It might come as a surprise that many car hire companies are now checking a potential renter’s driving record before handing over the keys. They are using electronic links to government sites in order to check driving records, and the screening just takes a few seconds. You might not find out this is happening when you show your license at the counter, but most rental agencies disclose it somewhere on their website. Because of this unspoken rule, around 6 to 10 percent of customers have turned away.
A rent a car company is not legally required to run a driver record check but do it anyway as a proactive measure to block the riskiest drivers. Those who had their licenses revoked or suspended are usually rejected. Some companies don’t bother running driver checks as long as the renter shows a valid license. For some, instead of screening the driver, they will require you to sign a statement declaring that you have an acceptable driving record. This shifts the responsibility away from the company and to you.
The standards followed by each car rental company may vary and are subject to change. Thus, it’s safer to research or ask about the specific rental screening checklist of any company you are considering renting from. Any red flag or denial will bleep across the computer. Generally, a rental company will deny drivers to rent a car if they have the following in their records in the past 36 months:
- Had three moving violations
- Were at fault in two accidents
- Caught driving with an invalid or suspended license
- Case of drunk driving (DUI) or hit-and-run
- Reckless disregard for life and property
- Driving a stolen car or other serious offense
A driver with many points on his license should probably avoid renting a car within 36 months or carefully research a rental company’s checklist. However, if you’re staying in the UAE for a visit or short trip, it can be hard to get around without a vehicle. Although a reliable public transport system is available, it can be inconvenient and covers only limited routes. If your driving record is questionable, try the following:
- Contact your local motor vehicle department to see if they make driver records available. If they don’t, then don’t worry about being screened.
- Get your driver record evaluated by a screening company. This can help determine in advance whether you will be disqualified from renting.
- If you don’t want to pay a screening company, make an evaluation on your own by getting a copy of your driving record in your state. Compare it with the screening criteria of the car rental company.
- For business trips, book with a rental company that has a liability agreement with your employer. They may overlook items on the checklist.
The good news is the vast majority of drivers will pass a driving record check. You don’t need to worry as long as you can present all the required documents and a valid license that is not currently suspended, expired, revoked, or canceled. If you need a short-term or monthly car rental, you can rely on EuroStar Rent-A-Car UAE to give you a hassle-free experience. Book an appointment by calling 054 7910 942 (Dubai) or 056 4727 960 (Abu Dhabi) today!