This is not a joke. If you are serious about travelling the Australian continent, you can see it in its entirety for absolutely free or travel for as little as $1 per day. If that sounds to good to be true, then that’s because you haven’t read the rest of this article. And who do we have to thank for being able to take the cheapest road trip on the planet? Well, the car rental companies!
The travel deals I'm referring to are called ‘relocation deals’ which are advertised by car-hire companies across Australia. Essentially, the opportunity of being able to drive around the country for free (or for very little) is down to the simple fact that rental companies need to move vehicles from one branch to another - and they want your help.
We regularly post travel deals on Buckscoop, but they very rarely come close to being as cheap as these online deals can be. The dilemma that car hire companies face is that they can either pay a driver to transport the vehicle to its new location or they can offer heavily discounted rates to budget conscious customers. The latter being the far more economical choice.
Usually the rental company provides free fuel or some spending money for the journey as well to make it an even cheaper deal. The result is a win-win situation; the company transports its vehicle for a fraction of the price, whilst the thrifty traveller commutes for peanuts.
Daily deals can be found on websites such as:
Transfercar actually started in New Zealand, but the platform was brought over to Australia in 2010. It’s not small business either; the company executes over 300 relocation deals each month. It’s also worth noting that 95% of those relocations are between state capitals, so travelling for free is certainly within your grasp.
The website’s chief marketing officer, Pascal Languillon commented that Transfercar organises deals from over 120 car rental companies in Australia and New Zealand. The category of vehicle is varied, ranging from small compact cars to motorhomes. Pascal Languillon also mentioned that sometimes the car rental can be $5, $1 or even free on occasion.
The process is simple for the customer. All they do is browse the website for one-way car rental options, pick the best price and most suitable deadline that meets their travelling needs and submit a request. That request is then processed, the rental company confirms acceptance and off you go.
As expected, all the usual terms and conditions apply with renting a vehicle. Travellers will still be required to provide a copy of their credit card and pay for insurance if they choose to reduce their excess.
Surely by now you must be thinking, “what’s the catch? can this really be my key to future free adventures?”
It’s worth knowing that some trips are usually best left for the hire company to organise due to their difficulty or tight deadlines which don’t leave you with much time to take in the sights en route. Certain journeys will require you to travel the distance in as fast a time as legally possible. So if you were planning on savouring the journey by making stops along the way, these varieties probably won't be suitable. However, if you're only looking to get to a particular location as quickly and as cheaply as possible, then these types of relocation deals are likely to be ideal.
Last week I checked out some travel deals from Sydney to see what was actually on offer and I found the two options below, which were pretty decent in my opinion. A couple travelling together in a vehicle which has sleeping facilities could be great fun, especially when it’s as cheap as indicated in the screenshots below:
You also need to be aware of the fact that you can’t be late. Each and every deal will be different, depending on the company you are providing the service for. However, being aware of this will ensure that you're not unknowingly penalised which would ruin an otherwise bargain travel trip.
Top Travel Deal Tips
Travel deals are posted every morning, so this really is an 'early bird gets the worm' scenario. To make sure you get the top travel deals, bare the following points in mind:
- On your marks, get set: Be ready to go in a heartbeat, deals sell very quickly so when you start looking, make sure you’re ready to leave.
- Flexibility is key: Being able to leave on a variety of dates and from a handful of locations car greatly increase your chance of finding exceptional money saving bargains.
- Popular locations: The most popular cities with the highest quantity of travel deals are Brisbane, Alice and Adelaide.