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Easy guide to van relocation in Australia


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What’s a van relocation?

Van rental is very popular in Australia. It’s definitely a nice way to discover the country, and lot of people use it. But the touristic season doesn’t happen everywhere at the same time. Most people will go to Tasmania in summer time, and people will usually try to avoid Alice Springs when it’s to hot. Because of that, rental companies doesn’t need to have lots of van everywhere at the same time. You don’t really need to keep 100 campervans in Hobart during winter. They are definitely more useful in West Australia or in Queensland. Because of that, the majors van rental company often need there van to be moved from one place to an other, to optimize the use of there fleet. It’s way cheaper to have a van 4 months in Hobart and 8 months on the mainland, that having two vans, used only half the time. That’s what we call a relocation. Driving a van, one way, from a major city to an other one. And for people who like to travel for cheap, it’s a great opportunity.

 

Why relocation is cheap?

Because the rental company really need there van to be moved, they usually offer really interesting rates. Most of the time, you won’t pay the rental (well, actually 1$ or 5$ per day). Of course, you won’t have any one way fee. And quite often, the company will also pay for the gaz. Or part of it. You’ll just have a couple of day allowed. It is not an holiday rental. It is a relocation. It is a win win arrangement most of the time, if you know exactly what you’re looking for and if you do it well. On a personal opinion, as I’m helping the company, I’m expecting them to help me back. I never accept a relocation if the company doesn’t pay part of the gaz. I want to be a winner to. But this one is definitely up to you.

 

How can I find a relocation?

Internet is your best friend. I’ve been spending quite a lot of time, looking at different website, checking what they offer, and the way they work. A couple of them just advertise exactly the same thing. After a while, I managed to pick up 4 websites. They are all in my bookmark, and I visit them quite often.

Stanby Relocs : http://www.standbyrelocs.com/
This one is the most popular. And the worst one. It took me a little while to realize, and I already did a couple of reloc with them at that time.
Good thing: You can call them straight away. You see a relocation that you like, you take your phone, you call, the deal is done. They usually have more relocation listed than other website. They also have relocation in NZ and USA.
Bad thing: They are asking fees. 25$ per booking. Not so much… except if you know that the other website don’t. Even worst: they always offer 40$ less when gaz is paid. When all website advertise a 150$ for a Melbourne – Adelaïde, they offer a 110$.

Transfercar: http://www.transfercar.com.au/
My favorite, because it’s the only one who keep a file about you. You can not call them. You have to make a request, and the van company approve or decline. The most relocation you had with them, the better luck you’ll have to get the next. I like this fidelity system, as I’m doing a lot of relocation.
Good thing: No fee. Fidelity system. Still a good list of relocation.
Bad thing: You don’t know immediately if you got the reloc. You have to wait. Usually a few hours. It’s a little bit hard at the beginning. When your first relocation is done, it’s way faster, and way easier. They are asking you for your card number when making a request, but don’t take any fee on it.

Drivenow: http://www.drivenow.com.au/onewayrentals.jspc
An other interesting one, because you can phone them just after sending a request, so you usually don’t have to wait.
Good thing: No fee. You can call, no need to wait. NZ relocation listed to.
Bad thing: The relocation list is usually less interesting.

Apollo Camper: http://www.apollocamper.com/reloc.aspx
Apollo is a rental company, and they advertise there own reloc (you usually find them also on Stanby reloc, and sometime on transfercar and drivenow).
Good thing: Relocation in USA and NZ too. . Not sure if they have booking fees.
Bad thing: Most of the time, there relocation are not interesting (25$ per day, no gaz paid).
I haven’t done a reloc with them yet.

 

What else?

- You’ll have a maximum number of day. Usually, company except you to drive around 500kms per day. You’ll do a lot of driving, but you still have the time to visit a little. A relocation is a great way to go from one place to an other for a cheap price. Not a great way to relax and take your time.
– Some time, company will allow you a few extra days. Most of the time, you’ll have to pay 75$ per day.
– You also have a maximum kilometers you can drive. Usually, you’ll have the distance between the 2 places + 500 kms. This is way enough if you’re on a Sydney Melbourne, or Adelaïde Melbourne. Be more careful on long distance, sometime kms disappear quickly. Usually, the price is $.5 per extra kilometers. That go up fast.
– Pickup is after 10 am, drop off before 3PM. So if you have 4 days, you actually have 3 days + 5 hours. Keep that in mind.
-You have to pay a bound. Usually $1000. On a credit card, under the name of the driver. Some time, they will take the money and refund it. Sometime, they will just freeze it. In the first case, be very careful with international credit card: You’ll have fee at payment and at refund, and different change rate. It used to cost me between $60 an $80, just in bank fee.

 

BE VERY CAREFUL:

- if you don’t give the van back on time, the contract says that they can keep the bond. It never happened to me, but I definitely don’t want to try to negotiate. Be on time.
– be very careful when reading the rental agreement, specially the insurance part. I discovered, after a few thousands kms drove by night, that insurance might be void if you’re driving by night.
– Don’t forget that those van consume around 13L/100kms. Much more than a car. And they run with diesel. Do some math before booking to see how much the relocation will actually cost you.

 

What about the rental company?

- Britz is the major rental company in Australia, and you can expect to do most of your reloc with them. Van are comfy and all furnished (including towels, sleeping bag, …). But customer service is really bad. “Hey mate, you’re on a reloc, you pay less than other, so just wait”.
-Maui is kind of the same company than Britz. They share the rental office, so you can expect the same customer service.
-Juicy Rental have green and purple van. I was supposed to do a relocation with them, but at the end, I could not. I transfer my relocation booking to a friend with no problem. And definitely had great customer service.
– Haven’t tried any other company yet. Hope to be able to update the list.

 

Is relocation for you?

- You love driving.
– You don’t mind being in a hurry.
– You love driving.
– You want to go from one place to an other for a good price.
– You love driving.
– You want to experiment a different way of traveling.
– You love driving.
– You don’t mind spending a lot of time in a moving vehicle, looking outside and feeling that it’s nice.
– You love driving.
– You want to do a cray road trip at least one in Australia. 2,200kms in 5 days from Melbourne to Alice Spring. 3,000 kms in 7 days for Darwin to Melbourne…

 

I don’t like van. I want to drive a car.

No worries mate. There’s also car rental company in Australia. All the website listed before also advertise car from time to time. Sometime, you’ll find a 12 seats van. Just think about how awesome it can be. Also, most car rental company (Budget, Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Redspot, Thirfty…) have a “special deal” tab, with a “one way” option. That works kind of the same way. But you’ll be driving a car.

2 Responses to “Easy guide to van relocation in Australia

  1. April 25th, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    iris says:

    T’as oublié quelque chose :

    Be very careful :

    Si vous trouvez un CD de Miossec dans votre van, ce n’est pas le votre alors n’oubliez pas de le ramener à Britz!

    Hum, ça se dit comment en anglais ça? :-)

  2. April 27th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Sébastien Chion says:

    “If you find a music album of Miossec in your van, it’s not yours, so give it back to Britz” :)

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