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4WD or not?

England
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4WD or not?

We're coming out in September and will be hiring a vehicle, only problem is that whenever I check car rental companies they say no driving on untarmaced roads. I've visited my sister in NSW 3 times in the last 2 years and each time I go I've found that virtually everywhere interesting requires using untarmaced roads. Is this the same in QLD?

London / Brisbane
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260 posts
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1. Re: 4WD or not?

It really depends on the car rental company. Basically what they are meaning is that you will be liable if you have an accident on a NON sealed road

Townsville...
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2. Re: 4WD or not?

You can hire off road 4wds. You just have to tell the company when you book as there is an insurance surcharge.

Calgary, Canada
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3,591 posts
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3. Re: 4WD or not?

I thought this person was asking if they really needed to rent a 4wd, not about the fine print on the 4wd.

I'm a little confused about the stipulation of not driving on unsealed roads. In Canada, in rural areas, there are lots of roads without asphalt. They're dusty, you can get stone chips and you have to drive a little slower, but you certainly don't need 4WD for them. What makes these roads in Australia different?

I can imagine roads that really do need 4WD. But are the roads that rental car companies forbid really 4WD only roads, or are they roads that local people drive their regular cars on, and the rental agencies are just being overly cautious?

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Noosa
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5,855 posts
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4. Re: 4WD or not?

I would happily drive my own car on dirt roads etc howevere when hiring a vehicle, most companies stipulate no insurance if driving on an unsealed road. So fellow trip advisors, who know's any companies that do not have this clause?

Townsville...
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1,047 posts
47 reviews
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5. Re: 4WD or not?

The fine print of a standard rental stipulates that if you damage the vehicle on an unsealed road, you pay for the damage as insurance will not cover - unless you hire the vehicle for this specific purpose. All incllusive "on road" insurance is around $A30/day (covers windscreens, etc). Off road is more like $50/day - insurance only.

There are a stack of roads in north Queensland which are 4wd only. One of the most famous is the Bloomfield Track which connects Daintree with Cooktown. In very dry conditions you can use a 2wd but we are continuing to get rain at the moment so this year it's 4wd only. Roads north of Cooktown usually require a 4wd. Most tourists on short stays are better taking a tour in specially designed vehicle with a guide.

Townsville...
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1,047 posts
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6. Re: 4WD or not?

I forgot to add there are a number of companies up this way which hire 4wd for offroad. My favourite is http://www.meteorrentals.com.au/.

7. Re: 4WD or not?

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