Now that my itinerary is in place, the next step in organizing my 3-week tour in Australia is vehicle rentals. Indeed, for this road trip, I need to rent a car the first 2 weeks to go up the east coast from Brisbane to Cairns and to rent a camper van for the 3rd week in the Red Center from Alice Springs.
The rental of vehicles in Australia represents a substantial budget. Here are the questions I asked myself before booking a car and a van online for my road trip in Australia.
- Is it better to book a vehicle online or is it better to rent it locally in Australia?
- What is the cheapest option: book directly at the car rental company or go through a rental comparator?
- What type of vehicle should I choose?
- What budget for renting a car in Australia?
- What budget for renting a van in Australia?
Road trip in Australia – What driver’s license?
Here is the rule that applies almost all car rental companies in Australia:
All drivers must carry a full driving license from their country of residence. If it is not in English (which is the case of French driving licenses), you must also present an international driving license or an adequate translation. The permit must be valid for the duration of the rental period.
Road trip in Australia – Reserve your vehicle online or rent on site in Australia?
This is the first question I asked on the forums. Indeed, I thought that before me others had to ask the same question. All told me to book online and as soon as possible and therefore at least a few months before departure. It is much cheaper than in the rental agencies on site where the risk would be not to have the desired vehicle and to go through ranges above and therefore more expensive.
Road trip in Australia – Book at the car rental company or go through a comparator?
This is different depending on whether you rent a van or a car. For the van, it is better and cheaper to go through an online comparator while for a car, it is advisable to book directly with the renter.
How to rent a Van in Australia?
Rent a van in Australia – Compare Rentals for van
Many blogs indicated that it is cheaper for vans to go through a car rental comparator than to book at the car rental company. I was able to do some simulations that confirmed that it is indeed a bit cheaper to book via a comparator. For camper vans, motorhomes and SUVs, the one with the best rates and the best booking conditions is MotorHomeRepublic. It is the leader in vehicle rental comparators in Australia. Rates can go down by almost 30% compared to live rentals. It is therefore through this site that I booked my van (see details below).
Rent a van in Australia – Which agency to choose?
First, via the comparator, you have to choose one of the best van rental companies. Simply put, here are the two largest (more reliable and more numerous on the territory): Apollo or Britz. For my part I chose Britz because it offered good insurance coverage at a reasonable price for a vehicle that suited me. Only downside: the high deposit that will be required on the spot (5 000 AUD).
Rent a van in Australia – Which camper van to choose?
We must privilege camper vans the most recent. Indeed, if you rent a vehicle over 10 years, the risk will be to break down with all the complications that would imply … The one I chose is less than 5 years.
As I only need the van for a short week and I go camping every night, I found it useless to choose a van with showers and toilets. Indeed, these two options are driving up prices.
So I chose a camper van very simple: 2 Berth Hitop with air conditioning cabin, CD player / radio, fridge / freezer, microwave and stove. The rate includes unlimited mileage, vehicle insurance with deductible and deposit of AUD $ 5000, VAT, 3% administration fee, bedding kit and kitchen equipment, additional driver and 24H roadside assistance.
In addition, I took out cancellation insurance. At the reservation, I paid a deposit of 63,21 €, the balance being paid on the spot.
Rent a van in Australia – What price for a camper van?
Here is the detail of the price for 1 week all-inclusive rental: 273 Euros
How to rent a car in Australia?
Rent a car in Australia – Which agency?
However, it is very difficult to compare because the conditions are often very different and complicated according to the agencies. Regarding the agency I chose, I favored the clarity of conditions, the seriousness, reliability and especially the price. Although I read quite a bad opinion about this agency, I still chose Europcar because the pricing was really much cheaper than with other renters (see details below).
Rent a car in Australia – Which car to choose?
As we travel for two, no need to take a huge car. So I booked a Toyota Corolla with air conditioning and unlimited mileage and will accommodate our 2 large luggage I preferred to add an intermediate insurance to AUD 243.10 (medium protection pack).
Rent a car in Australia – What price for a sedan?
Here are the details of the price for 2 weeks rental with pickup in Brisbane and deposit in Cairns: 721 Euros
Total transport budget for my road trip in Australia
997 Euros for 3 weeks:
Rent a camper vant for 276 € + rent a car for 721 €
See the itinerary of my road trip: