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Ask RiotACT: hiring a car to get to Sydney

By dundle 11 December 2015 33

Ask RiotACT

Due to the incredibly unfortunate pricing of flights between Canberra and Sydney, I’ve heard it’s popular to hire a rental car to drive up to Sydney airport prior to international travel.

I can’t take a bus as I am carrying ALL THE LUGGAGE.

I just checked Hertz, Budget and Thrifty, and the first wanted $250 for a car hire, the second didn’t allow a drop-off in NSW and the third didn’t allow a 24 hour rental.

Has anyone done this? Which car company? It’s been mentioned to be many times before so I know it happens, but I can’t figure it out. Or am I stuck with the $250 option? Thanks.

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33 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: hiring a car to get to Sydney
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SidneyReilly 4:44 pm 04 Jan 16

Of course romanics like me would suggest traveling by train,

HenryBG 8:24 pm 21 Dec 15

Wherearetherealliberals said :

We used to do this regularly using all the car firms except Europecar, who were never cheap.

I have used Europcar in 4 countries. They often appear cheapest. I have regretted it on every occasion. It has taken me much negative experience to be able to safely use them now, not that I bother.

dungfungus 12:21 pm 21 Dec 15

Genie said :

dungfungus said :


Currently illegal for ACT Uber drivers to cross the border into NSW.

Good point.
Uber is now legal and established in NSW. One would think that mutual recognition would now prevail with the legislation on cross border issues but when there are state and territory visionaries drafting the agreements, probably not. .

Genie 10:49 am 21 Dec 15

dungfungus said :


Currently illegal for ACT Uber drivers to cross the border into NSW.

rubaiyat 1:20 pm 19 Dec 15

This has got me stumped I am trying to figure out under what circumstances paying for car hire, petrol and parking at Sydney Airport is cheaper/better than flying from Canberra, let alone taking the Murrays bus, with your luggage in the hold, direct to the Airport Departure lounge.

The Driver even helps you put the luggage in, and get it out on to the airport trolley.

Exactly how you handle all this with a hire car particularly at the Sydney Airport end without a lot of multiple shuffling and hassle is a mystery.

rubaiyat 4:06 pm 18 Dec 15

1. Trains run between International & Domestic terminals every half hour after 0459 hr.

2. Murrays Bus is full of people of all ages including the decrepitly ancient

3. Murrays seats are very comfortable. Certainly more so and with more leg room than the airline seats that you are driving to get to.

4. It isn’t just hop into a hire car at your front door with the luggage, it is get to a car hire place (with what?), cue up to hire a car, car inspection, hunt for an airport handy petrol station, stop to fill up the hire car with petrol, find the hire car place near the airport (the cheap ones are not), drop off and usually more paperwork and inspection, then get from the car hire place to the terminal. Hopefully you didn’t get a speeding or traffic infringement along the way.

A lot of inconvenience in the pursuit of “convenience”, and expense in the pursuit of “saving money”.

People do the opposite of their stated intention because it is unthinking habit nudged along by fears, conformity and an incessant stream of advertising that “has no effect on me”.

Mess 3:35 pm 18 Dec 15

Some carriers include the Canberra – Sydney legs as part of the ticket. The only extra cost is tax which can be a little as $20.

nicnacvb 12:13 pm 18 Dec 15

I think I’m just getting too old and snobby for the bus. I just couldn’t get comfortable.

watto23 11:03 am 18 Dec 15

rommeldog56 said :

When travelling OS, I’ve always found it quite good value to book the domestic connections at the same time as the International flights – Travel Agents do that regularly. If the international carrier has a partnership with a domestic carrier or in the case of Qantas or Virgin, is also a domestic carrier, then the domestic connection legs are much, much cheaper in my experience.

Most international carriers have arrangements with domestic carriers.

But, needs to be booked at same time – that’s where a travel agent comes in handy.

This is my experience only.

Worked great for me.

Yep I always book the connections at the same time and often works out around $100 extra each way, but without knowing the OP, you have to remember some people get flights on airlines like Jetstar to Bali for less than the CBR-SYD flight. If I’m travelling I always include the cost of the CBR-SYD flight in my budget and if I can’t afford it I don’t go. I do like the train also, but the murrays bus is more uncomfortable than economy airline seats.

Still I don’t understand how the luggage prevents the OP from catching the bus.

Wherearetherealliberals 7:38 am 18 Dec 15

We used to do this regularly using all the car firms except Europecar, who were never cheap.

Now we take one of our cars and park at the airport. I usually manage to get a parking special offer.

HenryBG 6:38 pm 17 Dec 15

Masquara said :

madelini said :

I’ve caught the Murrays or Greyhound coaches with lots of excess luggage – I paid for my additional bags and it was still easy. They unload your bags at the terminal, then it’s a shorter walk to the check in desk than it would be if you had to drop off the car and walk from there. It’s a minor inconvenience in the short term, but once you’re on the bus it’s smooth sailing to the terminal.

Add to that not having to find petrol just ahead of the terminal, to avoid fill-up gouging at the hire drop-off …

When heading to drop off your car, continue past the airport, just past the domestic terminal turn left up O’Riordan Street. There’s a servo just past the first set of traffic lights there which is perfect for refilling the hire car on the way to the airport. Getting back onto O’Riordan St to head South involves doing something illegal, though, from memory.

I’ve often done the one-way drive. I tend to ring around and make it clear I’m ringing around to find a car that needs to be “returned to Sydney” (or “returned to Canberra” if I’m heading back here) so that they don’t try to pull the “one way hire fee” thing on me.
Occasionally I’ve had to settle for a larger car than I wanted, but that’s only a few extra $$$.

Only had trouble the once, returning on an international flight and needing a large vehicle for luggage and people. *Almost* had to go for the bus, but then one of the hire-car places realised thay had a Tarago they could let me have for $100-odd.

Just get your best negotiator onto it.

campbeln 2:56 pm 17 Dec 15

We generally drive up the night before, stay with friends in Sydney and leave our car at their place, ether Ubering it in or getting our friends to drop us. Works great! If you’re brave/stupid, you could also park on a residential street close to the airport and Uber it over (just remember where you parked!).

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