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The Official Car Rental Blog
20 February, 2013 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

Top Reasons for Variations in Airport Car Hire Quotes

When comparing airport car hire online, you may find some significant differences between the quoted prices and inclusions for the detailed rental packages. There are a few factors that relate to the pricing differences and one of the primary components is that there are major and independent suppliers servicing airport locations.

So, what are the key differences between the rental packages provided by major and independent airport car rental agents? We hope the following information will assist in detailing why you may find variations in quotes and the importance of taking the time to compare to ensure you select the rental package right for your travel needs.

Tips for Airport Car Hire


When using a comparison website, you will notice that rental packages will display an icon to illustrate whether a shuttle service / meet and greet is offered, or if the supplier is located at the airport.

An aeroplane icon will stipulate that the supplier is located directly at the airport, which is also referred to as 'on-site', with majority of major suppliers occupying on-site space. Due to this being prime realty and offering the advantage of more prominent exposure, car hire agents will generally incur higher operating costs when located on-site. As a result, such operating costs will result in the supplier reflecting this in their rental package pricing. Ultimately, if you would like the convenience of picking up and dropping off directly at the airport, you may find your rental package will be slightly higher than that of an off-site competitor.

Airport Car Hire Icons

Suppliers located off-site, but presenting airport rental packages, will be located within close proximity to the airport. Independent suppliers are key players in offering off-site airport car rental packages. They are usually only located a five to 10 minute drive from the airport and their rental packages will include a free shuttle service to and from their depot.

Top Tip: Avoid Airport Taxes If you are flexible with your options and looking to save costs, you may like to opt for a supplier not located on-site. Off-site airport car hire suppliers do not incur airport fees which, when applicable, are passed onto the car hire customer. Alternatively, you may like to conduct a quote for a downtown (city) location for your pick up and drop off. While it means you will need to find your own transport to and from the airport to the rental depot, your rental package will not incur any airport taxes.

Vehicles on Offer

Sometimes you may find special deals that relate to hiring a vehicle that is older than the general 24 month standard. Most major suppliers will have a fleet comprised of vehicles that are no more than 12 to 24 months old. Independent suppliers have a greater level of flexibility and can host a fleet of both new and older (more than 24 months old) vehicles. This means that they can present a variety of rental packages to suit various budgets.

If you are searching for an economy 'super-saver' rental package and the age of the vehicle is not a main priority, you may like to review the specials on offer from an independent supplier.

Quoted Rate Comparison

Comparison Example
You can rent a Super Saver 2000-2005 or similar (Hyundai Getz) for 14 days for $447.93 with the option to purchase a complete cover package to reduce the excess to nil for an additional $19.00 per day.

For the same vehicle model but newer (Hyundai Getz or similar) you can rent for 14 days at a cost of $583.38. A complete cover package can be purchased for an additional $33.00 per day with the excess payable reduced to nil.

*Please Note: The above are examples only based on a quote conducted for a specific airport location for a 14 day rental period. For a comprehensive and up-to-date quote based on your required car hire needs, please complete our free online form.


All suppliers will strive to offer customers the best rental packages with a great list of inclusions. There are a list of inclusions that are standard, while others are supplier dependent - some suppliers will include as a standard feature while others have restrictions in place that are based upon aspects such as the age of driver, type of vehicle hired, and hire location.


One of the key inclusions that varies across suppliers and their locations is unlimited kilometres. While most rental packages do include this, there are instances where a kilometre allowance is applicable.

A key example of this relates to the type of vehicles car hire suppliers offer within their fleet. The luxury and premium car hire range is generally available from major suppliers more so than from independent suppliers (unless they specialise specifically in such vehicle types). A large portion of luxury and premium car rental packages will have a kilometre allowance applicable. It is important to note that while an allowance is detailed at a daily rate, you are able to drive for as many kilometres during one day, as long as you do not exceed your maximum allowance for your entire rental period.

Kilometre Allowance Example
A seven day rental package detailing a 100 kilometre per day allowance means you can drive a total of 700 kilometres over the course of your rental period. You may find that you travel 250 kilometres on day one of your trip as a means to arrive to your destination with minimal driving required during your stay, but another 250 added to your itinerary for the return leg. As long as your odometer reading upon returning to the supplier does not show more than 700 kilometres travelled, you will not incur any additional charges.



A top tip to remember is that the quoted price may not be the final price you pay. Certain suppliers may opt to detail a basic rental package but once you decide to add optional extras and additional items to your rental package, your car hire price may be significantly more expensive.

Take the time to plan for what you need. Work out the reasons for why you are hiring a vehicle, where you are going to travel, car space you will need, and any other additional aspects that may influence the costs for your rental vehicle.

Comparing suppliers and rental packages will be of great benefit to your car hire booking process. Review the individual terms and conditions and explore all your options to ensure you select the vehicle that is ideal for your needs.