Oman is a fairy tale destination. Gasoline is ridiculously cheap on this side of the world. In addition, the quality of the roads is excellent. Traffic is light outside of the big cities and drivers are often attentive and tolerant of tourists. A convenient and effective way to see Muscat and its beautiful surroundings is definitely by car. Although car rentals are widely available throughout Oman, rental costs could add up if you don’t pay attention to the little details. Here are two tips on how to save money on car rental in Muscat. Keep them in mind when booking your next car in Muscat.
advice no. 1: Savings start with the right car choice: Desert Safari 4×4 or a smaller car?
Muscat is often a starting point for desert safaris at Wahiba Sands. Many first-time visitors to Muscat reserve a huge 4×4 vehicle in the hope of driving through the desert. No need to book a huge expensive vehicle like 4×4. Desert safaris can be arranged at travel agencies with specially customized vehicles for driving in the sand with knowledgeable and experienced drivers. Also, Thrifty Oman’s car rental terms will not allow you to drive rented cars anywhere except on paved roads. In this way, you can save up to 50 percent only on the right choice of car!
advice no. 2: Don’t spend money on extras
Having a GPS navigation in Oman is not necessary and comes at an unnecessary cost. All the areas around Muscat are easy to get around and a simple paper map will save you some money, at least US$15 per day. So if you intend to stay more than a week in Muscat, you will save a good amount of money that you can use for shopping. Also, all routes to Nizwa, Jabrin, Tenuf, Rusayl, Haima, Thumrait or Salalah are in good condition and well signposted.
Before renting a car in central Muscat, make sure of office hours or you may be charged an office fee outside of work, especially if you intend to pick up a car in areas like Ruwi. Seeb Airport is open 24/7, as are the car rental offices.
Avoid one-way car rentals. In case you want to explore Muscat and then head to Dubai and leave the vehicle in the United Arab Emirates, think twice. This type of one-way international car rental will set you back almost US$300. In case you want to start your trip in Muscat and drop off the car in Salalah, costs will be added to your final receipt for approximately US$40.