There are buses and a taxi service on Magnetic Island so if you wanted to leave the car on the mainland you would still be able to get around. All the main places are accessible by bus, but I should say that some of the more out of the way bays are not so you would need your own transport or be prepared for a bit of a walk.
You can also hire mokes, bikes and scooters on the island, but if you have already paid for a hire car you may not want to pay again for this I guess....
To help you weigh it up - if you bring your car over, it costs $149 per vehicle return on the barge. The passenger ferry costs $26 return per person.
Check out www.magnetic-island.com.au for some phone numbers etc which might help.
I don't see why car hire companies wouldn't let you bring the car over - just don't go off the beaten track too much in it I suppose. Maybe best to check!
There are some signposts anyway to warn where hire vehicles shouldn't go!
Hope this helps!
When I go to Maggie, I tend to hire a car from topless car rentals for under A$80 a day (I always travel on my own)... they are quite reasonable, and there is no way that I would catch a bus around the island (that is me personally, I'm not into hanging around bus stops and waiting)
If you have already hired a car and you have a few others with you then I would take the hire car on the barge..
You need a car as Magnetic Island is quite extensive. You should be able to take it over and it's only a short distance to the island. Stick to the sealed roads as hire companies usually limit you to these.
I phoned around the major car rental cos. in Townsville and Europcar confirmed they had no policy clauses that restricted taking the car on the ferry to Magnetic Island...the others (Hertz, Avis, etc.) did.
I know it is quite a $$ outlay for a rental car but I'm not keen on catching buses everywhere either. My Mum is 78 yr old and we are visiting relations (2 adults/1 child) on the island who don't drive so I kinda feel the sheer convenience the rental affords to to cart 5 people around with beach paraphenalia, cool boxes, etc. outweights the cost.
We arrive on Sunday for 2 weeks....so excited and can't wait!!
Rockyroo that is interesting information as most of the other posts on this topic (recently there a been a few) indicate that they are not allowed on the ferrys to the island. It is good to know of one company that doesn't necessarily exclude it. If I was you I would get it in writing just to be on the safe side if anything happened.
Be aware there are a lot of dirt roads that are fun to explore and the car will not be covered travelling on these.
Very good point, Kameka. My original phone call was way back in March.
So, I emailed Europcar Information Service last night and they were very prompt with their reply. In a nutshell, they confirmed in writing that the renter is responsible for the cost of repairing any water damage caused by immersion of the vehicle in water, inclusing whilst the vehicle is being transported. So, seems like Europcar allows you to take it on the ferry and you are allowed to drive on the sealed roads on Magnetic Island. If the ferry sinks, bad luck you are liable for the cost of repairing the rental car! I think I'll take the chance.
For those of you specifically interested in exactly my communication and Europcar's response..here it is in full, minus all the text from Clause 3 and Clause 8 I referred to in the original email in the interests of saving some space:
Yes the following states as per terms and conditions:
8.3 You must always pay, and clause 8.2 does not cover:
a. the cost of repairing any water damage caused by immersion of the Vehicle in water, including whilst the Vehicle is being transported.
This relates to a vehicle being transported via ferry.
Europcar Information Service
Sent: Sun 13/09/2009 7:59 AM
Subject: Europcar rental car to Magnetic Island?
Please would you confirm that it is acceptable under your terms and conditions for me to take a Europcar rental car (full-size sedan collected at Townsville airport) onto the Fantasea car ferry and then
drive it on the sealed roads on Magnetic Island.
I have read the T&Cs thoroughly
(europcar.com.au/renter-guide/…where), paying particular attention to Clause 3 "WHERE YOU CAN AND CANNOT
DRIVE THE VEHICLE", and there seems to be no indication that this is forbidden.
In Clause 8.3 reference is made to the fact that the
cost of repairing any water damage caused by immersion of the Vehicle in water, including whilst the Vehicle is being transported is not covered
by the Loss Damage Waiver...which I fully understand.
Rockyroo- I think you should be safe with that from them. In racking my memory I can't remember the car ferry ever having a major problem, let alone sinking before- never. Many, many years ago I seem to recall one of the passenger ferries catching fire but even this was soon put out and it didn't sink.
Thanks for that extra info- I will post links back to your posting if other people ask a similar question in future.
Have a great time- I have many fond memories of Magnetic Island.
True there is very little risk of the ferry sinking. The big issue is if the car breaks down and cannot be repaired on the island it may need to be sent to the mainland on a tow truck which could cost approx. $800 - $1,000 and is not covered by the rental company. If you have an Avis car it can be dropped off close to the ferry in Townsville. C:Drive Car Rentals on the island has modern vehicles for competitive prices and no issues re breakdowns. Much better option !
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