Australia car rental

Old May 17, 16, 5:50 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
Totally forget the idea of renting a car in Sydney. A car is purely and simply a liablity there. The public transport is excellent and saves all the hassle and massive expense of parking.
The parking situation in Melbourne is easier, but still grossly overpriced. A car is unnecessary for the city area, but I would recommend it for the Great Ocean Road, which is a spectacular trip.
If you do rent a car in the state of Victoria, be very careful to stay within the speed limits. Enforcement is ferocious. I got zapped by cameras twice in one day - both for less than 10km/h (6mph) over the limit. It cost me $380.
Just parked my car in Sydney for 3 nights for $45 a night for Valet. We were jumping with glee at a reasonable price.

Is a hire car going to let you see the spectacular view if you are concentrating on driving on the other side of the road you are not used to and keeping an eye on the road?
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Old May 17, 16, 11:25 am
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I didn't go through booking but presumably the prices they display include the GST?
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Old May 17, 16, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
Do your car prices include taxes? I've got a middle car like a Corolla for AUD$100 a day. A SUV and 4 x 4 in my experience were much more. Are us Australians getting ripped off.
I was just quoting rough daily rates...

BUT, here is an advanced car rental tip:

log onto various foreign websites... like hertz.com.de, hertz.co.UK, avis. etc etc.. US sites, german sites, UK sites, etc. It is shocking to find variation in pricing.

I do this all the time, both in the US and elsewhere, when the local rate seems abusive. once I needed a one way SFO-SMF, a single day. hertz wanted $280. I was on Wifi flying into SFO and went to the UK site, approx USD70 w tax, and insurance (didnt need it, just included) as a pre-paid. Paid for it in GBP with my credit card, picked it up 2 hrs later at SFO.

(I will also book cars for an extra day or two, which can trigger a lower rate- HOWEVER this varies by country and rate- some rates (like airline seats) are tied to rental length. Not for the casual user. If you return early they can almost charge wherever they want... in my example above that 4 day sydney number was tied to a minimum 4 day rental)
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Old May 17, 16, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post

Is a hire car going to let you see the spectacular view if you are concentrating on driving on the other side of the road you are not used to and keeping an eye on the road?
I'd be too busy texting to see the view.
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Old May 17, 16, 12:39 pm
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LOL!

Damn funny.
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Old May 17, 16, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post

Is a hire car going to let you see the spectacular view if you are concentrating on driving on the other side of the road you are not used to and keeping an eye on the road?
That is a good point. The Great Ocean Road is one place where you really have to watch your driving.
I hadn't thought of the problem of switching sides. I'm so used to switching now, I don't think about it any more.
These days I tend to just drive in the shade.
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Old May 18, 16, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
That is a good point. The Great Ocean Road is one place where you really have to watch your driving.
I hadn't thought of the problem of switching sides. I'm so used to switching now, I don't think about it any more.
These days I tend to just drive in the shade.
and they say it's a single lane road (in both directions), no overtaking (with occasional turnouts for slower vehicles), could be frustrating too...
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Old May 18, 16, 1:00 pm
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Checked some more rates. An agency called East Coast Car Rental shows up on Auto Europe search with prices about half that of the majors (Thrifty, Enterprise, Alamo).

$26 USD for one day rental out of Melbourne for Economy or Compact automatic, $27 for a Midsize Auto.

Presumably an Aussie agency?

Anyone ever use them?
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Old May 18, 16, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
and they say it's a single lane road (in both directions), no overtaking (with occasional turnouts for slower vehicles), could be frustrating too...
This is true. I have driven the Great Ocean Road a couple of times, and it really doesn't pay to be in a hurry.
Just take it easy and relax. The Great Ocean Road is a leisure route. You're on vacation, not racing to get to a meeting.
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Old May 18, 16, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Checked some more rates. An agency called East Coast Car Rental shows up on Auto Europe search with prices about half that of the majors (Thrifty, Enterprise, Alamo).

$26 USD for one day rental out of Melbourne for Economy or Compact automatic, $27 for a Midsize Auto.

Presumably an Aussie agency?

Anyone ever use them?
Yes. Once, never again.

Had two problems with them. I put a minor scrape in the paint on the bumper (A piece of fencing wire was sticking out in some shubbery I brushed past at the motel I was staying at). They took a $1000 charge for what was going to be a max of a couple hundred dollars of damage and would refund the rest once the repair was made. Except the car was returned in Decemeber, and the repair didn't happen till mid Feburary. So they held ~$800 of my money for several months, even with me chasing them to get this finalised.

Then there was the tolls, ECCR at the time had no option for dealing with tolls cleanly, they were your problem and if any came back to ECCR they would pass them on with a hefty admin charge. I setup a toll pass with the toll company, you go online, enter the time period you have the car and the plate details, and they charge you for the tolls in that period. All worked fine, I got charged for the tolls I incurred and thought nothing of it until 2 or three months later I got a letter from the toll company for non-payment of tolls. I checked the details, and these tolls were about midnight the day before I arrived in Australia. So I took photos of my hire documents with the dates and time of hire highlighted, sent them back to the toll company pointing out it wasn't my problem. Toll company referred it back to ECCR, who promptly charged it to my credit card (without notifying me) with a hefty admin fee. Needless to say getting that reversed or any sense out of the ECCR people on why they had first referred it to the toll company, and then charged it to me when it was clearly incurred while I did not have the car was a nightmare.

Also from memory they are limited mileage rentals with a fairly low limit.

This was several years ago, I see from the website they have e-tags for tolls now. Still not sure I would take the risk, they may still be just as incompetent.
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Old May 18, 16, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
That is a good point. The Great Ocean Road is one place where you really have to watch your driving.
I hadn't thought of the problem of switching sides. I'm so used to switching now, I don't think about it any more.
These days I tend to just drive in the shade.
Switching sides isn't an issue for most people I speak to. I was scared at the prospect on my first trip over to the US yet after 30 seconds realised I was being ridiculous. About the only thing that happened was I'd occasionally reach for the gear stick with my left hand sometimes and just whack it against the door!
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Old May 18, 16, 10:43 pm
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Thanks for the feedback. Figured it was too good to be true.
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Old May 19, 16, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by callum9999 View Post
Switching sides isn't an issue for most people I speak to. I was scared at the prospect on my first trip over to the US yet after 30 seconds realised I was being ridiculous. About the only thing that happened was I'd occasionally reach for the gear stick with my left hand sometimes and just whack it against the door!
Haha! Yeah, I've done that a few times too. But seriously, switching sides is no problem.
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Old May 20, 16, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
Haha! Yeah, I've done that a few times too. But seriously, switching sides is no problem.
For a while i was driving in Oz for a few days to a week...every 6-12 weeks, then back to the US. For almost 2 years. Id occasionally 'come to' when driving on back roads with a momentary panic that I was on the wrong side. REALLY odd when it was back in the US where this occurred.

The switching sides part is easy- the 'not turning on the wipers' part is more problematic. I joke that it is the tourist salute when they leave the rental lot at SYD..... I just had the honor of renting a "Great Wall" suv in Cairns after 4 different rental cars across australia... They have the opposite orientation of the signals and wipers, so doubly confusing.
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Old May 20, 16, 9:34 pm
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Driving in Melbourne is fine. Sydney isn't!

East Coast is ok, mainly older cars - I think that they are the local agent for Sixt now. They probably won't do one way rentals.

Obviously, if you damage a car you're going to have a bad experience.
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