Car rental rates during the pandemic

suze2000

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Yeah but when I rent, I want to try something newer than my own car, and a different model to boot. It helps when I'm choosing my next purchase to look at it as a very long test drive.
 

frequently

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I suspect the hire companies know exactly what they are doing. They know what to do to protect themselves during a downturn, they would not have done too badly in selling cars they couldn’t rent out and they will rebuy at prices we cannot access. And they are doing very well with their current rental stock obviously if they are renting out at higher prices.
car rental companies get offered slow moving models all the time. The importer would rather sell them to rentals in bulk that coughise the price to the public. In NZ they still import 1000s of Japanese used cars every year. They pay stuff all for them & so 2nd tier companies rent them cheaply. They've virtually stopped it here. Used Taragos/Estimas were brought in as campers but never converted.
 

docjames

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I‘m not surprised there’s cheap rates for transporting rentals to CNS before end of June. Bookings are steeply priced, and accommodation in eg. Port Douglas is virtually nonexistent during school holidays (at one stage only option left in PD was the backpackers)..
 

frequently

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I‘m not surprised there’s cheap rates for transporting rentals to CNS before end of June. Bookings are steeply priced, and accommodation in eg. Port Douglas is virtually nonexistent during school holidays (at one stage only option left in PD was the backpackers)..
u need to look harder. Just because one online booking site says nothing available, doesn't mean that's true.
 

cj4119

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I’ve found Sydney, Launceston and Hobart all tricky to find reasonable prices of late. Mind you I generally book everything last minute, but since everyone sold most of their stock during the pandemic (no point paying reg and ins for idle cars) I’ve strayed from the main rental companies and used eg: Bargain Car Rentals, and played with the pickup drop off times to bring the price down. Dropping the car off after hours and getting an Uber to the airport the next morning saved me over $100 a couple of times.

Hopefully they don’t get used to these prices, get some new stock in, lower their rates and give us a decent choice
 

mhubert

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I mostly use Europcar, for the rates. That's been in Sydney, & well in advance, & they were cheaper & available compared to the others. Note - sometimes the rate is better when you check as a non-member than a member! And use Incognito in your browser. I've also happily used Economy Car Rentals in Aus & overseas. The different comparison & direct sites have different deals too - some unlimited km's, some without (usually remote locations where that gives them a huge profit). The other tip is to fiddle with the pickup & dropoff time combinations, as that can sometimes effect availability & rates. Last, with overpriced locations due to short supply, try renting a second hand car, or a commercial vehicle or a ute from a petrol station, or Bunnings!
 

oz_mark

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Hopefully they don’t get used to these prices, get some new stock in, lower their rates and give us a decent choice

Herein lies the problem. Getting new stock in is difficult at the moment due to a shortage of new cars (due to the global shortage of semi conductors)
 
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frequently

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I mostly use Europcar, for the rates. That's been in Sydney, & well in advance, & they were cheaper & available compared to the others. Note - sometimes the rate is better when you check as a non-member than a member! And use Incognito in your browser. I've also happily used Economy Car Rentals in Aus & overseas. The different comparison & direct sites have different deals too - some unlimited km's, some without (usually remote locations where that gives them a huge profit). The other tip is to fiddle with the pickup & dropoff time combinations, as that can sometimes effect availability & rates. Last, with overpriced locations due to short supply, try renting a second hand car, or a commercial vehicle or a ute from a petrol station, or Bunnings!
as very few backpackers in the country, campers are often a cheaper alternative than cars
 

frequently

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Surely you're not seriously suggesting any of the national car rental companies in Australia would buy used cars to rent out are you?
some buy or take over cars from other rental car companies. Noticed Hertz now have cheaper subsidiaries with older cars. They even share offices in places like Cairns city.
 

OZDUCK

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Earlier on in this thread I had wondered about the current rental prices in NZ. Following the recent remarks about used cars at rental companies I had a look at Apex Rentals in NZ - who I rented off in 2014.

