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Old Dec 29, 11, 2:30 pm   #1
 
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Australia Rental: Specifying Excess Reduction in Advance

Long-time Hertz renter, first time with Avis (maybe). Is there a way to specify in your profile that you want Excess Reduction on rentals in Australia. I only see choices for the US coverages. (For Hertz, you can specify different coverages for different regions.)

I assume if the answer is no, you can purchase it by going to the counter. (I have found that with Hertz in Australia, I often end up at the counter anyway.)

TIA
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Old Dec 30, 11, 9:51 pm   #2
 
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Avis profiles only have one set of options (it seems to be those that apply to your country of residence), unlike Hertz, as you mention.

In my experience with both Hertz and Avis, the counter can always override your profile settings - I have to do this when I rent with friends, as my profile for both Avis and Hertz has excess reduction declined due to my credit card cover, but this does not cover additional drivers, so I need to have excess reduction for those rentals.

Have you checked whether your cards or travel insurance covers rental car excess? Although it seems that most US credit cards exclude Australia from their cover, there may one or two that do not (I don't know which ones, but maybe Amex Platinum?). There is at least one travel insurer that provides rental car excess to overseas residents - 1Cover, which provides AU$2,500 cover with a $100 excess, for non resident visitors to Australia. This would mean that the Avis excess of $2,915 for non airport locations is effectively reduced to $515 ($2,915 - $2,500 + $100), or approx. $1,100 for the major airports like SYD or MEL ($2,915 + 20% = $3,500 - $2,500 + $100). This compares to Avis excess with excess reduction of $330 at non airport locations and approx. $ 400 at major airports.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 6:05 am   #3
 
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Thanks, AdMEL. I assumed this was the case.

Now the only decision is a Corolla (manual) from Hertz or a Falcon (auto) from either Hertz or Avis for the Great Ocean Road. We have always rented the Corolla and it is fine, but I always enjoy driving something different.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 8:55 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdebit View Post
Now the only decision is a Corolla (manual) from Hertz or a Falcon (auto) from either Hertz or Avis for the Great Ocean Road. We have always rented the Corolla and it is fine, but I always enjoy driving something different.
Talk about something that's not specifiable in advance! All you can select in advance is the car category, for which they're giving an example. You cannot select a specific exact car model in advance online, not at Avis and (last I checked) not at Hertz either.

How likely you are to get a specific car may or may not be guessable if you have knowledge of what that location tends to stock in a particular category (which only a frequent renter at that specific location would tend to know).
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Old Dec 31, 11, 8:57 am   #5
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Originally Posted by AdMEL View Post
There is at least one travel insurer that provides rental car excess to overseas residents - 1Cover, which provides AU$2,500 cover with a $100 excess, for non resident visitors to Australia. This would mean that the Avis excess of $2,915 for non airport locations is effectively reduced to $515 ($2,915 - $2,500 + $100), or approx. $1,100 for the major airports like SYD or MEL ($2,915 + 20% = $3,500 - $2,500 + $100). This compares to Avis excess with excess reduction of $330 at non airport locations and approx. $ 400 at major airports.
The $320 to $400 Avis excess, does that cover more of the excess than ICover, or does it leave you with the same $515/$1100 "leftover excess" that ICover leaves you with?
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Old Dec 31, 11, 9:19 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Talk about something that's not specifiable in advance! All you can select in advance is the car category, for which they're giving an example. You cannot select a specific exact car model in advance online, not at Avis and (last I checked) not at Hertz either.

How likely you are to get a specific car may or may not be guessable if you have knowledge of what that location tends to stock in a particular category (which only a frequent renter at that specific location would tend to know).
Thanks, but I understand "or similar." I also can guess, however, that I am more likely to get a Falcon if I reserve a "Falcon or similar" than if I reserve a "Corolla or similar."
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Old Dec 31, 11, 7:25 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdebit View Post
Thanks, AdMEL. I assumed this was the case.

Now the only decision is a Corolla (manual) from Hertz or a Falcon (auto) from either Hertz or Avis for the Great Ocean Road. We have always rented the Corolla and it is fine, but I always enjoy driving something different.
No worries.

