Just thought I'd share my two cents with other TOURISTS.
I was contemplating between Avis and Bayswater car rental. Having read several reviews from the locals at various websites, I finally chose Avis because they have bigger cars, while Bayswater is cheaper (their excess is only A$400) and they only have Toyota Corolla.
Though Avis stated that they have Toyota Camry, they don't or that it was not available. They provided me with a Nissan. FYI, just a reminder that Nissan has only foot brakes and not handbrakes. It will be a challenge for people who are not used to footbrakes, especially when parking on slopes or when there is a traffic jam on slopes especially if travelling to Kiama.
When I collected the car, they stated 1 scratch mark on the document and also asked me to check for other scratch marks, but added that they do not think that there would be any. Interestingly, the car was parked in a dimly lit carpark. I used the torchlight on my phone to check for other scratches. Fortunately, I did. There was a long scratch that was not visible at all as they had just polished it and you have to see it from another angle. I also checked the rims etc. When I highlighted to them, I noticed that they were actually aware of all the damages, but did not highlight them in their document. They took note of the "additional" damages to the car on their OWN copy and when I asked them to amend my copy, they assured me that it will be fine as they will use their copy when I return the car.
This is the tricky bit. I took a photo of the document with the "additional" damages stated. On the day that I returned the car, they wanted to see my copy of the document which, of course, only stated 1 scratch mark. Fortunately, I took a photo of their copy of the document. FYI, the people handling the pick up and the return of the cars are different. Hence, be careful when renting.
After this experience, I realized that Avis is no different from the reviews given to Bayswater. Perhaps every car rental company is similar. The service at Avis is good, but just the honesty level was...perhaps as what my friends say, all rental car companies are not that honest.
I did not pay extra to reduce the excess charges, so I took the extra effort to check on the car thoroughly. I would advise all tourists to buy a comprehensive travel insurance that would cover the excess on car rentals. But do be careful to check that your insurance covers both damages to self and third party damages.