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Best Car Rental for Money

Asking car rental company the right questions can save you some money. It will also assure you get the most comfortable and convenient rental vehicle for your needs.

For example, if you let the rental company know you are only 2 people but you plan to carry a lot of luggage. They would recommend you renting a sedan over a hatchback. You might pay a little more but you will not face a trouble of trying to fit your surf board into the rental Toyota Corolla Hatch.

Unfortunately, people are still doing the same mistake. Even worse, then they shift the blame on the rental companies.

The most common mistakes:

  • Hiring the cheapest vehicle thinking any non-utility vehicle can fit up to 4 people comfortably. Wrong assumption. Compact vehicles normally can accomodate up to 5 “average” people. What is the average you would ask? Exactly! If you are tall, or a little overweight, or you need to fit a child seat besides accomodating the adults, please let the car rental staff member know about.
  • Hiring a 4WD when you plan to go camping. Most probably it will be the best option, but somewhat inaccurate assumption that any 4WD can go through the unsealed road conditions. And it is not only the vehicle, it is also the insurance options you have to be aware of. Letting the rental company know you are going off-road is a must.
  • Hiring a medium to large size sedan just because you have a lot of luggage. This is a tricky one. You can have 1 piece of oversized bag that might not fit in anything but SUV. Or you can have 5 or 6 small bags that any compact size hatch like Hyundai Getz would fit.
  • Hiring a ute or a van when moving the house. This is the most common mistake. If you only expect to deliver your old TV, a few chairs and clothes to your new home, you might even want to look into the options of renting a 7- or 8- seater where you could put the seats down and fit all your belongings. Moving the same things in the ute can be difficult and potentially dangerous, as you would have to make sure you secure your luggage in boxes, cover with moving blankets and tire up with the stripes.

Please remember, especially during the peak season, Low Cost Car Rentals gets at least 50 emails and over 200 phone calls every day. Our staff is trying their best to ask you all the important questions. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to make the final call on which car to rent.

What is the right knowledge the car hire company needs in order to provide you the best car for rent? Think before enquiring, may be they are some circumstances about your trip you need to let the car rental company know. Here is the short list of things that you might let your car rental company know before booking the car for hire.

Things to let car rental company know:

  1. Number of people who travel.
  2. How far are you travelling.
  3. What are the road conditions on the way (to be sure when are where you are covered by the insurance).
  4. Your Driver Licence conditions and Country of Issue.
  5. Whether you are familiar with the area in case you need to rent a GPS.
  6. What are the age of the youngest and the eldest traveller (children might need the baby seats to be fit for them, elder people might need side steps to be able to comfortably get in and out of the hire vehicle).
  7. How much of luggage you expect to carry at most. Please note on any oversized, irregularly shaped or fragile items.

Please do the home work to make sure the list is complete. Once you got a quote, please make sure you search the car on Internet and read its specifications.

There is always that one traveller who is unique and here at Low Cost Car Rentals we are happy to assist.

Choose between Toyota Corolla or Camry for rent

Often people enquiry Toyota Corolla, not Toyota Camry for rent. They think about saving a few bucks on the rentals. A lot of people know that the Camry is bigger in size that they see as a disadvantage. And not all people understand the compromises they make choosing a smaller car.

Both of these vehicles are popular Toyota models, but it can be difficult to tell their differences just by glancing at them.

Lets compare the two side by side and see if it is true. Hope this guide will help you choosing a better car for your next rental.

Why rent a Hatchback?

Corolla Hatchback for rent

Lets assume you already know that Toyota Corolla comes in two shapes – hatchback and sedan. The major difference between the two is the size of the boot. But it does not mean renting Camry will automatically allow you to carry more.

Hatchbacks are often referred to as 5 doors cars, meaning the access to the boot is through the fifth door and it is slightly bigger and more convenient than a boot access in the sedan. Why would it matter if the boot is small? Lets look at the real life examples that would help you to choose the cars for rent.

Scenario 1. Julie and Adam have bought a brand new TV 70″. They wish a car for rent to deliver their TV from the shop to their house. The best choice for Julie and Adam is the Toyota Corolla hatchback. Folding the back seats down will give them enough boot space and comfortable access to it.

Scenario 2. Matthew and Susan visiting Susan’s parents in Sydney. They travel with their newborn baby boy Ayden and carry a lot of baby stuff and a large bag of their own clothes and gifts for the relatives. The best option for Matthew and Susan is to rent a sedan, either Camry or Corolla. The bigger boot can fit all the luggage without folding the seats. The rear of the car will have enough space to install the special child seat for the newborn.

