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Car Hire Tips

Choosing a Vehicle

Before renting a vehicle you should consider not only how many people you will be transporting but also how much luggage you may have. If you have a lot of gear than perhaps an SUV / 4WD may be the best option. Alternatively, if you're looking to save money on rates, gas / petrol then you are probably better off with a smaller vehicle.

You should also know that sometimes smaller cars aren't necessarily cheaper, for example, if smaller cars are in demand it may be worthwhile to check vehicles the next size up, which may be better value if there is more of them available.

Booking Your Vehicle

Always try and book your car as far in advance as possible. This not only gives you a better chance that your vehicle will be available, but also may give you better rates. If you're travelling from overseas, try booking your vehicle at the same time as your flights, and always confirm your booking before making the flight out.

The benefit of using Car Rental Buddy is that you get to view all the best rates from all major suppliers. This will give you the best choice of availability and also the best rates.

Personal Belongings

While on holidays, it's often easy to forget about small items like wallets, purses, phones, keys, cards or other personal belongings. Always make sure you check the car thoroughly before you drop it off. At times vehicles tend to be re-rented straight away, and if you accidently leave something then you may find it difficult to retrieve.

It's a good idea to keep a small checklist of your items and quickly go through it whenever you leave a place, for example, leaving the airport, or a shuttle bus, a hotel, and your car rental.

Driving in Australia

In all parts of Australia vehicles must travel on the left hand side of the road. In many other locations around the world this is the opposite and some drivers find it difficult to adjust.

If you rent a vehicle and are not used to driving on the left hand side, then perhaps first drive in a low traffic area and get accustomed to the different road position. This will help you to adjust and minimise the risk of having an accident. Ensuring that you are comfortable with driving on the left hand side is a must before you take any vehicle on the road, otherwise you could cause an accident.

Driver Age Limits

Before renting a vehicle it's important to know that many rental companies will not allow you to drive the car if you are too young or too old. These restrictions are mostly imposed by insurance companies who evaluate the risk involved in having a young or old driver behind the wheel.

Some companies may allow a driver as young as 18 to hire a vehicle, but only if they purchase extra insurance and liability cover. However, if you are thinking of hiring a commercial vehicle, for example a truck, then you may not be allowed to do so unless you are at least 23-25 years old.

On the other hand, if you are over 70 you may also find it difficult to hire a car. If you do fall into the too young or too old category, then you may like to travel with a younger or older friend, and they can act as your personal chauffeur while you sit back and relax on your trip. Although, you will probably have to shout them a few drinks with the money you save on any insurance cover.

Automatic or Manual Transmission

In Australia, the majority of cars have an automatic transmission, with manuals being the cheaper option to both buy and rent. Car rental companies who purchase manual vehicles will often rent them out at a much lower rate. However, if you're after an automatic you may find that it's not always available on the smaller and cheaper cars.

If you only hold an automatic transmission licence then be sure to always check the type of transmission before making a booking. Also, if you're hiring a car and plan to drive around town or during peak hour traffic then an automatic option may be easier, more relaxing and worth that little bit extra.