Car Rentals
Browse the latest car rental news, trends, standards and information in the Australian Car Rental industry from car manufacturers, dealers, media and associations on Top4 News.
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Car Company of the Year 2015

Car Company of the Year 2015 | Car Rentals |

It was really evident at the Frankfurt motor show in September. When selected Audi, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz personnel talked privately about the show cars (stars) they were displaying, they weren’t talking about those cars taking on vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi.

Instead, they had an upstart start-up from the west coast of the USA in their sights.

Love it or hate it, Tesla was the step-change brand of 2015 and not just here in Aus. From curio to company of note, it grabbed the automotive world’s attention and brought along with it the lovers of green energy and high-tech, as well as those with a philosophical opposition to the dependence of the civilised world on OPEC.

We gave Tesla our 2015 Carsales Car of the Year title. The stats don’t lie and the projected cost to run, future value and price competitiveness in its comparative set (ie: luxury cars) put the car in a different league. The fact that all of our drivers were very positively disposed to its performance in the real world made it a tough car to beat. And in the end, nothing did.

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2017 Honda Ridgeline teased... Won't come to Australia | Practical Motoring

2017 Honda Ridgeline teased... Won't come to Australia | Practical Motoring | Car Rentals |

DESPITE THE BOOM in sales of work and play utes here in Australia, Honda has already said the new Ridgeline won’t come to Australia. Teased ahead of its debut at the Detroit Motor Show, Honda US has confirmed it will run a number of TV ads to announce the return of the Ridgeline.

Details are still thin, although US motoring journos have already been treated to a sneak peek of the new Ridgeline and sworn to secrecy, but the new Ridgeline will share its underpinnings with the 2014 Honda MDX (which Australia doesn’t get) which offers all-wheel drive on demand and, so is predominantly a front-driver. This, we suggest, is the reason Honda won’t bring it Down Under; it would be slammed against the likes of Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Nissan Navara and Mistusbishi Triton.

“We developed this new Honda Ridgeline to offer something new and fundamentally better suited to the way many buyers use their truck,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. “Ridgeline will deliver everything you’d expect in a Honda from incredible packaging and fuel-efficiency to top safety technologies and innovative, segment-first features. We’re honored to once again debut the Ridgeline in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show.”

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Hidden campervan bond fees - what can you do?

Hidden campervan bond fees - what can you do? | Car Rentals |

If you're gearing up for a campervan holiday this summer, you may get a rude shock when you arrive at the counter.

Should you choose not to take out the campervan company's liability reduction product (the fee you pay to reduce your liability in the case that there's damage to the car), you may be required to have the full excess debited from your credit card upfront. This could cost you anything from $3000 to $7500. The catch is that the campervan company will only let you pay by credit card, but then they slug you with a surcharge to do so. This little exercise could add anywhere from an extra $100 to $345 to the cost of the rental.

For example, Apollo Camper's rental agreement reads: "When the bond is debited a non-refundable credit card administration fee will apply of 4.5% for American Express and Diners Club and 2% for Visa, MasterCard, Visa Debit and MasterCard Debit".

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Senate calls for auto taskforce

Senate calls for auto taskforce | Car Rentals |

A Senate inquiry has again thrown the spotlight on the Federal Government’s attitude toward the Australian automotive industry, calling for the establishment of a taskforce to develop policy settings for the radically different landscape after 2017 when Ford, Holden and Toyota have all ended local production.

The recommendation, contained in the final report of the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into the future of Australia’s automotive industry, was handed down in Canberra this afternoon.

It comes just days after revealed a Belgian auto supplier was interested in acquiring Holden’s Elizabeth assembly plant and continuing to build the current Commodore beyond 2017, and also reported on RED Automotive Technologies, a South Australian firm that wants to develop an electric SUV.

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Queensland calls for national vehicle "lemon" laws

Queensland calls for national vehicle "lemon" laws | Car Rentals |

The Queensland Government wants to have a national body investigate cars that are "lemons", set up a national "lemon register" and stop dodgy cars from being on-sold to unsuspecting consumers.

It recommends Australian lawmakers set up a national "lemon" register for cars that become problems for motorists.

"Cooling-off" periods for new car purchases should be reviewed and legislation should be specified to clarify the difference between "lemons" and manufacturing defects which need to be recalled.

These are the main recommendations from a Queensland parliamentary committee that handed down its report on Monday evening before state parliament returns for the last time in 2015.

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Dieselgate: Volkswagen finds a fix

Dieselgate: Volkswagen finds a fix | Car Rentals |

Audi has today announced it will fit revised emissions control software to more than 85,000 Volkswagen Group vehicles with 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines deemed by regulators earlier this month to have violated US environmental laws.

The move affects Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 models (since model year 2009) and, since MY2013, the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, all of which remain subject to a voluntary 'stop-sale' order in the US until further notice.

Audi says no 3.0 TDI vehicles are affected by the issue in Australia, where a variety of four-cylinder diesel VW, Audi and Skoda vehicles have been pulled from sale and almost 100,000 recalled following the Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal, which prior to the V6 diesel's involvement affected about 11 million vehicles globally.

