At some point in our lives many of us will need some temporary wheels. It may be for long term use while working in another city or perhaps intermittently for a weekend short break. Either way, when the need arises many of us head straight to our local rental car company.
Rental cars provide the best of both worlds. They offer use of the latest vehicles on the market minus the hefty price tag that comes with ownership. No registration, yearlong comprehensive insurance, servicing, or even washing! And you can simply drop it off once you are done!
But in an ocean of car rental providers how do you go about selecting the right one? And do so without falling for any regrettable – and costly – mistakes? Thankfully, we have rounded up the best of the bunch right here in Canberra. So, without further ado read on below.
What makes a great car rental provider?
Great car rental providers are there to make your life easier. They have the car you need when you need it and are fully transparent with all associated costs. Here are a few aspects to consider while hunting down your next rental car:
- Range & availability. Cars come in many shapes and sizes, each catering to varied passenger needs and style. Whether you need a longer-term rental, some wheels for the weekend, or just a day, range and availability is important. The best car rental services will stock a full fleet of options from small to medium and large vehicles. Should the desire for something more seasoned be required they will offer luxury options as well. And, for the eco conscious a green fleet will also be at the ready.
- Clear costs & contracts. As with any car rental service, it pays to be diligent with costs, contracts, clauses, and insurances. Rates tend to differ based on peak and off-peak days along with hire periods. Generally, the long the tenure of hire the lower the daily rate. And, when it comes to rate the best are often sought ahead of time by booking well in advance. Operators with online booking portals may offer deals from time to time, so invest in some research early. When it comes to contracts, look for operators who allow for booking modifications and pain-free cancellations. And, as for insurance always seek the best coverage and protection. Many hire car operators will include an element of standard cover, however optional extra coverage is most certainly recommended.
- Vehicle condition & cleanliness. It is reasonable to expect nothing less than tip top quality for your rental car. This means a sparkling clean interior and an exterior that looks as though it has slid off the factory floor. Appearances aside, what is equally as important is the condition of all mechanical components. While this will be difficult to gauge, check for new tyres and that all electric features work as they should. Importantly, be sure to complete a joint vehicle inspection with your rental provider prior to leaving. This will pick up and denote any signs of fair wear and tear that already exist on the vehicle. Finally, enquire about cleaning procedures and ensure you elect a provider that opts for antibacterial products.
- Flexible collection & drop off points. Investing extra travel time to simply pick up or drop off your hire car can be a huge inconvenience. While there are plenty of hire car providers, their location – and flexibility with collection and drop off is quite important. Indeed, the ability to return your rental at a different location may be the biggest factor in determining your decision. Operator terms do vary quite a bit. Some of the larger hire services will cater to this easily, while boutique services may not. So, while shopping around consider your needs, start, and end locations, and match hire services accordingly.
- Flawless customer experience. Booking a rental car should need not be rocket science. The process should be simple and seamless from the first click or call through to handing the keys back over. Whether booking online, via phone, or in person the best car rental services put their customers first. This translates to convenient locations, decent opening hours, easy collections and returns, and even bottled water for clients. Indeed, the best car rental operators make light work of all customer requests, and even handle feedback with a smile.
The best car rentals in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Founded in America some sixty years ago, Enterprise Rent-A-Car have grown to become a global force in rentable vehicles. Their locally based operation, conveniently located at Canberra’s International Airport, delivers tailored rental solutions for every need.
From compact three-door cars to spacious SUV’s, people carriers to vans and trucks, they offer a range of reliable vehicles at the ready. Featuring some of the most well-regarded cars on the market their fleet boasts the likes of Toyota, Mitsubishi, Kia, and Holden, through premium makes like BMW.
For personal clients, Enterprise Rent-A-Car provides an easy alternative for flexible domestic travel, and for life’s big moments like moving house. For those who require lengthier terms, their mini-lease solution offers cars from a minimum 3-month period that comes with a range of additional benefits.
For business clients, Enterprise Rent-A-Car really comes into its own with short to long-term tailored global corporate solutions. These products help to manage costs, simplify business travel, and increase efficiency of teams overall.
What’s more, Enterprise Rent-A-Car makes the entire transaction seamless from start to end. Featuring a range of driver protection products, after hours drop off, and optional second drivers they understand what it takes to service the needs of their customers.
With a range of excellent promotions, flexible terms of hire, renter protection in spades, and a commitment to the highest standards of cleanliness, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Canberra is most certainly worth a visit.
