Car rentals score as UAE residents look to stretch their dirhams

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Dubai: Rent-a-car deals to suit any distance… and budgets. Even as new car sales in the UAE struggle with the post-COVID demand drop, rentals are taking the faster route to recovery.

These businesses are definitely going that extra mile to make users comfortable with the offers. Some are offering car hires with no security deposits, and charging by usage rather than a fixed amount.

Some car rental contracts even have job loss provisions, which does its bit to reassure customers in these uncertain times. “Rather than splurge on a new car, many are definitely opting for rentals,” said Mohammed Zahid of “The job market is a bit unstable and having a car rental option just keeps things flexible for residents.

“It is a much easier process to rent a car on long-term than buy and pay on a monthly basis. They can make use of their spare cash for other purposes. This trend still has lost more ground to cover.”

By the day, hour… or minute

With car rental apps now commonplace, it’s up to the user to decide what sort of car-hire they should opt for. Go for the traditional one, with fixed terms and rates? Or seek the relative freedom of leasing based on actual need? Even for an hour or less?

All these options are presenting themselves to users. Renata Paul prefers the lesser responsibility that comes with renting rather than owning.

“I don’t have to worry about insurance, maintaining the car, servicing it,” the Italian expat said. “And a car is a depreciating asset at the end of the day. I would rather save that money for my home rent.”

Renata drives a Nissan Micra – a 2015 model – for Dh45 a day. “I only have to make sure I don’t cause an accident. I use the metro often – so, I usually rent my car for a week or so.

“I am looking at monthly options – it gives me the independence of driving a car and yet not have the financial pressure of owning one.”

The job market is a bit unstable and having a car rental option just keeps things flexible for residents

Mohammed Zahid of

Number crunching

Zahid is hearing a lot of similar thoughts from his customers as the ‘Own vs. Rent’ takes on new urgency. Industry sources confirm that for now, renting is winning.

“I can buy a top-end SUV with full options for Dh300,000,” said Zahid. “After two years, the value drops to Dh150,000-Dh170,000. That means I blocked Dh300,000 for two years to lose Dh150,000.

“While you can make use of your Dh300,000 to start a business, put in the bank for interest, or even buy a property. I can instead rent the same SUV for Dh5,000 monthly on long-term.”

When said in those terms, a car hire seems quite the compelling choice. It’s now for local dealerships to convince customers to think otherwise.

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