When considering a car rental in Australia, it’s worth taking some time to consider what type of car would suit you best and what kind of driving you will be doing. Do you love to travel on smooth urban roads in air-conditioned comfort, or feel the wind in your hair as you explore the rugged Outback in a 4WD?
In general the larger the car, the more expensive it will be to rent. You will also need to consider how many people are likely to be in the car, whether you need a generous amount of storage space or if you could easily make do with a smaller, more economical vehicle and make your decision on this basis.
With petrol prices being what they are nowadays, the cost of filling up your vehicle is worth thinking about when making your choice.
As a result, it’s worth investigating each vehicle’s fuel efficiency when picking your rental car, especially if you plan on travelling long distances.
As a rule of thumb, a small car is better if you are going to concentrate your holiday in urban areas.
For instance, it might be better to choose a smaller car if the attractions you plan to visit are, say, within short driving distance from your Gold Coast accommodation or Sydney holiday apartment.
If you are only going to the major tourist attractions like the beaches, theme parks, botanical gardens or indulge in a spot of shopping, a small car would definitely suffice. You will probably find it easier to navigate the inner city roads and traffic better. Plus it’s always easier to find a parking spot.
If you want to embark on a scenic road trip along one of the popular touring routes on the east coast or head into one of the valley areas, you may want to consider a slightly larger car for long distance comfort. You will probably not need a 4WD if you are going to stick to the largely sealed roads along these touring routes — unless you plan to take a detour to remote areas in the Outback.
If you are more adventurous than other travellers and have more time to explore the vast Australian Outback landscape in the Northern Territory, the Red Centre or South Australia, you will probably require a 4WD vehicle.
This is because not all of the Australian Outback roads are sealed. In fact, most of the roads out here are unsealed dirt roads, and will need a 4WD vehicle to navigate properly.
While many of the gravel roads to major tourist attractions in the Outback are generally well-maintained, they can be susceptible to weather conditions. For instance, they can be frequently washed out after it rains. Additionally, flooding can occur from overflowing creeks and the muddy conditions can last for a long time.
These roads can also get corrugated if there is heavy traffic and it will be a very bumpy and uncomfortable ride if you’re in a small car.
Before making a trip out into the countryside, it’s best to speak to the car rental company about where you when to go. They can essentially advise you on the right vehicle to hire and give tips on how to operate the four-wheel drive in a vehicle when needed.
Whatever car you choose for your holiday, you will need to make sure you are adequately insured, just as you would for your own car insurance when you drive your car.
You should check the type of insurance the rental company is offering, what it covers you for and what excess you would be expected to pay should you have an accident.
In most cases, you can even get an extended policy if you feel that the level of insurance on offer is insufficient. After all, it is a smart thing to be adequately covered for peace of mind on your holiday.