Car rental in Darwin - any tips? vers 2

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kpc

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There was an old thread about this but it is now closed:(
http://www.australianfrequentflyer....nd-limos/car-rental-darwin-any-tips-8825.html
Thinking of hiring a car for Ozfest. I've looked up Avis, Hertz, Budget, Europcar and Thrifty....all of them only include 100km; after that they charge around 0.23cents / kilometre upwards, and this adds up very quickly!! Even this site: Getting Live Rates... suggests the hire cars in Darwin only come with 100km included. Anyone know any company (I suspect unlikely tho) that has unlimited kms even though the base hire rate night be higher?
thanks
 
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markis10

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Short answer is no AFAIK, as someone who has to visit Katherine once in a while I always have fun explaining the mileage charges, not much you can do!
 

Mwenenzi

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Try Vroom.com.au. Putting in 3 days from Darwin city (not airport) it shows unlimited km with Thrifty & Euro but 300km for the rest. Sometimes these 3rd party sites have different conditions to direct. But buyer beware

Would expect there is "rent a wreck" or equal in Darwin given its a backpackers haven
 
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kpc

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Try Vroom.com.au. Putting in 3 days from Darwin city (not airport) it shows unlimited km with Thrifty & Euro but 300km for the rest. Sometimes these 3rd party sites have different conditions to direct. But buyer beware
Unfortunately, when you click on a Thrifty or Euro car, it is 300km for 3 days or 100kms /day.
Short answer is no AFAIK, as someone who has to visit Katherine once in a while I always have fun explaining the mileage charges, not much you can do!
I think you are correct unless anyone can prove us incorrect:shock:
 

AdMEL

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Short answer is no AFAIK, as someone who has to visit Katherine once in a while I always have fun explaining the mileage charges, not much you can do!

That's not correct - see below.

Try Vroom.com.au. Putting in 3 days from Darwin city (not airport) it shows unlimited km with Thrifty & Euro but 300km for the rest. Sometimes these 3rd party sites have different conditions to direct. But buyer beware

Would expect there is "rent a wreck" or equal in Darwin given its a backpackers haven

Although Europcar and Thrifty cars don't show any km limit on the front page of the link you provided, when you select any of their cars, they all say they are limited to 100km!

I used Expedia Australia a couple of years ago to hire a full size car (Commodore SV6) from ASP through Hertz, but it appears they don't have unlimited km's anymore. Worked well - I rang Hertz and got the booking linked to my #1 Club Gold - but was still costly - about $400 for 3 days with excess reduced to either $400 or $0 (I can't remember which, as I don't usually reduce the excess, but did for my travel mate's benefit). It was still cheaper than paying the excess km charge though, considering we drove approx. 1,500km!

Other intermediaries that I have found that offer unllimited km:

ntstandby - min. 2 days, through Europcar

territorydiscoveries - unlimited km through Hertz, Europcar, Thrifty & Budget

See websites for further details. Note that you can't book online with either - you can e-mail enquiry or ring.

I haven't used either of them, but will next time I'm in NT. They're both large reputable agencies - ntstandby has been around since 2006.

Hope that helps.

EDIT: Cost starts at about $100 per day for a small car.
 
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markis10

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That's not correct - see below.

For the majors booking direct or through a TA it is, the loophole with Hertz was closed when the Franchise was bought out 24 months ago, also note there are now charges from Hertz to collect at the airport and drop off in the city.

My last few months of rentals I have been renting every day and I have to say the low KM encourages renters who dont fill the tank after 40-50K, I think 7 from the 12 rentals I had needed $15 of fuel when I travelled only 40km, which was reimbursed by Hertz and Avis but still a PITA. If your wondering why I have so many rentals, in the wet they are $30 a day and I credit to VS, which are per rental mileages ;)
 

AdMEL

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For the majors booking direct or through a TA it is, the loophole with Hertz was closed when the Franchise was bought out 24 months ago, also note there are now charges from Hertz to collect at the airport and drop off in the city.

