A Guide To Hiring a Vehicle in Australia

Australia is known for its adventurous and picturesque landscapes that can only be fully appreciated by road trips. Whether you’re a local or an international visitor, hiring a vehicle is one of the best ways to experience the vastness and beauty of Australia. But with so many options available, choosing the right vehicle can be overwhelming. In this guide, we will help you navigate the world of car rental in Australia and provide you with tips on how to hire the perfect vehicle for your next adventure.

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What To Consider While Researching A Vehicle To Hire:

When you decide to rent a vehicle, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Choosing the right vehicle for your trip can greatly impact your experience and overall satisfaction. Whether you’re planning a road trip, a weekend getaway, or just need a car for a day, your rental vehicle should suit your needs.

Read below what factors you’ll need to consider when researching a vehicle to hire:

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One of the first things you should do when planning a trip to Australia is to book your vehicle early. Vehicle availability is short and in high demand, especially during peak travel seasons. You may need to show flexibility in terms of vehicle types, pick-up locations and times. Keep in mind that flights can always be changed, but a vehicle hire has limited availability. Therefore, it’s best to book your vehicle before your flights to ensure that you have the right vehicle to suit your needs.

Most rental car business prices fluctuate based on supply and seasonal demand. Just like booking an airline flight the prime window to book your hire car is two months to 9 months in advance. 

Australia is a vast country with diverse landscapes and terrain. Before you book a vehicle, it’s essential to reflect on how you want to travel. Do you want to explore the cities and towns along the coast, or do you want to venture off the beaten track and explore the outback? The answer to this question will determine the type of vehicle you’ll need. If you’re planning to stick to the cities and paved roads, a compact car will suffice. However, if you’re planning to explore the rugged outback, you’ll need a vehicle with four-wheel drive capabilities. Consider the number of passengers you’ll have, the distance you’ll be travelling, and the amount of luggage you’ll be carrying when selecting a vehicle.

We highly recommend you getting in touch with our friendly Red Dirt 4WD Rentals team, who will be able to give you professional advice regarding your trip. We can also help you with itineraries and will gladly answer all your questions! 

Before selecting a rental vehicle company, ensure that you read the rental agreement/ terms and conditions carefully. Many rental companies will have additional charges for items such as GPS, child seats, and additional drivers. Ensure that you understand the liability reduction options provided and any exclusions. Keep in mind that not all rental companies offer unlimited kilometre rentals, and you may be charged for additional kilometres. Also most companies prohibit the use of their cars on unpaved roads. Take a close look at your rental terms and conditions, and do not hesitate to ask any questions. It’s essential to choose a rental company that has a clear and transparent agreement, with no hidden fees.

Each car rental company has different cancellation policies. Make sure you read their policy in their terms and conditions, as you may be charged a fee if you need to make changes or cancel your booking.  

Liability Reduction Options comes in many different shapes and sizes and is referred to in numerous ways, from Damage Excess Fee, Protection Plan or even Coverage Options. Regardless of how it’s referred to, it’s designed to protect you against the charges that may apply in the event your rented car is stolen or damaged. This is taken as a bond payment, which is an amount of money frozen on your credit card. Providing there are no additional charges at the end of your rental, the bond will be returned to the same card. 

Like your regular car is insurance at home, all cars are comprehensively insured, however in the event of damage or incident you’ll have to pay a damage excess (We refer to this as your lability). Your excess is the dollar amount that comes out of your pocket when your vehicle needs repair. The rest is covered by insurance. For example: If your repair bill is $10,000 and your excess is $550, then you pay $550 and the cars insurance pays $9,450. If an accident is as a direct result of a breach of the Terms and Conditions, then your excess amount will be unlimited. 

The maximum excess amount you are liable for should be communicated to you when booking your vehicle and/or upon collection. This amount can vary significantly depending on the location you’re renting in and the type of vehicle you’re hiring.

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Be Aware of Additional Surcharges Some Vehicle Rental Companies May Charge:

While renting a vehicle, it’s essential to keep in mind the additional charges that some vehicle rental companies might apply. These charges can add up to your final bill, and it can be quite frustrating to have to pay for them if you weren’t aware of them beforehand.

Read below some of the additional charges some vehicle rental companies charge:

Some vehicle rental companies may limit the amount of kilometres you can drive. Keep in mind that exceeding the kilometres allotment could incur an extra fee per kilometre. Be sure to check the allowed kilometres and associated costs with the rental company before taking possession of the vehicle.

Luckily, all Red Dirt 4WD Rentals vehicles come with unlimited kilometres so there is no need to worry about the distance you can travel! 

If you are under 21 years old, renting a vehicle may not be possible with some vehicle rental companies. It is important to note that for some rental companies, a young driver fee may be applied for drivers between the ages of 21 and 24. This fee can vary depending on the rental company and should be carefully considered before renting a vehicle.

Red Dirt 4WD Rental hirers under 21 years of age are not permitted to drive. Red Dirt 4WD Rental hirers aged from 21-24 will incur a young driver fee. 

