In many arab countries it is the best way to see a lot and be flexible. On longer trips, I keep my rental car not just for a few days, but for several weeks or even months. In South Africa it was up to nine weeks. This is noticeable in the travel budget and it is worth taking the time to research. I don’t make the decision to rent a car in a few minutes for longer trips.
If you haven’t rented a car that often, I would like to give you the following tips.
Use rental car comparison portals
Do not go directly to the car rental companies, but compare the prices on the corresponding portals. You will almost always find better prices there – and you will save a lot of time. I always start my research at car rental dubai. I found some platforms on which you can reserve rental cars countrywide. I use them in Abu Dhabi as well as in the whole UAE.
Note the one-way fee
If you want to rent the car in one city and return it in another, you usually pay a one-way fee. The last time I did it was in the UAE. I rented the car in Abu Dhabi and returned it in Dubai, more than 139 kilometers away. That only cost me an additional 50 AEDs. In the USA it would have cost me 300 AEDs, so I opted for round trips when I traveled here, so that in the end I got back to where I left off.
Sometimes it doesn’t cost anything. For example, the direction of travel was decisive. In this state I went in a direction that not many tourists go. There is often no one-way fee because the landlord wants the car back where I am taking it.
When booking, make sure that the one-way fee is already included in the price shown. This is often not the case with bigger companies. In the rental conditions it is pointed out that you have to inquire with the respective landlord how high this fee is.
Don’t book with these cases
Most simple rental cars do not have a navigation device built in as standard. The lenders try to rent it out separately for you. You pay 10 AEDs a day for this. If there are several weeks, the fee is capped, but it is still too much.
It makes much more sense to use a smartphone app and just buy a holder and a charging cable for the car (nowadays you often don’t need a separate charging cable anymore, as there are USB ports in the cars). There are already good apps for a few AEDs. A few years ago I preferred to use the Navigon apps because they are very reliable. But they are also extremely expensive. Other apps are far cheaper or free. I am currently using the free Maps.me app a lot . If you have an international data plan for your smartphone, you can of course also use Google Maps. In my opinion, this is most reliable option.
Pay attention to the insurance coverage
After the price , the insurance cover is my second selection criterion . There are many different packages. These are usually clearly marked on the comparison portals. You can even filter based on the level of protection. Often you book the insurance through the portal and not through the landlord. Therefore, you have to be careful not to let yourself be talked into an insurance policy on site, which is already included in the booking price. In the US they love to do that.
Watch out for other additional costs
In addition to the fees for navigation devices and one-way rentals, landlords charge a lot of other things. For example, an additional driver or a young driver (often up to 24 years of age) or child seats, etc. That can cost a lot of money. When booking in the comparison portals, pay attention to what you need. Then book where the overall package is cheapest. This often means that I only book one driver, even though there are two of us on the road.
Take the delivery of the car seriously. Check the car carefully for damage and have it recorded in the handover report. Especially if you do not take out fully comprehensive insurance but have a deductible. Otherwise, if in doubt, you will be left with the damage that you did not cause at all.
I hope that you can do something with these tips and find a nice bargain for your next road trip. With the necessary insurance, of course.