Renting a car in Dubai? New circular spells out payment rules, banned practices

Car rental firms must give back deposit within 30 days after the vehicle is returned


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 25 Mar 2024, 1:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Mar 2024, 10:58 PM

All the car rental companies in Dubai have been asked to release credit cards and other deposits to consumers’ accounts within 30 days of returning the vehicle.

The Dubai Corporation for Consumer Protection and Fair Trade, which operates under the Department of Economy and Tourism, sent out a circular to all the car rental companies in the emirate to abide by the applicable laws, conditions and instructions related to commitments with security deposits.

The circular added that in case the consumer doesn’t have a credit card, the rental office shall receive the security deposit amount in cash or from the consumer’s debit card. “In no event, may a rental office process a credit card security hold as a purchase transaction,” it said.

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Ahmed Ali Mousa, director of consumer protection at the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, said the main purpose of the circular was to protect consumer rights and promote the interest of all vehicle rental offices, and they’re reminded that they were required to abide by the applicable laws, conditions and instructions related to the commitment related to security deposit.

“Car rental firms must place a security deposit on hold. They should not make a purchase transaction. If they’re taking cash, the companies are responsible for returning the deposit through bank transfer or exchange. And the fee for the transfer will be applicable to the car rental office,” he told Khaleej Times in an interview.

According to Circular No. (1) for the year 2024, if the customer paid the security deposit amount in cash or by debit card, the vehicle rental office shall refund the security deposit amount in cash or via wired fund transfer. And the vehicle rental company shall be obligated to bear the transaction transfer fee.

However, it added that the vehicle rental companies are permitted to deduct actual amounts from the security deposit paid by the consumers to cover traffic offences and damages to vehicles during the rental period in addition to administrative fees.

The circular said it is prohibited to impose any surcharge of transaction fee for using credit cards or payment applications.

Ahmad Ali Mousa added that car rental firms are not allowed to take additional fees except administrative fees only.

“If the car needs to be washed, then the company will charge a washing amount of around Dh50-60 and they’ll charge the Salik amount,” he added.


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