Best 4WD rental company in Western Australia

Submitted: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 06:19
ThreadID: 132519 Views:2584 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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Hi 4WD enthusiasts. I need your help since I'm not from Australia.
I'll be visiting WA in January. I'd like to rent a 4WD and do a bit of remote outback driving. Leave from and return to Perth, 14 days on the road total. Can you recommend a trustworthy 4WD rental company that allows travel on the Canning Stock route or similarly remote routes?
Thanks. Jack
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Reply By: tony_j - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 08:16

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 08:16
Hi Jack,
I can't recommend a rental company as I'm from the eastern states.
I would strongly suggest you re-think your plan to travel the CSR in January. Several reasons, January is the hottest month (40+C) - unless you are extremely prepared and experienced it would be fool hardy, people have died because of the conditions. Summer is our cyclone season, flooding in the northern section could leave you stranded for several weeks. the CSR starts a long way from Perth, is 2000km long (yes- 2 thousand), and while you can drive it in 2 weeks (one way) most take 3 or more weeks one way. Then you have to get back to Perth.
Perhaps you should look more to the Goldfields region, still very hot and you must be prepared but more towns closer (although not many) and usually better roads. Or better still, the area south and south east of Perth would be more do-able.
AnswerID: 600533

Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 11:31

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 11:31
Hi JackUs

A simple answer to your question is that you do not want to be on the Canning Stock Route in January, you will cook with temperatures up in the high 40's or more.

Enjoy sites on the coast and keep out of the deserts at that time of the year, you will not need a 4x.

AnswerID: 600534

Reply By: allein m - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 11:59

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 11:59
I have just read a story in the NT local news regarding a problem with the hire vehicle being totally unroadworthy , The German couple lost there vehicle . So get your vehicle checked by the local road service before you leave the city
I will try to follow the story and see what happens so be careful who and what type of vehicle you hire .
Re the heat I live in Broken Hill and this is a remote mining town and in summer if can often hit 45c and it is a very very dry heat some thing you need time to get used to it
The other thing is being summer and less traffic in remote area there is less chance of getting help from other tourists and i do know of one case where this ended up in the death of two people who broke down in summer in a remote are .
AnswerID: 600538

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 13:46

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 13:46
There has been a lot more than 2 ppl die . If temps are being reported as 40+ , remember that's in the shade , there is not a lot of shade in the deserts ,
A temp of 40 is more like 50+ in the sun .
FollowupID: 869913

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 14:08

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 14:08
the simpson desert is closed over the summer mths the border track is also
for very good reason ,Its too hot an dangerous ,
AnswerID: 600541

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 14:18

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 14:18
Hope he's read these replies

If you are reading these replies, Jackus, you really need to take them seriously. There are lots issues that you need to come to terms with and it takes a bit of time to familiarise yourself with. I certainly would not going into those areas at that time of year. Plenty of off-roading to do near or on the coast in more temperate areas. You need a lot of preparation in the cooler months never mind January.
AnswerID: 600542

Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 15:46

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 15:46
Britz specialise in overseas visitors and provide most things except compressors (so I believe).
WRT travelling into Australia's deserts in summer you'd be crazy to do so. Stick to the coastal areas up to Exmouth or Steep Point and maybe as far north east as the Kennedy Range and Mt Augustus. Way to hot & dangerous otherwise and if the heat doesn't kill you the flies will.
Happy & safe travels.
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AnswerID: 600544

Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 16:29

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 16:29
Jack - No-one with any sense goes touring out into the interior of Australia in January - and certainly not touring along remote and isolated tracks such as the Canning Stock Route.

This is not Route 66, it is merely a winding track through desert and semi desert country, crossing approximately 950 soft sand dunes up to a couple of hundred feet in height.

There are numerous very attractive places along the CSR - interspersed with many dozens of miles of pretty barren, unattractive country. There are salt lakes, rocky terrain that is hard on tyres, and very soft sand where lowered tyre pressures and a run-up at dune faces is required.

The local spinifex grass grows thickly in the centre of the track and it catches and builds up in the chassis and exhaust system of vehicles, and it has to be removed on a regular basis (sometimes every half hour) - or your vehicle will go up in flames in seconds.
Spinifex fires are very difficult to extinguish because of the bitumenous resin in the grass that continues to re-ignite after you think you have the fire out.

Temperatures in January in the desert and semi-desert interior of Australia can reach 48-50 deg C (118-122 deg F). Think Death Valley in Eastern CA in mid-Summer and you have a similar environment along the CSR in January.

In the link below is a website that shows conditions along the CSR in the benign Winter period. Naturally, it's impossible to show the heat in Summer in the interior of Australia.


