Dubai car rental firms barred from keeping customers’ ID cards, passports

Dubai’s RTA has announced new regulations for issuing permits to car rental businesses

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced new regulations for issuing permits to car rental businesses in the emirate.

Under the regulations, car rentals firms are barred from keeping customers’ ID cards.

“No private documents relating to the renter shall be retained such as the passport or identity card,” said Nasir Al-Haj, director of Commercial Transport Activities, RTA’s Licensing Agency.

“The new conditions aim to improve the business practices of this sector, curb offences and risks, and define the roles and responsibilities of parties associated with this sector,” he added.

The regulations also provide for allocating designated car permits for rentable cars without impacting public parking, and defining the rights and obligations of the renting party, a statement said.

The insurance agreement made between the car rental company and the insurer will apply in the event of any accident sustained by the vehicle.

A copy of the vehicle handing-over document to the customer, showing any damages – if any, has to be issued before taking receipt of the vehicle.

Car rental firms are also obliged under the new rules to refund the financial deposit to the customer within 30 days of receiving back the vehicle, in the same payment method.

The revised conditions also state that the car rental office has to be approved by the Department of Economic Development and comply with the applicable procedures.

“The office is obliged to provide at least 10 vehicles during the initial year in the head office and three vehicles in each branch,” said Al-Haj.

In case an entity owns vehicles exceeding Dhs600,000 in value, the head office requires to have at least five vehicles.

The RTA’s Licensing Agency also has to be notified in case the business outlet is relocated, and the electronic car rental system has to be activated once the relocation is completed.

“The office is obliged to replace the ageing vehicles as per instructions of the RTA,” he noted.

The car rental firm also needs to submit a list of disowning the vehicles is it cancels its license, the RTA said.

The regulations come after the RTA launched a new car rental service in January to allow people to rent cars via a smart app in Dubai.

RTA has partnered with U drive and ekar companies to operate 200 vehicles in Dubai. The cars will be available at 45 locations, with fares ranging from 40 to 50 fils per minute to Dhs24 to Dhs30 per hour, including parking fees and fuel cost.