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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Getting behind the wheel: What you need to know about renting a car in Qatar

New to Qatar? Planning to get a car? In this five-part series, JustHere will guide you through the different aspects of owning a car in Qatar.

First up, renting a car.

Renting a car is popular in Qatar because having your own personal mode of transportation is the easiest way to get around. When you first move to Qatar, renting is most convenient until you are ready to purchase a car of your own. Though, if you are staying longer than a year, renting a car will definitely be more expensive than buying one.

To rent a car is fairly easy. Here is how it goes:

Whom to approach?

There are multiple websites that allow you to compare prices between the major local and international car rental companies and choose the deal best suited to your needs

Most car rental company have their own websites where you need to enter your details and pay them in advance using your credit card/debit card or pay at the pick-up location. The price will be higher if you decide to pay at the pick-up location.

Documents required

To be able to rent a car, you need to have the following documents:

  • Driver’s license
  • You must have a valid national driver’s license which has been held for at least 1 year
  • Your national driver’s license will be valid in Qatar for the first 15 days from the date of your arrival (but most insurance companies only cover you for the first 7 days)
  • After your first week in Qatar, you will have to apply for a temporary license or have an International Driver’s Permit and your valid national driver’s license to continue driving
  • GCC Nationals (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE) can drive in Qatar using their own national licenses
  • If you have a Qatari Residence Permit then only a valid Qatari Driver’s License will be valid
  • Passport
  • Guarantee Credit Card
Insurance provided

Most rental companies have comprehensive insurance but if you cause an accident then you will be liable to pay a certain amount. When speaking to the rental executive, be sure to ask them about the insurance and the maximum liability you have to undertake in case of an accident.

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Be Warned

  • No matter where you rent the car from, make sure you check the entire vehicle thoroughly before accepting it
  • Anything not in order that comes to your notice should be brought to the attention of the person handing the car over to you (even small scratches)
  • The inconsistencies should be written down on the receipt you sign while taking the car so that there is no confusion while returning it
  • Check with the car company on the replacement policy in case there is a problem with the car
  • Double check the insurance options you have with the rental company and how much you will be liable to pay in case there is an accident
  • The general practice is to return the car with the same amount of fuel as when you received it
  • Some rental companies act as a middle man and help you obtain an International Driver’s Permit
  • Not all Rental companies accept the International Driver’s Permit[/boxify]
Leasing a car

Leasing a car is long-term rental.  There isn’t a lot of difference between renting and leasing except for duration and prices. Obviously leasing is cheaper than renting a car. The process of leasing a car is the same as renting.

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Be Warned

  • Some people prefer to lease a car even though it might be more expensive than purchasing one because the rental companies provide 24//7 assistance
  • The upfront cost of leasing a car is a lot less than buying one
  • When you have completed the pre-decided term of leasing, you will either have to lease a new car or buy one and return the previously leased car
  • The company generally provides comprehensive insurance (like they do with a rental car) but you should double check this and if you will have a liability to pay a set amount in case there is an accident[/boxify]


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