Best Car Rental Centers in Dubai
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Dubai, a luxurious city in the United Arab Emirates, is an excellent tourist destination because of its pristine beaches, luxury malls, hotels, and restaurants. If you’re a tourist, one of the best ways to get around Dubai is to drive. Driving will allow you to explore Dubai at your own pace and can be cheaper and more reliable than public transport.
So, which are the best car rental centers in Dubai? Dubai has both international car rental chains and local car rental services. Some of the best international services are Hertz, Sixt, Dollar, Thrifty, and Europcar. Some of the best local ones are SpeedyDrive and Al Emad.
When deciding which car rental center to choose, you should consider the models of cars they have available, as well as other services they offer. You should also be aware of the driving rules in Dubai and the regulations that many car rental services have.
This handy guide will help you learn everything you need to know about renting a car in Dubai.
Best Car Rental Centers in Dubai
With an understanding of Dubai’s rules and regulations, you can now consider the best car rental companies in Dubai. There are both international and local car rental companies in different locations across Dubai.
Hertz is an internationally known and acclaimed car rental brand. It has 12 locations across Dubai and 20 locations in the UAE. It has kiosks at the Dubai airport, allowing you to rent a car from the moment you arrive in Dubai.
Some of the vehicles that Hertz has available are:
- Economy cars. Hertz has Kia Picantos, Toyota Camarys, and Toyota Corollas that are available to hire. These cars all have air conditioning, can take 4-5 passengers and 1-2 pieces of luggage. They have an approximate mileage of 15km/liter.
- Four-wheel drives. Hertz has models like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Sporta, Honda HRV, Toyota Fortune, and the Toyota Landcruiser. These cars can accommodate between 5-7 passengers and 2-4 pieces of luggage. They have a mileage of between 15-18km/liter.
- Luxury cars. Some of the luxury cars Hertz has are the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and the Lexus ES350.
Hertz is always running special offers that you should take advantage of. In Dubai, Hertz has free mobile Wi-Fi in all its cars. It also offers you a discount if you prebook and prepay for your car online.
It also has several airline and hotel partners, so you should check if you can earn or redeem points and miles when using Hertz.
Dollar Rent A Car is a chain of car rental services across 53 countries. In the Middle East, Dollar operates in the UAE and Oman.
In Dubai, it has 16 locations that are spread across the city. Locations include the airport, Jumeriah Beach and the Dubai Marina Mall. You should note that some of the locations are closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Be sure to check their website to confirm that the location you want to rent from will be open.
Here are some of the cars that you can rent from Dollar:
- Economy. Dollar offers Kia Picantos, Chevrolet Sparks, Ford Figo Sedans, and Toyota Sedans for rent in their economy range. These cars all have air conditioning, can carry four passengers and one piece of luggage.
- SUV. Dollar’s SUV rental range includes the Ford Edge, which has space for four passengers but can carry up to three pieces of luggage. Another compact SUV that it offers is the MG RX 5.
- Luxury. Some of the special, luxury cars that Dollar has on offer are the Dodge Challenger, the Mercedes C200, the BMW 7-Series, and the Audi A8. Hiring these can be double or even triple the cost of an Economy car.
Dollar offers special rates and discounts for teachers. It has also partnered with Etihad Airways, Dubai Airport, Emirates and UAE exchange.
Thrifty has been operating car rental services in the UAE since 1989 and has 52 locations across the UAE. It has a fleet of over 900,000 cars and operates 24/7 at the Dubai airport. It has 21 car rental locations across Dubai, many of which are at major malls and hotels.
Here are some of the popular car models Thrifty has in its fleet:
- Economy. Some of the economy category cars that Thrifty has for rent are the Hyundai Accent, the Toyota Corolla, the Chevrolet Spark, and the Mazda 3.
- SUV. Thrifty has a wide range of SUVs available for rent all at competitive prices. Models you can hire include the Ford Explorer, the Toyota Prado, the Dodge Durango, the Nissan Pathfinder, and the Nissan Patrol. The Nissan Patrol is the biggest car they have available and can seat eight people.
- Luxury. Thrifty has fewer luxury models. The two they have available is the BMW 730Li, and the BMW 520I.
Depending on their availability ad the season, Thrifty will typically run offers on specific car models.
