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Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

Narragansett, Rhode...
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Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

Hey all.. long time reader, first time poster...

I'm looking into transportation from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas (and return). I've found all the information on shuttles & busses thanks to the forum, and am now exploring rental cars. The problem is that my flight leaves Cairns at 6am (a Tuesday) and most places say the car has to be returned during office hours, which typically begin at 8am.

I've seen on a few posts that some companies offer key drop boxes, but I'm a bit worried about post drop-off damage since I'm still responsible for it until someone "checks it out".

Has anyone had any experience with this?

Is it worth it to rent a car rather than take a bus? We'll only be in PD for 2 days, and the hotel is walking distance from the marina, and doing scuba/snorkel tours both days. The thought was to take our time on the drive up to Port Douglas and take in what I hear are spectacular views...

Thanks for any advice!

Sydney
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1. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

I think the majors at the airport are open for drop-offs for a 6am flight.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

I've dropped loads of cars at airports and have never once gone over it to check for damage with an employee of the rental company. You just park it and drop the keys in a box whether they're open or not.

South Pole
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3. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

hmmmmm...not the advice we usually give here, francis.

too many have been 'stung' by post return damage charges.

Sydney
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4. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

You could perhaps do without a car...but - how are you getting from PD to the airport for a 6am flight?

I had a car when I was last in Port Douglas and it stayed in the carpark, until I needed to return to the airport. I wouldn't bother with one again unless I had definite plans to go somewhere that needed a car.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

In my experience the only car rental companies that play that stupid game are the smaller local ones - the big boys just don't seem to operate that way.

For exampl, say I was going to Broome for a holiday, I probably wouldn't be returniong again there anytime soon. So "Broome Discount Rent a Bomb" (entirely fictional) wouldn't be worried about my return business, and if they were a dishonourable company wouldn't think twice about charging me for "damage". Now if I had rented with Avis in Broome, Avis would be wanting to keep me as a repeat customer, and would hope that I just call Avis next time I fly to Melbourne or Sydney.

I formerly worked in Marketing and had to travel loads, almost weekly for 2 and a bit years, So I have returned alot of hire cars. Thats the point I was trying to make.

Edited: 04 April 2013, 06:15
Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

We have a 6:25am flight from Cairns this month and Avis open at 5am or earlier I think. We have booked with them as cheaper options were not open. Used the Entertainment book voucher and received a good price.

Edited: 04 April 2013, 11:37
Narragansett, Rhode...
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7. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

Thanks for the tips -- sounds like Avis is the way to go (and they were the cheapest, other than local "rent-a-wreck" companies). I'll hopefully remember to pop on here and write up my actual experience after the trip!

If I were to take one of the shuttle companies, I was going to make sure they could get me to the airport in time for the flight before booking.... but hence the car option, and not having to rely on someone else at that hour.

Sydney/Melbourne
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8. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

We looked into the shuttle option but for two days a rental is not much more than the cost of 2 return trips on a shuttle bus.

I've not had early departure from Cairns but the usual practice is for rental companies to be open whenever flights are arriving. Only city offices keep regular office hours.

Like others have said, I've never had anyone go over a car with me on return.

Narragansett, Rhode...
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9. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

Way late response..... but we had absolutely no problems dropping the car off that early in the morning!

10. Re: Cairns Airport Rental Car Drop Off

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