Choosing the Right Car for Your Needs: 5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Car Hire

Renting the right car for your needs can be a simple process if you keep five easy-to-remember points in mind when planning to rent. These five factors can be the difference between a pleasant hire and a nightmare characterized by availability complications, additional hidden or unexpected charges, or simply finding yourself with a vehicle that doesn’t suit your needs. Following this simple guide will hopefully help eliminate the potential for any issues that may arise throughout the hiring process, and provide some effective tips to ensure you have the right information before hiring.

1.    What size do you need...?:

The majority of car rental companies in Sydney and elsewhere have three variants in car size. These generally are as follows; compact cars such as the Nissan Micra or Toyota Yaris, sedans like the Toyota Corolla and larger 7 or 8 seater vehicles, for example the Hyundai IMAX. Considering the difference in price between a compact car and a large people mover, it is worth deciding early how much space will be required. Take into consideration how many passengers you will need to cater for, and how much baggage space will be necessary to ensure your journey begins in comfort, and not with an over-crowded vehicle!

2.    Biggest not always best:

Consider your needs prior to booking a car. If a smaller car will have sufficient room, then this is the way to go. Remember the smaller the car is the easier it will be to manoeuvre, the less fuel it will use and most importantly the vehicle size determines the price, so the smaller the car the lower the hire costs. When comparing prices of car hire in Sydney, differences can be quite substantial, so make sure you hunt around and pick an appropriate vehicle.

3.    Licensing requirements for nationals and foreigners:

Car hire in Australia requires no more than a C Class license (NSW) to drive any of the three car variants mentioned above, including the IMAX people movers. For travellers and overseas visitors if you have a valid International Drivers Licence or a Licence which is in English then you are able to drive in Australia. You are unable to drive in Australia if your Driver's licence is in a language other than English and you do not have a valid International drivers licence. Your International driver’s license must include a photo of yourself and you will be required to present your passport with your license.

4.    Search and book early:

Cheap car rental in Sydney can be a challenge to find towards the end of the week, with weekend rentals being the highest in demand. Demand is especially heavy during peak holiday periods, for instance, during the Easter and Christmas breaks. Booking in advance will certainly help avoid disappointment and last minute price hikes. Whilst the majority of car rental companies, particularly in Sydney, will push prices up to match shortages and demand, there are a few select car and truck rental companies that maintain price stability regardless of demand, which favours the customer. Seek out reviews to make sure the company is reputable and that the cars available are likely to be relatively new and in good condition. The last thing you need for your rental is a older car that will potentially just cause problems, so do your research, find a reputable car hire company and book as early as you are able, as you are then not only assured of having a vehicle available, but will not have to worry about excess costs or price-hikes either.

5.    Insurance cover for the unexpected. Hidden charges...? Excess reduction schemes...?:

Insurance conditions can vary dramatically from company to company, so it is important to ensure that you have as much information regarding insurance as possible. Be mindful of hidden charges; find out if the quoted price is the actual price of the rental, because some companies impose hidden charges, such as taxes and fees that are not included in the base price. It may also be worth looking into insurance excess reduction during the rental process. Insurance excess reduction is an optional extra at the discretion of the hirer. It allows you to reduce your excess by a significant factor for small daily addition to the rental amount ($5-$20, depending on the type of car, and the age of the hirer). Summary: As the need arises and you find yourself requiring a rental car in Sydney, or elsewhere, some research and planning will go a long way in securing a good deal. Book as early as possible to ensure that any potential issues with vehicle availability can be resolved well before required, and also to ensure that they have a car of the appropriate size to fulfill your needs. To avoid any last minute price hikes, excess costs or hidden charges that may arise, be sure to seek out reviews of the car rental company you intend to use. Are they reputable? The last thing you want to have to deal with is additional unexpected costs, or a vehicle that is more likely to cause problems than be of any service.