Europcar is an international car rental company that has been operating in Dubai since 1976. It has 14 locations across Dubai and the Northern Emirates and also has service centers across Dubai. It offers daily, short, and long term rentals.
Here are some of the models that Europcar rents:
- Economy. Economy cars in Europcar’s fleet are the Hyundai Accent, the Mitshubi Lancer, the Chevrolet Aveo, and the Hyundai Sedan. All these cars can take four passengers and two pieces of luggage.
- SUV. Europcar has only two SUVs available at present – the Kia Carnival 3.3 and the Ford Explorer. While the Kia Carnival can take up to seven passengers and luggage, the Ford Explorer can take five passengers.
- Luxury. Premium cars that are available including the Volvo S90, the Audi A6, and the Infiniti Q50.
Europcar also offers roadside assistance for cars that have been hired from their fleet. However, this is at an extra cost.
Europcar has a Privilege program in which you can sign up for free. As a privileged member you can:
- Earn a free weekend rental when you rent a Europcar three times
- Enjoy priority collections and guaranteed bookings
- Earn frequent flyer miles on selected airlines
- Enjoy benefits from partner hotels like Novotel, Mercure, and Sofitel.
Sixt is a German-owned, multinational company which has six branches in Dubai. The branches are in popular locations including the Dubai Airport, Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road, and the Dubai Palazzo Versace.
The cars that Sixt offers are typically 3-6 months old. The company offers 24/7 customer service. Some of the car models available to rent from Sixt are:
- Economy. Sixt focuses primarily on economy model cars in Dubai. Cars you can hire in this category are the Hyundai Accent, the Hyundai 10, and the Suzuki Alto. These cars have four passenger seats, air conditioning, and space for 2 pieces of luggage. ‘
- SUV. SUV brands that Sixt rents include the Hyundai HI, which has nine seats and space for two suitcases, and the Jeep Wrangler that has five seats and space for one suitcase.
Sixt has special offers if you reserve your vehicle online and you prepay.
SpeedyDrive Car Rental
SpeedyDrive is a Dubai based car rental service. It offers both car drop-offs and pickups, so you don’t need to go searching for the rental center’s location. It also offers great deals on rentals and is cheaper than international car rental services. It has a variety of both affordable and luxury cars.
Some of the cars available are:
- Economy. SpeedyDrive has the Nissan Sunny, the Nissan Micra, the Chevrolet Spark, the Hyundai Accent, the Kia Picanto, and the Toyota Yaris available for rent. The company has models which are six months old, but also older models which are cheaper.
- SUV. SUV cars that SpeedyDrive has included the Hyundai Kona, the Hyundai Creta, the Mazda, the Toyota Fortuna, and the Ford Explorer. Most of these cars are automatic and have Bluetooth enabled.
- Luxury. SpeedyDrive has a wide range of luxury car brands available like Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, and Infiniti.
SpeedyDrive offers 24/7 roadside assistance at an extra cost.
SpeedyDrive has special offers and discounts for teachers. It also offers you a discount if you rent specific car models, or rent the car for three days or more.
Al Emad Car Rentals
Al Emad is another Dubai based car rental service. It has a fleet of over 500 vehicles and can offer some very affordable rates. They have 31 locations across Dubai in popular and easily accessible areas. Al Emad has daily, weekly, and monthly car rentals. If you have a monthly plan, Al Emad offers free service and car maintenance.
Some of the cars that Al Emad has available are:
- Economy. Al Emad has several economy cars, including the Chevrolet Cruz, the Kia Picanto, and the Hyundai Accent.
- SUV. SUV brands that Al Emad has available are the Kia Sportage, the Nissan Titanium, and the Hyundai Creta.
- Luxury. You can hire an Audi or a Lamborghini from Al Emad if you want a luxury car.
Al Emad will only rent to customers who are above 25.
RentalCars UAE is a car rental aggregator in Dubai. It will ask customers to select their requirements, including:
- The car model you want
- You budget
- The duration that you need the car for
- Any extra features you need, such as a booster seat, or external GPS.
Based on your requirements, agents will look through a collection of rental car companies like Dollar, Hertz, Europcar, and Thrifty, and select the best deals and offers. The agents will then help you with the paperwork and can arrange to get the car delivered directly to your door.
Customers can also ask RentalCars to organize car and passenger insurance.
