So you are going for a road trip in Melbourne?
Renting a car in Melbourne is essential especially if you are going to travel out of the city.
But I don’t know how to drive!!!
Okay… then get someone who can drive for you to travel together! There are tour buses that can bring you out of the city but that’s not the point of this post.
Renting A Car in Melbourne
This is our first overseas road trip and we have received several tips from our friends. It is not as complicated as planning an itinerary but it will still be good to heed some advises.
There are three things that I thought you should look out when you are renting a car in Melbourne.
1. Zero Excess Insurance
If you have a car accident and your car rental comes with a Zero Excess insurance, you might be spared from paying any damage for the car. Basically, it means that you have zero liability.
The policy may not include all types of accident. Sometimes, it may only cover minor accident (e.g. stone breaking your wind shield or scratching the car body).
Even though the car rental company has already included zero excess cover, it’s still better to read their terms and conditions before you get your butt on fire.
2. Type of Car
It may not be so obvious when you are renting a car for a city tour. If you are renting a car outside of city, you may want to make sure that you are renting one that can travel on most road conditions. You won’t want your car to stuck in the middle of the road because it couldn’t drive through that deep paddle of soil water.
You will also need to ensure that you rent a car big enough to store your luggage and barangs barangs.
Like… Don’t rent the smallest car for a 4-person trip just because you need to save cost lah. Be more realistic. You will have trouble keeping all 4 luggage in your car boot.
3. Price & Hidden Costs
Some rental companies charge their drivers for being young. If you are younger than 25 years old, you may have to pay more because it feels like you have higher chances to damage the car.
If you are planning to have more than 1 person to drive, you will have to pay extra for additional drivers. Unless you are very sure that your second or third driver will not cause any damage to the car, you can choose not to pay. In an event when an accident happens, you better pray that the main driver is driving the car to claim your insurance.
There is a vast difference between the rental companies in the airport and rental companies outside of the airport. It makes sense because you can imagine how much more expensive those rental companies in the airport has to pay for their lease.
Now Here’s Our Experience Renting A Car In Melbourne
All the tips above are the results from our research when we are renting a car in Melbourne.
When we first googled for car rental companies, there were so many that we have no idea where to start. Since it was our first road trip, we have to dig even further for those insurance terms and hidden charges.
How Much More Expensive For Companies In Airport?
Let’s compare Hertz (in Airport) and Apex (outside of Airport). Suppose we want to pick-up our vehicle on 18 June and return on 25 June:
Hertz offers the following cars and their respective rates (excluding insurance).
Apex offers the following cars and their respective rates (including Zero Access insurance and GPS).
It’s a very huge difference! We couldn’t find a rate for Zero Access insurance on Hertz website. Assuming it’s AUD 40/day, it is going to be a lot more than what Apex can offer us.
Really not? So much Cheaper?
Of course lah, we were also quite suspicious over the rate. We decided to take the risk and go ahead with Apex. So now we can tell you…
Yes, there is no hidden cost. What you have seen on the website will be the amount you paid for your rental car.
Yes, two more things…
The company will also tag your credit card to their “ERP” system. If you are driving out of the city via the highway, you will have to pay quite a bit for the fee (e.g. at least S$ 5). Our advice is to use the right credit card (e.g. DBS Altitude for foreign $) for the best rewards.
Please do not use their free GPS. The maps are outdated and they are not optimised for the best route. When we first use the GPS, we drove erroneously back to the city before driving to Phillips Island. We wasted like 1 hr in the city because of the massive jam over the weekend and this could be prevented if we take another route straight to the island.
If you have some other tips that you can share with us when you are renting a car in Melbourne, do comment below! We will be happier to know more!