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Cheap car rental made easy

While a road trip can be a great way to get you away from the everyday hustle and bustle, don’t jump into booking cheap car rental without proper research.

There are indeed many companies offering cheap car rental. Always be careful and consider the following tips. We will try to help you find your best deal so you can hit the road and start exploring.

Cheap car rental

1. Book in advance

When you book in advance you will almost always get a better deal than at the counter. And it’s easier and quicker. The last thing you want to do after a long flight is deal with rental car companies at the airport and negotiate a deal.

Be sure to take all your documents with you as proof of hire and your rates to avoid any hassles (scan and save in your email account).

2. Read the paperwork thoroughly

Before fixing the deal for cheap car rental, make sure that the paperwork is thoroughly studied by you. While rushing through it, you may miss on some important terms and conditions which might turn out a major surprise for you once you are back from your trip. Do not leave room for any doubt or uncertainty. This will save you from paying the extra charges, which we are sure no one really wants.

3. Check the insurance

Most of the cheap car rental come with full insurance. However it is always better to check that you are being covered from every aspect. This will help you understand whether there will be any excess charges or not. Ask the hire company what is your excess in case of the accident. It is important to know what happens if it is a “one vehicle” or “not at your fault” accidents.

Here at Low Cost Car Rental in Sydney we always read the important terms and conditions to our customers. If you hire a car from someone else, make sure you ask those questions before driving away.

4. Stick to the known cheap car rental companies

If you are hiring cars frequently, we suggest you to find one company and stick to it. For example, Low Car Rentals always give some discounts to our return customers. It is not always a money value. Our repeat customers often get free car delivery, GPSs or extra kilometres at no charge.

5. Keep a tab on discounts

There’s no issue if you aren’t regular with the car hire, you are still entitled to get discounts and other free extras. The only thing you have to do from your part is to ask for it. Also, don’t forget that most of the companies offer “Price guarantee” policy. Get a quotation from another car rental company where it clearly states what car they offer, kilometres allowance and insurance excess amount with the price in the local currency (e.g. AUD in Australia). You will most probably get the same deal from any other place. Low Cost Car Rentals often beat price by offering further discounts. Unfortunately it is always a subject to the cars availability and might not work with another discount or offer (e.g. free GPS or Unlimited kilometres package).

6. Check the fuel policy options

Almost all rental car companies will require you to return the car with the same amount of fuel it had in the tank at pick-up. Others operate a fuel policy where you, the renter, must purchase the first tank of fuel and may drop the car off empty. In this case, there may be no refund for unused fuel.

Where the car hire company charges for fuel, the cost may be higher than it would be at a local petrol station.

7. Age requirements

In most locations, the minimum rental age is 21 years. Additional fees can apply with certain car rental companies for drivers aged under 25 years or over 65 years. They are defined as more at “risk” drivers.

If you’re not yet over 25 years but are traveling with a companion who is, have them be the designated driver to save on this cost.

8. Additional driver fee

Extra fees typically apply for additional drivers. If you can get by with having only one designated driver you’ll typically save $15 per day. Of course, NEVER run the risk of driver fatigue, a few extra bucks is nothing when it comes to your safety and that of others on the road!

9. Additional state taxes and admin fees

Be aware of additional state taxes and fees that may apply if you cross state borders. And don’t lie about where you are taking the vehicle, because if you have an issue you probably won’t be covered by insurance! Always ask the rental company of any restrictions of the vehicle use. Don’t forget to ask if the quotation you got includes all the administration fees and is final. So you will not be mandated to pay extra money when picking up the car and will be in the situation where you have no choice but paying it.

Here in Low Cost Car Rentals, all our prices and quotations we issue are final. Remember it is often issued with an assumption that you are over 25 years old and hold a full Australian Driver Licence. If you don’t meet the age requirement or still on your Ps, make sure to tell the rental company about in advance.

10. Don’t use your debit card

Book using your credit card. Not only for added consumer protection and rewards points if it’s a rewards card, but rental companies tend to hold a larger deposit for use of debit cards and the hold on your deposit may take days to be returned.

11. Inspect your car before driving away

Do a thorough inspection of your rental car before driving out of the lot. If you find any damage fill in the documentation (get a copy) and take pictures with your phone so you have a time & date stamp. You don’t want to be held liable for damage from a previous driver.