Like RentalCars, OneClickDrive is a rental car company aggregator. Simply select the type of car and rental duration you need, and OneClickDrive will provide you with a host of options from 50 car rental services across Dubai. This will allow you to compare prices, offers, and car features so you can make an informed decision.
OneClickDrive works with Al Emad, Drivus, Afamia, and Paddock Rent A Car.
What should you know before renting a car?
Before you explore the best car rentals centers in Dubai, there are a few considerations about driving in Dubai that you should keep in mind.
Rules and Regulations
Here are some basic rules you need to know about driving in Dubai:
- Driving age. You must be 18 and above to drive a car in Dubai. However, some car rental centers require you to be 21 or even 25 to rent a car from them.
- Driving side. In Dubai, you drive on the right side of the road and overtake from the left.
- Licenses. If you have a Canadian, European, Chinese, South African, Singaporean, or Gulf driver’s license, you can drive in Dubai. If you have a license from another country, you’ll need to get an international driver’s license.
- Children. Children between 4-8 years old need to sit in a booster seat.
- Seatbelts. All passengers must wear seatbelts at all times.
Types of cars
Dubai’s roads are filled with a wide variety of cars. Car rental companies typically have different categories of cars for you to choose between. These include:
- Economy Cars. Economy cars are also affordable but have a little more wriggle room as compared to mini cars. They are typically sedans and have four seats, and room for two pieces of luggage. Get an economy car if you’re traveling on a budget.
- Four-wheel drives or SUVs. Four-wheel drives or SUVs are bigger and can carry up to five passengers and two large suitcases. Some of these cars get better mileage than economy cars. These are great cars if you are planning to drive into the desert and go dune bashing. You should also consider an SUV if you are a large family, or have lots of luggage.
- Luxury cars. Luxury or special cars can reach higher speeds and include brands like Mercedes, Porsches, and Lamborghinis. They are more expensive than economy cars and four-wheel drives but offer you an unapparelled driving experience.
It’s important to read the agreement that your car rental center gives you carefully. There is a collection of ‘extras’ they may charge you for once you return your car. If you don’t know about them, these can be a nasty and expensive surprise! Here are some extra charges to ask about:
- Tolls. Dubai operates a tolling system called ‘Salik.’ This is an electronic system that automatically charges cars a toll when they pass through toll gates. Your car rental company may ask you to pay for these tolls.
- GPS. Some car rental companies will charge you if you use the car’s built-in GPS.
- Fuel. Most car rental services across the world have a full to full fuel policy. When they hand over the car, the fuel tank will be full, and you’ll be expected to return it with a full fuel tank. If you don’t, they may charge you extra for the fuel.
- Insurance. Typically, insurance is not included in car rental agreements. If you want one, you will have to purchase an additional insurance policy – this is typically cheap. It’s a good idea if you’re uneasy about driving on unfamiliar roads.
- Fines. If you get pulled over for speeding, you’ll be charged a very expensive fine. While the fine will be made out to the car company, you’ll be expected to pay for it. You can also be fined for not wearing a seatbelt, talking on a mobile phone (unless you’re using hands-free), and drinking and driving.
- Location. Most car rental centers in Dubai have multiple locations across the city. You can pick up and drop off your car at different locations at your convenience. But, you should know that some car rentals will charge more for a pickup or drop off at premium locations like the airport.
- Parking. Most places in Dubai, including malls and public parking lots, have paid parking. The Dubai government recently introduced an mParking system, where you can text a number to pay for parking instead of paying at parking meters. Ask your car rental service for details.
- Payments. Some car rental companies will charge you more if you want to pay by cash or are using an international credit card. Some may offer you a discount if you prebook or pay using a particular card. Always be sure to ask the car rental service employee for any payment details you need to be aware of.
There are plenty of rental car centers in Dubai that offer economy, luxury, and SUV cars for rent. Some of the best international car rental services are Hertz, Thrifty, Europcar, and Sixt. They have received constant positive customer feedback, and have a wide variety of cars available.
You can also consider Dubai based car rental services like SpeedyDrive Dubai and Al Emad. These may offer better rates as compared to international rental companies.
For the best deals, it’s worth exploring aggregators like RentalCars UAE and OneClickDrive. These will do price comparisons for you, helping you get a better deal on the car you need.