If you’re renting a car and returning it to a different location from where you picked it up, you may be charged a one-way surcharge. This is usually the case with many car rental companies. The cost varies depending on the distance between the pickup and drop-off locations. Therefore, it’s essential to compare rental companies and their offers to determine the one that has the best deal for you.

Red Dirt 4WD Rentals charges a one-way fee for any hire under 21 days. 

If you run late picking up your car, you might pay for the late pick-up fees. Hence, if you are flying to Australia, fill in the correct flight details when renting your car. If there are any delays, please inform the vehicle rental company in advance.

Most vehicle rental companies in Australia start charging an hourly rate after 30 minutes if you return the vehicle after the agreed time. Therefore, ensure you are not running late to drop off your vehicle.

Vehicle rental companies may require an out-of-hours fee or public holiday fee if the pick-up or drop-off happens outside regular business hours. It’s best to confirm with the rental company any associated fees before scheduling your pickup or dropoff times.

Red Dirt 4WD Rental charges an out of hours fee and/or public holiday fee for pick-ups and drop offs outside opening hours. Opening hours might differ from location so please view our website for the latest opening hours. 

When returning a rental car, it is important to remember to fill the tank with fuel. Failure to do so may result in the car rental company charging you for premium fuel price.

Red Dirt 4WD Rental will charge a fuel service fee if the vehicle reads less than the level it was at the commencement of the Hire Period as specified in the relevant Vehicle Condition Report.

Vehicle rental companies require that rental cars be returned in the same clean condition as when they were first rented. As a general guideline, if you can write your name on the side of the car, it’s advisable to visit a cleaning bay and wash the car before returning it. Failure to do so may result in a cleaning fee being charged to your account.

At Red Dirt 4WD Rentals, we kindly request that our customers return their rental cars in the same clean condition in which they were initially rented. By doing so, you’ll avoid any additional charges for cleaning fees. We have a cleaning agreement that customers must sign at pick-up to avoid any issues and gain an understanding of our expectations.

Vehicle rentals companies in Australia often impose an administrative fee to cover the costs associated with record-keeping and other administrative tasks.

In the event of damage Red Dirt 4WD Rentals will charge an administration fee to cover the costs of processing the paperwork. 

Additional fees may apply for optional extras such as GPS map viewers and child seats. When renting a camper, you may also incur extra costs for outdoor tables and chairs, crockery, and bed linen.

See Red Dirt 4WD Rentals Optional Extras.

When making a payment in Australia, it’s important to be aware of potential bank or currency exchange fees. While these fees are not under the control of vehicle rental companies, they are determined by your bank provider.

To avoid any surprises, we recommend reaching out to both the rental company and your bank to inquire about any additional bank fees that may apply.

Process Of Booking Your Hire Vehicle:

Congratulations on finding a hire company that ticks all the boxes! Now it’s time to book your hire vehicle and prepare for your upcoming adventure. But before you hit the confirm button, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a smooth booking process.

Read below some of the booking proccess for Red Dirt 4WD Rentals (other companies may have slightly a different process):

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First and foremost, you will receive a quote for your hire vehicle. This quote will include the rental rate and any additional charges for extras such as child seats and your Liability Reduction Option. It’s important to check if the quote is within your budget so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay. If you have any questions about what is included in your hire, this is also a good opportunity to call reservations and speak with a representative.

If you are ready to proceed with your booking, the next step is to covert the quote into a booking. Many hire companies require a deposit to secure your booking, and Red Dirt 4WD Rentals is no exception. With our company, you can book ahead of 28 days and provide a 20% deposit to secure your vehicle. Depending on how far in advance you this deposit may be non-refundable, so it’s important to make sure your travel plans are solid before you commit. 

Red Dirt 4WD Rentals Cancellation Policy

Within 28 days of your rental start date, the full balance of your hire will be due. At this point, you will receive a reminder email with instructions on how to pay the balance. It’s important to keep track of the due date and pay the balance promptly to avoid any cancellation fees.

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Your Trip Is Almost Here! How To Prepare:

The countdown is on, and your long-awaited trip is almost here! Whether you’re heading out on a camping adventure, exploring new cities, or embarking on a road trip, proper preparation is the key to a smooth and hassle-free experience. 

Read below some ome useful tips and tricks on how to prepare for your upcoming adventure.

First things first, let’s talk about your travel plans. If you’ve flown a long distance to reach your destination, we recommend not travelling too far for your first night away. Give yourself time to rest and acclimate to a new environment. Choose a nearby location or campground and settle in before setting out on any significant adventure. This will help you feel more relaxed, rested, and ready to tackle your upcoming journey.

Need some Itinerary advice? Look at our range of itineraries on our website or call us for recommendations. 

Packing for a trip can be a daunting task. To make it easy, we recommend using a soft bag or backpack to store all your clothes and essentials. These types of bags are easier to pack into your vehicle without impacting the valuable space you might need for other items. When it comes to camping, remember to leave your fancy clothes at home and pack something comfortable that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Don’t forget to check out our packing list before you leave to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip!