My last few months of rentals I have been renting every day and I have to say the low KM encourages renters who dont fill the tank after 40-50K, I think 7 from the 12 rentals I had needed $15 of fuel when I travelled only 40km, which was reimbursed by Hertz and Avis but still a PITA. If your wondering why I have so many rentals, in the wet they are $30 a day and I credit to VS, which are per rental mileages ;)

The OP asked whether there was any way to rent a car with unlimited km, to which you replied no. I advised this was not correct and provided two examples - one of which you also provided at about the same time!

Thanks for the further info though.

$30 a day - that's dirt cheap! Which company/car/rate?

Obviously you haven't been hiring through Hertz, since they now require you to provide a receipt if you drive less than 120km.
 

markis10

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Thanks for the further info though.

$30 a day - that's dirt cheap! Which company/car/rate?

Obviously you haven't been hiring through Hertz, since they now require you to provide a receipt if you drive less than 120km.

Both Hertz and Avis charge $27-30 a day for a group A during the wet, although now that Hertz have moved to the shopping centre I prefer Avis despite being a Presidents Circle member, both have never asked to see my refuelling receipt but I usually show them since its so high :D. I also like the I30s from Avis, they are a nice car and would take it over an Epica which Hertz often given me.
 

kpc

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markis10

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Looks good, thanks....will check them out. Need to decide how many days I need the car for:oops:

Hopefully not too many, I will be one of the friendly bus drivers for Ozfest. Me renting from Thrifty, who would have thought that would happen :D:D. Note to self, the bus does not handle like an i30!
 

AdMEL

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Looks good, thanks....will check them out. Need to decide how many days I need the car for:oops:

kpc, what did you end up deciding on? Interested in who you use, cost and experience, for when I'm next in NT. Thanks.
 

kpc

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Hopefully not too many, I will be one of the friendly bus drivers for Ozfest. Me renting from Thrifty, who would have thought that would happen :D:D. Note to self, the bus does not handle like an i30!

kpc, what did you end up deciding on? Interested in who you use, cost and experience, for when I'm next in NT. Thanks.
Haven't decided yet.....may just go with the friendly bus driver aka as markis10 to save all the hassle:D
 

AdMEL

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Having spent 4 days in NT last weekend, I thought I'd share my car hire experience, for the benefit (hopefully), of others.

Two mates and I had a full size 4WD from Europcar, which ended up being an 'NT Spec' Mitsubishi Pajero GLX, with a second spare tyre mounted on the roof and a proper steel bull bar. We travelled 1,400km, picking up from DRW airport, travelling to Litchfield NP, via Berry Springs, with a side trip to Surprise Falls, then to Jabiru, with a day trip to Jim Jim Gorge and Twin Falls, then back to DRW airport.

Prior to the trip, we decided on a 4WD as we wanted to go to Jim Jim and also wanted the flexibility to get to places only a 4WD can get you to (Surprise Falls fitted this category). We were initially looking at an unlimited km deal, through ntstandby or territorydiscoveries, which meant a an auto Toyota Prado with Budget (which was the cheapest), a manual Prado through Hertz (manual appealed!), a Mitsubishi Pajero through Europcar, or something through Thrifty. Thrifty was discounted straight away due to a bad experience a couple of years ago (appalling customer service, bordering on arrogance). Closer to the time, standard 100km/day rates fell significantly and it became apparent that they would be cheaper than the unlimited km rates.

Then it came to the conditions!

Hertz specifically prohibit driving to Jim Jim and Twin and have a Single Vehicle Accident excess that it didn't appear possible to remove (no MAX cover appeared available in DRW), so they were quickly ruled out, given where we wanted to go and the higher chance of a single vehicle accident on dirt roads.

That left Europcar, Avis and Budget.

