Australia car rental

Old May 15, 16, 11:09 pm
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Australia car rental

I'm going to be spending 11-12 full days in early November, split between Sydney and Melbourne.

I had entertained the idea of driving between the cities but my understanding is that this drive isn't really that interesting, unless I was to do a lot of detours off the main path, which would eat up days to be spent in the cities.

Maybe one detour would be to spend a night or two around Blue Mountains but I'm more leaning towards doing a day trip. My only previous visit to Australia, I did the day trip via train on the same date. There are coach tours which probably cover more than I did starting at about $65.

I've been told it would be better to drive the Great Ocean Road out of Melbourne instead.

So that's been my thinking but I did a quick check of rental rates on rentalcars.com and was surprised to see a lot of rates under $100 for 2-day rentals out of either Sydney or Melbourne. These go from Economy to Standard cars, automatic, from Hertz.

I was reading the other thread about tolls so the costs would be higher than just the car rental. Plus parking if I stay in the CBD.

Are these rates typical? Well this is still 6 months out but they seem much lower than in Europe and IIRC lower than what I paid in New Zealand this past February.

Almost tempted to do a 2-day rental in Sydney (in addition to renting in Melbourne) if the parking situation isn't too bad, to drive out to Bondi or across the bridge to the northern suburbs.
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Old May 16, 16, 12:06 am
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Do not rent a car in Melbourne or Sydney cities. Rental and $$$ parking will be more than taxis.
Both cities have good public transport to popular tourist areas. (look a the sticky threads)
Take the train/bus to Bondi (beach or junction)

The Great Ocean Road is south west of Melbourne. A too quick 1 day or a better 2 day trip.
The coastal route from Melbourne to Sydney is more interesting than the multi lane inland Hume highway. You saw the same inland area from the train. The coastal route 2 or 3 days. 2 days can be a little rushed.

Note that the first full week of November is Melbourne Cup week.The Cup is run on the first Tuesday of November. Accommodation is limited that week.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 16, 16 at 12:22 am
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Old May 16, 16, 12:35 am
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Hmm, didn't know about the Melbourne Cup.

I would probably be flying from SYD to MEL on 11 November and then staying in Melbourne from 11 to 16 November, unless I do an overnight trip to the GOR and/or the Grampians.
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Old May 16, 16, 1:53 am
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It is not worth having a car in Sydney, even if it is a cheap rental, it's a huge hassle and you will pay a lot for parking, when you can find it. Plus I get stressed out driving in Sydney and I am used to driving on this side of the road!

You do of course need a car to do the GOR, and it is advisable to have a car for the Blue Mountains. You can look at renting a car outside Sydney, from Paramatta to Katoomba, and see how the prices stack up. You can train to either one of those places easily, or you can even take the river ferry to Paramatta.

The Melbourne CBD rental cars can be a good value, and it saves the road tolls and hassle driving from the airport. But you don't want one for exploring around town, just for when you leave. Look to stay close to the CBD rental car locations and you'll have a nice easy time grabbing a car to head out on the GOR.
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Old May 16, 16, 2:15 am
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Hmm, didn't know about the Melbourne Cup.

I would probably be flying from SYD to MEL on 11 November and then staying in Melbourne from 11 to 16 November, unless I do an overnight trip to the GOR and/or the Grampians.
That will be OK. This year the Cup carnival is from Sat 30 Oct to Sat 5 Nov. Tuesday is 01 Nov. 100,000 attend on track if the weather is good.

GOR and the Grampians is a good trip:- 2 or 3 days
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Old May 16, 16, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Almost tempted to do a 2-day rental in Sydney (in addition to renting in Melbourne) if the parking situation isn't too bad, to drive out to Bondi or across the bridge to the northern suburbs.
The drive out to Bondi from the CBD saves about 10-15 minutes compared to the train/bus. And parking is Bondi is horrific. Driving in Sydney isn't easy. The streets are pretty narrow, a lot are one way, drivers are pretty aggressive and the traffic is generally pretty heavy, especially at the moment as there is a lot of road work/light rail being built.
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Old May 16, 16, 1:30 pm
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I was going to rent a car in Melbourne as well. How else would one view the great ocean road?
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Old May 16, 16, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Tumadreee View Post
I was going to rent a car in Melbourne as well. How else would one view the great ocean road?
Ever hear of tour guides?

