What to Check Before Renting a Car in UAE

What to Check Before Renting a Car in UAE

January 07, 2024

Are you dreaming of a holiday in the United Arab Emirates, eager to explore its diverse attractions? Whether it's the vibrant city life of Dubai or the peaceful desert landscapes, renting a car offers a convenient way to experience it all. However, a bit of planning can enhance your vacation, making it smoother, stress-free, and more enjoyable. Our updated guide will provide you with the essential checks you need to do before renting a car in the UAE.

Dubai Driver's Documents And Eligibility

A seamless rental experience hinges on having the proper documentation. Here's what you'll need:

Valid Driving License

Your home country's driving license might suffice for short-term rentals (less than a month). However, for longer rentals or if your license isn't in Arabic or English, you'll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) alongside your original license.

Age Restrictions

The minimum age for renting a car in the UAE is typically 21, although some companies may have a higher age limit for certain car categories (e.g., luxury vehicles).

Passport and Emirates ID (for residents)

A valid passport is mandatory for all renters. Residents should also carry their Emirates ID for identification purposes.

Credit Card

In the UAE, the majority of rental companies mandate a credit card for the security deposit and any extra fees accrued throughout your rental duration.

Understanding The Rental Agreement

Don't just skim through the rental agreement! Take your time to understand the following key points:

Rental Period and Rates

Double-check the exact dates and times of your rental to avoid any late return fees. Familiarize yourself with the daily, weekly, or monthly rates to plan your budget accordingly.

Insurance Coverage

Rental car companies offer various insurance options. Carefully review the coverage details, including what's included (collision damage waiver, theft protection) and any exclusions. Consider purchasing additional coverage if the basic policy seems insufficient.

Fuel Policy

Rental agreements typically specify the fuel policy, often a "full-to-full" policy. This means returning the car with a full tank, as it was received. Alternatively, some companies offer a pre-paid fuel option, which might be convenient but may not always be the most cost-effective.

Inspecting the Vehicle

Before driving off, take a thorough look at the car. Here's what to check:


Walk around the car in good lighting and inspect for any pre-existing dents, scratches, or cracks on the bodywork, tires, and windows. Note down any damage and get it acknowledged by the rental company representative on the pick-up form.


Check the functionality of the seats, seatbelts, air conditioning, lights, and audio system. Ensure all the doors lock and unlock properly.


Record the odometer reading on the pick-up form. This serves as a reference for the total distance driven during your rental period.

Familiarizing Yourself With The Car

Every car operates a little differently. Take a few minutes to get comfortable behind the wheel.

Adjust the Seat and Mirrors

A properly adjusted seat and mirrors ensure a safe and comfortable driving experience.

Understand the Controls

Locate the turn signals, headlights, wipers, and other essential controls before setting off.

Test Drive

If possible, take a short test drive around the rental company's parking lot to familiarize yourself with the car's handling and braking.

Additional Tips for a Hassle-Free Rental

Here are some bonus tips to make the most of your car rental in the UAE:

Know the Traffic Rules

Familiarize yourself with the UAE's traffic regulations, including speed limits, toll roads, and designated parking areas.

Download Offline Maps

While GPS might be available in the rental car, having access to offline maps on your phone provides an extra layer of security in case of connectivity issues.

Plan Your Route

Plan your journey in advance and pre-program your route into the car's GPS or phone navigation app. This saves time and ensures you don't get lost.

Ask Questions

Don't hesitate to ask the rental company representative any questions you might have about the vehicle, local traffic laws, or anything else related to your rental.

Final Words

By following these straightforward checks and tips, you can ensure a seamless and delightful car rental experience in the UAE. For hassle-free car rental services in the UAE, book with Dirham Car Rental today! Get ready to explore the wonders of this fascinating country at your own pace!