Corolla manual will be a base model (though it will have a/c, power steering, power windows, airbags, ABS, ESP). Most of Hertz fleet at major mainland locations are corollas, though they may have some Hyundais and the other odd car.

If you enjoy driving something different, how about trying Australian designed/engineered/built cars? If you like cars that handle well, are comfortable, powerful, spacious, reasonably well equipped (ipod integration, bluetooth, in addition to usual equipment listed for the Corolla), I recommend the following:

Hertz - Group D (Full Size, Falcon XR6 or similar) or
Avis - Group P (Full Size Sports, Falcon XR6 or similar)

Ask for a Commodore SV6 or Falcon XR6. The only downside is that these are not manual. Note that these can be very bright colours, especially the SV6 (current colours include bright yellow, red and other bright colours). Hertz Fleet at most mainland major locations is currently mostly XR6's. Not sure about Avis, as I haven't rented from them in a few months (I received a bright yellow SV6 a couple of months ago from CNS). Both will also probably have some of the following: Toyota Aurion ZR6 (also Australian built, but effectively a Camry V6 with some different sheetmetal, not a fun to drive), Hyundai i45 and a few others.

You can ring and ask them to add a note to your booking. In my experience, both provide what you request more often than not (especially if you are #1 Club Gold or Preferred) and even if they don't initially, they are almost always happy to change it.

Note that the fleet in Tassie differs slightly, as all Tassie car rental locations are franchised. Avis still have XR6's, but I don't think Hertz do (Mostly Toyota Aurions and Hyundais).

One other thing to note: Hertz excess is significantly higher than Avis - $3,300 (+ approx. 20% at major airports) + a further $2,200 (+ 20% at major airports) Single Vehicle Accident (SVA) excess if no other car is involved (e.g. you hit a kangaroo). You can purchase MAX cover to remove all excesses (approx. $40 per day). Hertz Excess reduction (approx. $25-30 per day) does not remove SVA. Avis does not have SVA and you can only reduce but not remove the excess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Talk about something that's not specifiable in advance! All you can select in advance is the car category, for which they're giving an example. You cannot select a specific exact car model in advance online, not at Avis and (last I checked) not at Hertz either.

How likely you are to get a specific car may or may not be guessable if you have knowledge of what that location tends to stock in a particular category (which only a frequent renter at that specific location would tend to know).
See above! OP was pretty close to the mark!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
The $320 to $400 Avis excess, does that cover more of the excess than ICover, or does it leave you with the same $515/$1100 "leftover excess" that ICover leaves you with?
The figures I quoted are the actual amounts you will be out of pocket, based on either 1Cover (not ICover) or paying the excess reduction daily fee to Avis. If you choose the 1Cover option, Avis will charge the standard excess of $2,915 (+ approx. 20% at major airports) in the event of damage and you will need to claim the $2,400 ($2,500 less $100 excess) from 1Cover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdebit View Post
Thanks, but I understand "or similar." I also can guess, however, that I am more likely to get a Falcon if I reserve a "Falcon or similar" than if I reserve a "Corolla or similar."
See above.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 4:33 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by AdMEL View Post
No worries.

Corolla manual will be a base model (though it will have a/c, power steering, power windows, airbags, ABS, ESP). Most of Hertz fleet at major mainland locations are corollas, though they may have some Hyundais and the other odd car.

If you enjoy driving something different, how about trying Australian designed/engineered/built cars? If you like cars that handle well, are comfortable, powerful, spacious, reasonably well equipped (ipod integration, bluetooth, in addition to usual equipment listed for the Corolla), I recommend the following:

Hertz - Group D (Full Size, Falcon XR6 or similar) or
Avis - Group P (Full Size Sports, Falcon XR6 or similar)
Most helpful; thanks again. I have rented the Corolla several times (enjoy the stick -- especially on the "wrong" side). But I also like to drive new (to me) cars, so I will take your recommendation on the Falcon or the Holden.
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