I can post my research later tonight when I'm home

Gist = day tours, overnight tours (both back to Melbourne), multi-tours(combine this with winery trip or Phillip island tour), or multiday trips all the way to Adelaide

The day/overnight tours ($100-300 Aud) typically hit Otway lighthouse, rainforest, colac, 12 apostles and loch are gorge, they don't go further that 12 apostles

A lot of them use small mini buses, which might be cramped(12-24 people). There are usually family friendly options with larger coach buses (search for family friendly/
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Old May 16, 16, 2:29 pm
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The first time I "did" the GOR I went with a small group tour (approx 11 people) and had an amazing time. It was a long day (7am pick-up, back in the CBD around 9.30pm) but worthwhile. Then last month I hired a car and drive the GOR myself over 2 nights, 3 days. I used Avis at Southern Cross and their prices were very reasonable. Very easy to get out of Melbourne from there (I didn't even bother with GPS). Most people picking up cars at Avis Southern Cross seemed to be heading for the GOR. Just beware that quite a few of their cars are manual. Not a problem for me (I actually prefer manual) but some Asian tourists were not able to drive manual and insisted on waiting for an automatic to be returned. I was very happy with Avis (and used them again in Tasmania on the same trip).
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Old May 16, 16, 4:02 pm
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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.
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Old May 16, 16, 7:16 pm
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Been reading up more and there are many other day options out of Melbourne. Far more than Sydney it seems.

You can get to many of these places like Mornington, Phillips Island, Ballarat and the wine country by public transportation but they suggest that once you arrive, you still have the problem of getting around because the sights are not all located within walking distance of the train or bus stations.
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Old May 16, 16, 7:47 pm
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If you've got Uber, Uber X is cheaper than taxis and the drivers are (a) friendly (b) have been in Sydney longer than a week and know its hidden hot spots like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Trust me, it's much easier than using a car.

Uber X drivers can also, legally, pick you up from SYD as of yesterday.
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Old May 16, 16, 8:24 pm
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I'll check it out.

But I did book a place near the Town Hall station to get around.
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Old May 16, 16, 8:52 pm
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I rented a car in Sydney, drove to the blue mountains and spent the night- having a car to move around, stop where I wanted, etc was pretty convenient. (And we found a grocery store and wine shop....)

We splurged on a corner view suite at the Echoes Hotel- amazing view. Instead of hanging out with 300 tourists over at the viewing platform, we had a bottle of wine, cheese, olives and crackers and watched the sun set over the Jamison valley. In this case the room itself was an integral part of the sightseeing experience. In the morning, sunrise greeted us with parrots on the deck, and clouds settled into the valley- morning coffee as the sun dried up the clouds filling the valley. We were able to get going to Wentworth well before the first tour buses arrived. (which was a common theme at more than a few venues- beating the massive influx from the buses- uluru, katatjuta, Kings Canyon, Flinders chase, etc)

Some people dont mind sharing with 40 folks in a tour bus with bored guides yacking into a microphone...we tend to be much more solitary in our explorations. Hence two of you (or a family) in a car on GOR would be FAR better than spending one very full day with strangers... if you are wired that way.

Agree with uber in the city. Pretty easy in SYD

We were there for a month and rented cars 14 days, although all of this was well outside the cities.

HTH

Edit: prices were variable. 4x4s were basically 120-200 a day; a mid sized SUV in SYD for two days was AUD100 a day. Same car for 4 days dropped to $58..go figure. Prices varied based on pick up/drop off as well as length. We needed 4x4 in 3 locations so had to pay 650-700 for 4 days, about 200km per day allowance.
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Old May 17, 16, 5:49 am
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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.
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