Car Rental Buddy
The Official Car Rental Blog
18 February, 2013 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

Difference Between Kilometre Allowance & Unlimited Kilometres

Many rental packages will include unlimited kilometres, while some will outline a kilometre allowance. When conducting a quote, remember these few simple tips that are designed to help you with understanding the rental conditions outlined by the suppliers.
Unlimited & Limited Kilometres
  • Use of Words 'Mileage' & 'Kilometres' With many of the major suppliers servicing the international marketplace, there is sometimes a crossover with the use of specific wording here in Australia that is more accustomed to overseas locations.

    When viewing rental conditions, you may notice that suppliers use 'mileage' rather than 'kilometres'. Please note that whether 'unlimited mileage' or a 'mileage allowance' is listed, car hire suppliers in Australia calculate distance in 'kilometres'.

  • Unlimited Kilometres If the rental conditions state that the car hire package includes 'unlimited kilometres' or 'unlimited mileage', it simply means that whether you travel 200 kilometres or 2000 kilometres during the course of your rental period, there are no applicable fees and charges for your usage.

  • Kilometre Allowance In certain circumstances, car hire suppliers will apply a kilometre allowance to a rental package. Reasons for this can be in relation to a specific type of rental vehicle or hire location.

    When conducting a quote, it is important to review the rental conditions to determine if a kilometre allowance is applicable and how the allowance has been detailed. It is especially significant when reviewing car hire comparison websites, as each supplier can use a different format for outlining their rental terms.

    We have illustrated two examples below of how suppliers may present their kilometre allowance.

    Example: Five (5) day car hire with an allowance of 500 kilometres.
    • Kilometres Included Per Day: 100
    • Kilometres Included Per Rental: 500

    The top tip to remember is that no matter whether suppliers stipulate the allowance as a daily rate or in its entirety, you will only incur additional costs should, upon returning the vehicle, the odometer reading exceeds your outlined allowance - in this example, 500 kilometres.

    Applicable Fees: Should you exceed your outlined kilometre allowance, the supplier may charge you a fee for every additional kilometre travelled. For example, one supplier details a fee of $0.25 (25 cents) for every kilometre exceeded. For the above example, if you travel 593 kilometres, you will incur a charge of $23.25 plus GST ($0.25 x 93 kilometres + GST).

    Ensure you peruse and fully understand the terms and conditions of the supplier. The kilometre allowance information is generally displayed within the 'Kilometre Policy' (also referred to as a 'Mileage Policy') section of the rental conditions.
Plan Your Travels
Top Tip: Prior to booking a rental package, first take the time to plan your travels. Determine if you will be travelling a vast distance and, if required, use Google maps to help you with your research. Once you have a comprehensive understanding of your proposed travel distances, you will be in a better position to ensure you select a rental package that is most suited to your needs.