Car rental agencies face Salik’s dilemma – News

DUBAI – Three days after the launch of Salik, car rental companies and their customers yesterday faced a dilemma as the Salik tags had still not been provided to them.

Rental companies said they were not even given assurances that their customers would not be fined or have time to have the tags applied.

Motorway general manager Bibin Thomas said the company, with a fleet of 1,200 cars, inquired about the labels in late June and was told yesterday it would receive them in the evening.

“They said everyday that we will have them in a day,” he said. “Obviously, they are processing too many requests at the same time. “

He said customers were calling the company constantly for updates on the situation.

Hertz director of operations Sunil Kumar said the car rental company has been working hard to install Salik tags on its fleet of 6,000 cars.

However, despite the request for tags on June 18, they received around 3,000 tags on Saturday for short-term rentals only and the RTA on Sunday allowed the tags to be repaired with assurances of no fines.

Since then, the two-day grace period has expired and the agency yesterday received an additional 3,000 beacons for long-term leases.

“We have adapted around 75 to 80% of the short-term leases,” he said. “We have made every effort to contact customers to have the labels installed. (If they don’t), they will have to pay the fine.

Kumar said the RTA should have given more time to attach the beacons.

“We haven’t received anything in writing to say they won’t be fined and I can’t log into the website to see if the accounts have fines,” he said.

A Budget Rent-a-Car spokesperson described a “logistical nightmare” trying to outfit the company’s 3,000 cars with Salik tags, which ended yesterday.

Their tags arrived on Thursday, and employees worked all weekend delivering tags and asking customers to bring their cars.

Direct Rent-a-Car manager Regie Farnandos said the company had been trying to organize labels for the 62-car fleet for two weeks, but could only get the labels on Sunday.

The agency bought the tags for 62 cars from a gas station around 10:30 p.m. Sunday and it was only yesterday morning that the agency was contacted by RTA to say the tags were available.

Concord Group chief Mohammed Razwan said that until noon Sunday the company had not received labels for its fleet of 500 cars, adding that “they were expected soon”.

Rental companies surveyed said cars would be charged a service fee for account management, typically Dh1 for short-term rentals and for long-term leases it will be 10 percent of the toll fee.



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Pamela W. Robbins

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