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Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Car in Australia
Getting a rental car can make or break your vacation. You may be happy that you are not using your own vehicle or you could appreciate the freedom that the car can give you to see your destination.
In Australia, over 400,000 people from all over the world rent cars in the country every year. One of the biggest cities in the country that people like to go to is Melbourne.
So, when looking at hiring a car in Melbourne, what should you be aware of? What aspects of a Melbourne care hire can make or break your trip?
These are some of the most common questions asked when it comes to car rental in Melbourne.
FAQs About Renting a Car in Australia
- 01 How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?
- 02 Do You Need an International Driver's License?
- 03 Is It Easy to Pick up a Car at the Airport?
- 04 Is There a Kilometer Limit on Cars?
- 05 Can You Get a Refund if You Cancel the Trip?
- 06 Can You Add Other Drivers for Free?
- 07 Do You Have to Get Gas Before Returning the Car?
How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?
In Australia, the age requirement has two answers to it. So, to actually be able to drive a rental car in Australia, you have to be 21 years old. That is the youngest age that is legally allowed to get behind the wheel and have insurance cover damage if something happens to the car while you are driving it.
For those of you that are from the United States, this is good news if you are in college or just getting out of college. The reason is that the minimum age to rent a car in that country is 25 years old.
However, Australia has a catch for those that fall between the ages of 21-24. You are going to have to pay an additional cost to drive that vehicle at a young age. This can add a fee to the daily rate because younger drivers can be considered at a higher risk to cause damage to the car.
Do You Need an International Driver's License?
Some countries allow you to show your country's driver's license as long as it is written in the same language as the one that country speaks. When it comes to Australia, that may not necessarily be the case.
Most of the time in Australia, you will need an International Driver's License that acts as the official translation of your country's driver's license while also allowing you to drive anywhere in the world.
The only time that there may be an exception to this is if you have a driver's license from an English-speaking country. Sometimes, having the driver's license in the same language that the country speaks can be good enough. However, if you find yourself in that situation, you may want to have your passport with you just to be safe.
With all of that said, getting an International Driver's License is usually relatively easy and very reasonably priced. So, it is best to get this organized before coming to Australia.
Is It Easy to Pick up a Car at the Airport?
With Australia's location, almost everybody coming from abroad is going to be flying in. Most people will probably be looking to pick up their rental car near the airport. In this case, can you find a car hire in Melbourne Airport?
Having that as an option usually makes it a lot easier for travelers to start their vacation right away.
The only other option is usually getting a taxi or taking public transportation to a destination that may be cheaper to rent a car but usually adds a lot more time to the process.
When it comes to finding out about rental car companies in certain airports, you can use the airport's website, which usually lists those companies. Alternatively, you can search local rental car companies and see if they have that airport as an available pick-up location.
Is There a Kilometer Limit on Cars?
Sometimes, rental car companies will limit you to driving a certain amount of kilometers with the car for free if you are only renting the car for a short time. This is something that you need to pay attention to before you get the car because if you ignore this, then you can end up surprised with a surcharge fee at the end of your trip.
Find out in advance if there is a kilometer limit before you start getting charged. Most of the time, there is no limit on kilometers. However, if there is a limit on it, you can plan around that. Figure out how many kilometers you have to work with and if it does not make sense to take any off, start putting aside money for that additional fee.
Can You Get a Refund if You Cancel the Trip?
Finally, there are going to be unforeseen circumstances that come up that force you to potentially cancel an upcoming vacation. This is especially the case during pandemic times when someone may test positive for COVID or not feel well enough to travel.
When these unexpected situations happen, the first thing smart travelers try to do is to get as much of their money back as possible. Sometimes, this is not always possible and it ends up costing the travelers a lot of money.
However, these rental companies are not completely unreasonable. Most of the time, they are willing to work with you to give you your money back. Typically, if you cancel a trip with more than 48 hours' notice, you are likely at least able to get your deposit back and any insurance premiums that you might have already paid for.
Receiving a refund for last minute cancellations is where it starts to become more difficult. It is understandable when you think about it from the rental company's perspective because if you cancel on the day of the booking, they are likely not going to have enough time to replace your booking.
Sometimes canceling a day or less in advance cannot be avoided if something unexpected comes up. But, if you feel like you know you will have to cancel, try to do so with more than 48 hours notice.
Can You Add Other Drivers for Free?
One issue that can come up with a car rental service is when you are traveling with a group of people and you want to have more than one person drive the rental car. While there are some rental companies that will let other drivers be added onto the plan for free, there are other companies that will charge you an additional fee for having to add other drivers to this.
An instance where a fee can get added is if you are the primary driver and older than 25 but you have someone else in the group that wants to drive who is younger than 25. As stated above, there can be a surcharge that is added to this.
The additional fee for multiple drivers can be a decisive factor for some groups, especially in Australia. That is because Australia is one of the biggest countries in the world.
With that in mind, some destinations within the country can be a day's trip from one another. So, certain groups are going to want to have a few people drive if they plan to travel to the other side of the country by car.
Ask about this and read the fine print on deals. If you have another driver that you do not report on a rental car and they get into an accident with that car, you could be liable for all of the damage on that car.
Do You Have to Get Gas Before Returning the Car?
Finally, one question that those who are new to renting cars may not think about is how the fuel policy works with rental car companies. You may not think about this, but you will notice that when you receive a rental car, the car is basically going to have a full tank of gas.
However, what you may forget about with this is what happens when you have to return the car. It is very possible that you may not think about how much gas the car has left in the tank before you give it back to the rental car company.
Well, you need to keep in mind that with most rental car companies, you are going to be expected to return the rental car with a full tank of gas. When you think about it, it is a pretty fair policy because you are going to receive the car with a full tank of gas, so you are going to be expected to return the rental car as you got it.
With this in mind, make sure that you factor in the fuel cost to get the car back to a full tank before you get hit with an unexpected fuel fee.
Start the Process of Hiring a Car
These are just five of the most common questions that are asked when it comes to hiring a car in Melbourne and other major cities in Australia. Make sure you are organized and read the fine print before you come to Australia.
Are you ready to find a cheap car rental in Melbourne? Book your rental car with us today.
Australia Travel Tips
Average gasoline price$1.82 / liter
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