Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific) - Car with unlimited miles in Darwin/Ayers Rock?
Jun 3, 12, 3:18 pm
I am looking at car rentals for 2 legs of my upcoming trip to Australia. THe first is in Ayers Rock, from where we will be driving to Alice Springs, and the second is Darwin, from where we will be driving to Kakadu National Park. All of the major car companies seem to only give rentals with a 100km or 300km mileage allowance, and a hefty .25AUD per km fee after that. Does anyone know of a way around this?
I did find a company - Economy Car Rentals - that gives unlimited mileage, but their prices were so low that I am a bit wary of what I will be getting. Has anyone booked with them?
Thanks for any help!
Jun 3, 12, 8:38 pm
Hertz has some corporate rates which are unlimited mileage, maybe you qualify to use one of those? Otherwise certain vehicle types and locations always have limited mileage in Oz, fwiw.
Jun 4, 12, 6:46 am
In short, "no", aside from trying your luck with tiny local companies like the one you've found.
I'd suggest flying from AYQ to ASP instead of driving. It's a long way with precious little to see, and at $0.25/km plus the price of fuel out there, it may well be cheaper as well.
For Darwin, many rental deals offer 200 km/day, and it's ~250 km one-way from DRW to Kakadu. For a three-day rental, that works out to a round trip with 100 km left to spare, so that limit shouldn't be too constricting.
Jun 4, 12, 7:13 pm
When I was planning a trip in Australia I noticed that you could rent a car from Adelaide to Darwin with unlimited miles and only a small one-way fee. However, I was eventually persuaded that this was not a wise use of my time and gas money.
There are third party retailers/brokers who sell unlimited km rental cars, but the cost is significantly higher and often not worth it.
A couple are:
Cars start at approx. $118 per day from Darwin (higher from airport) for a small car, such as a Toyota Yaris or Hyundai Getz, likely to be manual. Avis cars, with lower excess ($1,950 instead of $2,915, both figures higher when rented from airport). No one-way/drop fee with min. 3 days.
Cars start at about $100 per day from Darwin (higher from airport). Thrifty, Europcar and others. Large one-way/drop fees - $330 or $550, waived for 5 days or greater.
Whilst I have not personally used either, I would happily do so, if I needed an unlimited km car in NT. Both have been around for many years and I think both were previously the state government tourist offices.
When I was in the NT last year and a couple of years ago, I did a lot of research and it is no longer possible to obtain unlimited km direct from car rental companies themselves, only through a small number of third party resellers, such as the ones above.
Note that you are prohibited from driving on unsealed roads and at night when renting with most companies in NT.
Hope this helps.
Jun 21, 12, 10:32 am
Wow. I did a one-way rental from Alice Springs to Darwin a little under two years ago, directly through Europcar, and there was never any mention about a nighttime driving prohibition. Granted, I had little desire to drive Stuart Highway after sundown anyway, but the final leg of the journey from Kakadu to Darwin was in the dark.
Apparently things have changed because I had unlimited km and and no one-way or drop fees. I do recall that Europcar was one of the few that offered unlimited km.
The vehicle was a Mitsubishi Pajero -- I was allowed to take it anywhere except the Tanami Track (lack of petrol stations) and Twin Falls (it wasn't equipped with a snorkel for crossing Jim Jim Creek).
Jun 21, 12, 1:04 pm
Wow. I did a one-way rental from Alice Springs to Darwin a little under two years ago, directly through Europcar, ..
Wow is right.
If someone was planning a long term trip, months for example, wonder what the break even is (rental time wise) for just buying a car/truck and selling it before you leave ?
or do you get sizable discounts for very long rentals ?