When you travel overseas or interstate, renting a car can be the easiest way to get around. Airports are often a little far away from your hotel or destination and a lot of places don’t have public transport available in the right areas or it’s too expensive.

Renting a car gives you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, at a reasonable price. But finding a car rental company that is decently priced and reliable can be hard. Below are some tips on what to look out for.

Car hire companies come in three tiers:

The first tier is the highest one – they are the companies situated at the airport and hire out fairly new and regularly serviced cars but are more expensive.

Second tier is similar to first in that they offer the same vehicle and customer service standards, but are further away from the airport and a little cheaper.

The final tier should be avoided, as they often use old cars that aren’t serviced regularly. However, they are also the cheapest option.

How close are they?

Companies near the airport are obviously the closest option, but are often a lot more expensive. The best option here is to find a car hire company that is easily accessible, or offers free pickup or delivery to the airport or local areas.

How expensive are they?

Price is of course a big factor. Renting a car is convenient but make sure to compare companies and aim for one that suits your budget.

But remember price isn’t everything! It’s important that the company meets your other needs such as kilometre allowance, bond cost and excess waivers.

Best practice is to ask as many questions as possible before committing to a rental, if you don’t feel comfortable don’t book.

Know what you’re paying for

Although what you ultimately want is a car, you also want to make sure you feel safe and don’t have to spend anything extra. Check what the price covers – does it include a certain amount of kilometres?

Does it cover excess for single vehicle accidents? Does it include ALL the compulsory fees such as GST? Does the bond stay the same even if you don’t choose to reduce your excess? Where can you take the car? The more you know the better.

What kinds of cars are available

A good car hire company will have a variety of vehicles available from small passenger cars to larger utes and trucks for commercial use.

They should have cars small enough for four and big enough for eight, as well as decent boot space, so no matter who you’re travelling with, there’s a car to suit.  It is always best to go for a new car as ‘near new’ or older vehicles tend to be anywhere between 5 and 20 years old.

Five years doesn’t sound old when it’s your own car that you have treated like gold. However, a rental car that has been on the road 90% of the year, is a completely different vehicle.  It can clock up well over 200,000 kilometres in just 5 years.

One company that you can count on for competitive prices and great service is Alpha Car Hire. They offer great deals on vehicles for every need. Book your car today!