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288 posts

Ultimate Geek

# 128779 23-Aug-2013 08:32
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Doing a family trip to Brisbane area in November for two weeks. I've never had to hire a car before so will be a new experience.

Any recommendations?

Car types? (We have two young kids so will need to hire two car seats also. Also with kids there's always a need for extra luggage so need plenty of room)
Insurance? (Always seems to be an interesting topic as to which options to take.)

We'll be taking a modern car GPS system with us so no need to hire one.
We're going to be based just north of Brisbane so in the middle of things like Gold Coast theme parks and Australia Zoo/Mooloolaba etc.

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Mad Scientist
20905 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 883158 23-Aug-2013 08:36
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book avis via air nz site. cheapest. I've repeatedly tried budget and always regretted it as their computers sometimes get the pricing wrong and I've been forced to pay more than avis at the site regardless of what my email says

if you can hunt down discount codes you can get up to 30-40% off europcar but my universal 40% off europcar has stopped working a year ago :(

Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.

2541 posts

Uber Geek

  # 883164 23-Aug-2013 08:41
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We tend to use Europcar, they have good rates, good service, and good cars. Haven't had an issue yet, have used them somewhat regularly in brisbane, sydney, and coolangatta. They may have changed, but last time I tried to use Avis about 3 years ago they wanted to put the full insurance excess amount (about $3k iirc) on hold on my credit card because I didn't go for their $50/day 'insurance upgrade'.... sod off.


121 posts

Master Geek

  # 883168 23-Aug-2013 08:47
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We are similar to you - a family with two young kids. We travel to South East Queensland quite a bit (usually twice a year). I have always just compared prices for the main rental companies operating from Brisbane Airport itself (Avis, Hertz, Budget, etc) and gone with the cheapest of them.

For the kids while really young we took our own capsule with us (although technically I think they are illegal in Australia) but otherwise have always hired car seats from the rental companies. They are a bit hit or miss with installing them in the car properly (I think they may be concerned about liability if they do it wrong) and the car seats are a bit cheap and nasty, but fine for a week or two.

Be prepared for a shock when you look at prices. We paid almost AUD$700 for a week's car hire earlier this year. This included the car seats, but no additional insurance (our travel insurance covers it and doesn't require us to buy the extra cover from the rental company). This was for an SUV, but with lots of luggage, stroller etc it was worth the extra cost. Perhaps you could get it cheaper by looking at second tier rental companies or picking it up away from the airport. 

5573 posts

Uber Geek

  # 883170 23-Aug-2013 08:53
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Check your travel insurance, as it often covers the (very high) excess on the vehicle insurance that the rental company use to sell you a lower excess policy, at more expense.

361 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 883208 23-Aug-2013 09:35
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RunningMan: Check your travel insurance, as it often covers the (very high) excess on the vehicle insurance that the rental company use to sell you a lower excess policy, at more expense.

I'll definitely repeat what RunningMan said.  Check your travel insurance.  Car rental places make a killing off double insuring you.

We used Apex car rentals when we went in November last year.  We have two little girls so needed car seats and unlike most places their price was very reasonable.  I would recommend them.

288 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 883209 23-Aug-2013 09:38
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Thanks for the travel insurance tip, we went with the AirNZ option when we booked our flights online. Will look at it tonight and see if it covers the rental car insurance.

274 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 883246 23-Aug-2013 11:01
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my parents use it when travelling to Aus and i have used it in the uk

always been a great deal they have some strange rule that you have to be a 100 k from home

Good luck


2514 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user

  # 883324 23-Aug-2013 12:21
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I have used Eurocar a few time in the past, they have tended to have the best rates, have never had them apply the full excess to my credit card before, only take an imprint.

I have hired Audi's, Falcon's and PIS's from them never had an issue.

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Uber Geek


  # 883381 23-Aug-2013 14:13
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I've only used Europcar in Brisbane. Got an upgrade from a basic 4-door sedan (Hyundai) to an Audi A6. Pretty stoked about that.

2385 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user

  # 883384 23-Aug-2013 14:17
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I also used Europcar.
Check the Entertainment Book for discounts.

9 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 883464 23-Aug-2013 15:39
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Just back from Brizzy earlier this month and very happy with Avis. Rate seemed as good as any I researched, and they didn't turn a hair when I brought the car back covered in hard-to-remove soot from sitting beside a steam train all day!

Southern Cross has been consistently good for travel insurance for us. Very good rates; definitely covers rental car excess.

53 posts

Master Geek

  # 883475 23-Aug-2013 15:57
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I've tripped over to Brissy a few times and have used Budget on more than one occassion. 
I booked through - compares the top companies...

Experiences have been fine, in many respects better than any car rentals I've undertaken in NZ!

I've not had to do the car-seat hire but have always gone for a decent 6 cylinder Holdy or similar and haven't been disappointed from a comfort, space, power and price perspective.  Budget were great each time I've used them, I think I used Avis once as well and again, it was smooth so no worries.

As with the other responders above, check your travel insurance and credit card* for rental car cover as that may negate the need to pay for additional cover with the rental firm directly. 
*I think it would need to be the CC used to pay for the trip and/or car rental... not sure exactly, but I know my CC covers this (I checked with them prior to booking the first time I hired a car).

I found Brissy, the GC and the Sunshine Coast a dream to drive around, no worries at all.

Enjoy it!  :)

3208 posts

Uber Geek

  # 883508 23-Aug-2013 16:37
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Never had any issues with Avis personally. Always manage to find on-line deals and easy airport collection and drop-off. +1 on the travel insurance tip - always make sure the car excess is covered via insurance and turn down the excess buyout option from the rental company.

Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman

288 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 883658 23-Aug-2013 22:06
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Interesting read -

1246 posts

Uber Geek

  # 883662 23-Aug-2013 22:10
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I always go to these guys

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