If you are travelling to Ras Al Khaimah from overseas, you might want the freedom to explore far-flung beaches, the cloud-piercing mountains and the busy souks downtown. Instead of relying on taxis, there are many car hire companies in and around the emirate for you to consider, from everyday saloons, off-road vehicles or even supercars. Before you consider renting a car, you must ensure that your paperwork is in place.

Documents

The documentation required differs if you are a visitor to the United Arab Emirates or a full-time resident. If you are a resident, the car rental company will ask you for your passport, resident visa, UAE driving license and Emirates identification card. As a tourist, you’ll need to present your original passport, UAE tourist visa, international driving license, and home country driving license to the hiring company.

As a visitor, you must provide an international driving license unless you hold a valid license from Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Malaysia, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA. You must produce your original and translated licenses if you are from South Korea, Slovakia, Japan or Quebec.

What are the costs?

Most hire companies will block your deposit amount for a typical hire of AED1,500, just over US$400, which covers any traffic fines, violations or possible damage. If you don’t incur any charges, your deposit will be released within a few days from the credit card company.

Insurance

Most car hire companies include insurance within their rates as a standard policy. It’s wise, however, to check your coverage before driving. Many companies don’t offer full coverage; purchasing additional collision damage waiver (CDW), or comprehensive insurance is advisable for complete peace of mind.

If you have an accident, always get a police report and assistance; the report helps you avoid any liabilities later on. Just call 999 for the police, 998 for an ambulance or 997 for the fire department. When the police arrive, ensure that you have all your documents in order, including your international or home country driving license, passport and medical insurance card. Make sure you have the accident report and photographs of the scene. Contact your car hire company; they will facilitate the insurance process and help you with roadside assistance.

Salik

If you intend to drive in Dubai, you’ll likely come across the electronic toll gate system, Salik. The term Salik is Arabic for ‘clear and moving’. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched the system to improve traffic flow on major roads throughout the city. There are seven Salik toll gates in Dubai on major highways and bridges. Each Salik Dubai Toll Gate is charged at AED4. You will be charged every time you pass by a gate, no matter the number of trips you take within a day. When you rent a car, the Salik tag will already be included in the agreement, so don’t confuse the additional charges with penalties and fines on your final bill.

Vintage Cars

If you are a lover of all things vintage and seek those Insta-worthy shots in a 1950s Porsche 356 Cabrio, a 1960s Shelby Ford Cobra or a fun Volkswagen Baja, a 1970s Mini Cooper Union Jack or a more modern car from the noughties like an Aston Martin Vantage, you are in luck. Several of Dubai’s premium car rental services, such as Dubai Car Rental, Golden Look Classic Cars and  First Car Classic, have an impressive collection of vintage cars to hire.

Muscle and High-Performance Cars

Dubai is famous for its exciting range of muscle cars, so much so the police drive them! For a fast and furious couple of days, why not hire a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8 V8 convertible, the latest Mustang convertible model, the Chevrolet Camaro or Dodge Challenger through companies such as Muscle Car Rent A Car or One Click Drive? If a Lamborghini or a Маsеrаti is more your style, Drive Time Dubai has an inspirational collection.

Down to Earth Cars

Al Hamra and Ras Al Khaimah agencies have a great collection of everyday cars for rent.

Hertz 

Unit 52, First Floor, Al Hamra Mall, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Salem Road, Ras Al Khaimah, +971 7 2434386

Thrifty Car Rental 

Spinneys Entrance, 1st floor next to ADIB, Al Hamra Mall, Ras al Khaimah, +971 54 581 2470

Al Salamah Rent A Car & Limousine LLC

Near Spinneys Supermarket, Al Hamra Mall, Ras al Khaimah, +971 50 930 6362

Jais Rent A Car

Al Nakheel Branch, Al Nakheel, Ras al Khaimah, +971 55 730 4477

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