Name (required)*:
Email (required)*:
Phone (required)*:
Date From*:
Pick-up Time*:
Date To*:
Drop-off Time*:
Pick-up Location*:
Drop-off Location*:
Select a Vehicle*:
Additional Info:

Sales and discounts

Avoid extra charges on cheap Car Rentals Deals

Sales and discounts

The rate of car rentals might look reasonable, but once you get the final bill for your rental car, the bottom line can be a shocker. Taxes, fees and charges for everything from an additional driver to satellite radio, concession charges at airport locations and refilling the gas tank – all this can quickly add up to a big surprise if you have not navigated the confusing world of rental car contracts before renting. Read the fine print before you go. And don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Q 1 – Insurance

Enquiry your car rentals company about the insurance included in the quotation. You need to know who and what is covered.

Questions to ask:

  • What is the excess in case of an accident?
  • Any additional excess in case of a single vehicle accident?
  • What if the accident is not at your fault?
  • What if there is a dispute in liability?
  • What if the repairs are less than the excess amount?

Q 2 – Roadside assistance

It is something you definitely need while on holidays. Unfortunately bad things happen – tyre puncture, empty fuel tank, broken or lost car key, etcetera. You don’t want to ruin the day of your precious holidays dealing with some towing service or booking a hotel in the area where the car broken down.

All the prices of Low Cost Car Rentals include 24/7 premium roadside assistance. It means a help is just 10-60 minutes away from where you are, depends on your location and type of the issue.

Q 3 – Location fares

If you found the best price, don’t often assume it includes the taxes and GST. Even though it is not entirely legal to hide surcharges and GST, some companies find legal ways to work around it. Do not hesitate to ask the rental company if the price is final. Ask if it includes the car delivery (if applicable), airport fares or any other fees when picking up the car.

Check the company’s drop-off policies, which may include hefty charges for one-way rentals or drop-offs at a different location.

All quotations issued by Low Cost Car Rentals are final and include all the taxes, fares, delivery fees (if applicable) and refundable bond.

Q 4 – Membership points

If you own some credit card that has an awesome points system. Don’t use it just yet. Ask the rental company if there is any charges apply when paying with the credit card. Some companies charge it daily, most of the time it is one-off fee.

Low Cost Car Rentals does not charge any fees for any of the accepted payments methods.

Q 5 – Car Rentals fuel policy

Most of the companies follow theĀ “full tank out – full tank in” policy. It is worth confirming though. You don’t want to get a car with 10% of fuel in and then being asked to return it with a full tank.

Also, sometimes you can be in a rush when returning a car and will not have a chance to re-fill the tank. Ask the rental cars company if there is any charge apply in this case.

If you happened to return a car to Low Cost Car Rentals with less than 100% in the tank. We would refill the car for you and only charge you the amount we pay at the petrol station. This is only valid if you return the car to our CBD location in Alexandria or Sydney Airport. Please ask our staff for any extra charges if you return the car into a different location.

Q 6 – Fines and toll payments

Obviously during the rental period you are liable for any toll payments, fines or parking tickets. If you know you would be travelling through the paid roads, be careful. With some car rentals, they would charge you a fee for each of those fines you receive. Additionally they might charge you an administration fee for each day you use the paid roads.

More tips on using the toll roads here.

Q 7 – Return date and time

Sometimes the trip doesn’t go as planned. Whether you are running late or one of your travel companions gets sick. You have no choice but extend the car rental. Most of the companies would start charging you a non-discounted daily rate. You will not be entitled for any discounts or specials you might of had before. Be careful, it is no uncommon the rental company would start charging you hourly rates. So a day of the extended rental can cost you an air ticket to LA and back šŸ™‚

Here, at Low Cost Car Rentals, we are very flexible. As long as the car you have is available for the dates you need, you will have it for the same price. We are easy on 2-3 hours late returns as well and will not charge you any extra fees. The only condition, you have to contact one of our staff members in advance and make sure they are aware of the extended rental.

ADDITIONAL TIP

Examine both the exterior and interior of the car carefully before leaving the rental lot, making a note of any damages. A quick time-stamped photo on your cellphone is a good idea. Point out any defects out to the rental agent to avoid being charged for damage that was already there when you picked up the car.

WARNING

Follow the rules and conditions of your contract. Do not smoke in a non-smoking car. Never let an unauthorized driver operate the car, even a valet. Never drink and drive. Violations can void the contract and result in hefty charges. Treat the car as you would your own, keeping it clean, parking it in safe locations and always locking the doors and trunk.

Using Toll Roads in a Rental Car

A number of toll roads in Australia are cashless and only accept payments via an electronic tag or online. It is not uncommon for travellers to get caught out when driving through toll roads in a rental car. If you are driving interstate or if you are an overseas traveller in a hire car, you need to pay your tolls within a certain time frame to avoid paying any extra fees.

For short period rentals, you possibly could just pay the tolls online as you travel. You will need to know the name of the road you travelled and find the website of the correspondent authority online.

If you intend to rent a car for a few months or longer, we would recommend you to open an e-tag account, those are only paid as you travel and don’t involve any monthly or annualĀ fees. It will also be handy if you travel to Australia often. It is easy to link and de-link any cars to your account. Thus you would register the account only once, then keep updating the number plates of the hired car in the system of the tolling company. Technically you will not even needĀ to carry your e-tag device in the rental car with you. Although it is recommended to avoid paying extra fees for the number plate identification.