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Customers enraged by a Rented Car's price and companies extra fees

Customers enraged by a Rented Car's price and companies extra fees | Car Rentals |

Over the past years more than half of Australians who have hire a car says there’s a lot of advertised costs are misleading, with many extra charges, new research shows.

According to the survey conducted by Canstar Blue a costumer research firm, found that 57 percent of customers have been dealing with an extra charges upon returning a rented car and a quarter of those survey argue with final cost, which usually increased because of damage.

Megan Doyle Canstar Blue's general manager  said “Some drivers claim to have been charged up to double the original quoted price, while others have been left waiting months for security deposits to be returned” he also added, “Nothing frustrates people more than being hit with unexpected fees, but unfortunately these are disputes that consumers are unlikely to win. Thirty-one per cent of survey respondents did not realize operators could debit their card for an unlimited amount to cover vehicle damage and breach of contract”. The worst gripes with vehicle rental companies were they offer poor service and the car model you booked is not available then they’ll give you another car which is more prone to unexpected fees.


According to the survey 81 percent of 736 consumers said before they rent a car they always inspect it and 37 percent take a photo of the car before driving off. But close to half conceded to failed to read the terms and conditions of the contract thoroughly.

Top4's insight:

Before renting a car we should always keep in mind everything about the terms and conditions of contract  and inspecting the car and many more for us to not charged with extra fees. 

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Rented Car Causes Massive Damage

Rented Car Causes Massive Damage | Car Rentals |

WAGGA police are looking for community help to find an evasive driver in the incident where in the rented car he was driving tore through the city’s centre on Tuesday. The white Toyota Hilux 4WD ute – came out at a high speed, that closely missed the oncoming traffic lights that turned into Bolton Street in Central Wagga. On the road when the driver changes in directions to avoid cars they hit a parked Toyota Camry – effectively writing the car off.


Before the Hilux bulldozed the brick wall fences of a home owned by a housing department it went on mounting the gutter, and barely missed a pedestrian and the majority of the brick fence had been demolish in the crush. The driver has been suspected to be unlicensed and the vehicle is rented to run from the scene. Gladly no one was injured in the crash.

The owner of the parked Toyota Camry, said “It’s a big hit to the finances, but I’m thankful no one was injured,” after the incident she want to remain anonymous, she added that she was lucky because when the incident happen she’s out of her car. The police are now looking for the driver and its identity so they can complete the investigation Inspector Steve Radford said.  

Top4's insight:

The police could easily identify the suspect if there's a high quality CCTV footage around the area and check the plate no. of the car to lead them to the owner of the rented vehicle for the information of the driver. 

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Biggest auto surprise of 2015

Biggest auto surprise of 2015 | Car Rentals |

Some of the biggest brands in the automotive industry have been the subject of scandal. Think back to Ford’s choice to save some pennies on Pinto fuel tank location for instance, or more recently Toyota opting not to recall cars for ‘sudden unintended acceleration’… whatever that meant.

Volkswagen – no stranger to scandal itself – is embroiled once more in controversy. The ‘Dieselgate’ affair resulted from findings by an American university that select diesel-engined cars operated differently under test conditions than during normal driving.

While Dieselgate has been covered in great detail elsewhere in this year’s news, and we think we know all there is to know about this scandal, it’s hard to concede that anything else occurring in 2015 produced a bigger shock to the global automotive industry and its watchers.

Dieselgate created an impact with the same scope and subtlety as a thermonuclear ballistic missile – one of those multi-warhead jobbies. Like a multi-warhead MIRV, Dieselgate just kept coming, and across a wide front. The scandal has been chock-full of nasty surprises for the company’s customers and regulatory bodies, and for Volkswagen’s own staff and executives too.

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State Government to legalise Uber

State Government to legalise Uber | Car Rentals |

Ride sharing services are now legal throughout New South Wales following a major review of the State’s taxi and transport system.

New South Wales follows Canberra’s lead and has officially sanctioned the service as part of a review which will see more than 50 taxi and hire car regulations immediately repealed.

New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, announced the news on his Facebook page saying that the decision to legalise ride sharing services was not an easy one.

“The digital revolution is disrupting and transforming the way business is done right across the world, and the taxi industry is a prime example,” Baird said.

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Australian new car market roars ahead

Australian new car market roars ahead | Car Rentals |

The appetite for new cars in Australia continues to be strong, with passenger car sales of 98,639 for November, up by 6.9 per cent, for a grand total of 1,055,792 vehicles for the year.

The all-time record for passenger vehicle sales was set in 2013, when a total of 1,136,227 vehicles were sold. This year is shaping up to surpass that mark – if December 2015 matches the 2014 monthly total of just under 97,000 registrations, a new record will be set.

It’s the voracious demand for SUVs that continues to push new car sales higher, the segment is up by 15.9 per cent overall when compared to the same time a year prior. Small SUVs have been a strong sales driver, up 28 per cent. All SUV segments are up.

