My girlfriend and I are going to Australia for 3 months starting at the end of December and are planning to travel from Melbourne to Cairns (after a detour to Kangaroo Island)! We would ideally like to get a car for the majority of the time but are on quite a tight budget.
The age restrictions, damage fee waiver (excess reduction) and one way rental charges really push the cost up though. Does anyone know of any cheap local companies as the main one's seem to be expensive?
Other than that, would it be worth buying rather than hiring for that amount of time? Can you get cheap-ish car insurance for just a few months?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we are really undecided about the best option.
If I were in your position, I would definitely buy a car. Get youself a Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon. Good for country driving, they're fairly reliable (2nd hand - make sure you get an independant check, insurance companies usually provide this service for around $100), they've been the top selling cars forever so parts are easy to find (should you need them) and just about any bush mechanic can get them going again if something goes wrong.
Hiring a car will probably cost more over 3 months (depending on what you want to hire).
Go to http://carpoint.ninemsn.com.au/ and start looking. If you organise yourself you can probably get it all done in the first day you land.
if you buy a car, just make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to sell it.
there'll be a lot of people in cairns in march trying to sell cars.
Thanks for your advice, it's been a great help! We're pretty much decided on buying rather than hiring now.
We've had a look into travellers auto barn and are quite tempted by the Guaranteed Buyback of 50%. Thought that would take the pressure of finding a private buyer at the end...at least we'd definitely get something back! Is this as good as it sounds? Are the cars likely to be reliable?
They also offer Third Party Property Insurance for $210 for 3 months? Is this good value?