To help you out with your next long term car rentals in Australia, here is an outline from Low Cost Car Rentals on how to obtain the toll roads pass for up to 30 days period.

New South Wales (Sydney)

RMS eMU Pass

Motorists are required by law to pay the toll when they drive on a toll road. If you donā€™t have an electronic tag, you can set up aĀ electronic passĀ before you leave home or up to three days after you travel on a toll road. You will have up to 3 days to set up the Pass, if you happen to use the Toll roads without a e-Tag.

What are the costing Involved?

  • $1.50Ā online start up fee
  • Relevant toll charge plus a $0.75c video processing feeĀ for each toll

How to set it up?

  • You can call them on 13 18 65
  • You can set up a Pass using the RMS Online service via the following link and click on eMU pass linkĀ Paying tolls

To see the map of the toll roads or estimate the cost of using them, please visitĀ Toll Calculator

Victoria (Melbourne)

CityLink

You will have up to 3 days to set up the Pass, if you happen to travel on one of their Toll roads.

What are the costing Involved?

  • $5.50Ā online start up fee.
  • Relevant toll charge plus a $0.75c video processing feeĀ for each toll

How to set it up?

  • You can call 13 26 29
  • You will find all the Passes CityLink sell via the following LinkĀ Buy a Pass.

To check the tolls prices, please see here.

Queensland (Brisbane, Gold coast, Cairns)

goVIA

You will have up to 3 days to set up the Pass, if you happen to travel on one of their Toll roads.

What are the costing Involved?

  • The relevant Toll plus
  • Video processing feeĀ for each toll (To find out the Video Processing fee, please call 13 33 31, as they change it from time to time)

How to set it up?

  • Can call 13 33 31
  • Buy a pass on their Website via the following LinkĀ Go via Road Pass.

You canĀ calculate your toll here.

Cheap car rentals – 5 myths busted

True or false - cheap car rentals

1. Car rental near airport is very expensive.

It is true, the space within the airport car park and a kiosk right next to the arrivals are costly. So companies who you normally see there, would have higher rates than normal car rentals. They need to cover up for all the expenses.

But it does not mean that you should avoid all the near-airport car rentals altogether.

Usually the airports are located in non prestige suburbs or in industrial zones. An office only a kilometre away from the arrival gate is much cheaper. There must be some car hire agencies who are located there.

For instance, one of the Low Cost Car Rentals depots is located only 2.7km away from the Sydney Domestic and 3.2km from International airports.

We offer free airport pick-up and drop-off on all long term rentals (7+ days). And it is as cheap as 30 dollars both ways for short term hires.

In reality, we love Sydney visitors so much, we often offer free unlimited kms package and GPS on long term rentals. All of those are worth more than 25 dollars per day.

I personally believe, the car rental agencies near airports are the most professional ones. They have to deal with a lot of customers from overseas therefore their standards are much higher.

2. Shared cars schema is cheaper than usual car rental companies.

There was a lot of excitement when we first saw our neighbours offering their cars for rent for cheap prices.

It was good at first until those car owners faced first troubles. Cars often were left in prohibited areas. Parking fines, tolls notices, light scratches and dirty interior that nobody will ever pay for.

It all led to the new restrictions. You must be an approved member to rent the car. Usually it involves an annual fee regardless of whether you would even need a car that year.

The price might still look cheap, however you will understand later that it is not final. You will have to pay each kilometre you travel. You will need to have your own GPS or baby seats if you need them.

To conclude, the shared car can be cheaper than a cab if you just need to travel short distance then back. Nothing else seem to be worth it.

3.GPS is too expensive, i will use my phone.

Firstly, lets assume you have the phone holder to secure your phone in the car. So now you are able to follow the directions without the need to juggle the phone in your or your passenger hands.

Secondly, we would assume, you have unlimited mobile data and all-around country mobile coverage.

I already doubt you have all the above.

Now, how about the reception? Do you have it while at the car park in the shopping centre? How often it is getting lost in the tunnels and how long it takes for the signal to recover?

You still think 5 dollars a day or free GPS on long term rentals is not an option?

4. I can get away with not registering the additional driver.

This is a very dangerous myth. It is not up to the car rentals companies to decide who is guilty in the accident. It is not them who is charging you when you have an incident.

Touch wood, if anything happens and it is the additional drivers fault. Just because they were not registered as the driver of the vehicle, the insurance company would decline the claim. You will end up loosing the excess and would have to pay for both car repairs and any hospital expenses anyone incurred due to the crash.

The insurance company used by Low Cost Car Rentals only charges a one-off fee to register the driver. It only costs 11 dollars for the whole rental period. Touch wood, but it is a piece of mind.

5. Companies use foreign language for rental agreements.

I canā€™t say for all companies, but Low Cost Car Rentals contract is written in English and you do not require any form of translation.

If you really unsure about anything in there, you are free to ask questions. Our staff is also fluent in English and therefore easy to communicate with.

Rent vs Own II

Rental cars for long term or buying a vehicle ā€“ 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.Ā  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. Donā€™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 donā€™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 donā€™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 donā€™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 donā€™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.