26 September, 2023
Last updated on 27 September, 2023
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Posted by Spaceships Crew
The best way to experience Australia like a local is by self-drive. Hiring a rental car or a campervan is the perfect way to do this. Driving in Australia is easy – you just need to remember to stay on the left side of the road and master driving the right way around a roundabout (especially in places like Noosa!).
The independence of a self-drive holiday has huge benefits
Avoid the crowds. You can check out attractions when no one else is there. Instead of arriving on a tour bus with 40 other tourists. Allowing you to get the best photos and have the best experience possible.
Flexibility.Driving a rental vehicle allows you to make your itinerary and change it at the last second. Stay an extra day for local markets or events that you only just found out about. Hungry? Stop at a cool café you drive past. Hot day? Stop at the beach for a swim.
Taste yummy local cheese on your Australian road trip
Is it easy to rent a car in Australia?
Renting a car in Australia is no different to any other country. Various sizes are available, Compact, Midsize, Full size, SUV. You go to the rental company, sign some paperwork and off you go. Which is great as you are on the road. You have your car, but that is it, just a car.
Rent a car for camping is more like a road trip survival trip
Thinking about renting a car for your Aussie adventure? Are you sure? It might seem like a nice budget solution but are you aware that Australia is a hot country? There is nothing in your rental car to keep your drinks and food cold. Yes, you could buy an Esky (coolbox), buy ice and get by. Then the ice melts, food gets waterlogged and at the end of your trip, you have a large bit of plastic to go into landfill. Not helping the war against plastic!
And will your Esky heat up the kettle for an afternoon coffee at the next scenic rest stop? How much extra money are you going to end up spending on takeaways and drinks?
Time to rethink that road trip plan. A compact campervan would be an even better solution instead of renting a car for a camping road trip. The budget model in the Spaceships range of campervans is definitely more wallet-friendly than a traditional car. Just as all Spaceships campervan the budget model also comes pre-loaded with all essential cooking and sleeping gear.
That means a HUGE saving as you don't need to bring or buy additional equipment. What’s more, while cars are built for driving, compact campervans like Spaceships offer the dual luxury of driving and comfortable sleeping. Our compact campervans drive like a good car, equipped with automatic transmission so easy & smooth automatic gear changes. So, if you're looking to rent a car for camping, pivot to a compact campervan and take a regular to the next level so it becomes a great #SpaceshipsRoadTrip.
Enjoy freshly brewed coffee in amazing places
Current challenges with car rental in Australia
Since the global pandemic and border closures ended, car hire in Australia has become more expensive. A global shortage of semi-conductors led to a shortage of new hire cars combined with increased demand due to the fact that more Aussies want to explore their own backyard has seen car prices rise by up to 36% against pre-pandemic levels, leading to a reduced number of new vehicle fleets.
According to recent data, car rental searches more than doubled. It’s a perfect storm that has seen car hire rates continue to increase. The cost of renting a car in the Northern Territories and Queensland has more than doubled, and Tasmania car hire has increased enormously as well.
How to hire a better car for less money
There is a way that you can beat the traditional car hire price increases though. Spaceships Rentals has an existing fleet of Toyota Estimas that have been modified into compact campervans. But one of the best things about a Spaceships campervan is that it drives like a good car.
It’s also cheaper to rent than traditional car hire in Australia. So instead of paying more for expensive car hire, you can rent a campervan for less money and use it as a hire car.
Spacious, impressive and outstanding
The Toyota Estima comes with a renowned reputation. This is what QuickRevs say in their review of the Toyota Estima: “Every car made under the name of Toyota comes with a durable cabin, spacious interior, and impressive styling. The same goes for Toyota Estima which features an outstanding cabin. Do you know what makes it highly desirable? Creatively insulated cabin, letting you enjoy a relaxing, quieter ride with no engine or road humming."
In addition, when you hire a Toyota Estima from Spaceships, you’ll find a great rental vehicle driven by an automatic 2.4-litre petrol engine that is powerful but efficient, delivering 9-10 litres/100kms (Beta and Beta 2S models). It makes an ideal alternative to a hire car, and you can just use it as, well, a car. But it’s not just a car – it’s a Spaceship!
Take your rental car experience to the next level
The Ultimate Road Trip!! Spaceships Campervans are here to help! Our vehicles are designed to be just like a car to drive but with all the features of a larger motorhome. You might not think that “camping” is for you, but travelling in a Spaceship does not need to be a camping holiday!
For example, the Beta 2S is our premium model that is here to provide that perfect upgraded rental car experience to explore Australia. It has a discreet and sleek look with a little branding. Some features you will find with the Beta 2S:
Fridge – to keep your drinks and food cold
Cooking equipment (even a kettle) - Everything needed to cook a delicious breakfast by the beach – or just to brew a coffee to perk you up during your afternoon drive.
USB ports – to keep phones and other devices charged for your road trip (especially the GPS)
Bluetooth Stereo with aux cable – What is a road trip without a good playlist
Camps Australia-wide map book – An easy way to plan your route and find attractions/petrol stations/free campsites/rest areas.
The advantages of hiring a compact campervan: cooking & sleeping gear are included
No better way to explore than by Spaceships campervan
What’s more Spaceships' goal is to make things easy for you! We don’t have all the extra fees that Rental Cars have:
No fee for one-way trips
No additional driver fees aka add extra driver(s) for free
Unlimited kilometres - go where you want to go for as long as you want to
No young driver fees - anyone 18 years or older with a valid driving licence can hire and drive a Spaceships campervan
+ We include everything you need for your ultimate road trip
We mentioned flexibility earlier, part of being flexible on your Spaceships Roadtrip is you don’t have to sleep in your Spaceship every night or any night! The cost of hiring a Spaceship is comparable to hiring a car! But it gives you an extra option! You can stay at Eco-retreats/Hotels/Air BnB’s every night and just use your Spaceships for driving + the extra features like cooking equipment+fridge.
One night you might find a beautiful National Park with a free campsite – change your plans – kick back, watch the sunset and stars come out then sleep in the serene silence that can only be found away from the urban hustle and bustle.
Even more advantages when travelling in a Spaceship
Storage Space. There is plenty of storage space for your luggage. You can forget about needing to lug your heavy suitcase in and out of a rental car. You can leave it where it is, even if you are staying in alternative accommodation, you can easily just take what you need in a daypack and leave the rest in the secure/lockable storage compartment.
Add table and chairs to be able to soak in the beautiful surroundings in comfort with a glass of wine and cheese and crackers (all kept cold in the fridge!). Friendly Staff. Our staff are passionate about travelling in Australia, a bit different from normal rental car staff. All our customers are going on holiday and are here to enhance that holiday! We will spend time with you showing you how all the features of your Spaceship work and give you plenty of secret tips about where to go and what to see!
Making changes to your booking is free! No hidden fees at all – we stand by this – the rental car industry has a lot of rogue operators who add on extra fees when you pick up your van. We promise the price you see online is the price you’ll pay!