Remember, You are entitled to do any checks you feel required. You can start the car, check the lights and air conditioning are working. Obviously all the car rental companies supposed to offer only safe cars to drive and perform all-around checks of the vehicles before offering to you. However, especially in the peak season, it is better to take the extra 15 minutes and have a proper look of the car you intend to hire.

12. Extra day may be cheaper

Cheap car rental often start when you hire a car for long term. Sometimes a 7-days deal can be cheaper than a 6-days one.

Often if you pick up the car at 9am and return at 10am, it can count as an extra day. Make sure you ask the car rental staff on how you can save on your rental prices. May be you can drop a car a little earlier to avoid paying the extra day. Sometimes, dropping off the car on a public holiday can involve the holiday surcharge.

If you can make a note of these points, can help you comparing the car rental prices from different companies. Also, you will be able to save money on car hire along with enjoying a leisure trip.

Cheap car rental deal is a good way to start your journey.

Rent vs Own II

Rental cars for long term or buying a vehicle – Scenario #2

Rental Cars vs Owned

We have already proven that buying a brand new car when you only use it over the weekends is 3 times more expensive than rental cars.

You can do a quick recap over here: Long Term Car Rentals VS Buying Car – Scenario #1.

The calculations in the previous post were around medium size car Toyota Corolla.  If you were to rent a people mover (7 or 8 seater), you could expect the purchase price would be even higher. Therefore hiring such vehicle will save you more money than owning one.

Lets put another life style under the review.

Scenario #2. Extremely active family. Driving from and to work on a daily basis, constantly taking kids to school, driving to shops multiple times a week.

Now, lets also assume they are taking long holidays a few times a year – Snowy Mountains for 3 weeks in winter, Byron Bay for 2 weeks in spring, 2 long weekends in Jarvis bay during summer and 2 days at the Blue Mountains in Autumn. Not to mention, they like camping so would need a 4WD for most of their adventures.

Wow, we have one of the target of finding the cheapest option for those guys.

As you can guess, buying a 4WD just like renting one for the whole year will be very expensive. Nevertheless renting will still be cheaper. A brand new Toyota Kluger AWD would cost you at least 44,000.00$. Interests on such loan will be through the roof.

Our goal this time is to minimise the family expenses so they still have some money left to have fun at all those places they are visiting.

To achieve the goal, we will need to come up with a mixed option. Don’t forget rental cars can be changed almost every day.

You can go from a very cheap option renting a Hyundai Getz or similar. A week later you could rent a 12-seater mini bus in case your relatives are in town. Then, you can hire a Four Wheel Drive to go to snow in winter or camping in summer.

 

Rental cars

 

Lets roughly calculate how many days you would need the all wheel drive for.

3 weeks in Kozciuszko National Park is 21 days. Renting a 4×4 car will cost about 70$ a day, that rate would include the unlimited kilometres and insurance with default excess. The price for the whole period will be 1470$.

2 weeks in Queensland is 14 days. The total will be 980$.

6 days down south in Jarvis Bay and 2 days up at the Mountains will come to 8 x 70 = 560$.

Lets add at least 3 weekends camping, another 420$.

The total cost for renting the AWD would come to 3430$ annually. I don’t see a reason to continue calculating. There would be no way you can buy even used 4WD for this amount of money.

Its not over, we shall find out what would the family do for the rest of the days when they need to go to work and drop kids to school?

There is roughly 240 working days in the year. Renting a medium size car like Toyota Corolla would cost you 240 x 35 = 8400$.

Guess what? This active family still paid less than a cost of the used car from the scenario #1 (to remind you the previous family sold it for 15,000.00$).

Once again, when hiring a car, you don’t need to pay any extras except your rental fees. When buying one, you pay for the service, road side assistance and insurance out of your pocket.

So scenario 2 proves rental cars for any of your needs all year round are still cheaper when buying a used vehicle and paying all the extra costs for its registration, maintenance and insurance.

Rent VS Own

Long term car rentals or buying a car – Scenario #1

What is cheaper – long term car rentals or owning a car?

Long term car rentals vs Owned cars

I have been asked this question way too often. Therefore I became curious myself and did some calculations. I had proven, these days it is potentially easier and much cheaper to hire a vehicle rather than buying one.

Below is to prove the statement above is legitimate.

Firstly, we will have to make a few assumptions:

 

Assumption #1. A person or a family changes cars every 3 years.

Assumption #2. There is always a rental car company available in your area.

