Rita Tavarelli, a 26-year-old sales manager for the Rocco Forte Hotel in Abu Dhabi, initially rented a Jeep from the international leasing company Hertz after moving to the UAE in March. But she and her husband, Sohail, decided that spending Dh3,700 per month for a rental vehicle was too much, so they returned the car and hired a Mazda 3 from the local leasing outfit City Adventures soon after. Now paying Dh2,200 per month on a yearly lease, the couple are happy with the price but not so satisfied with the level of service since switching companies.
"In August, the insurance expired and for 10 days we drove a car with no cover," Ms Tavarelli says. "No one cared when we called; they said it was Ramadan and someone would come and deal with it the following day, but nobody showed up. "Then, when the new insurance document was delivered to our hotel one night, we found it was for the wrong car, so I had to get a taxi the next morning." Despite the insurance headache, Ms Tavarelli insists the cost saving from switching to a local company makes up for the drop in service.
"If you want to save money, you can use minor companies but don't expect the same service as an established one," she says. "We save about Dh10,000 a year, so it's worth it for us." * Rob Morris