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There are many car rental companies in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), and several of them have branches in the different cities (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah). A number of these car rentals companies have offices in the Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah Airports. As the Dubai International Airport is the largest airport in the UAE, with daily flights from all over the world, it hosts the largest amount of rent a cars and hotel reservation offices.

Car hire companies in the UAE can be classified into two categories, which directly relate to the security deposit left when renting a car. Category 1 or credit card deposit rent a car companies require that you present a valid credit card on collection of the car, which is either imprinted/photocopied or blocked/reserved for a given amount. Category 2 or passport deposit rent a car companies require that a passport is left as a deposit, and the passport holder must sign the car rentals form. The majority of rent a car companies in the UAE are shifting to the credit card deposit security system, as it is the worldwide method of car renting.

Requirements to Rent A Car
Most car rental companies require that the driver be over the age of 21 and has driven for over a year. They also require that the driver's license be a valid UAE, GCC, or International drivers' license. Some companies also charge additional fees for driver's who are under the age of 25. As stated above, most rent a car companies are shifting to the credit card deposit security system, which means that they require a credit card for you to rent a car. Most companies will also require that you submit the following documents - passport photocopy and driver’s license photocopy.

Damage and Personal Insurance
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) - The payment of CDW will waive any damage costs that occur due to an accident, where you are at fault.
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) - This insurance will cover physical injuries or death caused to the occupants of the vehicle. The compensation will depend on the nature of the injuries.

Accident Instructions
Whether you caused the accident or the other driver is at fault, it is mandatory that you get a police report of the damages after they have occurred. If a police report is not obtained, the driver of the rent a car will require to pay for the full repairing of the car, even if they have paid for CDW. If the accident is considered minor, then you are permitted to move the car off the road in order to prevent traffic congestion. Call the police immediately after the accident, by dialing 999 and provide them the necessary details. It is also advisable to contact the car hire company as they normally provide their clients with another vehicle during these times. If you caused the accident, you will be required to pay the insurance excess charge, which will vary depending on the vehicle type, except if you have purchased CDW.

Other Car Rental Services
Most car rental companies can provide a baby/child car seat, which normally costs Dhs. 50 (US$ 14) or Dhs. 75 per day, and they can also provide a roof rack. Some companies provide a chauffeur service and others provide a 24-hour breakdown assistance service.

Other Useful Information
If other than the person who rented the car, drives the vehicle, it is highly recommended to inform the rent a car company so they can charge you an additional nominal fee of around Dhs. 30. This payment will save you money, if you have paid for the CDW, as the CDW becomes void if someone else drives the car, causes an accident and this amount is outstanding. Some companies have a petrol policy, which should be looked at before renting a car, and some companies will charge for the delivery and collection of rented cars. Most car rental companies allow unlimited mileage, but a few don't, so if you are planning to drive it a long way, make sure that you have a look through the car hire company’s terms and conditions.

Car Leasing
A number of car hire companies offer car leasing services, which allow individuals to lease the car for months. The leasing amount is fixed and maintenance for the car is handled by the company. The leasing company can also replace the vehicle at anytime, and some companies also have options for you to own the vehicle at the end of the lease.

Popular Rent A Car Companies
FAST Diamondlease Hertz Sapo
Autobahn Budget National Thrifty
AVIS CARS Sixt Autolease

For a link list of rent a car companies that have a website, click here. Some of the websites include the company's rates/prices/tariffs and online booking.

Car Categories
Economy/Economic - Toyota Tercel, Toyota Echo, Mazda 323
Compact - Daewoo Lanos, Nissan Sunny, Volkswagen Polo, Honda Civic
Intermediate - Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord
Full Size - Nissan Maxima, Chevrolet Lumina, Chevrolet Caprice
Luxury - Mercedes Benz E-200, Jaguar S Type, Mercedes Benz S-320
Others - Mini-Van, Bus, SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)

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