Cheap vs Luxury Car Rental in Dubai: Ultimate Traveller Guide

by 10 Apr 2024Asia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai is a city that effortlessly combines opulence with adventure, prompting a crucial question for its travellers: is car rental in Dubai worth it? And if the answer is yes, should you indulge in luxury or opt for affordability?

On the one hand, luxury car rentals in Dubai let you explore in style, making a statement wherever you go. On the other hand, choosing an affordable car hire can be a pragmatic option. It lets you get around this bustling metropolis easily without spending too much. When deciding, consider what matters most for your trip and your budget. And remember, driving in Dubai is an experience of its own, with so much to see and do, whether in a luxury car or a more economical option.

Keep reading this article to understand which is the right option for you and to learn how to find the best place to rent a car in Dubai. Also, don’t forget to check out the Holiday Swap platform. With a large variety of luxurious holiday homes in Dubai, our platform aims to provide the best quality stays for the lowest prices.



Why Rent a Car in Dubai?

Renting a car in Dubai is like having the city at your fingertips. You’re free from public transport schedules, making it easier for you to explore as you please. Whether it’s darting to the shimmering beaches or exploring the sprawling malls, you can’t deny the convenience of a rental.

You also get to choose your own path, stopping for pictures by the Arabian Gulf or discovering hidden cafes. With a Dubai car rental, every moment is yours to design, making your trip uniquely memorable.



What Do You Need to Rent a Car in Dubai?

To rent a car in Dubai, you need to make sure that you follow all these necessary requirements:

  • Passport: First off, you’ll need your passport, a must-have for international visitors, serving as your primary document of identification.
  • Driver’s Licence: Secondly, a valid driving licence is non-negotiable. For those hailing from abroad, an International Driving Permit (IDP) often accompanies your national licence, ensuring you are road-legal in the UAE.
  • Above 21 years old: Drivers must typically be over the age of 21, though this can vary with luxury rentals, where the age criterion might nudge up to 25.


What You Need to Know About Car Insurance in Dubai

Your rental likely comes with basic coverage for common situations. But, if you’re driving a luxury car or aren’t used to the roads here, thinking about extra insurance can be a smart choice.

Besides the standard insurance included in your typical rental package, there are at least four additional types worth considering. Each type of insurance provides a unique safety net, allowing you to customise your coverage based on your specific needs and concerns. Therefore, this ensures a stress-free drive across Dubai’s spectacular scenery.  

Collision damage waiver: CDW reduces your financial liability for any damage to the rental car, provided you adhere to the terms and conditions. It’s not exactly insurance but acts to waive the rental company’s right to charge you for damages.

Liability insurance: This is crucial as it covers damage to other vehicles and property. It also covers injuries to other people in the event of an accident where you’re at fault.

Personal accident insurance: It offers coverage for the driver and passengers in the hired car for medical expenses during the rental period. It’s an added layer of security for you and your loved ones.

Personal effects coverage: This protects against the theft of personal items from the rental car. If you’re carrying valuable gadgets or luggage, this insurance can offer compensation in case of loss.


Do You Need to Rent a Car in Dubai?

Dubai mixes modern life and desert thrills, making it a great place for renting a car. Whether you prefer luxury or affordable choices, stick around to see which one is right for you.


What Makes Dubai a Hotspot for Luxury Car Enthusiasts?

Dubai is known for its luxurious landscape, especially its exquisite cars. For enthusiasts, it’s not just about the drive but the experience of visiting the city in a vehicle that matches its spirit. Driving on Sheikh Zayed Road in high-end brand cars makes Dubai a dream for those who love premium experiences.


The stunning view of the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road



Are Cheap Rental Options Worth It?

Absolutely! For the budget-conscious traveller, cheap rental options are a boon. They offer the freedom to explore Dubai without the hefty price tag. Budget rentals may not turn heads like their luxury counterparts, but the convenience, freedom, and cost savings they offer are unbeatable. They’re perfect for those who prioritise practicality and adventure over prestige.


