Important Questions to Ask When Renting a 4WD in Australia

Posted on: 14 July 2016

When exploring the territories of Australia, you may want to rent a 4WD rather than a standard family sedan. A 4WD can make it easier to drive in sandy or muddy conditions that are common on some of the back roads and some rural areas of the country. Because renting a 4WD is a bit different than renting and driving a standard sedan, note a few questions you might want to cover with the rental agency before you drive away.

Ask what to do if you get stuck

Always ask what to do if you should get the 4WD stuck in the sand, mud, and the like. Never assume you should try to get the vehicle out by rocking it out, as this can cause damage to the suspension and even cause the vehicle to sink into the soft soil all the more.

A rental agency may have a tow truck company on call that they use for such emergencies, and this type of truck can safely pull the 4WD out with a strong winch. Don't assume you'll be in some type of trouble if you get the vehicle stuck as it may be a more common occurrence than you know, so ask ahead of time and follow their procedures so you protect the vehicle from damage. 

Ask if you need a special license to drive it

A larger 4WD may actually be considered a commercial or heavy weight vehicle, depending on its overall size. If you're renting a 4WD for a large group, you may need a special commercial license to drive it. Also, since many tourists take a 4WD into the outback or a rural area and may go off-roading with it, a rental agency may have restrictions as to the age of any driver so that they reduce the risk of someone getting too reckless with their vehicle. Always ask about these restrictions and don't assume that just anyone with any license can drive the vehicle. 

Note if a baby seat can be fitted in the vehicle

If you're renting a 4WD for your family, don't assume that they will all be equipped to hold a baby seat. Some vehicles might be meant specifically for off-roading and very rough driving, where you normally wouldn't take a baby or child. If you do need to fit a baby seat into the vehicle, be sure to note this and ask for a model that will accommodate.