In my home country Singapore, the prices of cars are crazy. Take for example, a simple Toyota Corolla in Singapore costs about US$90,000. So I find it a thrill when I do get to drive overseas. Why? I can rent a bigger car and also, choose a more comfortable ride.
Also as I would very much prefer a frills-free holiday, choosing the right car rental company and also the maximum insurance coverage is very important to me.
I'd used other companies but there lies varied nmber of issues - from what-you-see-is-not-what you get for the car model, to extra chargesu that you do not know why did they charge you in the first place.
So with these criteria in mind, I went for Hertz.
I'd booked my car online and had chosen Toyota Camry or equivalent. When I arrived in Brisbane, I was more than pleasantly surprise that I was given an Australian-made car - Holden Commodore SV6 SIDI.
For a non-car lover like me, all I know is that the car is SUPER powerful with it's 3.6L engine. I don't think this is the correct place to get into the reasons why I so love the car. But in all, this was one of the better cars that I have driven.
Agree with others who have written about difficulties with Alpha.
Simply stated mine have been.
1/ An hour and a half between when I called Alpha at the Airport and when they got me to the car with keys in my hand - they are NOT at the airport!
2/ They make little effort to offer service at the counter when you get there.
3/ You sign an agreement that permits them to charge you a $55 dollar fee if you fail to pay tolls about the city. I phoned all the numbers they list for toll companies. Paid tolls - which my bank account and phone records prove; but was still charged a $55 dollar fee.
4/ Arriving back to return the car I was at the counter (and acknowledged by the driver) as he started to load the bus. Nevertheless he drove off without me displaying a scowl as he quickly departed.
My opinion is that unless they lift their game considerably or you need a car for a week they are simply not worth the hassle.
Alpha Car Hire appears cheaper on the surface than other car hire companies. However, if you hire out of the Brisbane or Gold Coast Offices, look out for the admin charges for missed tolls and unfilled petrol tanks. Even though the Alpha employee in the actually phoned the toll company whilst I was in the office so that the toll fees could be paid in advance, they obviously provided the toll company with incorrect information and had the gall to send me an admin charge of $55 for unpaid tolls. Also when I returned the car, the fuel gauge was not above the full mark, they charged me a $35 dollar fee just to put in $3 dollars worth of petrol. I couldn't continue to argue with them because I had a plane to catch out of Brisbane, which I almost missed because of them. They said that the Brisbane airport office(which, be warned, is not actually at Brisbane airport) would open at 5am. It did not. When they eventually did open the doors, the staff had no sense of urgency at all. Aviod using Alpha Car hire like the plague. I ended up paying double what I expected to pay. Go to a more reputable and honest car hire company. It will be more cost effective in the long run.
I would not recommend Alpha car hire. There is a wait for a bus to take you to their depot, which is 15 minutes from the airport, a long wait for the vehicle, and we felt pressured to take out extra insurance (which we didn't). We felt that they valued money more than they valued their customers.
Not being local we went through a toll without knowing (even thugh the Sat-nav was set to avoid tolls). Alpha did not even send us a letter notifying us of the toll fee until after the latest payment date had passed (more than 2 weeks after it was issued). They only put a 60c stamp on the envelope so it finally arrived with us in the UK two months after the infringement. They charged $55 for poorly administering this $1.50 toll charge.
Alpha Car Hire Brisbane
Dishonest car hire company -- What you see is not what you get
Says that they offer free delivery -- no such thing. offered to charge us $20 pick up from our motel in Kangaroo Point (it only cost $10 by cab) -- this was not an issue for us. The real issue was:
Alpha did not honour the price that was quoted and booked online. We were charged 50% more than the contract price upon pick up of the car. It also took us over an hour to get the keys to the car.
When we presented the printed invoice during the pickup a few days ago, which we received via online confirmation for our booking, we were told "No, it's impossible that you could get the car for so cheap" and insisted on charging us 50% more than the agreed price.
Spoke to the one of the owners over the phone, Jackie, only to be offered a measly $15 discount. Jackie denied the contract price and subliminally implied that we faked the invoice and commented ""if you don't like the price, we can drop you off at the next car company" -- Talk about 'great' customer service -- we were also told, "you are the only customer that has this problem". I would have gladly just walked out of Alpha within the first 20 minutes while we were there waiting to be served (there was only one customer, and three ladies behind the counter) -- we weren't even acknowledge with a "we'll be with you in a second", instead we had to approach one of the staff for service after 15 mins of waiting and then left to wait for another 30 minutes without any information.