Comparing Costs vs. Convenience

Even though luxury car rentals come with a higher price, the sheer joy of driving a dream car in such a spectacular city can be worth the splurge for many. On the flip side, budget rentals may cut costs but still provide the invaluable benefit of personal mobility. Dubai’s public transport, albeit efficient, can’t offer the same freedom to explore the city at your own pace. It also makes carrying shopping spoils or beach gear a more difficult task. Rental cars in Dubai enrich your travel experience, offering comfort and a dash of adventure that public transport simply can’t match.


Finding the Right Car Rental Agencies in Dubai

Looking into Dubai’s car rental options is an exciting part of planning your trip, especially if you’re considering luxury cars. So, let’s look at both luxurious and budget-friendly choices.


Luxury Car Rental Companies in Dubai

Dubai is home to several luxury car rental companies, each promising a fleet that’s as lavish as the city’s lifestyle. Names such as Luxury Supercar Rentals, Exotic Cars Dubai, and DB Luxury Cars stand out for their exceptional service and exclusive collections. These companies specialise in offering not just a vehicle, but a complete luxury experience, catering to the discerning tastes of their clientele.


Exclusive Luxury Car Brands Available

When it comes to the array of vehicles these premium companies offer, the sky’s the limit. Think of marques that epitomise luxury and performance – Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Porsche, to name a few. Each brand represents a statement of class, power, and elegance, ensuring that your ride in Dubai will be as memorable as the destination itself.


Services and Amenities Offered by Premium Rentals

Luxury car rentals in Dubai go beyond mere car hire. They provide a suite of services and amenities designed to elevate your rental experience to the pinnacle of comfort and convenience.

  • Personalised concierge services: Many luxury rentals offer concierge services to assist with your itinerary, be it booking reservations at exclusive restaurants or securing VIP tickets to events.
  • Customised vehicles: Tailor your ride with options for custom interiors, specific models, or additional luxury features to ensure your rental meets your exalting standards.
  • Door-to-door delivery: Expect your chosen vehicle to be delivered to your doorstep or at the airport, ready for your arrival, adding a layer of convenience and exclusivity to your travel plans.
  • 24/7 roadside assistance: Peace of mind is paramount, with around-the-clock support to address any concerns or issues that may arise during your rental period.


A ferrari car on the roads of the Dubai city


Cheap Car Hire in Dubai

For the budget-conscious traveller, there are many affordable car hire options in Dubai that don’t skimp on convenience and flexibility. Let’s explore how you can secure the best deals and avoid any unwelcome surprises.


  Tips for Finding Affordable Car Rental in Dubai

  • Early booking: Securing your rental well in advance often guarantees better rates. Car rental prices can surge closer to holiday seasons or major events and are cheaper during off-peak months. Learn more about when is the best time to visit Dubai.
  • Compare prices online: Utilise comparison websites to scout for the best deals across various rental companies. This not only gives you a broad view of the available options but also helps you snag the most cost-effective deal.
  • Look for package deals: Sometimes, booking your car rental in conjunction with your flight or hotel can unlock special discounts. Check with travel agencies or online booking platforms for such bundled offers.
  • Leverage long-term rentals: If you’re planning an extended stay, opting for a monthly rental can significantly lower the daily cost compared to short-term hires.
  • Off-airport locations: While renting directly from the airport offers convenience, it can also come with a premium. Consider rental agencies located a bit further from the airport for better rates.
  • Look for options that don’t charge deposit: This can be particularly appealing for travellers who prefer not to block a significant amount of money as a security deposit. If you want to rent a car in Dubai without a deposit, it’s essential to read the rental agreement carefully to understand all terms and conditions, ensuring there are no hidden charges.