Brands like Volkswagen and Mazda are thriving, having both already passed record 12-month totals achieved in previous years. Emerging smaller brands like Renault are also hitting new heights. The French brand passed the 10,000 unit mark for the year in November. Last year it’s 12-month total was just into five figures.

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Drive someone else’s car at Sydney and Brisbane airports

Drive someone else’s car at Sydney and Brisbane airports | Car Rentals |

DriveMyCar, Australia’s largest peer-to-peer car rental platform, has launched operations at Sydney and Brisbane airports.

Local and international travellers can pick up and drop off rental cars at a convenient location and enjoy lower prices than may be offered by traditional car rental companies – especially as the latter has a 29% ‘airport’ premium added to the cost.

In Sydney DriveMyCar uses Park & Fly – a shuttle is used to take them to and from a facility just outside the airport.  In Brisbane DriveMyCar has depot, conveniently located several minutes by shuttle from the airport.

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First Porsche centre for classic cars opens... Australia on the list

First Porsche centre for classic cars opens... Australia on the list | Car Rentals |

THE WORLD’S FIRST Porsche Classic Centre opened last weekend. The Porsche Classic Centre Gelderland, just outside of Arnhem/Netherlands, “will be offering services for classic cars of all ages from Zuffenhausen”.

Given that more than 70% of all Porsches sold are still running today it made sense for Porsche to “ensure these classic cars receive optimum support”. According to Porsche, it will establish 100 centres around the world by 2018, including Australia.

Not all will be standalone operations, with many just modified existing Porsche centres “which will provide support for sports cars of earlier eras in addition to the current models and will be certified as Porsche Classic Partners”. Porsche currently offers owners access to some 52,000 original spare parts, “complete and partial overhauls but also repair and maintenance work and the sale of classic cars” (in Europe, at least). “The Porsche Classic Partners will be setting up a separate area for this purpose with classic vehicles on display and current spare parts together with technical literature and information,” Porsche said.

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A Typical Greedy Car Rental Company

A Typical Greedy Car Rental Company | Car Rentals |

Check this out and see why finding an alternative to the car rental companies’ insurance is a necessity. If you have ever rented a car in Australia or New Zealand you will notice the sinking feeling you get while at the rental desk.

Below are the rates of a typical greedy car rental company for their CDW (Collision Damage Waiver – they are not allowed to refer to it as insurance)

  • They leave you with $6000 liability
  • For $38 a day they reduce your liability to $1100
  • For $49 a day they will reduce your liability to $550

That can be more than the rental itself!

Top4's insight:

Heads up! You can be the next victim. Always check for low cost car rental excess insurance through the internet, so that you'll have an estimation budget for your hired car.

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Legalization of Uber and other ride-sharing services in Canberra

Legalization of Uber and other ride-sharing services in Canberra | Car Rentals |

In ACT the Government stated that the territory would be the first jurisdiction in Australia to regulate ride-sharing before services like Uber entered the market.

In the other states and territories authorities have restrained on Uber, with drivers facing fines and registrations suspension. As early this month ACT taxi drivers protest about the up coming arrival of Uber that’s why they undertook three-hours strike and they stated that without proper changes to the legislation service like Uber would brought up unfair advantage to traditional taxis. 

Today, under the reforms made by the government for taxis, the license fee will be decreased from $20,000 to $10,000 from October 30 and then $5,000 a year later. The changes to legislation would decrease the costs for the existing tax industry said by Government ensuring they remained competitive.

In late October services from ride-sharing, Uber able to go through the market of Canberra 

Top4's insight:

Now that there's a changes to the legislation, the  taxi drivers would be more happy with the fair reforms.

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Diesel gate affected vehicles recalled by Volkswagen Australia

Diesel gate affected vehicles recalled by Volkswagen Australia | Car Rentals |

VOLKSWAGEN Australia is the first subsidiary in the world to announce the recall of VW vehicles installed with emissions testing-defeating defeat devices –prior to a fix to the problem has been confirmed and also Audi Australia who announced their voluntary recall at the same time.

The companies announced today that they will start contacting with their customers regarding the modification repair, which will fluctuate defending on the age of the vehicle and power train. The issue was believed to have evolved in 2008.

In a statement of Outgoing CEO of Volkswagen Australia John White said “I want to assure all customers that the affected cars are technically safe and the necessary measures will be undertaken at no cost to them.” Mr. White whose two-year tenure started with a huge-scale DSG recall and stop in the midst of the ‘diesel gate’ crisis. He also added “We will do everything we can to fix this problem and regain the trust of our customers”. Both Companies Volkswagen and Audi Australia is making sure that all the vehicles that have been affected to the crisis are going to be fixed as soon as possible, and also prove that they are committed in supporting their customers. 

Top4's insight:

Despite the crisis of Volkswagen and Audi Australia in their vehicle that have installed by diesel gate devices they still assure the support and commitment to their customers even it will cost much.

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