If you’re about to embark on a trip to Australia and are looking to hire a car in order to explore Down Under fully, then there are some important questions you need to ask before you go about doing so. Because, quite commonly, the rental agreement will be full of small print and terms you don’t necessarily understand and as we generally don’t travel with a lawyer beside us to unravel the jargon, many of us tend to quickly scan the document and frantically sign it, assuming all will be well. These important questions to ask car rental companies could save you from incurring necessary charges that catch you by surprise. It’s also important to make sure that you get the name of the person who provides you with your answers, as well as noting down the exact date you spoke to them.
So, in order to put you in good stead for your trip to Australia and Hamilton Island, to make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises when you drop the car off at the end of your holiday of a lifetime, here are the top questions you should ask when hiring:
What documents do I need to provide?
This is especially important if you’ve travelled abroad. We’re quite rightly reluctant to travel with all our important identity documents, so make sure anything you take with you is firstly photocopied, so you have important details from the original in case of loss or theft. Generally you will be required to show your drivers licence, but may also need additional proof of address.
Do I have to purchase the rental companies insurance?
If you have insurance to drive a company car or to drive multiple vehicles, your own insurance may already cover you. Contact your insurance company if in doubt and take the insurance documentation with you to the hire car company. Check whether your excess is affected.
What are the added fees for?
You may be charged for a service you don’t require, so if you are not totally happy with every fee listed on your agreement, ask what it is for and ensure you get a satisfactory answer.
Are there multiple locations I can return the car to?
A car rental chain, such as Expedia, may allow you to return the hire car to any one of its locations. This is great to know if you are only planning a one-way trip.
Should the tank be full or empty on return?
Companies differ on this, some provide you with a full tank and want it returned as empty as possible, others require the tank to be full on return or you will incur an extra charge, so it’s worth checking.
What is the latest time I can return the car?
You will be charged for an extra day, and probably even an additional fee if the car is returned late, so make sure you know what the latest time for return is.
Is there an additional millage charge?
This is an important question that normally doesn’t cross our minds when hiring a car – some companies the car hire fee is for a daily millage limit and you will be charged if you go over this.
Experienced freelance writer, Lara Anderson, wrote this article. Lara specializes in providing holiday travel advice for those who are looking to explore Australia.