4WD rental

Submitted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 10:40
ThreadID: 102219 Views:3561 Replies:11 FollowUps:12
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I finally got a ticket to Australia, to Melbourne, and from there will be flying in to Perth. Reserved a 4WD at Avis then remembered I need written permission to go north of Canarvon. Forgot to do that with all the research and planning.

I called, and discovered to my dismay the following:

I can get permission to go to Exmouth but not north of that.
NO OFF ROAD at all.

And - here's the kicker - no going to Karijini.

I am quite dismayed. The Avis guy suggested renting from Newman, but I already paid for the flight into Perth.

Found somewhere online that a company called Travel Car might have rentals, but just e-mailed them so no response yet.

I don't quite understand how tourists (who need to rent) get around this, or if non-Australians simply don't camp, or what. Surely people visit both Ningaloo and Karijini, as well as other places, north of Exmouth.

Anyone have any insights into this?
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Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 10:46

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 10:46
You don't really need a 4x4 to get around up there, most of the roads you will be using can be driven with a standard vehicle.


AnswerID: 511087

Follow Up By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 10:58

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 10:58
I know that about Karijini, which is why I was so taken aback that I can't drive a *4WD* there if I rent it from Perth. I already bought the ticket to Perth and a hotel night there before and after the camping trip, after checking multiple times that there's a 4wd available for my dates. Never occurred to me that I won't be able to go to Karijini.

I think I do need a 4WD to get to campsites otherwise I'll be too limited.
FollowupID: 789195

Reply By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:28

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:28
Well, no one else has cars at these dates or automatic or this and that...

Guess I'll give up on Karijini. I have a 4WD from Perth so I'll stick with that and just explore along the coast. There's enough to see , just a shame.

I also don't get how people who must rent a 4WD can go off road at all.

Maybe no one does? Or they're forced to go on organized tours?

I like to roam, peacefully, without too much of an itinerary. The rental companies make it very complicated (unless I'm missing some big secret that other travellers are in on).

Oh well, it's my first trip to OZ, I'm sure there's more than enough to enjoy no matter where I go. I just want to relax and see the land. Cheers!
AnswerID: 511091

Reply By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:50

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:50
G'day Cloudseeker

Sorry to read the angst in your post, but there are plenty of vehicle hire organizations based in Perth who allow their hire four wheel drives to be driven off road.

Obviously there are requirements you might need to meet financially and legally with the hire company, but there are hundreds and possibly thousands of hire 4wd vehicles circulating throughout the regions above the 26th parallel and Karijini is a destination you can definitely visit in a hired/rented four wheel drive ~ maybe not Avis/Perth.

The Newman branches of all the hire vehicle organizations are absolutely chocka block with ready to go four wheel drives, none are provisioned for remote region travel, so you need to provide your own food/water camping gear etc ~ yes Newman has a shopping precinct and you would be able to purchase everything you require, even a permit/pass to enter and travel throughout Karijini ~ Millstream and Rudall River National Parks.

How do I know this, I live in Newman and I was at the Newman airport just yesterday afternoon.

Do I personally use a hire 4wd ~ No
Do I arrange hire 4wd's for my clients ~ Yes (when requested)

I also recommend the use of a high clearance vehicle (4wd) for touring through Kaijini and anywhere you have to travel on an unsealed road, simply because conditions can and do change quickly mainly due to wet weather, but also because of road works and most two wheel drive vehicles can then be found to be the wrong choice of transport in the outback. My home weather station has recorded 9.3 mil of rain in the past 10 hours.

AnswerID: 511092

Follow Up By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:45

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:45
Excellent! I'm looking at the flights and trying to figure it out - maybe fly to here or Exmouth and return to the other. Great! This is the 'secret info' I was missing.
FollowupID: 789207

Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:40

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:40
G'day Cloudseeker

Any flight you try to arrange within Western Australia will originate from Perth, if you use any of the major carriers ~ Qantas, Virgin/Skywest.

You might be able to charter a flight with a smaller organization such as Polar Aviation who do what is called a mail run flight, I don't recommend these mail runs simply because you are flying short haul runs to and from Pastoral stations and it can take days to reach a major destination such as Newman or Paraburdoo in the Pilbara.

It's not "secret info" ~ you just need to ask the right questions when researching your Australian adventures.

ExplorOz is most definitely the best place to start your researching.

If your itinerary forces you too start your journey from Perth, have a closer look at your hire vehicle options by doing a search of the "back packer hostels" and their various touring options, either in an organized group tour or by hiring a fully optioned four wheel drive vehicle, or you could also purchase a reasonably reliable used four wheel drive, chuck your gear into it and "Go see WA" at your own pace ~ then sell the vehicle when you are fully toured out ~ you may just come out of it with Dollars in your pocket and a camera full of fantastic memories.

Safe travels :

FollowupID: 789211

Follow Up By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:55

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:55
That's a pretty funny picture... ;)
FollowupID: 789213

Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 19:03

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 19:03
G'day Cloudseeker

If that image is funny ~ these two should crack you up no end !!

The thing is that people actually hire vehicles and then the hire companies laugh all the way to the bank ~ with your money.

Now ~ that's pretty funny!!

Safe travels :
FollowupID: 789227

Follow Up By: allein m - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 17:56

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 17:56
So that is how they make toyota s put big landcrusers into a enclosed area and they bred and make lots of hilux"s lol
the big red flag mean it is breding season i guess lol
FollowupID: 789323

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:28

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:28
I just used this text "4wd offroad hire perth" in google.

I clicked on the first one past the ads and got Aussie 4wd offroad hire

I don't know them or anything about them but it's a start.