Assumption #3. You are over 25 years old with a full Australian driver licence and have not lost any demerit points in the last 3 years.

 

Secondly, we would want to do similar calculations for different life styles.

Here is the Scenario #1. Young family, active life style involves a lot of travelling. The public transport is used to get from and to work. Car is mostly used on the weekend to visit family and friends, do shopping and go on hiking or to the beach.

 

Buying a car.

Lets use the calculator on the Toyota website: Car Loan Calculator

Here we are going to buy a delightful Toyota Corolla 5 doors Hatchback Petrol (latest model). We will take the 3 years loan with 5000$ deposit. The calculator shows the cost of 921.62$ monthly with 7.5% interest rate. The repayments part will equal to 33,178.32$ for 3 years, so the total car price including the deposit money will become 38,178.32$

Toyotas are one of the best cars in the world, the most reliable and the dealers are freely offering drive-away prices, means you do not need to pay anything for the registration and green slip for the first year. However the consequent years will cost you approximately 1200$ annually. So it is 2400$ for 3 years.

The expenses don’t end here. To get the best out of your warranty and not to get into a trouble with your car, you will have to service your vehicle regularly. You can find the service fees from one of the Sydney Toyota Dealers here Toyota Capped Price Servicing.

Here we are assuming you don’t travel more than 400km a week. That would come to 20800km a year, around 62400km for the period of 3 years. Considering above, each service would cost around 140$. Please note that in case you need the new oil, engine or suspension service, tyres or break pads replaced, it is charged on top. Approximately 50$ each time. According to this schedule Toyota Service Intervals you will need to service your car at least 6 times in 3 years. That brings the total cost to (140 + 50) * 6 = 1140$.

The expenses list goes on. Nowadays it is absolutely essential to have the 24×7 road side assistance. Costs 199$ annually and comes to 597$ for 3 years.

Now, the most interesting part – the insurance. Considering that most of the hired cars have comprehensive cover included in the rental fees, would be fair to base our calculations as we were to purchase the full comprehensive insurance. That is where we need the assumption #3. If you are a driver with a good driving history you can be lucky to get the cheapest premium which is about 1000$ a year. This brings us to 3000$ expense over 3 years.

Fortunately, we can sell the car in 3 years and get some money back. Lets check Car Sales to know how much we can expect. Luckily, Toyotas always keep their resale value, you can get impressive 15000$ back when selling the vehicle.

 

Rental vehicles.

Lets review the above and see what fees are applicable when renting a car.

Car cost are equivalent to the rentals fees. It would be about 70$ for 2 days each week with 400km included. Brings it to 3640$ a year.

Registration and green slip – 0$.

Servicing – 0$. The Rental Cars Company takes care of it for you, you just need to bring the car back in time.

Road side assistance – 0$. Because it is included into the rental fees of the most car rentals.

Insurance – 0$. The default insurance is already included.

 

To conclude:

 

* buying a car for 3 years will cost you 45,315.32$ but you will get 15,000.00$ back. Surprisingly the cost of owning the car over 3 years was 30,315.32$.

* renting a car for 3 years would cost you 10,920.00$.

As per above, hiring a vehicle is almost 3 times cheaper than owning a car. Also, lets not forget the rental cars are almost hassle free. And that is the reason why the car hire is in demand these days.

The only benefit of buying a car, you will get to drive a brand new vehicle with that factory smell in it that eventually goes away. Obviously, new cars can be a disadvantage to some who knows the pain of getting the first scratch.

Feel free to perform your own calculations if you think of checking whether buying a used car will make much difference. Obviously, the vehicle would cost you less but servicing of a used car always involves bigger cost. There could be additional costs of pink or blue slips depends on the car age. Lets not forget, the resale value of the older vehicles might not be as attractive.

Car Rentals vs Public Transport

Rent a car Vs Public transport in Sydney

Rent a car vs Public Transport

Are you wondering to rent a car or catch a train while in Sydney?

You are not alone. This is probably the most asked question on Travel Forums.

Every tourist visiting a country would always ask themselves how to get around the destination quicker.
We always want to see as much as possible in such short period of stay.

Renting a car always involves risks in case you do not have enough experience or you do not have a place to park it while staying at cheap hotels.

Getting around on the public transport is a little bit cheaper. However you are limited to the public transport network.

Let’s investigate all the pros and cons of both solutions.Continue reading