App-based car rental service launched in Dubai

Dubai is stepping up its efforts to introduce smart transport solutions

Image is used for illustrative purpose. An Uber app is seen on an iPhone in Beverly Hills, California, December 19, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Image is used for illustrative purpose. An Uber app is seen on an iPhone in Beverly Hills, California, December 19, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017

Dubai: Stepping up its efforts to introduce smart transport solutions, the Roads and Transport Authority earlier this week launched an app-based car rental service in association with two firms.

The smart service allows commuters to hire a car from any location and get down anywhere else in Dubai, paying for the service by the minute or on an hourly basis through mobile apps of Udrive and ekar.

At 50 fils per minute or Dh30 per hour, including parking fees, fuel cost and insurance, the service is much cheaper then a regular taxi, offering commuters convenient mobility at an affordable rate.

On Tuesday, Gulf News took a Udrive vehicle on a test drive to get a first-hand experience of the new transport system.

Accessed through an app, we found the tech-based transport solution a breeze, except for the one-time registration process.

The registration for the service can be done either through the apps or websites of both the firms by following a set of steps and uploading documents like driving licence, Emirates ID and passport details.

The process of applying for the service via the mobile app takes around 15 minutes, but it might take around four hours or more for the system to process the application.

Once approved, the customers have to activate their payment account by uploading credit card details.

Every registered customer receives a permanent unique identification pin and is charged a monthly membership fee of Dh20, in addition to the rental.

Gulf News accessed the solution from the Business Bay metro station and found the steps to locate the car and unlock it quite convenient.

The app allows you to locate the nearest car and then guides you through the steps of unlocking the car and driving off.

Your trip time starts the moment you key in the unique identification pin into the electronic device found inside the glove box of the car.

The car key is released after you punch in the pin, following which you drive away for whatever duration you want. The maximum one-time rental duration allowed is six hours.

To end the trip, just drop the car back to the location where you pick it from or leave it at any RTA A, B, C, D parking zones. Once you are out of the car, just tap the lock button on the app and your trip ends.

The fare for the trip will be charged automatically to your registered credit card account.


How to register and use the Udrive service

Intro: Gulf News went through the process of registering, locating and using one of the rental cars. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Documents required (for residents)

Emirates ID, driving licence, picture


Download the Udrive app, or log on to

Click on registration

Key in your email and create a password

Fill in details (name, date of birth, mobile number, address, driving licence and passport details)

Upload a selfie picture posing with your ID, or driving licence

Upload your documents and submit your application

Remember …

You will receive an email notification shortly after submitting the application

You will receive a second email to activate your payment account by feeding in credit card details

It might take up to four hours to process your application

Approval of applications is done online by Dubai Police

Once the account is activated, you will receive a unique identification pin

Registration is just a one-time requirement

Locating a vehicle and using it

Use the app to locate a car nearest to you.

Once you reach the car, verify its details. The app will show an unlock icon.

When you tap the unlock icon, the app will ask you to check the car for any damage and cleanliness issue.

Once you check in those details, a car remote icon will appear on the screen. Tap it to unlock the car.

Once inside the car, open the glovebox to find a device.

Key in the unique identification pin to release the attached key.

In case fuel is low, drive to the nearest Eppco or Enoc petrol station and refuel for free. An extra 20 minutes will be allotted to the driver to cover up for time lost in refuelling.

To end the trip, either take the car back to its original location, or leave it at any RTA paid parking zones — A, B, C, D.

Once you are out of the car, open the app and press the lock icon.

The fare will be charged automatically to your credit card account.


Toyota Yaris, Peugeot 208, Nissan Tida


Vehicles can be found at most of the metro stations as well as other public locations


40 fils per minute if you take it back to original location

50 fils per minute if you leave it in a RTA paid parking zone

Fuel, parking in A, B, C, D zones and insurance included in the cost.

Salik is not included and will be charged to the customer’s account.


All the fines will be charged to the customer’s account

Dh300 fine for driving the car outside the city

In case of accidents and if the customer is at fault, the access amount will be charged to the customer’s account.

Note: A monthly membership fee of Dh20 will be charged to the user’s credit card account

By Shafaat Shahbandari Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.

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