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The differences between local residents and visitors when renting a motor vehicle.

The differences between local residents and visitors when renting a motor vehicle.

There are some rental vehicle operators who deal almost exclusively with local residents and there are others who deal either exclusively or almost exclusively with visitors.

The rental vehicle operators who deal mostly with local residents are mainly those who rent trucks, vans, utilities and trailers - their clientele uses these vehicles mostly for short term domestic purposes, like taking materials to a recycling centre or transporting bulky items, either for personal use or business use. 

We deal exclusively with passenger vehicles, none of which have tow bars, so we are not suppliers within this marketplace.

There are many rental car operators who do not accept rental applications from "local residents", with websites often saying that anyone with a licence address within 100Klm of our depot is not an acceptable renter.

The paradox here is that if they live on the Gold Coast and want to rent a vehicle, they are pariahs in the eyes of some rental companies, but if the same person seeks to rent a car in Sydney or Melbourne, they are welcomed with open arms by the same companies that would deny them rentals on the Gold Coast.

Why is this so?

There are about seven specialist rental car fleet insurers in Australia and all of them impose special check procedures against local residents (more than one form of ID; confirmation of employment, etc.). The insurers bring these restrictions to the table because "theft by hirer" is the biggest scourge within the rental car industry worldwide! About 95% of "theft by hirer" incidents are perpetrated by local residents.

The rental companies who won't deal with locals are generally doing so because if they fail to observe the check procedures imposed by the insurance companies, they may well be uninsured if there is a claim for "theft by hirer". Some rental companies (like us) will deal with locals, but they do undertake the extra "checking" required by their insurance company. Irrespective of theft by hirer risks, experience tells us that locals are "higher maintenance" than visitors, 

So, how come a person living on the Gold Coast is a "Saint" in Melbourne and a "Sinner" on the Gold Coast? 

We believe it is often that the discipline imposed on visitors (they have to catch a particular flight to get here, they have to vacate their accommodation on a particular day, and they have to catch a particular flight home), makes them a more dependable keeper of appointments than someone without those imperatives. When they go to another destination, those imperatives are imposed on them and they suddenly become more appointment-dependable than when at home.

What do we do for our customers who are local residents?

Firstly, we try to understand their needs – there are many different reasons why someone would want to rent a vehicle locally, including:

  1. They need to cater for visiting family members or friends
  2. They don’t trust their own car to take them to a destination outside of the Gold Coast
  3. They have sold their vehicle and are looking to buy another vehicle
  4. Their vehicle is undergoing mechanical repairs
  5. Their vehicle is undergoing accident damage repairs

The first two examples create the same “dependability” as holidaying visitors because they know exactly how long they need to have the rental vehicle.

The last three examples all have a high level of uncertainty about them, the renting customer is not in full control of how long they need to have a rental vehicle.

They don’t know when they will find a used vehicle that they want to buy, and if they have ordered a new vehicle, they really don’t know when the dealer will be able to provide the right vehicle.

Similarly, whilst their mechanic might have given them a completion date, there can be delays with getting replacement components.

The fifth example is the most complex matter as there are potentially different scenarios involved within the accident damage environment. Again, possible doubt about when the job will be finished because of delays in getting components, poor weather and staff availability.

But further to those issues, there are four different possible scenarios:

  1. The incident causing damage may be the fault of the renter, or it may be the fault of another party.
  2. The renter may be protected by an insurance policy which allows them to have a replacement vehicle during the repair period, in which case the insurance company will dictate the maximum daily rate and the maximum period for which they will pay. Usually, it is something like $45 per day, maximum 10 days.
  3. The renter may not have that facility in their insurance policy, usually because they had not ticked the appropriate box when they applied for their policy.
  4. The renter may be the “innocent” person in a multi vehicle incident, in which case the renter will have a common law right against the other party for compensation of losses incurred. This is of not much use if the other party is uninsured, but if they are insured, their insurer will support them in respect of their obligation to the “not at fault” party.

Here’s what we do for locals apart from all the value, service and integrity that is built into all of our rental bookings:  

We provide those who don’t have certainty of how long they need the vehicle, and who find out that they will get their vehicle back at an earlier date than initially expected, a guaranteed refund of any unused rental days based on 24hrs notice.

We strive to ensure that we allow a buffer at the end of the rental period, freeing up the vehicle for an extension if required. We provide these customers with a “daily rate” for extensions, so that they know what they might be up for if they require the vehicle for an extended period, whether it’s one or several days.

With those who need to have a replacement car because of an accident, we can provide them with a car at extremely short notice most of the time, or we can offer you a “not at fault” rental deal where you do not need to pay the rental bill if the other party has agreed to indemnify you for your loss. This process requires that:

(a)   The other party is insured

(b)   Their insurer has acknowledged liability

(c)   Their insurer agrees to pay us after your vehicle is repaired or written off

This process usually takes a week or two to get certainty about the above pre-requisites for a “No pay” rental to be verified.

Whatever your rental car needs are, we are confident that you will get a great deal better at Family Car Rentals.


Posted By Darryl

Updated : 26th June 2024 | Words : 1111 | Views : 196

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place1 Wheeler Crescent (Cnr Villiers Drive), Currumbin Waters, Queensland 4223
phone+61 7 5508 3333