  Avoiding Hidden Fees and Charges

  • Inspect the rental agreement: Take your time to read through the rental agreement thoroughly. Look out for any additional charges that might not have been explicitly mentioned at the outset.
  • Understand insurance policies: Be clear about what’s covered under the insurance policy included with your rental and what’s not. Opting for unnecessary extra insurance could inflate your bill.
  • Fuel policy: Familiarise yourself with the car rental’s fuel policy. The most common policy is ‘full to full’, meaning you receive the car with a full tank and should return it full to avoid extra charges.
  • Inspect the car for pre-existing damage: Before driving off, inspect the car thoroughly for any existing damage and ensure it’s documented by the rental company to avoid being charged for it later.
  • Check for mileage limits: Some rental deals come with a daily mileage limit. Exceeding this limit could result in additional charges per mile, so it’s essential to choose a deal that matches your travel plans.

By keeping these tips and precautions in mind, you can enjoy the freedom and convenience of a car rental in Dubai without straining your budget or encountering hidden costs.


Rent a Car in Dubai Monthly

If you want to rent a car for a longer period you will get an extended rental period, usually spanning a month or more. This provides a cost-effective and convenient solution for travellers and residents alike. It mostly caters to those on prolonged visits, business assignments, or anyone needing a longer-term transportation solution without the commitment of purchasing a vehicle.


Benefits of Long-Term Car Rental in Dubai

  • Cost savings: When you choose to rent a car for a month you can significantly reduce the daily rate compared to shorter rental periods. Over time, these savings add up, making it a more economical choice.
  • Flexibility: A long-term car lease in Dubai offers the flexibility to change vehicles if your needs or preferences evolve, without the hassle of buying and selling.
  • Maintenance and service: Rental companies typically handle maintenance and servicing, removing the burden of upkeep from the renter. This includes regular service checks, repairs, and even roadside assistance.
  • No long-term commitment: Enjoy the benefits of having a car without the long-term commitment or financial investment of owning one. This includes avoiding depreciation costs, insurance, and registration hassles.


How to Get the Best Monthly Car Rental Deals in Dubai

  • Market analysis: Compare offers from multiple rental companies to find the best deals. Don’t hesitate to negotiate or ask for a better rate, especially for longer rental periods.
  • Loyalty programs: Joining a rental company’s loyalty program can offer perks like discounts, free upgrades, or other benefits that enhance the value of your rental over time.
  • Negotiate for inclusions: Sometimes, you can negotiate for inclusions such as free additional drivers, reduced rates on longer-term rentals, or complementary upgrades.
  • Check for promotions: Keep an eye out for promotional offers, especially during off-peak seasons when companies are more likely to offer discounts to attract customers.
  • Understand the terms: Ensure you fully understand the rental agreement’s terms, especially concerning mileage limits, maintenance responsibilities, and insurance coverage, to avoid unexpected charges.


Man behind the wheel of a rental car in Dubai



The Best Car Rental Services in Dubai

Whether you’re in the city for business or pleasure, selecting the right rental agency can significantly enhance your experience.


What to Look for in a Car Rental Agency

When choosing a car rental agency in Dubai, several key factors can guide your decision.

Agencies well-reviewed by past customers are likely to offer reliable and quality services. It’s also important to choose one that provides a variety of vehicles. Whether you need an economical compact car or a luxury model, having multiple options ensures you find the right car for your budget and needs. Pricing transparency is important too. Opt for agencies that clearly outline all costs, including any additional fees for insurance, mileage, or extra services.

Good customer service makes a big difference. Look for an agency with an efficient booking process, friendly staff, and round-the-clock support. This is especially helpful if you run into any issues while renting. Lastly, check their insurance and safety practices. Choose an agency that offers comprehensive insurance and maintains their vehicles to high safety standards.


Top Rated Agencies for Quality Service

Selecting the right car rental agency in Dubai involves considering your personal needs, budget, and preferences. By focusing on agencies known for their quality service and customer satisfaction, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable driving experience in this dynamic city.

