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Dubai launches pay-and-go car rental app



If you’ve ever found yourself stuck somewhere in Dubai unable to get a cab, this could be the answer. A new app called udrive lets you book a car for just 50 fils per minute, and drop it off anywhere in Dubai. Oh, and you can park it for free.

The initial booking looks a lot like a driver-service app like Uber or Careem. A map shows you the location of udrive’s fleet of cars – simply locate the one closest to you, book it and tap a button to unlock its door. It’s then yours for 50 fils per minute (up to four hours), or a day rate of AED120. Parking, petrol and insurance are all included.

Once finished you can leave the car at your destination, and simply check it in for the next driver to use. The cars come with an A-zone parking card, meaning that you can park anywhere for free except Tecom and Deira Fish market.

Depending on traffic, you could drive from Dubai Marina to Dubai International Airport for around AED15 – which is an extremely cheap way to pick up visitors.Obviously if you got stuck in traffic, the price would go up.

The idea behind the German-developed technology is to offer hassle-free car rental. There are currently 50 udrive cars in Dubai (all of them are Toyota Yaris’) and the fleet is expected to grow over the next six months, in line with demand.

We know what you’re thinking – there must be a catch. Membership costs AED20 per month, and there’s a cap on distance of 150 kilometres. If you go above the maximum distance you’re charged an extra 25 fils per kilometre. Overall, it’s still pretty cheap.

Hasib Khan, Managing Director, udrive, said: “Dubai’s ever-changing need for transport solutions, the transient nature of life, and the overriding costs of car ownership makes pay-as-you-go car rental a viable alternative. For those that don’t want to commit to ownership, or don’t have the need for everyday car accessibility, udrive makes the perfect option.”

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