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Your safety is our priority

Here, at Low Cost Car Rentals, we value our customers and their safety.

Rental Vehicle Safety

Safety on the roads starts with choosing the right car to hire. Here, at Low Cost Car Rentals, we are always ready to help and answer any questions you have. We want to make sure your car rental period is about you, your family and your destination, and worry free when it comes to the hired vehicle.

Before we give you the vehicle:

  • We regularly service our vehicles for hire. We use only trusted mechanics and electricians to inspect the vehicles. Car servicing is done according to the best practices and sometimes even earlier when scheduled. For example, if we know some customer will hire the car for long period of time or paying for “unlimited kilometres” package, we will inspect and service the vehicle one extra time.
  • When our cars are not on rent, they always parked securely under ground. Unlike most of the car rentals where the vehicles are parked outside, exposed to the sun, heat and rain.

When you are picking up the car:

  • Each car has unique characteristics – the indicators and hand brakes can be positioned in different locations. It is especially tricky when it comes to bigger cars like people movers. When you are picking up a vehicle from Low Cost Car Rentals, our trained staff will let you know about the car specifics if any. For example, 8-seater Kia Carnival has 2 different places to put the hand brake on (the very left pedal under your feet) and release from the hand brake (a little handle under the steering wheel on the left). Most of the people movers from Toyota have it all in one place – under your feet. Cars like 7-seater Holden Captiva have it positioned in the most usual location, under your left arm, next to the gears stick. Our Car Rentals staff will never push you to drive away as soon as possible. They will remind you to get familiar and comfortable with the rental car first. Adjust the seatbelts and mirrors, get familiar with all the pedals and nobs, inspect the car stereo and air conditioning operation controls.

When the car is on rent:

  • Every single car rent includes a complimentary 24/7 road-side assistance. Tyre puncture, windscreen chip or flat battery can happen to the best of us. We can’t predict where and when that happens. What we can do, is to make sure someone is 30-60 minutes away from where you are and ready to help you out. And yes, once again, it is absolutely free with each car rental. You just need to make sure you obey the basic vehicle usage rules. You can find it on the Terms and Conditions page of your rental agreement.

When you are dropping the car back to us:

  • When the hired vehicle comes back from the rental, we ask our customers for the feedback. Simple feedback in case the customer noticed some unusual smell, sound or vehicle shaking can ensure we take actions before we give the vehicle to the next customer. Unfortunately some customers are afraid to tell as they think they would be charged for damaging the hire vehicle. We ensure you, those questions asked only for the sake of safety of the next customer.

Your safety is our main priority. Please be safe on the roads, drive carefully and obey the road rules.

In case you have any concern, please make sure you call one of our staff members and discuss it.

Australia: Driver’s Licence Requirements for Car Rentals

If you are a temporary overseas visiting driver and you hold a current overseas driver licence you do not have to get an Australian state driver’s licence. You can drive on your current overseas licence as long as:

  • You remain a visitor.
  • Your overseas licence remains current.
  • You have not been disqualified from driving.
  • You have not had your licence suspended or cancelled or your visiting driver privileges withdrawn.

Temporary overseas visiting drivers include:

  • Tourists.
  • Business people on limited-duration visits.
  • People studying or working temporarily (eg working visa holders).

Your licence must be written in English or, if the licence is not in English, you must also carry an English translation or an International Driving Permit (IDP) with your licence when driving.

You must carry your current overseas licence, IDP or translation with you while driving.

You do require to have a photo ID licence if you want to rent a car from Low Cost Car Rentals. If your foreign licence does not have a photo ID, you should get an IDP before travelling to Australia if you intend to rent a car.

All states require Australians from other states to get a new state licence after three month’s residence (with some specific exceptions). Some states also require New Zealanders to get a state drivers licence after they have been in Australia for three months.

Specific State Requirements

In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. Some states require you to carry an International Licence with your current foreign licence. Other states request you carry your current foreign driver’s licence together with a formal translation of your licence into English.

