Relocating hire vehicles is a great way to save money and get from A to B. The deals, however, can be a little tricky to find so Kay O’Sullivan offers some pointers on where to look.
Can you tell me some sites that I can access so I can travel to visit friends by returning cars, utes, etc. to their original location from Brisbane?
A. Every day I give thanks to an English gentleman named Sir Tim Berness Lee. And so should you, Chris, because your wish is about to come true thanks to Sir Tim who invented the world wide web. Before Sir Tim came up with the idea that changed the world, bagging a relocation bargain was a matter of who you knew or extraordinary luck. Not so now. Your journey to visit friends begins in cyberspace and the starting point should be Tranfercar.com.au
Created in 2008 in Auckland, transfercar.com.au offers car and campervan relocations around Australia, New Zealand and it also has a site for the US. So, it’s got the runs, or should I say the journeys, on the board.
When I went surfing the net, there were 77 relocation opportunities out of Brisbane – four to Cairns, 67 to Sydney and six to Melbourne.
Transfercar.com.au charges a $70 administration fee and you have to deliver the car to the destination by a certain date and within the stated kilometre allowance. You can’t negotiate where you drop it off. Some companies allow you extra days to have a look around at a more leisurely pace but that costs extra. Most times you get a petrol allowance but my reading of the terms suggests it probably won’t cover the entire journey.
Also, some of the car rental companies listed on transfercar.com.au require a deposit and bond as security. The money is transferred back to your credit card when the vehicle is returned safe and sound, i.e. no bingles along the way. Note that even if insurance is included, you will still have to pay an excess if you have a bingle.
Drivenow.com.au is another possibility. When I looked there were six deals for one-way rentals for campervans – three from Adelaide to Perth, and one each from Adelaide to Sydney, Cairns to Brisbane and Cairns to Sydney. I realise that none of those that I have listed are exactly what you are looking for but you can sign up for a watch list. The company works with all the major brands here in Australia and around the world, and the list is updated each day for travel over the coming two to three weeks.
Drivenow.com.au takes a holding fee of $75-$90 at the time of booking that is deducted from the total cost. One-way rentals on the site were being offered for $5 but you will be charged for optional extras, such as extra kilometres and insurance protection.
Days travelled beyond what the car hire companies deems to be the minimum required to get to the destination are $75 a day extra – still cheap by rental standards.
Another good prospect is Imoova.com that has 17 opportunities out of Brisbane with Melbourne and Sydney trips dominating.
One final thing, please read the fine print carefully. You don’t want what should be an inexpensive trip costing you a fortune.
Kay O’Sullivan is no accidental tourist. More than a decade ago, she decided to combine two of her favourite things – journalism and travel – and become a travel writer. Since then, she has written about travel for numerous papers, magazines and on the internet, both here and internationally.
Do you have a travel question for Kay? If so, email your Travel SOS to [email protected]