If you are travelling in the Kimberley, or remotely anywhere, think carefully before renting with Apollo. Here's our experience as four experienced campers/over 60 adults, from June 2013, starting in Broome, and hitting the Gibb River Road for 3 weeks. With our first 2 nights in Broome, we had time to discover that the equipment in the van was ridiculously basic - 4 of each essential item, no margin for loss. No frills such as a basic serving spoon, platter, wine glasses, grater. They did supply a small broken brush taped with sticky tape which we also asked to be replaced, and an awful pillow that should have been tossed). We also found that the spare tyre didn't match the other 4, so was not safe to use...these people are supposed to be 4 wheel drive experts! Under pressure, they replaced the spare the next day, so we headed off for 5 hours to Leopold downs. Next day, the vehicle wouldn't start, and we found out that the battery had almost no water in it - a servicing blunder that cost us 2 days of our holiday and endless stress, as we were tossed between RAC operations and Apollo head office. Frankly, the roadside assist promise just doesn't work in remote areas, unless you have a satellite phone, and who does, and certainly not on the weekend. The company demanded we be towed back to Derby, but the tow truck that arrived couldn't fit four adults in its cabin, despite being informed about our group, so we had to drive this so called ündriveable" vehicle ourselves. We waited the whole weekend in boring Derby, to find out on Monday morning that the battery was fine, which could have been established much earlier with any decent roadside assist. Head office acknowledged we'd been badly treated and offered a rebate, which we gratefully accepted...and they have apparently changed their practices as a result and will now use distilled water in batteries. What a relief for future travellers and renters, but how unprofessional that they didn't in the first place. What shocked us was the company's failure to apologise even when a bad experience was acknowledged. It seems the branches are hamstrung by head office rules, which is worrying when you are in the outback.
But at the end of the day, what sort of company sends people into the wilderness with such appalling backup and no water in the battery. We will never use them again. Yes, they are cheaper, but not worth it...they are clearly a low cost operation with service to match. Interestingly, other renters we met when we turned our vehicle in had similar bad experiences. Just for the record, we were also stunned by the onerous contract conditions - $700 to clean the vehicle, it not done properly, hire charge per calendar day, not a 24 hour period, comprehensive insurance that is not comprehensive, and extra charges for everything. Such a pity when they have an opportunity to be a market leader, with consumer respect. The Broome Office tried to fix the mess in the end, but the fact remains that the service was poor, and our vehicle was supplied to us in an unroadworthy state.