Budget - conditions allow driving on gravel roads and don't prohibit driving on any roads in NT (e.g. Jim Jim), but do prohibit driving outside cities at night (which wasn't an issue, since we didn't plan on driving at night). To be sure, I rang the airport branch and asked whether there were any conditions for driving in NT and specifically whether I was allowed to drive on the gravel road to Jim Jim. I was advised by the person I spoke to that driving to Jim Jim was not allowed. I asked where this was in their terms and was advised to contact the manager by e-mail, in a tone that was almost rude. After contacting Avis (see below), I sent the mgr an e-mail explaining what I'd been advised and requesting clarification, based on my reading of the terms, not expecting a reply. To my surprise, the mgr (Phil) responded the next morning, advising that I was correct - there was nothing in their terms that prohibited driving to Jim Jim, but they preferred I didn't. Very different to what I'd previously been advised! They ended up being ruled out as I didn't find the Prado comfortable to drive.

Avis - similar to Budget (not surprising, given they are both owned by the same company!), conditions allow driving on gravel roads and don't prohibit driving on any roads in NT (e.g. Jim Jim). They were initially my preferred option, as I have a preferred membership and they have Pajero's, which I'd driven at the start of this year to Lake Eyre and knew I'd fit in. Again, I rang to clarify whether I could drive to Jim Jim. Again, I was initially told I could not. I asked to speak to the mgr and was advised to ring the city location, again, in a tone that was bordering on rude. I rang the city location and the mgr (Darren or Damian) answered the phone - I advised what I had been told by the airport staff, which appeared to contradict the conditions. His immediate response was that driving to Jim Jim was not allowed and that he would cancel my reservation if I liked! I said that there was no need to be nasty - I was seeking clarification. I asked where in the conditions it was prohibited - he replied the conditions prohibit driving through river/creeks. I advised it was my understanding no river crossings were required to get to Jim Jim, only Twin. He said that he had not driven the road, but my rental agreement would be stamped prohibiting driving to Jim Jim! He also stated that they had written three cars off in the area this year, as justification for the prohibition. His attitude was rude and arrogant. If they don't want people driving there, they should amend their terms, as Hertz have done. Avis ended up being ruled out due to the arrogance of the mgr.

Europcar - conditions prohibit driving from Jim Jim to Twin. Given my Avis and Budget experiences, I again rang and was again initially advised that driving to Jim Jim was not allowed. When I advised the terms say otherwise, the person initially tried to look it up. I asked could I speak to the mgr, to which I was advised politely that the mgr was not contactable, but I could call the city branch and speak to the mgr there, who was knowledgeable/experienced. I rang and spoke to the mgr (Hayley), who was friendly, knowledgeable and polite! She confirmed my understanding and advised that provided I purchased 4WD cover for about $20 a day, I was covered to drive to Jim Jom but not Twin, due to the river crossing and the poor road from the river to Twin.

I ended up using Europcar's standard rates with the Privilege 10% discount, which ended up costing $920 but was still significantly cheaper than the unlimited km rates through Europcar (although slightly more expensive than the unlimited km rate through Budget). Unless you are doing an exorbitant amount of km in a very short time, they don't appear worth it.

I also found that greataussieholidays.com.au had reasonable unlimited km rates through Avis, with a $1,950 excess. It appears to be the Qld tourism website, but they had car hire for NT as well.

Having now driven to Jim Jim, the road is very good for 80% (good enough to drive at 100km/h), then for the last section, it becomes a real 4WD road. We did cross the river and drive to Twin, which was no worse than the last the section to Jim Jim. The river crossing was 550mm deep was well within the capabilities of the Pajero, which can ford to a depth of 700mm.
We had no issues.

Hope this is of some help to other members.
 

Simo

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When i hired a car from DRW a few years ago could not get unlimited KM on line.

So i rang the local hire car depots in DRW and got a unlimited rate.

I did not get points because of it but who cares as we drove down to Alice and the rock.
 

AdMEL

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wow AdMEL, very informative, thanks

Agree, very informative, thanks!!

No worries!

When i hired a car from DRW a few years ago could not get unlimited KM on line.

So i rang the local hire car depots in DRW and got a unlimited rate.

I did not get points because of it but who cares as we drove down to Alice and the rock.

This may have been the case a few years ago, but isn't the case now - I rang and asked about unlimited km and was told either it was not offered or the only to get it was to book through a travel agent.
 
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