‘Holiday car hire tax’ to hit travellers hard over school holidays: DriveMyCar

By Tom Watson ·

With school holidays kicking off on Friday afternoon and the 2018 NRL Grand Final doing the same on Sunday evening, travellers will be flocking in and out of Sydney and New South Wales.

But those looking for the best way to get around on a quick family holiday or to and from the game may be in for a shock, with new figures revealing soaring car rental prices over the long weekend and school holiday period.

According to peer-to-peer car rental marketplace DriveMyCar, travellers can expect major car hire companies like Avis, Europcar and Thrifty to charge as much as twice their average 7-day rental rate over the period.

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And interstate travellers flying into Sydney for the Grand Final will be in for an even bigger hit to their wallets, with many of the larger car hire providers charging over $60 a day for airport rentals - a noticeable spike compared to other pick up locations.

This compares to the typical cost of just over $20 a day for hiring a car through DriveMyCar over the same period with a Sydney Airport pick up.

“With only one week to go, anyone looking to hire a car in NSW over the long weekend or school holidays may be in for a shock, with rental rates double what they are usually. A similar spike is expected over the Christmas holidays, making it difficult to plan a getaway without blowing out the budget,” said CEO of DriveMyCar, Chris Noone.

“The arbitrary jump in rates between Sydney Airport and other locations in NSW is yet another example of traditional car rental companies price-gouging consumers and charging a “holiday tax” because they reckon they can get away with it.”

What is peer-to-peer car rental?

You may well have heard of the term ‘peer-to-peer’ in the personal loan space, but what does it mean when it comes to renting a car?

For many Australians, owning a car just doesn’t make sense for a variety of reasons. Whether that’s because of the the expenses involved, environmental concerns or because they just don’t have the space to park one.

But with the emergence of peer-to-peer and car sharing services like DriveMyCar, CarNextDoor and GoGet, Australians are able to take advantage of car hire options, which can be both cheaper and more flexible.

With peer-to-peer services like DriveMyCar and CarNextDoor, renters are able to book cars from their neighbours and other regular Aussies for short and longer-term periods, while owners get reimbursed for the use of their vehicles.

And because these platforms don’t own the cars themselves, they are often able to make the price of hiring a vehicle more competitive than traditional car hire companies.

“DriveMyCar is here to challenge the price-gouging tactics of the traditional car rental companies and offer consumers a better experience,” said Noone.

“We have a wider range that’s designed to appeal to all tastes, whether you’re after a sturdy SUV for family adventures or a smart, sexy convertible for those long coastal road trips. Our pricing is also far more affordable and isn’t subject to the arbitrary ‘holiday tax’ that’s charged by other car rental companies.”

RELATED: Five ways Aussies could be earning extra cash with their cars

If you are planning to hit the road in New South Wales over the long weekend and school holiday period, make sure you’re up to date with the newest changes to NSW road rules which came into effect on September 17.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
Finance journalist

Tom Watson is a financial journalist at Mozo, specialising in fintech, property and business banking. Whether it’s reporting on banking trends or uncovering the latest product innovations, Tom’s mission is to keep our readers up to date with breaking Australian financial news. His work is often sourced in the media and across social media channels. Tom has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.