Australia is a great driving country full of fantastic, twisting roads and wonderful scenery. Ignore some of the more stupid speed limits (such as the ever changing Southern Freeway in NSW) and it’s a drivers’ paradise.
So next time you take a hire car somewhere far flung, why not do it in a bit of style?
You don’t have to go to a dedicated sports car rental company to get some better wheels under you than a Hyundai Getz. While places such as Sports Car Rentals will give you the pleasure of driving away in a Lamborghini, Porsche or Lotus, the chances are the vast majority of your credit limit will be left there when you drive out. If you get a bit realistic and have a look around, you can pick up a nice bit of German luxury for under $500 for a few nights.
Think Europcar and Hertz in this case. Europcar has a great range of fresh Audis, ready for you to hop into. Whether you’re after the dainty A1, A3 wagon, A4 sedan, A6 large sedan or the seriously sporty A5 convertible, chances are you’ll be able to lock one in at Europcar. Not into the Audis despite Top Gears insistence that they have overtaken BMW in terms of wanker status? Then check out Hertz, who will let you drive away (for a fee) in a Mini Cooper S hard top or convertible, Mercedes C200K or CLC200K or even the smooth Lexus IS250 or RX350 wagon.
The only thing you will have to remember about these premium cars is that you will be limited in the kilometres you can drive under the initial charges and then charged per kilometre if you go over that – but we found the initial allowance to be very generous, usually 400km and upwards, which smashes the general 100-150km allowance of specialist sports car rental companies. Also, you won’t be able to pick up one of these luxury vehicles at just any rental outlet. Usually you’ll have better luck in the big cities or at airport outlets.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.