Driving in the UAE: Things to Know about Car Rental in Dubai

Dubai is an ideal city for driving good cars. For one thing, you will have an excellent choice of luxury cars to rent and a fairly decent price list too, by international standards. Besides, renting a car is almost a must here since there is so much to see and do and traffic congestion is a regular occurrence in this city. Public transport simply will not do if you want to have time for everything.

Moreover, the quality of the roads in the UAE is quite impressive, and the speed limits are high compared with other big cities around the world. Therefore, we suggest that you hire a sports car in Dubai for the best appreciation of what the city has to offer. However, there are some things you should know before renting a car, and we have put together the most important of them in this article.

Traffic Regulations

  1. According to the local traffic laws, every driver must have a driver’s license and be at least 21 years old. Furthermore, if you are younger than 30, you must have your driver’s for at least three years before driving in the country legally. You may travel with your international license issued in the USA, as well as a long list of other countries, as long as all your stamps and visas look good.
  2. Depending on your country of origin, you might have to get used to reading road signs in kilometres, not miles, and driving on the right. The latter will not be a problem if you remember that the passenger seat must always be on the side of the pavement.
  3. The table below shows the speed limits (in kilometres per hour) that will apply in most cases:
City roadsFreewaysHighwaysCertain designated highways
40-60100140At least 60
  1. Apart from that, if you drive the roads with different speed limits for the weekends, remember the workdays in the UAE are from Sunday to Thursday
  2. Drunken driving is strictly prohibited here, just as it is everywhere else, and the local traffic laws do not specify the minimum alcohol level either. However, the UAE being a Muslim country, there will be an additional factor of cultural aversion to alcohol. Therefore, do not even think of driving, even after a glass of beer. Should you land in trouble, even a faint smell of alcohol from you will not work for a good conflict resolution with the police.

Required Documentation

Besides your driver’s license, you will need the following papers to rent a car and drive in the UAE. We suggest that you always have them with you to avoid any unnecessary trouble with the traffic authorities:

  1. Be prepared to show your passport, both on the road and in the car rental agencies, to confirm your age and prove that you are legal in the country. You must have a stamp and a valid visa (in case you need one); otherwise, no agency will let you drive its cars under any circumstances.
  2. It is illegal to drive in the UAE without car insurance. The coverage will depend on the car you rent, but AUD5K will be enough for most purposes, although it could be as high as AUD10K for renting a sports car. Although some agencies will provide minimal coverage, most of them expect car insurance to be your responsibility.
  3. Some highways will only let you pass their toll gates if you have a prepaid toll-gate card called Salik. For this reason, we suggest that you obtain one before you rent a car and have it with you at all times, just in case.

Rental Deposit

  1. Most agencies will ask you to leave a deposit for the sake of their own security and for certain deductions at the end of the rental agreement, which typically include:
      • Unpaid traffic fees and fines
      • Accidental damages to the car
      • The extra mileage

Be prepared for 3,000 to 5,000 in AUD, depending on the agency and the type of car you rent.

Price List

  1. Many car rentals in Dubai rent their cars elsewhere to sub-rent them to their customers for a commission added to the total rental price. Therefore, you should always enquire whether the agency owns the vehicles in its fleet so that you can avoid unnecessary expenses. You can check out here for a good selection of luxury cars to rent for the most competitive prices in Dubai.

Final Word

Renting a car in Dubai is a comparatively hassle-free procedure, provided you have all the necessary documentation in order. Choose an agency that offers good rental deals, select a car that best suits your needs and budget and reserve it in advance, and prepare for an unforgettable spin around the city of luxury and speed.

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