Select the state or territory you will be driving in to find out what the laws are for driving with an overseas licence.

Inspecting your Rental Vehicle – What to look for?

Inspecting rental car

When you enter into a car rental agreement you are signing a contract that will make you liable for payment when a car is damaged. Whenever you are renting a car you should definitely inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Most reputable rental companies will provide you with a damage report to fill in. If a rental company does not provide this, you should be very cautious about renting from them. So what should you mark on your damage report? We hope the following list is of assistance.

The Exterior:

Check for dents and scratches and mark them in the corresponding area of your damage report. Good practice is to circle the area on the damage report where there is a dent. Place an ‘X’ where there are stone chips and scratches. Use lines to indicate long marks or scratches. It is also good practice to put notes on the damage report explaining what you have marked. It also helps to take a video or photos of what you find. If you do this try and get a shot that shows the  position on the car, not just a close up of the damage. Be thorough with your inspection and ask questions of a company representative if you are not sure what fair wear and tear is.

The Windscreen:

It is important to check the windscreen carefully. Most rental companies deem small stone chips as fair wear and tear. Always make sure you mark any windscreen chips on the damage report using and ‘X’.

The Interior:

Sometimes you might come across damaged interiors in rental cars.  If there is no room on the damage report to mark this, then writing a comment about the interior damage is acceptable. You may want to note things like rips and tears and stains so that you avoid cleaning fees.

Drivability of your vehicle.

Rental cars come in various types, ages and condition. If you have elected to drive an older model car then there may be some things that you have to accept. Things like faded paint and interiors are inevitable on older model rental cars. However, they should always be maintained to roadworthy standards. Things like lights, windscreen wipers, tyres and brakes should be serviceable. So if you notice issues with these, bring them to the attention of your rental company.

Fuel and Kilometres travelled:

Make sure you note the amount of fuel in the car and how many kilometres the car has travelled. This is important where you opt for deals that have limited kilometre usage so that you do not pay for kilometres you did not use. Checking the fuel in the car is important as you do not want to be charged for fuel you did not use.

At Low Cost Car Rentals, we understand that accidents happen which is why we give you a damage report to fill in. We always recommend you take your time with filling in the damage report and take a video or photos of your rental vehicle.

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 can’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.

People movers to rent for snow

What type of car to hire? Do i need a 4WD?

People movers to rent for snow

Often we receive calls from our customers asking for 4WD cars to rent because they are going to snow.

If you hire a rear- or a front- wheel drive car, you will also need to rent the snow chains. Therefore it is a common perception that a 4WD will save you a lot of money on your car rental.

Low Cost Car Rentals staff believes the choice of the car to rent depends on the circumstances.

Multiple adults traveling

If you have more than 5 adults in the car, we would recommend you to hire a people mover.

You can easily find a 4WD which is a 7- or an 8- seater. However, the last row in most 4WDs have a height limit. Depends on how tall your friends and/or family are, it might be just too tight for all of you.

Storage space required

You will probably think the 4WDs have better storage space? You are wrong. People movers like Kia Carnival or Toyota Tarago offer a larger boot space than most 4WDs.

Driving to snow

Our branch manager once said “4WD is only good in snow if you know how to drive a 4WD in the snow!”.

Four-wheel drive systems are helpful options, but they aren’t cure-all for winter driving problems. It is important to become familiar with a few 4×4 driving basics before you tackle snowy roads.

The advices for driving any type of vehicles are the same: slow down on windy roads, keep extra distance from the cars in front of you and take a lot of rest as snowy roads reflect the sun and tire your eyes quicker than usually.

It is also recommended to switch your 4WD into 2WD mode when driving downhill.

Nevertheless, If you have neither a lot of people, nor a lot of baggage, you should be just fine with a sedan or a hatch.

If you planning to drive to the snowfields and not to drive up the snow mountains, then any car will do the job.