I used exactly the same parameters as for that trip - 25 days rental of a 4 or 5 year old Corolla auto with 2 drivers. Pick up Auckland City and drop off Christchurch Airport. Plus one way Cook Strait ferry tickets for the car and 2 people. The excess is $3,000. The price quoted was $1,705 while in 2014 I paid $1,408 so around a $300 rise in 7 years and GPS was included this time. The current price is very reasonable to my mind.

Edit: All in NZ dollars.
 

oz_mark

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new stock doesn't have to mean brand new cars.
The majors usually have fleet agreements with manufacturers. SO I can't see the Avis/Hertz/Thrifty of the world going down the not new path. It also cascades down, the second hand market is pretty tight at the moment....
 

vetrade

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some buy or take over cars from other rental car companies. Noticed Hertz now have cheaper subsidiaries with older cars. They even share offices in places like Cairns city.
Got any specific details to back that up? Can you name a major which has taken over used stock from another in, say, the last 5 years (not including shifting of cars between branches of the same company)? Hertz's only listed subsidiary in Australia is Thrifty (Dollar defunct here). AFAIK Hertz has 2 offices in Cairns city but they don't share either with Thrifty or any other rental companies
 

frequently

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Got any specific details to back that up? Can you name a major which has taken over used stock from another in, say, the last 5 years (not including shifting of cars between branches of the same company)? Hertz's only listed subsidiary in Australia is Thrifty (Dollar defunct here). AFAIK Hertz has 2 offices in Cairns city but they don't share either with Thrifty or any other rental companies
search firefly to start with. Vaguely remember other brands in CNS Hertz office. Think Ace might also be owned by Hertz.
 
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SYD

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It may have been mentioned earlier, but km limits (then ¢/km thereafter) are creeping in - particularly in leisure destinations (eg CNS, DRW) - even on corporate rates.

500kms doesn’t go far in the NT 😡
 

frequently

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yes so when Hertz finished with a car after 12 months or so many kms, it's passed onto Ace or Firefly & then rented at a cheaper rate to be competitive with 2nd tier rental car companies. Makes sense, rather than sell them off cheaply. Once went to a car auction & was highest bidder on a car & told thee owner wanted more. Found out only then, it was an ex-rental only, so walked away.
 

docjames

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u need to look harder. Just because one online booking site says nothing available, doesn't mean that's true.
Obviously, but as a marker of how busy it is, I’ve never seen a school holidays where you couldn’t find something easily enough with a basic search. Inventory online frequently can change too so it may have freed up Now (haven’t looked for a while).

I’m sure direct contact to hotels would yield something if someone was keen enough as you point out.

Mix of fleets being shed due to lockdowns / early stages of COVID protect the balance sheet, and now a boom in domestic travel it’s poor stock flow of new cars to Aus, and it’s no surprise the car rental companies are both struggling for fleet stock and charging “premium” prices.
 

frequently

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Obviously, but as a marker of how busy it is, I’ve never seen a school holidays where you couldn’t find something easily enough with a basic search. Inventory online frequently can change too so it may have freed up Now (haven’t looked for a while).

I’m sure direct contact to hotels would yield something if someone was keen enough as you point out.

Mix of fleets being shed due to lockdowns / early stages of COVID protect the balance sheet, and now a boom in domestic travel it’s poor stock flow of new cars to Aus, and it’s no surprise the car rental companies are both struggling for fleet stock and charging “premium” prices.
there's a major issue raised in Port Douglas, about how much commission is being sent overseas to online travel agents. Some 20 to 30%, which pushes up prices & none of the commission stays in Australia let alone Port Douglas. Locals trying to claw back some of this commission. So looking on one site, might only reveal 1/2 of what's actually available. No one site has everything, even some that claim that to be the case. Talking to one hotelier who said, they had to push up prices to pay these huge commissions.

RE CARS
If you don't mind driving a camper, these are now much cheaper than cars in many cases.
 
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