Sandy Robinson shared this great review on Google, “Wonderful customer service, fantastic hire rate and beautiful car. I cannot recommend these guys highly enough. I will definitely use them again and would encourage anyone to give them a try.”
Canberra International Airport ACT 2609
As one of the world’s leading car and truck rental providers Avis Braddon is no different. Offering a comprehensive fleet designed for both personal and business use, they feature an impressive selection of reliable late-model and low kilometre vehicles.
With everything the economical Holden Barina, eco-friendly Toyota Camry Hybrid, through to the luxurious Mercedes Benz Signature Series range they have something for everyone. For affordable prices, risk-free bookings, and protection while driving look to Avis Car & Truck Rental Braddon.
Jo Matters had this to say about the team on Google, “Great service, excellent prices and lovely people to deal with.”
As one of Australia’s largest car rental services Thrifty boasts over 170 locations with one right here in Fyshwick. Owned by the NRMA, Thrifty provides rental services for both short and long-term use.
Featuring a range of cars, 4WDs, trucks, utilities and vans Thrifty has all your rental needs covered. And their convenient location places them a quick 5-minute drive from Canberra International Airport and a mere 10 minutes from Canberra City.
For great personalised service all the way through to drive away consider Thrifty Car Rental Fyshwick.
Michael Watts shared this feedback on Google, “Great staff, they went above and beyond for us. I would definitely recommend hiring from the team at Fyshwick.”
Founded in Sydney in 2015, Splend has grown to become Australia’s largest car rental company for ride sharing drivers.
In essence, Splend provides eco-friendly and affordable cars to on-demand drivers, so they can focus on earning an income. Splend also provides ongoing training and data analytics services for would-be-drivers.
Rental or rent to own options start from a minimum of 6 weeks and feature a range of options from the Kia Sportage, Toyota Camry Hybrid, through to the Hyundai Kona.
Jorge Kichman shared his experience on Google, “Splend has been very professional and helpful. I’ve used their services 3 times in the last 2 years, and I’ve never had any issues.”
Canberra-born Eeve is Australia’s only electric car sharing platform that includes rental insurance under the same roof.
Much like the Airbnb, owners advertise their electric vehicles on Eeve along with available dates. Cars can be collected from the owner or at locations like the airport for an additional fee.
Available cars include the Tesla Model X, S and 3, in addition to Audi, Hyundai and BMW electric options. For the ethically minded car renter Evee makes for an excellent choice.
Ben Madden had this to say on Google, “An excellent company to rent an electric vehicle from. I have now rented Tesla’s on multiple occasions and the process has been quick, easy and stress free….”
Should you require something larger than a car be sure to check out articles on the best van hire and the best truck hire in Canberra. For something special check out our article on the best bus, limousine and hummer hire companies.
Your experience with car rental in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the car rental providers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum age to hire a car in Canberra?
Generally, car rental providers require drivers to be over 21 years of age. Drivers under the age of 25 years may incur a young driver surcharge and be ineligible to hire certain vehicles. Moreover, some car rental providers may carry a maximum age restriction of 75 years.
Are there any license requirements for renting a car?
Most operators request that hirers hold a current and full license that has been held for a minimum of 12 months. Learner and provisional license holders are typically not accepted. For international license holders who carry a license in other languages, an international driver’s license is generally required. For further information contact your prospective car rental provider.
Should I check the condition of the rental car before departing?
Yes! While almost all car rental companies maintain their own records of vehicle condition, there may be aspects that have been missed. To avoid any misunderstanding be sure to conduct a condition report alongside the rental company to denote any signs of wear and tear. For added peace of mind, even snap a photo or two as reference points of the cars condition upon pick up.
What is a Loss Damage Waiver (LDM)?
Loss Damage Waiver, also known as LDW, is an optional protection product that waives a renter’s financial responsibility for loss or damage incurred to the vehicle. This protection is offered on the proviso that terms of the rental agreement are kept. It can cover incidences like theft or vandalism; however often excludes third-party damages or injury. To ensure your rental is covered, speak to your provider.
How can I reduce the excess?
Excess is the amount renters are liable to pay for any damage caused to a hired vehicle. This amount can be reduced by electing to buy excess reduction products. These products may offer varying degrees of reduced excess amounts or be entirely excess free. For more information on options available consult your car rental provider.