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Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

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Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice


My friend and I will be heading to Melbourne (& around) from 13 Feb - 16 Mar.

Our itinenary as follows:

13 Feb - 24 Feb - Drive to Adelaide from Melbourne (we land about 8am) via Great Ocean Road (spending about 7 nights on GOR - is it too long? and a couple nights in Adelaide and a couple of nights on Kangaroo Island

24 Feb - 4 Mar - Melbourne (Philip Islands and Mornington included)

5 Mar - 15 Mar - Fly in to Tasmania or take the ferry across (along with the car) have to fly back to Melbourne on 15 mar to catch our flight back to Singapore on 16 Mar

This is our first major road trip so there's a few questions that I'll like to ask - thank you for your advice in advanced!

1) which car rental company - i've read reviews on Hertz and Avis and they dont seem to have good reviews.. and can we drive the car we rent from Melbourne to a different state?

2) Should we rent the car throughout the trip, and take the ferry to Tasmania along with the car? Is it more cost efficient or should we fly in? Considering that we have luggage and have to pay for baggage cost if we take budget airline i.e Jetstar

3) Is the itinenanry feasible? Something that is not too rushed.

Thank you for all your help!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

All car rental companies get complaints, mostly from people who do not understand the rental contract or refuse to admit that they damaged a car. If you stick with the major companies (Avis, Hertz, Europcar), you are less likely to have problems.

You can take a rented car in to another state without any formalities, but if you drop the car in another state there will probably be a significant one-way fee.

So far as I know, rental companies do not allow cars to be taken to Tasmania by ferry.

King Island...
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2. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

hi mellseah.i have used both thrifty and budget car rentals often , both have been easy to deal with and I have never had any problems with either of them ,however as sydneynick as stated they may not allow you to take the car on the ferry to Tasmania .I know budget has a depot at Devonport right opposite the ferry terminal , I am sure when you pick up your car in Melbourne they can arrange a car for you in Tasmania and it would be much cheaper than taking the car on the ferry . try these websites ... www.budget.com.au ... www.thrifty.com.au ...www.spiritoftasmania.com.au ... www.jetstar.com.au enjoy your trip

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

Take the tip from Grumpy. For the cost of the vehicle passage, you could probably hire an SUV for a week when you get there. I did. I use thrifty and Bludgeit also and have never had a problem. Hire an outlander or Nissan X trail for the tassie leg. Handy if you get an unexpected snow dump (can happen in the west a bit) and handy when you go on unpaved surfaces in any weather. Reasonable rates too. Travel tip. Fly to tassie, pick up your ride at Launceston or Hobart. You can dump the vehicle off to alternate destination, fee was about $70 last time.

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4. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

thanks everyone for the advice! might be using thrifty.. apparently they're the only company that allows cars on ferries which will be useful for kangaroo island. getting very excited!

Gungahlin, Australia
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5. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

Not an SUV as per #3? I'm not convinced they're necessary at all, we've toured many rural areas around south east Australia and Tasmania and a normal sedan was fine. If it's a rental vehicle it still depends on what the contract allows you to do. Plus in the hands of inexperienced off-road drivers there's a possible disadvantage in giving you the impression of being capable beyond your ability (as we read about on Fraser Island, yipee takin a 4wd on the sand don't know what I'm doin but it'll be fun, oops). For Tasmania's winding roads I'd choose a vehicle based on road hugging stability type characteristics over 4wd-ness. Btw I don't know what you've decided about Tassie but I wouldn't go through the rigmarole of taking the ferry and getting a rental car across, even if they allow it. Have you had a look at the Top Questions in the Tasmania forum, lots of good info about touring the island there.

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

Having grown up in Melbourne and lived in Adelaide for 6 years I've driven the roads between the 2 cities literally more times than I can count. Here's some tips from me:


- GOR is stunning provided none of the passengers get motion sickness - it's a lot of windy roads!

- I assume you're seeing the 12 Apostles? Not to be missed.

- Are you wine drinkers? The Coonawarra district in Penola, which is famous for reds, could be included in your itinerary.

- 7 nights on GOR is a few days more than needed. I'd spend the time elsewhere maybe KI or Adelaide. End of Feb is an excellent time to be in Adelaide too - the world famous Fringe Festival will be on (so book accommodation now!). If you're looking for somewhere cheap in the CBD have a look at the Mecure Grosvenor and ask for the rooms "out the back" - they're tiny and lots of stairs but at $99 per night, if all you need is a bed and shower, it's a bargain. For the Fringe, you must visit the Garden of Unearthly Delights (free entry) and see a couple of shows. It's a really amazing time.

- Ferry to KI has been known to leave a little ahead of schedule... If you're running a little late but you think you can make the scheduled departure time, call them and tell them you're coming! They will wait at least until the scheduled departure time. Ferry is pricey, and the waters can be choppy, but the island is stunning.

- My understanding is that the ferry to Tasmania is quite expensive. If you want the experience, go for it. If you're on a budget, reconsider. Qantas has baggage allowance (I think it's 23kg checked in and 10kg carry on) so might be cheaper to fly with them than pay excess baggage with a budget airline. Qantas are awesome too!

Car rentals

- I highly recommend that you do not drive on open highways at dawn or dusk as this is the time when kangaroos really get active. They move fast and they move unpredictably. If you hit one, other than the devastation of killing an innocent animal, chances are you will have a very serious accident and write off the car. I seriously hope you do not hit a kangaroo, but if you do, please stop (safely!!!) and check if there's a baby kangaroo in its pouch. Sad, I know, but many travellers don't know about the risk of hitting kangaroos or the possibility that the baby has survived. Phone number to call for injured wildlife in Victoria – contact Wildlife Victoria on 1300 094 535. In SA, call RSPCA SA on 08 8231 6931.

on to happier topics:

- taking a hire car between Vic and SA is fine.

- beware in SA especially there are speed cameras everywhere and there are cameras that detect your average speed between places - you can still get a fine if your average speed is greater than the speed limit.

- SUV unnecessary and will cost ++ on petrol IMHO

- where possible, and if you feel inclined to do so, fill up on petrol in smaller towns at Independent petrol stations - support the local economy.

- be aware you generally cannot take hire cars on dirt roads. Check fine print (don't ask them - check) as it invalidates your insurance policy if you go on dirt roads (other than driveways) with most companies

- be aware that most hire car companies have a 'single vehicle collision excess' of about $3000. This means that if you're involved in an accident in which there is no other car you must pay the first $3000 of the damage. Options: pay an excess reduction fee per day ~$30 (will get expensive over the term), or check if your travel insurance will cover it, or get seperate domestic travel insurance for Australia for this purpose... Some credit cards also take care of this excess but I couldn't tell you which ones they are - check with your bank.


Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

KickingTheBucketList has some great points there, especially with regards to 'roos. Be careful, they're quick and will do serious damage to the car and possibly you, and watch out for echidnas and other ground-dwelling animals. Good advice about the ferry to Tas too. The car-hire company may not allow the vehicle to be ferried, and even if it's permitted it's quite expensive. The ferry is a nearly a 10 hour journey. You might be better off doing as KTBL suggests, pay a bit more for a Qantas flight and get your baggage allowance, then collect a car when you get to Tas. For accommodations, I've used AirBnb, you can rent entire apartments or just rooms, or stay in hostels. There are car parking limits, so take that into consideration everywhere you go, that you may have to pay to park your car, especially in Melbourne! Always stick to the speed limit, there are cameras everywhere (attached to road signs, and the police cars can be hidden).

8. Re: Melbourne and around.. Car rental, itinerary advice

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