means that since fuel is affordable throughout the country, renting a car may turn out to be a smart decision. It will help cut down on a lot of your expenses.
Here is an average sample price of the types of fuel you get in Dubai.
- Diesel: AED 2.5
- Super 95: AED 2.12
- Super 98: AED 2.3
6. Car insurance for the rented car
In Dubai, car insurance is not to be taken lightly. Since the law in Dubai requires the car rental companies to provide third-party liability insurance, including the price of the car rent, every car rental company does its best to provide you with everything you may need. However, along with these, there are a few other optional insurances as well that you can opt for.
- Personal effects cover: this insurance covers you in case your belongings from the car have been stolen.
- Loss damage waiver: this will cover you in case of damage or theft of the car.
- Personal accident insurance: this is one of the most useful insurance out there. It will cover your medical expenses if you get into an accident.
In my opinion, these insurances are pretty good. If your budget allows, you can opt for these to ensure you have a smooth and worry-free experience while driving in the country.
7. Keep an eye for additional fees on the rented car
If you have rented cars in foreign countries in the past, you might know that there are always some extra charges that you will have to consider. The rental company will most likely charge you for the car, and if you opt for a few additional services, you will be charged for those too. These are a few add-ons that you can consider opting for when you rent a car in Dubai.
A satellite navigation add-on can come in handy while renting a car in Dubai. Now some people might feel that their smartphones work just the same for navigation. But there are always certain areas where the internet connection is weak, and smartphones cannot help. In such cases, a satellite navigation add-on can prove to be more helpful!
Dubai being a country of luxury, many people here own supercars. Honestly, I was not surprised when I saw such people going over the speed limit. But then again, the roads in the country are well-built.
However, I would highly recommend you do not cross the speed limit, regardless of the type of car you rent out. Crossing the speed limit is highly frowned upon in Dubai, and the fine can cost you up to AED 3305. Being a solo female traveller, the last thing you want is to spend such a huge amount of money on a silly thing!
Here are some of the examples of fines in the country.
- Texting while driving – AED 920
- Running a red light – AED 1100
- Exceeding the limit by 10 to 15 kilometres per hour – AED 300
- Exceeding the limit by 80 kilometres per hour – AED 3305
The fuel tank policy followed in Dubai is quite different from the rest of the countries. Here, a full-to-full fuel tank policy is followed. This means that you will be given a car with a tank full of fuel. Similarly, when you return the car, you have to make sure that the tank is full. However, here is a twist to this policy. If you do not return the car with a tank full, you will be charged extra. And the price charged is usually way higher than what you would pay at the market.
On my solo trip to Dubai, I made this mistake. I was not aware of this policy and returned the car with an empty tank. The car rental company charged me extra for the fuel. And honestly, the price of the fuel I paid was way higher than the market price.
The rental company might charge you an additional fee depending on the location of pick up and drop off. For instance, car rentals at the Dubai Airport charge 15 percent more than what they would in the city. This is because the airport is a premium location. So keep the location in mind before renting a car in Dubai.
8. Road tolls
I was surprised when I found out about the number of road tolls, also known as ‘Salik’ in Arabic, in the country. But it is due to the number of recently-built roads in Dubai. So the cost of each road toll is AED 4 in the country.
Your car will have a Salik tag on the windscreen. Since Dubai has an electronic toll system, you will be charged automatically through these tags. This can turn out to be quite helpful. When you rent your car from the rental company, the company will place a deposit on your credit card for these tolls. When you return the car, you will get the deposit amount back after deducting the total amount of all the tolls you went through while driving.
9. Things to consider before picking up the car from the rental company
Before you finalise the car you want to rent, make sure you consider the following things first.
- Inspect the car from every angle and click pictures if you see any deformity. This will help you in case the rental company scams you to pay any additional fee for damage to the car.
- Note down the rental company’s customer service number if you face any troubles with the car after renting it.
- Although this may hardly be a problem, check if the AC in the car is working properly. If it is not, and you figure this out later, Dubai’s heat can take a toll on you for sure!
- Make sure that the company is giving you all the registered documents.
- Enquire thoroughly about dropping off the car – whether the company is expecting you to drop it off at their office or they will send their employee to pick it up from your hotel?
These tiny details can prove to be very helpful in ensuring you have a smooth driving experience in the country.
10. Driving rules in Dubai
Following the driving rules in the country are extremely important. If not done properly, you could end up in serious problems. The following are some of the most important driving rules that will come in handy when you rent a car in Dubai on your solo trip.
- You will have to drive on the right-hand side of the road. To pass, you will have to go to the left side of the road.
- Wearing the seatbelt at all times is very necessary.
- You cannot use your smartphone while driving. The only exception to this rule is if you rent a hands-free car.
- Do not forget to take all the registered paperwork of your rented car from the rental company. It is essential to carry all the registration and insurance documents of the car at all times!
- Do not drink and drive. Even though drinking alcohol, even beer, is strictly prohibited in Dubai, you cannot drink and drive your car. If you do end up drunk, you can always book a cab or taxi. Drunk driving will not only cost you a fine but also put your life at risk.
If you do decide to go ahead and rent a car in Dubai, your travel experience will turn out to be quite amazing. It will not only save your time and money but also ensure a comfortable experience. All you need to do is keep the points I mentioned in mind and have fun in this luxurious country!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.