Plus, after the whole waiting and drama of not having our contract honoured, we were already over an hour late (bear in mind, we also showed up early at Alpha to avoid any delays, only to be told by one of the staff "you're early"") , my mom and brother were already waiting over an hour for us to pick them up, and it would have been too late to go to another car hire service.
At the time of pickup, Jackie also mentioned that she would "investigate" matter and would credit a refund of the overcharged amount upon returning the car. Needless to say, immediately after the unsatisfied credit card transaction was made in Fortitude Valley, Alpha sent us an email to 'confirm' the new price. Not surprisingly, when we returned the car at the branch near the Brisbane airport, not a word was mentioned about the refund (or lack thereof) or the supposed 'investigation' or even an apology.
In short, my experience and opinion of Alpha:
- Alpha was dishonest and overcharged us despite us having proof in black and white that we were quoted a price that we agreed to that influenced our decision in choosing Alpha over the other car hire services at the time of booking due to the offered price.
- Alpha had bad customer service (body language, tone of voice --very curt and impatient--) in handling our situation
- Alpha had bad management (the owner mentioned that there might have been a gliche with computer department that handles the website -- but that is not our problem is it? Even supermarkets honour the displayed prices if it was their mistake for putting up the wrong prices). Alphar unkindly wanted to send us off to another car hire company (I'm sure knowing that we would have said no due to time constraints and the last minute-ness).
I will not use Alpha Car Hire in the future, nor would I recommend them to anyone due to their misrepresentation, dishonesty, unpleasant customer service from the counter staff and the owner. It ruined the start of our first family reunion and holiday, causing unnnecessary stress, delays, and added cost.
The only reason we initially chose Alpha over the other car rental companies was because it appeared cheaper than other car rental companies, but this was not the case upon the car pickup when we were charged 50% more than the contracted price.
best way to see brissy is with car hire. u get to see everything from theme parks like dreamworld to australia zoo which is in sunshine coast. if you dont have a car it will take you 3 hours on the train to get someone in sunny coast (then a bus)!
i live in the city and dont have a car of my own... we always rent one when we want to go somewhere for the weekend. the car rental company we use is Alpha Car Hire Brisbane. we never hav a problem with them and they are really good at checking the car for damage. and the prices r reallly reasonable.
check out Alpha Car Hire Brisbane below - free number
If you are coming to Brisbane and have a large family, then you will most probably need to hire a Tarago, Mini bus or similar.
Tarago rentals is a family owned company with these available for hire.
Prices in 2009 for a Tarago, start from $59 a day, for a 7 day rental agreement.
* It has 5 doors..
* Seats 6 - 8 people..
* Air conditioned
* Power steering
Check out for specials on offer.
LOCATIONS........Brisbane Airport & City, Coolangatta (Gold Coast) Airport, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast and Cairns.
The phone number below is a FREE CALL.
Car rental Brisbane. AVOID brisbanerentacar. Terrible customer relations. Hub caps held on by cable ties- one came loose, which they charged us for. The worst bit was that we were only told this on the way to the airport, after the credit card had been debited.
Three words for QLD visitors in general. RENT A CAR. It is definitely the best way to see Brisbane and if you are not planning on staying overnight at the Gold Coast. The hotel we stayed in (Royal Albert) was like next door to a car rental company.
Just remember that the max speed limit on the freeway is 110!!!
Although depending on public transportation or using a lot of taxi's might be fine in Brisbane, I found that renting a car was actually the best option. From Brisbane there is just so much you can access by car, and too many of the things worth seeing just wounldn't be worth getting there any other way.
Car rentals can be pretty expensive in Australia, but if you make your reservations early it's easy enough to find cheap rental car services.
For convenience sake we decided to rent from a rental car service located directly at the airport.
A car, of course, also helps to keep you comfortable in what was for us a somewhat humid and often wet climate not to mention the car helped to provide additional protection from the sun.
The traffic is really not bad at all in Brisbane, so I found driving here to be a cakewalk.
There are long distances in Australia, so if You would like to explore a region the best way to realize it is to rent a car.
If You are from overseas, You cannot pay by cash, You need a credit card! I don't know it's common or not, but it was a rule at the company I chose.
If You drive on the right lane in Your resident country, don't worry, there are so many tables on the roads, You cannot miss the lane You have to drive on.