Car rental companies paying for customers' faults

SHARJAH/AJMAN — The owners of the car rental companies are struggling to pay huge traffic fines for violations by their customers. Cars are rented out for varying periods ranging from one day to a week.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Sat 11 Mar 2006, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:28 PM

Most customers commit violations while driving rented vehicles as they know that the payment of fines would be the responsibility of the rental companies.

The fines are not levied instantly at the time of the violation, and take more than two weeks to be recorded in the traffic system, the car rental companies point out saying that the customers get away without paying the fines. These fines get recorded against the names of the companies.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Mohammed Al Awadi, Manager of a car rental company in Ajman, said that the company paid Dh7,000 to the traffic department as fines for traffic violations by its customers.

''We end up losing money instead of making profits in this business. The Department should find a solution to our problem by transferring the fines to the licence holders or introduce a new advanced network system to be connected to the all car rental companies who should be authorised to access it to check if the customer has committed any violation at the time of handing over the keys,'' he said.

He said that last week a customer rented a car for two days and paid Dh160. “One week after returning the car, it was discovered that the customer had committed a speed violation which was monitored by radar and accounted for Dh600. In this case what should we do? We need urgent solutions.”

Mirgani Al Obad, Manager of Al Nassr Car Rental company said that the traffic Department should upgrade its web site and record the violations instantly, to enable the company charge the customer for his/her violation before they leave its premises.

Nazim Badr, employee of a car rental company, raised yet another issue saying, ''After we pay the fines , the employees of the traffic department feel lazy to remove it from the system, and when we go back to renew the registration and possession cards they often ask us to pay the fines again. And when we show them the receipt they say that they only go by what the system has to say and not by the receipts.''

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Brigadier Ali Saeed Al Matroushi, Director of Traffic and Accidents Section of Ajman Police Department, said that the Department is looking into this issue, and has conducted meetings with these car rental companies. “We give them a six month period to appear before the department to transfer the violations to the record of the customers. But these rental companies come to the department only when they need to renew their car registration or possession cards,” he observed.

After the department found some of these companies exploiting the situation by putting the violations in the record of customers who never approached them to rent their cars, it was decided to transfer the violations into the records of those who committed them with certain conditions which include that the customer should possess UAE valid driving licence.

The violation will not be transferred in case of open contract and the car is in the custody of the customers. The violation will not be transferred to violator's record for more than six months, Al Matroushi pointed out.

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