Don’t forget there is also a choice of AWD cars to rent too.

Moving house on a budget

Renting a 4WD is a good option when you are moving house on a budget. Vans, trucks and utes can be very costly.

Additional tip is to ask for a car that has a tow-bar and/or roof racks fitted. Some of our 4WDs and people movers do. That will save you on another trip between homes.

Going camping

We will easily find a winner in the selection of the four-wheel drive cars. It is also important to tell the rental company that you are planning on such a trip.

When driving off-road, not all 4WD are the same. It is important to have high ground clearance so if you drive over a stone, you would not damage the bottom of the car.

Off-road is often not sealed. Even straight roads would have some mud pools and cause the car to skid. Rent a 4-wheel drive to do the job, unless you are planning to spend most of your time waiting for road side assistance or towing truck.

Snow season

Snow season – Winter car rentals

Snow season

With the winter holidays knocking at the door, many people would be busy planning their road trips with friends and family. Driving during winter, especially through snow-clad roads can be fun but dangerous as well. If you have any such plans make sure an experienced driver drives you through. You may have heard people talking about the safety measures people should take while driving on snow-clad roads; but not all of them are right. Some are true, while some are people’s own perceptions.

People often say a four-wheel drive is the best when driving during the winter, but it is only true if the roads are heavily snow-clad; however, investing in a four-wheel drive would be a good option keeping the safety aspect in mind. So what are the other things you need to consider if you are planning to go on a long drive this winter? Here are some factors that you should consider:

The Right Kind of Tires

In some countries, it is a must to have snow tires; while in Australia you can do with an all-weather treads. However it is mandatory to have the snow chains on when driving a non-AWD vehicle. You need to choose depending upon your destination. If you choose a smaller car and you plan to go Snowy Mountains, we would highly recommend you to rent some snow chains as well. You can rent the snow chains at the Snow Mountains too, thus will incur some delays in your trip while you could of been already enjoying the trip without interruptions. It is also getting slightly more expensive as you approach the snow areas. So it is recommended that you have a talk with the car rental agency about the rates for all the extras you need, in case you need to hire a car with snow chains.

Hiring a 4WD makes things easier. A 4×4 cars are not required to fit the chains in Australian conditions.

Check the Car Condition Thoroughly

This is very important, since a breakdown in the middle of a snow-clad road can give you a tough time. Moreover, driving on snow is very dangerous, so a car that is not in its best condition can lead to severe or fatal accidents. Therefore before hiring a care, here are the things you must check:

  • Whether the head and back lights work properly
  • Whether the wipers are in good working condition
  • The tire conditions
  • The weather conditions of the destination you are heading towards
  • The 24×7 road side assistance across all the areas you are travelling to

Low Cost Car Rentals offers NRMA services included in each car hire. Check some information from them too: Safer driving in snow.

It is also recommended that you start with a full tank to ensure the car does not stop in the middle of the road.

The Right Kind of Car

Choosing the right kind of car is very important to ensure the safety of your co-passengers. For instance, a car with manual transmission is best for snow covered roads. Again a four-wheel drive is best for mountainous terrain, while if you are driving on a plain road then choosing a car with anti-lock braking system would be the best.

Check more tips in here Snow driving.

Don’t Forget the Extras

Even though travellers are recommended to bring their own extras, they might require hiring some from the car rental agency during the winter. These include ice scrapers, warm driving gloves, snow chains, roof racks, etc. You can bring them along if you already have them.

We also recommend you to check the tips and tricks posted on different forums by other travellers who are more familiar with the area you are traveling to. For those who are planning to go to Kosciuszko National Park in NSW we recommend to check this link Safety tips in Kosciuszko National Park.

Driving during winter can be exciting and fun but only if you have taken the necessary safety measures. Talk to your car rental agency and get going. Here at Low Cost Car Rentals we will have all the arrangements to make your journey safe and enjoyable.