Why choose a Camry Sedan for rent over Corolla Sedan?

Toyota Camry - medium size car on rent

These models might look similar, but they actually fall under two difference classes of vehicles. The Corolla is considered a small size sedan and the Camry is a midsize sedan. Since Corolla is a smaller car, it might give you a slightly better mileage. However, the difference will not cost you an arm and a leg unless you intend to travel around Australia.

Lets modify Matthew’s and Susan’s situation described in the previous chapter and add another condition to the equation.

Now, the couple wants to visit a few relatives in the country and will need some space for Matthew’s in-laws Brendan and Bridgit. There would be only minimum of baby clothes and nappies in the boot. So some people might even think a Toyota Corolla Hatchback would will fit it all. Which is partially true. Any 5-seats car can fit 4 adults and a child seat. However, if you ever travelled in that car for more than 20km, you would understand our concern.

Conclusion.

A few things to remember, Toyota Camry is a more powerful car. Looking at the Toyota Corolla 2016 model Sedan and Toyota Camry 2016 model Sedan. Corolla is 132 horsepower versus Camry’s 178. It is a huge difference for our hilly and curly highways in NSW.

Toyota Camry will comfortably pick up the speed after slowing down on the turns, and will better handle up- and down- hills. Even having very big load on the car, you should be able to comfortably use the Camry’s cruise control allowing the car adjust the speed and get to your destination faster.

Surprisingly, not all the hatchbacks fitted with the aircon vents at the back.

So travelling in the overloaded Toyota Corolla most probably would add some time to get to your destination. You would also need to allow extra stops for the fresh air and limbs stretching. Give the driver extra support as they would need to handle most of the trip without using the cruise control.

To conclude.

  • If you have a large piece of luggage and/or only a couple people travelling, Corolla would suit your needs. See the detailed review of Toyota Corolla 2015 model Hatchback for better envisioning of the car interior and exterior.
  • If you have 4-5 adults travelling with or without luggage, renting a more powerful Toyota Camry would be a wiser option.
  • Corolla is a better choice for city use if you travel on your own and occasionally have 2-3 people in the car besides you. It is an easier car to park and it provides a better economy on fuel. You might even look into cheaper car rental options like Hyunday Getz for rent.
  • From safety perspective, lap-sash seatbelts offer better protection to passengers than lap-only seatbelts. All 5 seatbelts in Toyota Camry are lap-sash, so it would be a safer choice for 4+ travellers. Please check with your car rentals company first, as different year models might have different configurations. See Seatbelts Rules in NSW for more information on the setabelts safety.
People Movers Options

People movers hire for large families: 7- and 8- seaters

People Movers Options
The snow season is coming, so is the high demand for the people movers. We are always looking after our clients and want them hire the best suited car. Besides it will save them some money too.

There are now so many 7 seaters available. In this article we will focus on the mini vans only and I promise to put together another post on SUVs that suit larger families.

VW MULTIVAN

Pros: Can fit up to 7 people and would be very roomy inside. The car offers European safety, lots of power, diesel and good boot space. It is great for big kids and adults to travel comfortably. The vehicle is very reliable and goes the distance. This car is also known as a Volkswagen Transporter before being released as Multivan.

Cons and gotchas: height can be an issue in some carparks (look for 2.1m clearance). It is 7 seats but the 2nd row would be great as a bench seat making it an 8 seater. It can come with the table as an extra but how often do you think you might use it? A lot of people told us they have never used it. We are not sure if it was just our issue, however Low Cost Car Rentals team decided to replace all of our VW with Toyotas just because of our door problems in this specific VW model.

VW CARAVELLE

Pros: Newer models come as 9 seater which suits large families nicely. It is quiet spacious inside, european safety and quality. The car is reliable and well priced among other 9 seaters offered for hire.

Cons: Height can be an issue. Longer body than the VW Multivan for parking. The boot space is not as big but there is some room inside the van for bags etc.

HYUNDAI IMAX

Pros: It is probably one of the cheapest vans for this size. Mostly this car comes as a 7 seater, however it is possible to rent an 8 seater as well. Hyundai iMax offers good sized seats in the back. You can even walk around inside. You will be amazed with the great boot space too. Some rental companies add an extra 9th seat in the first row making it a 9 seater.

