Tips for First Time 4WD Vehicle Rental


Be Careful, - this is what we have found over time.

 For someone who knows nothing about the operation of a 4WD  hiring a vehicle is a great adventure.  Off the plane, grab the baggage, hire car desk, give over your hard earned, out the door, the sunshine of central Australia hits you like brick, find your car, burn your bum on the seat, inside it’s 60C, crank up the diesel, up goes the A/C off we go.  ‘’Gee its only 12.30pm we can make sunset on the Rock, lets go.’’

What about?

Jet Lag, tire pressures, you are OK, this is a hire car, is it hot, who cares, the A/C works great, meanwhile getting tired; tyres getting hotter; what’s gunna happen . . . ?

 Or Catch the bus into town, at the motel, book your self in, go for a wander down to the hire car office, ‘please sign here, here are your keys, I’ll show you around your vehicle . . .

What do you remember? Bugger all; let’s check the glove box for the Owners Manual??  Not there? Oh dear!

 When you hire a vehicle from of a ‘reputable’ hire car company you, would expect it to be in tip top condition with everything set to the manufactures specifications, after all isn’t that what you are hiring? Well you better think again; do not assume that all things are right.  I have been involved in hiring 4WD from reputable companies on more than one occasion; all looks good from the outside but?

 Tyres are sometimes different, can live with that if they are even side to side, then check pressures, well it would be worth buying a tyre gauge just to check this out. It’s a doosie, you’ll be lucky to get 2 tyres with the same pressure, let alone to what the manufacturer specifies. ‘‘The manufacturer wouldn’t have a clue what to set pressures at’’ – no of course he doesn’t. That’s why he spends a couple of mill on testing the things in all conditions. ‘’ We pump them up to get a better mileage from these’’ – so what about the corrugations?  The car is all over the shop, they roll often, I wonder bloody why??

 In the newspaper, Tourist stranded in isolated gorge, bogged to the bum in the hot sand? Err, well mister if you put these things in here, from Free to Lock, and you pull this lever here, put it in reverse what, magic it moves, she yit, look at that. There was no manual in the glove box.

 It shouldn’t be like that. There should be a standard that the Hire Car companies have to maintain. If they can’t where is their duty of care toward the visitors to this country.  Everyone else has a standard they need to adhere. Why should these bastards get away with out, after all they charge you enough.

 If you do nothing else check the 4WD operation

Then check the tyre pressures,

Do a 3 hour familiarization with some one who knows, not only will it be fun but you’ll be halfway to having a good holiday. The other stuff I’ll leave to you.


Clare Fleming