Sick of trying to find cheap parking near your office? Here’s a great option.
UPDATE: Ekar is now available by the minute, read the latest news here.
Dubai’s not always the most pedestrian-friendly place, and if you’re stranded out in the further reaches of the city, getting around can be a bit of a problem – and taxis a little expensive.
Well, that’s where the RTA-backed Ekar comes in.
The pay-per-hour service costs just Dhs24 per hour for a round trip (so, say if you picked it up at the Burj Khalifa you would have to drop it off at the Burj Khalifa) and Dhs30 per hour for a one way trip (so you could drive it from the Burj Khalifa to Discovery Gardens, for instance).
The cars can be rented for a maximum of six hours, and will most commonly be found near metro stations.
There is a sign-up process and you’ll need to do so before you can use the cars. You just need a driving licence, and ID, and to be at least 22 years old (oh, and it takes less than 12 hours to approve).
The monthly subscription fee for the service is Dhs20 a month, with a Dhs1 registration fee.
The sign-up page can be found on Ekar’s website.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Currently, Ekar have 56 cars stationed at Metro stops throughout the city.
The car’s door is actually unlocked via the app (neato, huh?).
Once you’re done with your trip, just drop the Ekar back to one of the reserved parking spots around the city.
Their fleet of cars are pretty snazzy, too.
You’ve got the choice between the Nissan Juke or the Nissan Sentra.
WAIT, WASN’T THERE ANOTHER COMPANY LIKE THIS?
You may remember UDrive – the super-cheap, super-efficient pay-per-minute car service that burst onto the scene in March last year.
Well, then you may remember that their too-good-to-be-true pay-per-minute scheme got suspended.
UDrive is now offering daily car rentals with a similar sign-up process to Ekar and a monthly subscription fee of Dhs20.
HOW DO THE TWO COMPARE?
Well, if you’re looking for a quick trip, Ekar’s the only company which offer by-the-hour rental services in the UAE.
Currently, the cheapest option with Ekar stands at Dhs24 per hour, which works out to Dhs192 for eight hours, for instance.
UDrive offer up a day’s worth of rental including fuel and RTA public parking and 150 kilometres-worth of driving for just Dhs99. The charge for each kilometre driven past the 150 kilometre mark is Dhs0.25.
The verdict? If you’re looking for a quick runaround to get you from A to B, then Ekar are your people.
However, if you’re looking for an all-day ride and will use the car for more than five hours UDrive would be the cheaper option.