For most residents in Dubai, vehicle ownership remains a necessity, either for their daily commute or for regular travel. But a large number of visitors and residents, who don’t need to hit the road as regularly, often look for cars to use on a temporary basis, often for less time than packages offered by regular rent-a-car services in Dubai. Car sharing services in Dubai have answered the call.
Compared to regular Dubai rent-a-car businesses —in which the minimum leasing duration is a month, car-sharing services work on a pay-by-the-minute model. How do these services work? What are the best car sharing services in Dubai? Let’s find out how Dubai car sharing works.
How do Car Sharing Services Work
A form of car rental services in Dubai, car sharing services allow customers to rent vehicles for a short period of time, such as an hour. Due to this, they are an attractive option for those who only like occasional access to a vehicle — for example, to run errands when they are only visiting the emirate for a day. Either this or temporary visits prevent them from purchasing their own vehicles to get around. Additionally, the service differs from traditional car rental in the following ways:
- Pickup, reservation and return is based on a self-service model
- Vehicles can be rented by the minute, hour or by the day
- Services are not limited by business hours
- Vehicles available for hire are scattered throughout designated service areas
- Rates are inclusive of fuel costs
On that note, here are some notable businesses in Dubai that offer services like these:
First up on our list of notable car sharing services in Dubai is Ekar. Considered one of the first and largest operators of its type in the Middle East, this service provides on-demand access to more than 1000 pay-per-minute vehicles. Also available for a long-term basis — daily or monthly access — customers can use the service via a mobile car sharing app in Dubai. Here is a rundown of the process:
Download the App
After downloading the app on your smartphone, users are expected to register with a valid UAE driving license, passport details or Emirates ID. After paying AED 1 you receive a confirmation email from customer service. After registration, its just a matter of booking the nearest Ekar in the vicinity. Depending on user requirements, an Ekar can be booked on a pay-per-minute (up to 5 hours), daily, monthly or weekly basis.
Unlocking and Driving Ekar
Once the vehicle has been located through the app, it can be unlocked with an Ekar key conveniently placed inside the glove compartment. Users are required to release the key from the key holder by entering a personalised pin code. Users need to place the key back into the Ekar portal and return it to the glove box after the drive has ended.
Types of cars
Depending on the duration, cost and other factors, Ekar users can book any of three types of vehicles. For example, there is Ekar’s signature light blue Infiniti Q50 which comes with a mileage charge of AED 1.5 per kilometer, 24-hour booking limit and 30km free usage per hour:
- Per-minute: AED 0.7
- Per-hour: AED 42
- Daily: AED 360
Another vehicle, the Infiniti Q70, has a per-minute charge of AED 0.8, the daily price of AED 399, weekly bookings for AED 2299 and monthly rent for AED 4750.
Ekar has service charges to ensure that their vehicles are always in top condition. These include, but are not limited to:
- Excessive cleaning: AED 300
- SALIK: AED 5
- Smoking inside vehicle: AED 500
- Parking/speeding ticket more than AED 200: AED 100
For a full list of service charges, visit the Ekar website and refer to the following details:
- Contact: 800-693-527
Next up on our recommendations for car sharing services in Dubai is Udrive. Offering by-the-minute cheap rent a car in Dubai and other areas in the UAE, this service excludes SALIK charges and fines on the first trip. Working on a self-driving or pay-as-you-drive model, the service’s fleet includes the newest models from brands like the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Tiida, Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Spark and more. Available only with automatic transmissions, here is how users can use the Udrive app to book their desired Udrive cars:
To register as a user, simply sign up on the Udrive website and input all of the required documents and information — for example, your Emirates ID or valid driving license.
Activate and PIN
After providing the necessary information, it usually takes Udrive up to four hours to verify your data. Customers can even ask for quick activation if needed. Once done, the services sends the customer an activation email along with their PIN number.
The Udrive app can be used to locate and unlock the service’s vehicles. Once your designated vehicle is unlocked, enter the pin on the device situated on the car’s dashboard. This will activate the car. The device also holds the car keys. Once activated, users can drive their Udrive vehicles and return them at any location within the same city or the area where they started their trip.