Cons: doesn’t have the european safety, you can also note some heaviness in the body and doors. Therefore the cheaper price. If you’ve ever opened a VW or Mercedes van then you know what I’m talking about. Some vans come slightly smaller in size if you only have little children (with little legs). Otherwise, make sure you ask the rental company about the dimensions of the specific model they offer.

KIA CARNIVAL

Pros: well priced, 8 seats, drives like a car as not as big as other vans, easy to park, no height restrictions to worry about. The newer Carnival model looks amazing with a new shape.

Cons: Not as spacious. Although it’s an 8 seater some of the seats are smaller in the back. Check you can fit all of your car seats in and still fold down the seat to get into the back. Carnival doesn’t have the heaviness in the doors and body compared to an european van. Older models had some engine problems. So make sure the company you rent it from offers 24/7 road-side assistance. Fortunately, I overheard the manufacture has already switched to new engine so be careful renting older models or cars with a lot of mileage on it. Always ask, if the rentals include the road-side assistance as well.

TOYOTA TARAGO

Pros: One of the best and the most popular rental cars among MPV. It is built to last and they just keep going and going (we see some older ones in our fleet and we have never had any issues with it). The car can be a 7 seater but most of the companies offer the 8 seater option. This vehicle is the most reliable car among all. It has very nice and attractive body shape. You will find it easy to drive and park. You will not have any height issues compared to the bigger vans.

Toyota Tarago

Cons: I could not think of any. You may pay a little extra but you will get what you paid for.

MERCEDES VALENTE, VIANO, VITO

Pros: european safety and heaviness in the doors and body, luxurious, reliable, roomy inside, great boot space, 8 seater and good full sized seats. Great for lots of kids, car seats and long legs.

Cons: Price, price, price. Luxury cars offer great comfort but you will have to pay for it.

CHRYSLER GRAND VOYAGER

Pros: roomy inside, 7 seats, reliable, luxury features. It is not as big as some of the other people movers.

Cons: Price and size. It is slightly smaller than others and will cost you some buck since it is considered a luxury car too.

HONDA ODYSSEY

Pros: Offers 7 or 8 seater options. It is not as big as some people movers so it will be easy to drive/park. Newer model has really changed and are larger.You will find some luxury features inside that will pleasantly surprise you.

Cons: Price. Also, it is not as big inside as other people movers which can be an issue with carseats.

MERCEDES SPRINTER MINIBUS

Pros: 12 seater, european build (think heavy safe doors and body) and safety features. It is reliable vehicle of a great quality, Would suit really big families and long travels.

Cons: Price – the vehicle itself isn’t cheap therefore the rental companies will have to price the hire fares accordingly. Height and size of van for shopping centres/carparks/parking can be a trouble.

TOYOTA HIACE COMMUTER

Pros: Big enough to fit the largest of families (OK maybe not the Duggars but plenty of room for everyone with 12 seats or 14 seats in the super long wheelbase), great for parties and playdates as extra seats, reliable and they go and go and go. The vehicle is well priced. Note: the word “commuter” means it is a people mover, also called full-size van and has 4 doors. Don’t confuse it with the commercial version of it that normally comes as a 2 seater and 2 doors, suited to move things.

Toyota Hiace Commuter

Cons: parking at shopping centres (you’ll need bus parking) and height considerations in carparks, OK parking full stop! Otherwise another great vehicle.

IMPORTS

The Japanese do some nice people movers that aren’t available from dealers and you might have seen a Nissan Elgrand around and there seem to be a few in Sydney. There is also a japanese version of Toyota Tarago called Estima – it mostly looks and feels exactly the same as the australian model. However it might come as a AWD and cost you more on petrol. Car Rental companies rarely supply the imports to their customers as they are more expensive in servicing and repairing. It could also get you in trouble with the road-side assistance if you need one – it might just take a little longer to help you when you need help.

Among other imports: Mazda MPV (seats 7), Hyundai Trajet (seats 7, older version of Hyundai iMax), Mitsubishi Starwagon (comes as 7 or 8 seater), Mitsubishi Grandis (seats 7).

CONCLUSION

To summarise will just list down all the things to consider when renting a family van:

  • how many carseats do you have/need to fit in and how many anchor points
  • how big is the boot for your pram (especially if you have twins, 2 or more little ones)
  • budget
  • where will be you driving (just locally, inner city, country etc)
  • how long do you go on family holidays for and is it big enough
  • reliability and reputation
  • easy to drive, park and get kids in and out
  • safety, safety and safety (e.g. how many airbags are fitted throughout the car)
  • petrol and the cost of it