AnswerID: 511100

Follow Up By: didjabringabeer - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:36

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:36
cloudseeker. As above I googled 4wd rental Perth and heaps came
up. Did not check any out but I think you could get one, or maybe
a 2wd ute. Good luck anyway.
FollowupID: 789206

Follow Up By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:47

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:47
Thanks! E-mailed them. I looked so much, don't know why I didn't see this. Maybe fatigue from looking at flights, hotels, etc.
FollowupID: 789208

Follow Up By: Bob W5 - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 22:40

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 22:40
Hi Cloudseeker, A couple of years ago I was crossing the Simpson desert and met 2 blokes from England driving a 4wd hired from Britz, They had hired it for 6 weeks and were driving from Sydney to Broome and then flying home.OMG what a fantastic trip. Britz have fully fitted out 4wds campers for hire... Happy travels.
FollowupID: 789259

Reply By: Candace S. - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:35

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:35
I'm confused why Perth Avis won't allow the "4WD" you rented to be taken off the pavement. Is it actually a car-based vehicle, as opposed to a Landcruiser or something like that?

Did you verify if that vehicle includes unlimited kilometers per day, or if there's a limit? maybe things have changed since 2008 but when I was researching then, many of the rentals had the limits.

I'm not sure why you would think "non-Australians simply don't camp", or why you have the idea non-Aussies don't go into remote areas on their own, given we have talked before about my 2008 trip. I rented a Bushcamper (manual transmission, though) from Britz (www.britz.com) and camped every night for four weeks. Only four of those nights were in campgrounds, one of which was a remote and otherwise unoccupied campground with simply an "honesty box" for payment.

The only places I wasn't allowed to drive that vehicle were a few of the more notorious outback tracks, such as the Canning Stock Route and the Simpson Desert. Otherwise I was free to go anywhere in the country, with unlimited Km's. I picked it up in Darwin and returned it in Adelaide.

Judging by this thread, you forgot or ignored most of the info and advice I previously offered (here and via email), lol!!!
AnswerID: 511101

Follow Up By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:52

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:52
I neither ignored not forgot, thanks.
FollowupID: 789212

Reply By: equinox - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 22:52

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 22:52
I don't know about now, however 10 years ago Budget didn't care where you went!!!

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 511137

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 23:16

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 23:16
In 2009 we wanted to hire a 4WD to tour the Kimberley. Not one could guarantee that we would even be allowed on the Gibb River Road until the day before pickup. Our son had an altercation (prang) with a hire 4WD on the Tele Track up the Cape. The bloke had to fork out for BOTH cars. He did not read the fine print. Only allowed on gazetted roads.

Careful with rentals.

AnswerID: 511140

Reply By: fisherPete - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 13:04

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 13:04
The big three are mainly interested in business custemers,not renting 4wds to tourists,but the niche 4wd rentals will rent you a proper 4wd for touring.If you read the fine print on any big three rental agreement they are not to be taken off road. Lots do but the xxxx hits the fan when and accident happens.
Good luck Pete
AnswerID: 511163

Reply By: cloudseeker - Friday, May 17, 2013 at 05:50

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 05:50
Long story short, looked up Newman, flights to there, costs...didn"t work. Looked at smaller 4WD companies - they didn't have anything, either for my dates or automatic or whatever was the case.

Did find an automatic 4WD (not a campervan) at Britz Perth, so I booked that (and had to pay in full at time of booking). They don't have restrictions on travel to either Exmouth or Karajini, and my feeling is (though I'm not 100% sure) that they're more flexible about allowing pulling off the main road for camping. It's much more expensive than Avis, possibly because it includes what you would pay for excess.

In any case, good to know about Newman, will keep that in mind for future trips. I'm not sure if their 4WD are automatic, though. I guess if I were only to be somewhere remote with very little or no traffic I could struggle with manual transmission, but with traffic, and traffic lights, and roundabouts, and other cars with irritable drivers all coming at me, all on the wrong side for my brain, I can't do it.

For now, nervous about driving on the other side, so I'm glad I have a suitable vehicle which I feel comfortable in. Will pick up supplies without going into Perth downtown, then go to the highway and then just stick to the correct side. Hopefully I can turn off at some point, drive a bit and camp. I'll only get the camps wide book when I get to Australia, it's not yet available on Amazon.

Sort of wish I had a private driver to get me out of town. :)
AnswerID: 511207

Reply By: MarkLH69 - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 22:33

Monday, May 20, 2013 at 22:33
I've seen these guys at the 4WD shows (I have no personal knowledge or connection to them)


Not cheap, but they seem to allow you to go most places.
AnswerID: 511483

Reply By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:03

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:03
So a week before I'm supposed to go, after checking, double checking and triple checking with Britz - yes, it's an automatic.. yes, you can go camping, you can let out air of needed. You can go to the Gibb river road with permission.

I discover that the car is not Britz but Europcar, but Britz insists it follows their terms since it's rented through them. I call to make sure - and NO. No offroad, no nowhere. No camping.

Britz has only manual 4WD which I can't drive. I might try in a very rural location with no other cars around for short distances, but no way I can do this in normal driving conditions, not on top of needing to drive on the other side.

So I guess no company has automatic 4WD which you can take camping/offroad. Even though we do this in other countries all the time.

So that's that. Either cancel my flight or get a regular car and be stuck with hotels. Considering the price and quality of hotels in WA, I guess I'll just cancel the trip.
AnswerID: 512068

Follow Up By: cloudseeker - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:58

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:58
I see several cheap used Jeep Cherokees for sale. Don't know how to buy from the US, but that seems the way to go. One's in WA for 2,900. Wish I could look it over!
FollowupID: 790393

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 14:53

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 14:53
Try asking these people about both an inspection and an agent to act on your behalf.

The Royal Automobile Club (RAC)

You never know if you don't ask.

FollowupID: 790404

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