Renting a car for the first time can be simultaneously exciting and scary. A car rental opens up a world of possibilities when you travel, but there are some pitfalls you want to avoid. We’re here to make sure you feel that sense of adventure without the downside. 

For starters, know that simply booking a car reservation is usually a low-risk proposition more akin to booking a hotel room than booking an airline ticket. There are two kinds of rates: Those you pay when you pick up the car and prepaid rates. The first time you rent a car, you will probably feel more comfortable booking a Pay Later rate, which will have no cancellation penalty in case you need to change your plans. 

Driving in Dubai can be daunting if you are not used to heavy traffic and busy roads. Initially, the expenses to buy a car can also be quite substantial. Therefore, a number of people opt to rent a car in Dubai after moving to the city. The tourists visiting the city also often choose to rent a car in Dubai to explore the most popular attractions of the emirate.  

Keeping in mind the UAE’s driving laws and car rental regulations, here’s what you should consider before renting a car in Dubai. 

Short-Term and Long-Term Car Rentals in Dubai 

Once you decide to rent a car in Dubai, the next big question is whether to rent short-term or long-term. The travellers can rent a car, van, or truck and pay on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. All car rental companies in Dubai offer a variety of short- and long-term car rentals.  

Short-term car rental service is perfect for a road trip journey or a weekend adventure. You can avail this service for business trips or on days you have planned a one-way journey.  

Long-term car rental service is a budgeted solution for those looking to rent a car for a longer duration, often extending into months and even years. These car rental offers, are usually more cost-effective than the short-term options.  

Long-term car rental services in Dubai are ideal for those who want to wait before buying their own vehicle  

Things to Consider Before Choosing to Rent a Car in Dubai 

The following rules for renting a car in Dubai must be adhered to by both tourists and residents. 

Choose a Reliable Rental Company 

The reputation of a car rental company is critical. You should research about the company, read their reviews, and get the complete information about them before making a decision. You can check out the rules, regulations, and policies for rent a car in Dubai. It is significant to read about the terms of the rental contract before making a choice.  

Driving Licence 

Being the resident of UAE, you must have a valid UAE driving licence. The tourists or visit visa holders can use their international driving licence. European or GCC driving licence holders can also rent a car as long as they have a valid visit visa.  

Driving outside the UAE  

It is strictly forbidden to use a rental vehicle outside the UAE. For instance, if you are planning a road trip to Oman, use a car owned by a friend or relative. 

Age Limit 

The legal driving age in the UAE is 18 years, but you must be at least 25 years old to rent a car. You must consider these age rules for rent a car in the UAE. 












When it comes to high-end vehicles, the rules for Dubai car rentals can be stricter.  

Responsibilities of the Renter 

The renter must return the vehicle in the same condition that they received the car. In case any defect or damage occurs after renting a car in Dubai, the cost will be included in the final payment.  

The renter must also return the vehicle to the leased company at the agreed time. The vehicle must be used for lawful private or business purpose.  

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It should not be used for trade purposes unless authorised by the rental company.  

The renter must ensure compliance with the UAE traffic laws, which include compliance of traffic light observance, drug/alcohol driving laws and speed limit.  

The renter must not use the vehicle in any motorsport activity or trade event.  

The rented vehicle should not be overloaded. The car must be returned to the owner after completion of the rental contract.  

Vehicle Inspection 

The renter must check the car thoroughly before renting it. The renter should ensure that car accessories like GPS, and child safety seats are properly adjusted. He should inspect the tyre pressure, car fuel/oil and radiator fluids and report all defects to the owner. 

It’s important to conduct a thorough check of the vehicle before signing the rental car contract  

Documents Needed to Rent a Car in Dubai 

There is a set of documents for renting a car in Dubai provided by the renter to the leasing company.  

  • Passport Copy 
  • Special Driving Licence. 
  • International Driving Licence for Non-GCC nationals. 
  • Auto Insurance company details. 
  • Credit card copy. 
  • Proof of Residence. 

Insurance for Rental Cars in Dubai 

The car rental companies require car lease applicants to provide insurance documents. Banks require full coverage on your vehicle during the leasing term. You can also inquire about the deductible requirements and coverage of your insurance policy from the representative of the leasing institution.  

Deposit for rental cars 

A certain amount of money is deposited with the rental company, which is to be used in the event of loss or damage to the vehicle or equipment during the car rental contract. In case no damage has occurred, the deposited amount shall be credited towards the payment of the rental rate. The excess amount will be returned to the renter.  

Payment of fees or fines 

The renter will pay the fines in case of breaking a traffic law either by over speeding or overtaking another vehicle. Salik is an electronic portal for collecting fees. It is included in the final invoice. This system is widely used in Dubai. 

Addition of another Driver 

The leasing company must be informed if another person is driving the car. You should also attach the driving licence of the additional driver.  

Availing the service of rent a car in Dubai is common for tourists and new residents moving to the city. It’s best to know these details ahead before making a final decision about renting a car vs buying your own vehicle in Dubai. After a few months of renting cars, when you feel ready to take the plunge and buy your own, you could also consider buying a second-hand car in Dubai.