Another time in the Emirates, another car rental – and another car rental review. In February 2022, I had a few days in the United Arab Emirates. Even majorly headed into the Northern emirates, I flew into Dubai International (DXB) due to much higher number of flight options. I this time went for a rental with Hertz, which is globally my preferred and mostly used car rental provider. However, there were some strange things happening during the rental. Here is my review.
Hertz Dubai Airport T1 (DXB) – The Rental
I originally booked a Honda HRV, as I wanted to have some trips in the Northern U.A.E. mountains and have not been fully sure whether there are gravel roads or not (there are…). The four day rental, including full coverage, has been 970 AED, roughly 240 EUR. You have to say that the whole booking process is weird. The station is listed at the global Hertz website, but if you try to reserve a car, they are sold out. When I, however, registered for their U.A.E. website (which weirdly has a different login), I was able to go for the car. This, however, also means that you neither have status privileges nor later receive points for the rental. No idea why global Hertz is accepting that fuss.
Hertz Dubai Airport T1 (DXB) – Location & Office
The system of receiving a car at Dubai DXB T1 is always the same, similar to the Terminal 3 rentals I had with Europcar and Sixt at the same airport. First of all, you do the paperwork in the office, which is located right after arrivals. This typically takes between five and ten minutes. The car is provided at a parking lot. In case of Terminal 1 at Dubai, it is outdoors at departure level. There are escalators, which bring you to the parking lot, which is easy. You typically just wait a few minutes, until a driver, who brings the car from a nearby place, is arriving.
Hertz Dubai Airport T1 (DXB) – Receiving The Car
Receiving the car turned out to be a mess: the HRV arrived quickly and looked quite fine. However, just when I wanted to to connect my GPS and go, I saw that the cigarette lighter socket is not working. I claimed it at one of the staff members (not the driver). He first argued in a ridiculous manner, e.g. that this is a non-smoking car and the socket is never working (how to they drive the GPS systems you can rent at Hertz then?). The original driver finally checked the car and agreed that the car is not working properly and that I will get a rental car.
Driving a defect rental car? Yes, please!
The arguing has not been over yet: when you receive the car, you get a parking ticket which only allows you to exit the parking lot within the next ten minutes. In the meantime, some 30 minutes have passed already (!), so that parking fees would occur. The driver claimed that I should have left the parking lot, do a loop with the slightly defect car and come back to claim the damage. This is absolutely unique and silly of course.
What I finally found out is that Hertz might make their staff/drivers pay the parking fee in case. As the discussion about that became endless and I definitely did not want the likely low-paid guy to go for that expense, I finally paid it just to get the spare car – which was a Toyota Camry provided at T3. Unfortunately, this car is obviously not that well suited for the gravel roads in the Northern mountains – but as it has been an upgrade and no other car available (and as I wanted to start my travel coverage), I agreed to take the Camry finally with a total processing time of one hour since I arrived at T1 parking.
Hertz Dubai Airport T1 (DXB) – Returning The Car
After the rental odyssey, I have been really glad that returning the car went smoothly and has been done in just a few minutes (by the way, by the same guy who did not want to accept that the car has a defect).
The Car – Toyota Camry
No doubt, apart from that the chassis clearance is lower and the car is not suitable for bumpy mountain roads, the Camry has been a really excellent car with a large size and a lot of space. Even driving up to the Jebel Jais mountain was such an ease with the powerful engine. I would have loved to have a larger capacity of the batteries of the hybrid engine, though.
Hertz Dubai Airport T1 (DXB) – My View
I don’t blame Hertz that the cigarette lighter socket is not working. That’s a damage you likely don’t need to check in a standard car turnaround, but rather a “shit happens” one (and maybe easy to repair with a fuse replacement). The handling at the car rental pick-up has been an absolute mess. A great thanks to the driver, who did an outstanding job and something – but the system is simply messy. On top of that, having separate availabilities at Hertz Global and Hertz U.A.E. feels quite dubious.
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