Wanting to hire a car in Darwin and struggling to find a car hire company that will give you unlimited kilometres?
With the several hundreds of kilometres stretching before you between Darwin and all the magnificent sights that you want to tick off on your Top End adventure, it can be quite frustrating that almost all car hire companies in Darwin appear to refuse unlimited kilometre hire.
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When myself and my friend, Rachael, visited Darwin, Katherine and Kakadu we knew that we wanted unlimited km car hire. We had a lot of beautiful places we wanted to experience and tick off our list and we didn’t want to be limited in distance or be left with a large bill at the end.
We were then shocked that as phoned up car hire after car hire that not only would they not provide unlimited kilometres, the attitude of most was ‘no one in Darwin will give you that.’ Everywhere we looked online would say UNLIMITED CAR HIRE *excluding Darwin. The best deal we could find was about 250km free a day and then 30c for each kilometre over. Given that the distance between Darwin and Katherine alone is over 300km one way, we knew that this would add significantly to the cost of our trip.
While surely the business’s perspective was that the larger distance between sights in the NT meant that each hirer would run several hundred kilometres up and run the car down quicker, it was quite disheartening to see so many companies putting themselves above the experience of their customers.
The Break Through
While we were phoning (and being rejected) by almost all car hire companies in Darwin, one of the car hire operators let us in on how to get what we wanted.
In almost whispered tones, we were told that we could get the exact same deal she was offering us but with unlimited kilometres if we didn’t book directly with them but booked with Tourism Top End, a third party agent.
Book with Tourism Top End
So we looked up Tourism Top End and as you guessed it, she was correct. Tourism Top End offers car hire from a range of companies, including the ones that had all refused us unlimited km hire. We could choose from a variety of cars and make the booking online, in email or over the phone.
My friend Rachael phoned up one of the operators directly after finding Tourism Top End to see if they would match the deal provided by the third party agent, and no, they wouldn’t. Given both of our experience in the tourism industry we found this very surprising; however, our learning and our advice from this is save time and just book with Tourism Top End straight away.
*Please note: This is advice given based on OUR experiences at the time it was written. I am NOT associated with the companies mentioned, nor have I received any commission for this article. Check with the company for any updates re: car hire and deals.
A small tip but one that saved us a few hundred dollars, which can always go to something far more enjoyable than excess kilometre charges!
Enjoy your time in the Northern Territory!
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