Great Ocean Road is one of the must-visit destinations in Melbourne. I did tons of research on the area before booking our farm stay for 2 nights. Will blog about our farm stay at a later date! :)
Upon touching down, we saw Europcar‘s counter and decided to rent a car to drive up to Great Ocean Road (GOR). I am so glad that we did. Driving 600km to and fro is no easy feat. Boss must be secretly happy that I have a driving license haha! :D However, the issues that we experienced is mind boggling.
We paid about AUD300 for 2 days rental including insurance and GPS, not exactly cheap. The more days you rent, the cheaper it is. There are a few car rental companies near the airport and we decided to take up Europcar because of a friendly Asian lady who is working at the counter. Turns out that she don’t know her numbers well. Read on to know why. :X
Do Proper Research
I did some research on car rentals, but not enough. Europcar seemed to have a very bad reputation in Australia. Apart from the experiences mentioned, I am glad that we were not slapped with exorbitant charges. Reviews like these are scary. Moral of the story – do more research and read the reviews.
Check on Hidden Charges
We were slapped with extra charges like one-way car return to the city area. :? Turns out it was a blunder made by the Asian lady. No one told us that we need to pump the tank to full level when we returned the car. They even have charges like additional drivers which I don’t quite get it. Remember to ask questions before committing.
Rent a Good Car & GPS
We rented a Toyota Camry 2.4L and only pumped the tank once, though there are many rest stops along the way to top up petrol and have your toilet breaks. GPS rental is about AUD14 per day, quite affordable and a must-have. Most importantly, do rent a car that you are familiar with, follow the road signages and drive safely.
Signages along the highway are quite straightforward and similar to the ones in Singapore. The GPS was pretty accurate except for one minor boo-boo. The route given to GOR and back to the city are two different routes. There were lots of intersections, blind spots, curves and bends when we drove to GOR, but it was along the pretty coastal area. Whereas it was one straight road when we drove back to the city. A major test on our driving skills and patience.
However, nothing beats the breathtaking views that we saw along the way. AWESOME! ;)