There are not many 4WD companies that will hire a 4WD for a trip through the CSR in January. It will not be a case of the best company, it will be a case of finding a company willing to trust you with a hired 4WD.

I'd suggest one of the few companies that will hire you a 4WD for remote region use is the one in the link below.
This is a national company, they operate in every state.

Be aware that serious recovery charges apply if you damage the 4WD in a remote region, and it becomes undriveable and needs to be recovered.
I'm thinking about something like hitting an animal or hitting something like a big rock that damages the driveability of the vehicle.

Hired 4WD's are often rolled over by tourists, and some companies refuse to cover the cost of the rollover damage, if the rollover only involves the hired 4WD.

The level of insurance coverage you need is also something that you need to think about.
You either take the hire companys offered insurance or use your own travel insurance to avoid being heavily penalised in case of damage.

Regards, Ron.
AnswerID: 600545

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 07:49

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 07:49
The Beyond insurance info makes good reading.
Here's juts one of the disclaimers- "The Vehicle is totally or partially immersed in any water regardless of cause"

I guess most hire companies will be like that.
FollowupID: 869931

Follow Up By: Gramps - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 08:34

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 08:34
"The Vehicle is totally or partially immersed in any water regardless of cause"

Hmmmmmm ... so heavy rain could be problematical ..... LOL

FollowupID: 869934

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 11:36

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 11:36
Personally, I think the common rejection of any insurance claim involving a single vehicle rollover, is pretty bad.
Rollovers involving only the hire vehicle are one of the most common losses with the hire 4WD's.

Admittedly, a lot of reasons for the single vehicle rollover can be attributed to drivers poor driving skills, carelessness, and swerving to avoid an animal.

However, lack of training comes in here, too. The last motorhome I hired (from Britz) they gave us a 20 min video to watch, detailing nearly all we needed to know about the vehicle.
Adding some basic information about the do's and don't's of driving in Australia would have been a worthy addition to the video - such as, DO NOT SWERVE TO AVOID ANIMALS.

We already have numerous crashes annually because overseas tourists are lacking in gravel road skills, and they also forget where they are, and drive on the wrong side of the road.

I note that numerous hire crowds now have "Drive on the Left" decals right in front of the drivers position on their hire vehicles!

Essentially, you'd better have some good insurance to cover a written-off vehicle caused by a single vehicle rollover - because the vehicle hire companies will not cover it today.
FollowupID: 869937

Reply By: Tomdej - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 16:36

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 16:36
I had a good experience hiring from Hertz and a far less than ideal experience with Australian 4WD Hire. Read terms and conditions before signing up, often makes for interesting reading. No matter what goes wrong or what they supply it's your problem. And when you turn up to take the vehicle they may ask you to sign other conditions and if you don't you cannot take the vehicle.

Britz seem to have a good reputation, but I've never used them.

Also note, January is mid summer, very hot, and this makes outback travel not only less enjoyable but also more risky. There will also be fewer other vehicles to assist you.
Good luck.
AnswerID: 600547

Reply By: JackUS - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 21:17

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 21:17
Folks, first let me say a big THANK YOU for the prompt flow of useful and friendly replies. I used this forum back in 2011 (prior to a memorable January tour of the Oodnadatta track and the Meerenie loop) and remember it to be very valuable. Nice to confirm here.

Ok, admittedly the Canning in January is overly-ambitious, so I’ll have to scale back the plans a bit; for example, I will definitively avoid the Northern sections of the route + maybe do a 100 miles in and out starting from Wiluna? Just for the bragging rights :-)

I really don’t mind the oppressive heat and am used to it from past experiences in the Mojave, the Sonoran and the outskirts of the Simpson desert; in fact, that is an aspect of the desert environment that I masochistically crave, for a few days per year…
And I will not travel solo: my 4WD buddy, who is an experienced driver living in the Emirates, will join for the outback tour.

Thank you all again for the great tips!
AnswerID: 600557

Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 09:00

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 09:00
Its not only you who will suffer from the heat. The vehicle you hire may well not be up to the task you will be putting it to.

I would be extremely reluctant to take a vehicle I didnt know very well into areas like that.

Rentals are not known for their regular and comprehensive maintenance.

Break down out there and it may cost several thosand $$$ for recovery and at worst your life.
FollowupID: 869935

Reply By: allein m - Friday, May 27, 2016 at 14:06

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 14:06
when you arrive you will need to keep a good eye on the weather if there is a cyclone any where along the WA coast there is a possibility that in will head inland if that happens the area you want to travel in will become a swimming pool , and roads totally impassable

you can get 200ml a day easy out that way

AnswerID: 600648

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