Now let’s talk about fuel, food, and water. This will be your mantra for the journey ahead. Before you hit the road, your rental vehicle should be full of fuel. We expect it to be at the same level of fuel upon return, so be on the lookout for petrol stations along your route. At Red Dirt Rentals, we can fill up your water tank with safe-to-drink tap water. However, if you’re not used to Australian tap water, we recommend buying bottled water. Don’t forget to plan for grocery shopping along the way so you have plenty of food and snacks for the journey, which will save you money in the long run.

What To Expect At Pick Up:

The pick-up process can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming. What documents do you need? How does the security bond payment work? What should you expect during the vehicle demonstration?

Read below the pick-up process step by step:

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Many vehicle rental companies now offer the option to complete your check-in process online. This can save you time and streamline the pick-up process. You’ll typically receive an email or text message with a link to your check-in portal. Here, you’ll be prompted to enter your details, such as your name, address, and driver’s license number. You may also be asked to provide your flight details and estimated arrival time.

In addition to your self check-in confirmation, you’ll need to bring a few physical documents with you to the pick-up location. These include a valid credit or debit card in the driver’s name, a current, full, and valid driver’s license, and any additional drivers who will be driving the car, along with their licenses. If you’re visiting Australia from overseas and plan on driving, you’ll need to bring an English translation or an International Driving Permit with you.

Most vehicle rental companies require a security bond payment when you pick up the car. This is typically a hold on your credit card, which allows the rental company to cover any damage to the car. It’s important to note that the amount of the bond can vary depending on the car type, rental period, and liability reduction option you choose. Make sure you ask about these options when you pick up the car.

Before you drive off in your rental car, you’ll be given a demonstration of the vehicle’s features. This will typically include a walk-around inspection to check for any existing damage, instruction on how to operate the car’s controls, and information on the type of fuel the car requires. Make sure you pay attention to these details and ask any questions you may have. You don’t want to be caught off guard later on in your trip.

Finally, take your time to carefully inspect the car before you leave the lot. This includes checking for any dents, scratches, or other pre-existing damage. Make note of any issues on the rental contract and take photos as well. This will help protect you from being charged for damage that was already present when you received the car. When you return the car, be sure to show these notes and photos to the rental car representative.

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What To Expect During Your Hire:

While renting a vehicle, it’s essential to keep in mind the additional charges that some vehicle rental companies might apply. These charges can add up to your final bill, and it can be quite frustrating to have to pay for them if you weren’t aware of them beforehand.

Read below some of the additional charges some vehicle rental companies charge:

During the rental period, you are responsible for all fines, private parking charges, road tolls and other similar charges. This includes parking fines or charges. Ensure you read through the rental agreement carefully before signing, and ask the rental company representative about any additional charges that may be applicable. It’s always better to be informed upfront than to be hit with unexpected charges later on.

If the vehicle breaks down during the rental or you have an accident, follow the rental company’s procedures. Don’t attempt to have the vehicle repaired without approval, as this may result in additional charges. Contact the rental company immediately, and they will guide you through the next steps.

If you have approval for a reimbursement during your hire, keep a valid tax invoice. A standard card-card machine receipt will not be approved. Keep all receipts and invoices relating to your car rental, including petrol receipts, parking tickets, and toll charges. In the event of a dispute, having these documents on hand will make it easier to resolve any issues.

Finally, a 4WD rental adventure is a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of the Australian outback and experience its rich culture and wildlife. It’s crucial to soak up everything and enjoy the adventure. Take your time to enjoy the scenery, interact with the locals, and learn about the history of the places you visit. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude, and you’ll create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

What To Expect After Your Hire:

While renting a vehicle, it’s essential to keep in mind the additional charges that some vehicle rental companies might apply. These charges can add up to your final bill, and it can be quite frustrating to have to pay for them if you weren’t aware of them beforehand.

Read below some of the additional charges some vehicle rental companies charge:

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One of the crucial things to keep in mind when renting a car is the return location, date, and time. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your rental agreement, including the deadline for returning your car, any fees for late returns, and if you can drop off the vehicle outside of business hours. It’s essential to return the car to the designated location on time so that the rental company can prepare it for its next rental.

Don’t forget to refill the tank before returning the rental car. Failing to do so can result in costly refuelling fees. Also, take the time to give the car a good cleaning before returning it. A clean car will not only decrease the chances of any damage charges, but it’s also any cleaning fees.

When returning the vehicle, meet with a representative from the rental company. They’ll inspect the car for any damage or signs of excessive use. Be sure to take note of any damages beforehand and allow the representative to inspect the car thoroughly in your presence. This way, both parties have a clear understanding of the car’s condition, and it’ll be easier to deal with any discrepancies that may arise.

It’s understandable if you expect to get your bond deposit back right away. However, it’s important to know that the process can take a while. Rental companies may take up to 10-28 business days after the car’s return to reimburse the deposit if all outstanding fees have been settled and subject to the terms and conditions.

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Relocation Driver Expression of Interest

Disclaimer : Images are indicative only. Actual vehicle may vary and is not able to be requested.

4WD & Off-road Safari Camper Package

Perth - Broome

07 May 2024 - 11 May 2024


Please note: Relocation deals are not available to book via our booking system. This offer is exclusively applicable to new bookings and cannot be combined with any other offers. All other standard Terms and Conditions are applicable.

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