Customers using Udrive services only have to pay for how long they are actually using their vehicles. Depending on pricing, duration required and other personal requirements, users can choose vehicles from:
Udrive’s Flexible Fleet pay-per-minute package features a range of vehicles like the Nissan Tiida, Nissan Kicks, Ford Mustang and others— available in different categories. Depending on the type of vehicle hired, the rental prices here ranges from AED 144 to AED 279 with an excess mileage of AED 1 per kilometer.
Available only as daily rentals, the vehicles in this package include the Nissan Micra, Nisan Sunny, Toyota Yaris Sedan, Ford Focus, Mercedes Benz A-Class and more. The price per day ranges from AED 119 to AED 279 with excess mileage of AED 1 per kilometer.
Additionally, Udrive also offers intercity services for AED 75. Other charges to consider are administrative fees. For example, the service charges are AED 100 for fines under AED 1000 and AED 200 for incurred fines that are over this limit. Similarly, your impounded Udrive vehicle will set you back by AED 400. There are penalties to consider too:
- Unsecured vehicle: AED 125
- Lost keys: AED 950
- Returning car with fuel less than 15%: AED 75
- Excessive cleaning: AED 350
- Smoking inside vehicle: AED 500
We recommend visiting the Udrive website for a full list of administrative charges and penalty fees. For more information, refer to the following details:
- Contact: +971-4-875-3900| 800-UDRIVE
- Address: Concord Tower, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street – Dubai
Another popular option for the best car sharing services in Dubai is FriendyCar. Unlike other services mentioned, FriendyCar offers car owners to outsource their vehicles. Customers here are categorized into car owners and borrowers — where owners are provided the chance to outsource their vehicles while earning an income based on the borrowing price that they set.
For Car Owners
Car owners interested in registering their vehicles on FriendyCar have to follow this process:
- Sign up on the FriendyCar app via an email address of the Facebook account. An activation email will be sent after which users can list vehicles to be rented out
- You will need to upload images of your vehicle along with documents like a copy of your driver’s license, ID, and car insurance policy
- Listing is processed after the data is verified by FriendyCar’s team
- Car owners can list any number of cars, provided that they are in good working order. Additionally, car owners are also allowed to serve as drivers, a plus for passengers who don’t know their way around Dubai or own a valid driving license. Payment is processed to the owner’s bank account 45 days after their passengers confirm the settlement.
The sign-up process for borrowers is almost the same as car owners — upload the required documents, wait for the team to verify your borrower account and you are good to go. Once access is provided, use the FriendyCar app or website to enter the date and time of when you will require a vehicle, choose from available cars, wait for your “Friendy” owner to approve your request, meet your “Friendy” owner and pick up the keys.
For more information like FriendyCar’s terms of service, visit the website.
- Contact: +20-102-999-9051 | +20-102-999-9052 | +20-102-999-9053
- Address: Building 16, Dubai Internet City – Dubai
Also an online and mobile app-based car rental service, EZhire offers vehicles for rent for a weekly and monthly basis. Like UDrive, this service also has an in-house fleet with various brands of cars. And while it doesn’t offer an hourly rental option, it still earns props for being a convenient service for commuters in a pinch.
Cars from EZHire can be booked on a daily, weekly or monthly basis with rates depending on the type of vehicle chosen. For example, here is a rundown of the company’s cheapest packages:
- For KIA Picanto or similar vehicle: AED 69 (Daily), AED 455 (Weekly), AED 1380 (Monthly)
- For Hyundai Accent or similar vehicle: AED 79 (Daily), AED 525 (Weekly), AED 1695 (Monthly)
- For Nissan Sentra or similar vehicle: AED 89 (Daily), AED 525 (Weekly), AED 1980 (Monthly)
Once users make their choice, their selections are delivered to them with additional collection and delivery charges of AED 39 each. Operating on a 24/7 basis, EZHire only accepts customers who have a driver’s licenses that are at least a year old. For more information on other rental packages and related queries, refer to the following details:
- Contact: +971-56-218-7483 | +971-55-381-3189
- Address: In5 Innovation Centre, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Dubai Media City
That’s all for our review of car sharing services in Dubai. Need to apply for a valid UAE driver’s license before you can use car hire companies in Dubai? Check out our driving license guide for Dubai. Also, make sure that you are aware of current traffic laws in Dubai if you plan on borrowing a car here. For more information about documents required to rent a car in Dubai, refer to MyBayut’s guide on the topic.