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Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

We have just returned from a week on the GC. For many years I have used Alpha Car hire whilst on holiday on the GC but having recommended Apex for its New Zealand operation I deemed it appropriate to try out the Aussie operation which has now been operating for approx 8 months.

In order to speed things up I checked out their terms and conditions and looked at their sample contract on line via their website before arrival in Australia.

When I made my booking I also sent our driving licence numbers ahead of time. This saved a few minutes and all the staff needed was to sight them as everything was prerecorded on the contract.

We chose to pay cash for the hire which was required up front and they took an imprint of my credit card in case of any trouble downstream ie accidents, speeding fines etc.

We declined the extra per diem insurance which reduces excesses down to zero as our travel insurance more than covered any excesses payable.

We arrived at Brisbane airport and upon clearing customs rang the company on the 1800 number provided and were told to wait in Bay 2 of the Coach carpark. This is the normal pick up point for Apex. Most other rental companies use Bay 3. The shuttle took about 15 - 20 minutes after doing a drop off at Brisbane Domestic en route.

10 minutes after pickup we were outside the Apex depot. Paper work took about 15 minutes and a thorough inspection of the vehicle a further 10 - 15 minutes.

We also declined a toll card for which Apex charge around $2 per day. If one is travelling along a lot of toll roads and criss crossing the Gateway bridge this could be an economic way of paying the toll fees. We were only crossing the Gateway bridge twice so declined the offer.

As there were only two of us we hired a Hyundai I20 which is the small 4 door car but very economical. Our bags were too big for the small luggage compartment but we managed with a little juggling things around.

We holidayed on the GC and the fuel used from airport to GC cost $12.50 at $1.40 per litre. Very very cheap. A train trip airport to Gold Coast is now $50 one way. This makes hiring a car very attractive if there a couple of you travelling. Hire of the car was $33 per day.

The vehicle had more grunt than was ever needed.

We returned the vehicle at the end of the hire and the staff member had checked the vehicle, including that the tank was fill before we had got all our baggage out of the car. Fortunately we had no damage to the vehicle. I cannot impress on any hirers the importance of getting the vehicle signed back in by a staff member. This will reduce any further problems downstream.

The shuttle was ready to take us back to the airport almost as soon as we had the vehicle cleared.

From time of arrival at the depot until departure to the airport was approx 30 minutes. If there is no damage then allow 45 minutes depot to airport in case you have to wait for shuttle to return or if you have any damage allow at least an hour to complete all paperwork.

In conclusion we found the staff very friendly and helpful and they got us away as soon as they could and also made the return very painless.

Will I use Apex again? Most definitely. They are as good as my previously used operator Alpha, but I will use Apex in future as they are a kiwi company.

Pricing is very competitive between both operators.

Edited: 11 June 2012, 06:30
Gungahlin, Australia
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for Canberra
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1. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Yay, a positive vehicle rental review! I suppose there will always be a proportion of travellers who only look for one thing and then express dismay when they get it, but for those who do some research this is just the sort of information they will appreciate.

Singapore, Singapore
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5 posts
34 reviews
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2. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Just returned from GC too. Hired a Hyundai i45 from Apex and I must say the experience was generally pleasant and smooth. We were initially apprehensive about using an off-site car hire co, and occasionally fretted before we arrived in BNE whether the savings would be worth the trouble.

As it turned out and as beanb41 had shared, there was really very little hassle. We called their 1800 number upon clearing customs and the free shuttle arrived in 10 mins. The drive to the Apex office took less than 10 mins, and getting the car was also a smooth and quick process.

The only hiccup we faced was returning the car. As we were returning after-hours, we were originally told to return the car to a Kingsford Smith facility with detailed instructions and map. We got a call on our last day of hire, telling us there's a change of plans and to return the car to the "airport off-site car rental return area" and "leave the car locked with the keys inside". We drove to the airport and followed the signs but we ended up circling the car park for almost an hour. I ran into the terminal building and asked the other car hire cos where the off-site car return area was and nobody seemed to know. Airport security didn't know either. The airport info counter staffer said it was definitely there, next to the airport car rental returns, but could not provide a map or more specific details. (Actually, it wasn't quite next to the airport car rental returns.)

We were about to give up and were deliberating whether to leave the car in the Avis or public car park, when we spied a small sign in a dim area that says "off-airport car returns". Anyway, as instructed, we popped open the boot, took our luggage out, locked the car and threw the key into the boot, before shutting the boot. We were a little uneasy though about returning the car like that, as there's no Apex staffer to confirm the condition of the car...

We paid AUD421 for 7 days' hire, considerably cheaper than the international car hire cos. So I suppose the hiccup we faced was really just a minor inconvenience ;-)

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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3. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Alicia leaving a hire vehicle at the airport and dropping off the keys either inside the car or at a drop box without a zero excess for accident damage is frought with problems. If one reads the hire contract the hirer is responsible for the vehicle until it is returned to the company. Leaving the vehicle in a drop off section off an airport carpark is not in my view returning the vehicle to the company.

Whilst not casting any doubts on car hire hire companies who do you think is responsible and accountable should some panel damage occur to the vehicle whilst parked in the carpark? How is the car rental company to know that any damage occurred in the carpark after the hirer left the country in this instance?

This company I know is a reputable company and wouldnt try to offload minor scrapes etc to an unsuspecting customer, but there are many other operators and TA forums are full of complaints about such operators that arent so scrupulous.

The answers to my questions above are quite simple and that is that liability lies with the hirer until signed back in by the company. The panel damage the hirer alleges occurred in the airport carpark could have occurred in a shopping mall carpark two days previous.

In my view it is often not worth the risk unless you have ensured you have adequate insurance to cover such eventualities. Sometimes it is safer to cut ones holiday a little short and chill out at the airport rather than risk several thousands of dollars in excess charges.

If one wants to cut things fine to the last minute then they may have to pay extra and use on site airport operators.

Australia
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4. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Thanks beanb41 for the prompt review! Much appreciated! :D

Newcastle, Australia
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2 posts
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5. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Brisbane APEX Airport Car Rentals,they came and picked us up in 5 minutes took us to there site very clean and professional .Staff are extremely helpful.On the way back we took the car to APEX no paperwork no hassle ,we were transferred to the minibus to be taken to the airport.On top of all this for 5 days we paid $100 less than most compaines had to offer..Thank you APEX Brisbane it was a great experience.30/04/2013

Gungahlin, Australia
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for Canberra
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6. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Well done Apex, and good to see some positive feedback about a company so that people know who to use and not just who not to use.

Singapore, Singapore
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1 post
37 reviews
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7. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

I must say I been hesitanting.

The price was too good to be truth.

Pick up from the GC airport is very efficient, only 2 min drive.

I got the same car I ordered, in good condition low mileage.

no hidden coast, full insurance.

give free GPS and child seat...

Best service, Best price.

Thanks guy!

Singapore, Singapore
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61 posts
7 reviews
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8. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

We have used Apex a few times from Brisbane Airport during office hours and also after office hours. Same for our drop offs. Did not have any problem with pick up or drop offs. The Apex staff have been efficient and reliable and my emails have always been promptly answered .

Have booked them again this Feb in Brisbane and will also be using Apex in Sydney for the first time in March.

Sydney, Australia
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1,233 posts
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9. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

I have looked at them over a long road trip (3 weeks) but my main concern was that if I break down well up north, they would be unable to replace the car over the larger chains with offices all over the place.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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10,090 posts
222 reviews
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10. Re: Apex Car rentals - a positive hire

Depending upon where you break down a rapid replacement vehicle couldn't be guaranteed by any company