Driving holiday highway robbery

New research shows that self-drive holidaymakers over the Christmas period will pay roughly 3.3 times more for car hire than they would renting a car for the same time this month.

Car rental companies are raking in the big bucks, taking advantage of a typically popular car-hire period during the week of 24–30 December. During this week, car renters will pay up to  300 per cent more for car hire than most other times of the year.

The difference between renting now versus over the holidays is an average jump of $595.

“Travelling is pricey enough without having to pay a Christmas tax for car rental. A mark-up of more than 300 per cent is outrageous. There are plenty of other, smarter options that Australians can take advantage of to help keep more of their hard-earned cash in their pockets this holiday season,” said DriveMyCar chief executive officer Chris Noone.

Drivers looking to avoid car rental highway robbery may wish to consider boycotting traditional car rental companies and instead using a peer-to-peer service such as DriveMyCar, or any number of car-sharing services.

These services rent cars from private owners or direct from manufacturers and dealerships, at prices up to 59 per cent less than traditional car rental companies during the Christmas period. There’s a diverse range of vehicles from which to choose and you’ll still get insurance and bonus roadside assistance.

Another inexpensive way to get around in the summer is to use the TripGo website or app. This enables you to combine cheaper transport modes, such as trains, buses, ferries, trams, taxis and ride-sharing services to personalise your trip on a budget in any state in Australia.

By hiring a caravan, you could solve your accommodation and transport needs with one solution. It also gives you the freedom to move around your destination without having to worry about getting back home – home is stuck to the back of your car! And you can save around 20 per cent off normal rates when you use the MyCaravan platform.

If you’re travelling interstate, alone, you could see if someone could give you a lift to your destination. CoSeats is a cool carpooling service that hooks up drivers and passengers to and from cities all over the country. Or, if you’re travelling within Melbourne or Sydney, you could try UberPOOL, share a ride and pay only half the usual fare. Or you could find a friend who’s keen for a drive and jump in the passenger seat with them, or share the driving.

So, rethink your car rental options this summer. Get creative and save!

Do you need to rent a car over summer? Were you aware that the rates go up by such a high amount? Would you try one of these services instead?

Related articles:
Five ways to save on car rentals
Selecting the right caravan for you
Travel transport on a tight budget

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