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Looking to rent a car in Australia?

Updated on October 19, 2016
Denny Xie profile image

I am a freelance digital acquisition expert who loves cars and everything automotive. Always following the tech development on new cars.

Melbourne - Australia
Melbourne - Australia

So you are planning a road trip?

One of the most important things before you go on a road trip is to research on the place you would like to visit. Being in a new country can be very exciting and might lead some to forget about the basics.

Let's use Melbourne - the capital city of Victoria for example. Melbourne is infamous for its 4 seasons in a day type of weather, so Weather is one of the most important factors.

Make sure you are aware of the warnings that might apply during the day, for example, bushfire warnings, severe wind warnings, hailstorm warnings, and flood warnings.

Hiring a car for couples and a family would give you the best option on any road trip to explore the city and Australia. It will give you, your friends or family greater flexibility on where and when you would like to go.

Public transport outside the CBD areas in Australia can be time consuming and a pain to navigate.

Hiring a car for couples and a family would give you the best option on any road trip to explore the city and Australia. It will give you, your friends or family greater flexibility on where and when you would like to go.

Tips and tricks in hiring a vehicle

  • Research a wide range of car rental companies and get a quote from each of them.
  • Look for specials like weekend rental deals or a promotional code if you have one.
  • Check to see if they are partnered with your Airline Frequent Flyer Program so that you do not miss out on the frequent flyer miles.
  • Book early to avoid disappointment especially with people movers (7 seaters), they tend to get leased out pretty quickly during the holiday season.
  • You might want to check out a site which will allow you to search major car rental companies at the same time.

So you found the perfect car for the trip.

Before you leave the rental company, ensure that you participate and take photos of every damage or scratch that you see during the inspection of the vehicle and point out all the existing damages - scratches, dents, hail damages that you see BEFORE you drive off. Anything claimed AFTER will be your responsibility.

Things to watch out for

  • Ensure that you are aware of some hidden charges that might apply, for example, insurance per day, mileage limitations, and insurance excess, late fees.
  • Insurance is strongly recommended for drivers with less experience, it can reduce your excess when you are at fault. Note: When you are involved in an accident where you are not at fault, you will not have to pay the excess, provided that you are able to get their details - Driver’s license number, name, address, insurance details.
  • In Australia, any driver who is under 25 will get an extra surcharge, the inexperienced driver surcharge.
  • Make sure you stick to allowed mileage limitations should you have one, exceeding the mileage limitations might hurt your pocket as they are usually charged per KM.

Before you return the vehicle, remember to refuel to its original level (usually a full tank) as this can be a costly lesson, as rental companies can sometimes charge double the price of the fuel on the day.

It is advisable that you return the vehicle on the date or time specified on the agreement. Late fees may apply, depending on the agreement with you and the company.


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