How many persons are allowed in a car in Dubai today?

Current limit on passengers per car in Dubai traffic regulation

In an age where mobility is paramount, rental cars offer unparalleled convenience for travelers and those in need of temporary wheels. However, not all journeys are straightforward when it comes to car rentals. Prospective renters often face a number of restrictions that can complicate their plans. From policies not allowing private cars in certain areas to regulations on who is people allowed behind the wheel, understanding these limitations is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the key constraints you may encounter with rental companies and offer practical advice to ensure a smooth rental experience.

Understanding Rental Company Restrictions

  1. Driving Licenses and Eligibility Every rental company has a foundational requirement that all drivers must have valid driving licenses. Moreover, these licenses typically need to be in the Roman alphabet or accompanied by an International Driving Permit if they’re not. Age restrictions also apply, with many companies setting a minimum age limit, often 21, and sometimes imposing a surcharge on drivers under the age of 25.
  2. Insurance and Coverage Rental car agreements often come with several insurance options, and some level of insurance is usually mandatory. Understanding the coverage you’re opting in for is crucial, as it can significantly affect liability in the event of an accident. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection (TP) are common inclusions you should be aware of.

Areas Where Private Cars Are Prohibited

Certain locations maintain restrictions on private vehicles to reduce traffic congestion or protect the environment. This can directly impact rental cars as well. For example, urban centers like London have congestion charges, while historic towns may have zones completely off-limits to private vehicles. It’s important to research such restrictions beforehand to avoid fines and ensure the car you’re renting is allowed in your planned destinations.

Dubai's car occupancy rules for today

Additional Driver Policies

Passengers must understand rental policies regarding additional drivers. Adding another driver to the rental agreement can affect costs and insurance coverage. Rental companies typically require every additional driver to meet the same criteria as the primary renter, including possessing a valid driving license and meeting age requirements.

Restrictions on Vehicle Type and Usage

Not all vehicles from a rental company’s fleet may be available to every renter. Restrictions based on the driving experience or destination may limit the types of cars you can rent. Furthermore, some high-performance or luxury vehicles may only be rentable by drivers over a certain age or with additional insurance coverage.

Traveling Across Borders

Rental cars are often subject to territorial restrictions, meaning you may not cross international borders without explicit permission from the rental company. When such travel is allowed, it often comes with additional fees or insurance requirements.

Table of Common Car Rental Restrictions

Restriction TypeDescriptionTypical Consequence
Age LimitsMinimum and sometimes maximum age limits for renters.Young renters face surcharges; ineligible renters can’t rent.
License RequirementsRenters must present a valid driving license, usually in the Roman alphabet or with a translation.Inability to rent without proper documentation.
Additional Driver RegulationsAdditional drivers must meet the same conditions as the primary driver.Extra costs and paperwork.
Geographic LimitationsSome areas prohibit the entry of private cars or rental vehicles.Fines or rental agreement breaches.
Cross-border Travel RestrictionsTaking the vehicle across international borders may be restricted.Denied entry, fees, or insurance implications.

In summary, while rental cars offer flexibility and convenience, understanding the scope of restrictions is key. Whether it’s ensuring drivers hold valid driving licenses, adhering to regional policies not allowing private cars, or navigating the intricacies of rental agreements, knowledge is power. In the next section, we will further explore how to circumvent potential hurdles and what to look out for in rental company terms, so you can hit the road with confidence.

Dubai vehicle with allowed number of passengers sign

Mitigating Car Rental Barriers: Tips for a Hassle-Free Experience

To confidently navigate the maze of rental car policies and restrictions, it pays to be prepared. Here are some insider tips for a seamless rental experience.

  1. Early Reservation Benefits Booking your rental car in advance isn’t just about ensuring availability—it can also give you more leverage when requesting specific models that conform to area restrictions or insurance terms. Early reservations also provide ample time to read through the rental agreement and clarify any concerns with the rental company beforehand.
  2. Research Destination-specific Regulations Staying informed about the specific regulations of your destination can save you from headaches later on. For instance, some cities require an emissions sticker on the vehicle to enter certain zones. Knowing this in advance allows you to request a car that complies with local requirements.
  3. Plan Your Route Carefully If you’re planning a trip that involves crossing borders or entering restricted zones, it’s crucial to chart your route with these considerations in mind. Some rental companies offer GPS systems with real-time traffic updates and regional data that can help you avoid restricted areas or prepare for additional costs.
  4. Discuss Additional Drivers Early If you’re traveling with companions who will share driving duties, include them in the rental agreement from the start. This will factor into the rental cost and possibly the insurance plan, ensuring that all drivers are authorized and insured.
  5. Understand Insurance Options Grasping the full scope of available insurance options is critical. Ask questions about the implications of each insurance model to determine what suits your rental needs best. For those seeking additional peace of mind, supplementary insurance policies can be purchased to fill any gaps in coverage.

Navigating Cross-Border and Territorial Limitations

When planning to take a rental car across borders, there are two essential steps you must take:

  1. Secure Permissions and Additional Coverage Contact the rental company to seek permission and understand any extra coverage or documentation needed for cross-border travel. This often includes increased insurance and may require additional fees.
  2. Know the Road Laws of Each Country Traffic laws can vary significantly from one country to another. Familiarize yourself with the driving rules, speed limits, and road signs of the countries you will visit. This due diligence is not just about compliance, it’s also about your safety on unfamiliar roads.
Guidelines for passenger limits in cars, Dubai current policy


In conclusion, the secret to a stress-free car rental experience lies in meticulous planning, clear communication with the rental company, and a thorough understanding of the restrictions and responsibilities inherent in car rentals. By being prepared and staying informed, renters can ensure their journey is not just enjoyable but compliant with all necessary regulations.


Q: What happens if I accidentally enter a zone not allowed for private vehicles?

A: If you drive into a zone where private vehicles are restricted, you may incur fines or penalties depending on the local regulations. Your rental car may be equipped with automatic license plate recognition, making it easy for authorities to issue fines post-incident. Always check your route in advance to avoid these zones.

Q: Can anyone with a driving license rent a car?

A: Not necessarily. While a valid driving license is a primary requirement, other factors such as the driver’s age, driving history, and even credit score can influence rental eligibility. Each rental company has its own set of criteria, and some may impose additional terms for young or inexperienced drivers.

Q: How can one find out which rental car is suitable for regulations in a specific city?

A: The best way to ensure your rental car meets the requirements of a specific city is to contact the rental company with your itinerary. They can guide you towards vehicles that are compliant with local regulations, such as low emission zones or areas where private vehicles are limited.

Q: Is it cheaper to add an additional driver at the time of booking or later on?

A: Generally, it’s more cost-effective to include any additional drivers at the time of booking. This allows the rental company to create a contract that covers all drivers from the outset, which can save on administrative fees for making changes later.

Q: What should I do if my rental car breaks down?

A: If your rental car breaks down, you should contact the rental company immediately. They typically offer roadside assistance and will guide you through the process of getting help or securing a replacement vehicle. Make sure you have their contact information readily accessible throughout your rental period.