Car rental woes.
Over the past months, we have been planning our trip to Australia for Christmas, while we were planning, my daughter let me know that a friend of hers had a car that we could use. She said she would pick us up at the airport and we would have the use of the car for our time in Australia. I thought it was a generous offer and so we agreed.
The car belonged to one of their best friends father who had suffered a stroke and could no longer drive. The man suffered his stroke about three years ago and the car had been off the road since that time. So, when my daughter's friend went to get the car insured he ran into a roadblock. If a car has not been on the road and not insured then by Australian law (Victoria State) the car must be inspected by a mechanic to see if it is roadworthy. The car went in for an inspection a few days ago, just about a week before we were to arrive. It failed.
I have found that renting a car for a trip is similar to buying a plane ticket, if you purchase far enough in advance you can get a good deal if you book at the last minute you pay more. In the past, I have used a number of good car rental companies in Australia. I have used Spendless Car Rental, Cut Price Car Rentals, and Rental Cars.com, Kayak, Enterprise and Alamo to name a few. These are well run, the staff are helpful and the prices are low if you book far enough in advance. We have never had any problem with any of these companies and I would recommend them highly.
This time I checked out the prices at each of the above and I also use Trip Advisor, Car Rental8, Lbcarental.com and Expedia to see if I could get a deal. I found a good deal at Rental Cars.com and they quoted the price in Canadian dollars. I found some lower prices but they were priced in American dollars and after the exchange, they were about 30% higher.
I was happy with the process, and the price I was able to get with only six days before I travelled so I went on Trip Advisor to give Rental cars.com a good rating and I commented on the service I received. The rating and the comment were removed by Trip Advisor because they said it was a paid endorsement. I also had a few people making the same comment within minutes of my posting. I don't do paid endorsements, I am at a stage in my life where I can call it as I see it, and if people don't like what I say, so be it.
The removal of my post did surprise me although it should not have as Trip Advisor most likely has its own agreement with car rental places and does not want customers to be directed to other company's sites. Business is business, but just be careful what you read on Trip Advisor or any other travel site as full information may be blocked to benefit the site. By the way, Trip Advisor had the same car and from the same dealership as Rental Cars but Rental Cars beat their price by about $50.00. My advice is you have to book a car at the last minute shop around you may get a good deal.
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