Before arriving in Dubai I agreed a car rent with a rental company. Agreement included the price and some car options.

Upon arriving the person handing over the car asked for a higher price, and the discussed options weren't available. He tried to show me the messages between us with the higher price but I have the messages with the final agreed price.

I decided not to take the car as he did not honour the agreement.

Would this put me in any legal trouble? I had to send him a photocopy of my passport before arriving, but as far as I can remember I didn't sign a contract.

  • 1
    Did you actually make a booking?
    – Traveller
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 10:12
  • @Traveller not through a website as I discussed the booking with the company through their WhatsApp. He might have booked me on their internal system, can't say for sure.
    – Goosfraba
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 10:55
  • In other words I haven't got a booking number/reference
    – Goosfraba
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 10:57
  • 1
    Is this a large international brand or a local independent?
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 14:09
  • 1
    @jcaron local independent
    – Goosfraba
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


You're fine. The agreement was that you would get car X at price Y. On arrival, they could not keep their end of the deal, so you don't have to keep your end either.

I do have to say that this is quite unusual though: most reputable car rental companies would bend over backwards and upgrade you for free if they had any cars left, instead of letting a potential customer walk away. I presume the price was literally too good to be true and they were just trying to pressure you into renting a more expensive mode.

  • 8
    Your experience is certainly different from mine. I found that most "reputable" car rental places try aggressive upsells at the desk and that I often need to dig in hard to get them to honor the booking price (which they will typically do after dragging their feet). I even have a signed letter from my credit card company certifying they indeed provide full CDW coverage and I had to pull that letter out on occasions. In this regard I do prefer local budget shops: they tend to do a lot less of that nonsense.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 19:08
  • 1
    @Hilmar my experience is more in line with lambshaanxy's. If you make a reservation at one of the big places, and what you reserved is unavailable, they will provide something at the same or lower price — it may not be exactly what you wanted, but it will have at least the same passenger/cargo capacity, and if you're lucky it might be an upgrade.
    – hobbs
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 0:11
  • 2
    @Hilmar : yes, but photoshopping the messages and trying to gaslight the customer is a lot uglier than just trying to upsell.
    – vsz
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 5:15
  • 2
    @Hilmar I think it depends on the location. I think certain more tourist trappy locations are more likely to pull this sort of stunts.
    – Nzall
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 8:02

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