A few car rental agencies stand out for their exceptional service, quality fleet, and customer satisfaction:

  • Hertz: A globally recognized brand, Hertz maintains a strong presence in Dubai, offering a wide range of vehicles and comprehensive customer service, including convenient locations and online booking options.
  • Thrifty Car Rental: Thrifty is known for its competitive pricing and extensive fleet that caters to both budget and luxury preferences. They also have multiple pick-up and drop-off locations across Dubai.
  • Europcar: Offering a blend of quality, affordability, and a diverse fleet, Europcar is a favourite among travellers for its reliability and excellent customer service.
  • Alamo: Alamo has gained a loyal customer base thanks to its straightforward rental process, competitive rates, and a variety of vehicles suitable for any occasion.
  • Sixt: Renowned for its premium fleet and impeccable customer service, Sixt provides a luxurious rental experience with a range of high-end cars and SUVs.


An SUV in the Dubai Desert



Car Rental in Dubai Airport

The Dubai Airport hosts multiple car rental companies, ensuring travellers can seamlessly transition from air to road. Besides the already mentioned car hire agencies in Dubai, Avis and Budget also have a strong presence in the airport.


Dubai Airport Car Rental Locations

Dubai Airport car rental counters are conveniently located across its terminals:

  • Terminal 1: The car rental desks are situated in the arrivals area, making it easy for incoming travellers to find their way to the rental services.
  • Terminal 2: Similar to Terminal 1, the rental desks are located in the arrival’s hall, offering accessibility right after you collect your baggage.
  • Terminal 3: Being the largest terminal, Terminal 3 has a comprehensive array of car rental options, located just after the customs area in the arrival’s hall.

Each terminal’s layout is designed to guide you smoothly from your gate to the rental counters, ensuring that starting your journey by car is as hassle-free as possible.



Safety Tips and Driving Regulations in Dubai

Dubai’s roads are a marvel of modern infrastructure, designed to cater to a high volume of traffic with varying degrees of complexity. Navigating them safely and efficiently requires an understanding of local driving customs and regulations.



Local Traffic Laws

  • Drive on the right: Like most countries, vehicles in Dubai drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Seat belts are mandatory: All passengers in the vehicle must wear seat belts at all times, with hefty fines for non-compliance.
  • Zero tolerance for drunk driving: Dubai has a strict zero-tolerance policy towards drinking and driving. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.0%.
  • Speed limits: Speed limits are clearly marked and vary depending on the road type. They are strictly enforced, with speed cameras dotting major roads and highways.
  • Use of mobile phones: It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving, except with a hands-free system. Be careful, as even cameras and radars can spot you!
  • Child safety seats: Children under the age of 12 must sit in the back seat. Those under four years old require an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Indicators for lane changes: Always use indicators when changing lanes. Sudden lane changes without signalling are dangerous and punishable by law.


Driving and Parking in Dubai

  • Understanding the roads: Dubai’s road network is expansive and well-signposted, but can be complex for newcomers. Using a GPS or navigation app can help you stay on the right path.
  • Parking: Paid parking zones are common in Dubai, especially in downtown areas, shopping malls, and near beaches. Look for electronic parking metres or use the RTA’s (Roads and Transport Authority) smart parking services to pay for parking.
  • Avoid rush hour: Traffic can be dense during peak hours, typically from 7:00-9:00 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM. Planning your travel outside these times can save you from congestion.
  • Salik Toll System: Dubai uses an electronic toll collection system known as Salik. Rental cars are generally equipped with a Salik tag, and tolls are automatically charged to the rental company, which then bills the customer.
  • Parking etiquette: Always park in designated spots to avoid fines. In residential areas, be mindful not to block driveways or entrances.

Navigating Dubai by car can be a delightful experience, offering unparalleled freedom to explore this vibrant city. Familiarising yourself with the local driving regulations and adopting safe driving practices will ensure your journey is both enjoyable and secure.



Dubai offers a treasure trove of routes that lead to its desert landscapes or the urban marvels of the city. Whether in a luxury rental or a more modest vehicle, the journey promises to be as captivating as the destination.



