A Guide to Car hire and Leasing in the UAE
In the UAE, figuring out whether to car hire and leasing UAE or even pay per kilometer can make your head spin. But in a country where the high temperatures make maintenance and service costs higher and more frequent, it is often seen as the easier choice.
Most of the time, the difference between car hire & leasing is how long it takes to pay off the bill
. Leasing usually means renting it for at least a year, and the longer the contract
, the cheaper the monthly price. If you agree to a certain length of lease, some car leasing companies in the UAE will even buy you a brand-new car (often of your choice). Many leasing fanatics think this is the best way to go in the long run, but this obviously depends on the car hire & leasing rate. Some people even like it more than having a car.
But is it cheaper to rent than to buy? In 2015, according to data from Shift, it was cheaper for the UAE residents to lease than to buy a four-door saloon, which cost Dh1,770 per month to lease instead of Dh1,946 to buy. Shift says that if you keep the car for four years, you will pay Dh1,370 a month to lease it instead of Dh1,477 a month to own it. These numbers are for a car that drives 60,000 km (about 37282.27 mi) a year and include insurance
, registration, repairs, and loan interest.
Most of the traditional major car leasing companies in the UAE will have options for leasing, as will the more localized shops
. Rates for a 2015 Toyota Yaris start at about Dh1,300 and go up to about Dh2,800 for a new SUV.
Let us explain all your options.
There are a lot of major car leasing companies in the UAE. You've probably dealt with at least one of them when picking up a rental car in a foreign country, and yes, they all exist in the UAE. You can get a quote from each of their websites, or even better, you can use a site like our business directory to compare companies. There are also smaller car leasing companies in the UAE, that often have very low prices. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to negotiate with them.
There are UAE-based companies that do car hire and leasing in UAE for both short and long periods of time, and drivers can choose to pay for how far they drive instead of for a set amount of time.
They have an app that lets you pay for the kilometers you drive. You buy bundles of miles as you go and add more when you need to. You get 1,000 free kilometers each month, and any kilometers you don't use will carry over to the next month.
But if you don't top up your kilometers in time, you'll be charged three times your monthly rate when you reach 0km.
It's a good choice for people who need to run around UAE or Abu Dhabi occasionally, but it's probably not a good choice for people who travel farther away or who commute every day between Abu Dhabi and UAE.
They have both long-term and short-term options, and the basic price for a nine-month lease of a Kia Picante starts at Dh862 before you buy kilometer bundles.
Some people swear by car aggregation sites, but they won't help you as much with long-term car hire & leasing. Instead, it's best to talk to a person at the company and see if you can work out a long-term rate. car hire & leasing has some of the best prices we've seen, and they're willing to work with you if you want to. Timing is important, though. If you try to negotiate a good price in the winter
, when fewer people are in the country, you might have less luck than in the summer
, when fewer people are there.
Need a car for only an hour? How about fifteen minutes? Whether you need a car for 10 minutes or 10 hours, you can use the UAE's newest way to rent a car.
Some car leasing companies in the UAE are helping to bridge the huge gap between having someone else drive for you and buying or renting a car for yourself to drive all the time.
Short-term car hire & leasing apps are a new idea in this country, and it may take a while for the average driver to figure out how they work. But the basic process is easy: choose an app, download it, sign up, and then use a GPS
-enabled map in the app to find a car leasing in UAE. The cars are spread out, so if you need one, you'll never be too far from it. All you must do is open the app and look for a car. This is the main difference between traditional car leasing companies in the UAE and this new generation: you don't have to talk to other people as much.
Once you've found the closest car to you and reserved it right away, you unlock it with the app and punch in a PIN to a keypad in the glovebox. This lets you get the ignition key. Some companies are only available in UAE and cost 50 miles per minute, which comes out to Dh30 per hour, including VAT
. There are also daily rates for different types of cars. Some companies are available in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Sharjah and cost 50 miles per minute, which is the same as its competitor but doesn't include VAT. Some companies also have daily rates that change from city to city, as well as some extra mileage fees.
What comes with it Most of the time, the rental agreement will have Insurance (though, look out for what kind and the excess you are liable to pay should something happen)
- Roadside assistance
- Breakdowns and recovery
- Replacement vehicle
- Maintenance and service
So, if you get into an accident or the car needs to be fixed for some reason, the car leasing companies in UAE will usually take care of everything.
Costs of the extras
Fines: If you get a ticket for speeding or parking, car leasing companies in the UAE will usually charge you an admin fee of about 20% of the total cost of the ticket. Also, they usually charge at least one dirham more at each toll gate, so instead of paying Dh4 for your Salik, you will pay Dh5 or Dh6.
Mileage Make sure to check how many kilometers you've agreed to drive each year. Many car leasing companies in the UAE have clauses that say you'll be charged extra if you go over that limit.
Some companies ask for a one-time payment of a couple hundred dirhams to cover personal accident insurance.
Breaking your lease early: If you break your contract early, you may have to pay a fee, sometimes as much as four months' worth of rent.
What you'll have to give:
Make sure you have:
- Passport image scan
- Scan of the visa page in a passport
- Scan of a valid driving license from the UAE (front and back)
- Scan of driver's license from country of origin, if asked.
- Emirates ID scan (front and back)
- A deposit that you'll get back when your lease or rental agreement is over.
Time of year when you go for car hire & leasing, the price you pay often depends on what time of year it is. For example, if you are looking for a car in the summer, you will have a better chance of getting a lower price than you would in the winter, when fewer people are on vacation. Most people in the UAE believe that if you can, you should wait until Ramadan to talk about a new lease or rental.
Licensing You need a UAE driving license to drive once you have a residence visa in your passport. Visitors to the country can drive with just an international driver's license or a license from their home country, but if you plan to live there for a long time, you need to get a new one. As long as the owner's insurance company
agrees, the rules in UAE have also changed so that visitors can drive a friend's or family member's car while they are here instead of having to rent one from a car leasing company in UAE.
Visitors from the GCC, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Poland, Finland, Portugal, the United States, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa can all drive with licenses from their home countries. All other nationalities must get an international license, which they can get in their home country or through Emirates Post in the UAE.