Independent Travellers; Is it Possible?

Jan 2nd, 2004, 06:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,634
Independent Travellers; Is it Possible?


I'm beginning to think that independent travelling is discouraged in Australia by the high cost of rental cars. While I realize american car rental rates are low, I assumed Australian rates would be comparable to european rentals ($455 AU/ 7 day week last fall in Italy for a midsize car)

Looking for rentals I'm finding costs ( for compact cars) of between $70 AU/day including collision damage reduction usually w/ 100km / day free then .25 for ea km over or $150/day and up w/ unlimited kms.

Considering the distances, what good does 100 free kms do?

I feel like we are being squeezed onto a tour bus unless we have buckets of money to spend.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Any suggestions to reduce rental car costs?

Help; we don't want to ride on the back of the bus.

AndrewDavid is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 07:27 PM
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Yep! Keep looking as you obviously have not been looking in the right places as most rental vehicles come with unlimited mileage.
Just a thought too:
I rented a car in Albq, New Mexico for $50US per day, so I added the damage reduction, paid for this in Australia, went there, got the car for 5 days and returned the car to the airport whereupon I was staggered to get a bill for $198US which consisted of State taxes, airport taxes, Local Govn taxed and Federal taxes - so when it boiled down I had actually paid $90 US per day, which with the exchange rate at the time was about $170Au. It would be a bit like the cost out of Heathrow last year for a small manual car - that cost us $500AU for 3 days. I don't understand why you would think that Australian rates would be comparable to European rentals though as we seem to have absolutely nothing else in common.
Jan 2nd, 2004, 07:54 PM
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Here are 2 sites that will give you weekly rates. I did not check the unlimited mileage though. There are many other rental car firms available as well.
I just put in Brisbane to get a quote for you.
Good Luck
Jan 3rd, 2004, 03:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 151
Not sure where you're looking, but it isn't anywhere I've rented before!

I rented for a month for $800. Hertz in Sydney (William St) goes for $240/week unlimited. Avis in Kings Cross (the best deal) does $187/week for 100km per day, about $220 for unlimited. Call their direct line on +61-2-9357-2000 but don't choose the "make a reservation" option (that just sends you to the national line and you won't get local deals). Choose option 2 (I think) and speak to someone at the location.

Remember, depending on where you're travelling you can't take cars over certain state borders. Not an issue in NSW, Vic or Qld, but if you're thinking of WA/NT there are some restrictions (due to the smaller number of paved/bitumen roads)
PixieChick is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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A-D - where were you planning to rent a car?
margo_oz is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 01:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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Thanks for the response to my query

Liz, I think it must have something to do if you make arrangements from aboard or locally. Current ABQ rates ( our local airport) are $280 US per 7 day week all inclusive unlimited miles. Big difference from your experience. I will check out the sites you suggested. I didn't mean to unevenly compare Europe to AU, just that our european renting exp (Italy and England has generally been 2x US and AU seems a bit more than that. Can't explain your expense at Heathrow. Was it a small manual Ferrari?

Pixie Chick: I will also try calling directly for local deals.

Our rentals are as follows:

Hobart April 19-24

Airlie Beach-Cairns April 27-May3. We may have gotten a resonable quote from abcintegra for this

Darwin May 5-9

Alice to Ayers Rock May 10-13. This seems the hardest w/ lleast free kms.

Thanks for help and suggestions

AndrewDavid is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 935

In sydney bayswater car rental does unlimited kms on toyota compacts for $35 a day all up.

for other places try a search under car hire at

scroll past the major players and pick the local guy for a quote
johhj_au is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 09:03 PM
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I think you may be right AD regarding the cost if you arrange something from overseas.
As for your Darwin leg- Just a little warning in case the situation is still as dreadful as it was when I last wanted to rent a car there -
They ( Hertz ) wanted something like $2,500 excess at its lowest or something like $4,000 without the reduction. Whilst the roads in the NT are the best in Australia and there are fewer people there, there is always the problem of animals walking onto the roads and the excess blew me away. I told them to stick the car ( their excuse was as weak as ...... ) and I took buses instead which is against my better judgement 'cause I hate being stuck on some planned trip. The alternative was to buy the car and as I was there for only 3 days that was not an option.
Just want to see that you read the fine print for the NT in case they are still sucking in unsuspecting tourists.
I am not sure that I would be renting a car in Alice Springs though. Unless you are an experienced 4 wheel driver and know the area I would be staying on well travelled roads and as there are not many I don't think you would be gaining much by having your own transport..... anyway think about that one.
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