Scenic Drives to Enjoy a Luxury Rental

  • Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road: This mountain pass is renowned for its exhilarating curves and stunning vistas. The drive culminates at the summit, offering breathtaking views of Al Ain. It’s a route where your luxury rental can truly shine, combining performance with the beauty of the UAE’s natural landscape.
  • Hatta Scenic Route: For those seeking a blend of cultural heritage and natural beauty, the drive to Hatta offers rugged mountainscapes and the opportunity to explore the Hatta Heritage Village. The road itself is a joy to drive, with smooth tarmac and sweeping bends.
  • The Palm Jumeirah: Driving around the iconic Palm Jumeirah offers not just a scenic route but also a glimpse into Dubai’s luxury lifestyle. The views of the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline are unmatched, making for a memorable cruise.
  • Sheikh Zayed Road at Night: Experiencing Dubai’s main artery during the evening offers a dazzling display of the city’s skyscrapers illuminated against the night sky. It’s a simple yet spectacular drive, showcasing the city’s architectural marvels. Explore other opportunities in Dubai at night.


The view above Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road



Must-Visit Attractions in Dubai for Car Enthusiasts

  • Dubai Autodrome: Car enthusiasts will relish the chance to experience the thrill of the track. The Autodrome hosts track days, racing schools, and even allows you to bring your own vehicle for a spin on their circuit.
  • The Emirates National Auto Museum: Though a bit of a drive from Dubai, this museum is a car enthusiast’s dream. It houses a collection of over 200 cars owned by HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.
  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi: Just a short drive from Dubai, Ferrari World offers not only thrilling rides but also the opportunity to admire some of the brand’s most iconic models.
  • Dubai Motor City: A residential and business complex themed around motorsport, it’s home to the Dubai Autodrome and offers a variety of automotive-themed cafes and restaurants where like-minded enthusiasts can mingle.

Driving in Dubai offers a unique blend of adventure, luxury, and excitement, making it a dream destination for motorists around the world. Whether you’re cruising down Sheikh Zayed Road, exploring the winding mountain passes, or visiting car-themed attractions, Dubai promises an unforgettable journey.



Man riding a motorcycle in Dubai



Experience a Luxurious Journey in Dubai

The city’s rich tapestry of cultural landmarks, modern architectural wonders, and scenic landscapes are best explored at your own pace, behind the wheel of your dream car. Whether you opt for a fancy car rental in Dubai or a more affordable option, the freedom and convenience of having your own vehicle enhances your experience through the city.

There are multiple packages that you can choose from at different hire agencies. These allow you to rent a car for one day, for the weekend or for a month, giving you the flexibility to enjoy Dubai as you wish.

Furthermore, while indulging in the luxury of the city, consider Holiday Swap as your go-to platform for finding affordable holiday homes in Dubai. It’s an innovative way to make your travel experience not only luxurious but also economical. Holiday Swap offers a unique platform for booking your stay in Dubai, ensuring you get to enjoy the splendour of the city without compromising on comfort or breaking your savings.


Lamborghini rental in Dubai


What side of the road do they drive in dubai?
In Dubai, they drive on the right side of the road.

Is it easy to drive in dubai?
Driving in Dubai is generally easy due to well-maintained roads and clear signage, but traffic can be heavy.

Is it safe to rent a car in Dubai?
Renting a car in Dubai is safe. Reputable rental agencies provide well-maintained vehicles and offer various insurance options.

Can I rent a car in Dubai with an EU licence?
You can rent a car in Dubai with an EU licence, but an International Driving Permit is recommended for non-GCC licence holders.

Is driving in Dubai with a UK licence allowed?
Yes, as a visiting tourist you can use your UK licence when driving in Dubai.

Do you need insurance to rent a car in Dubai?
Yes, insurance is required to rent a car in Dubai. Basic coverage is usually included, with additional options available for extra protection.

How old do you have to be to rent in Dubai?
The minimum age to rent a car in Dubai is typically 21 years old, but this can vary by rental agency.

How much does the fuel cost in Dubai?
Fuel costs in Dubai are relatively low compared to many countries, making it more affordable to drive.

Can women drive in dubai?
Yes, women can drive in Dubai. The UAE allows women to drive and obtain driver’s licences just like men.

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