Frequently Asked Questions - Car Rental Services

  1. Can I book international car rental through Thrifty and Europcar?
  2. Can I book a car with Thrifty or Europcar for personal use?
  3. How are tolls managed?
  4. What if I can’t get a car through Europcar or Thrifty?
  5. Can I rent a car for a one-way trip only?
  6. Is there a booking fee payable to the car rental companies?
  7. Do I have to sign a rental agreement when I pick up a car?
  8. Is it compulsory to sign up to Europcar’s Ready program and Thrifty’s Blue Chip program? What are the benefits?
  9. I am already a member of Europcar’s Privilege program/Thrifty’s Blue Chip program for my private rentals. Can I use the same number when booking a car for official travel?
  10. My entity needs 4WDs to be supplied with special safety equipment. Can that be accommodated?
  11. Is there a cancellation or “no show” fee?
  12. What happens if I return the car late?
  13. What happens if I get a fine while I am driving a rental car?
  14. Is roadside assistance available?
  15. Will I get a fuel card?
  16. How are fuel charges calculated?
  17. What do I do if I lose the fuel card I was provided with?
  18. Do I have to fill the car up before I return it?
  19. Can cars be taken off road?
  20. What happens if I need to drive a passenger car on a dirt road because of road works?  Will I be covered by Europcar or Thrifty’s insurance?
  21. What do I do if I have an accident?
  22. Is there a charge for additional drivers?
  23. What is an “authorised driver”?
  24. Can I collect loyalty points with my car rental?
  25. Do I have to inspect the car before I collect it?
  26. Am I required to use the WoAG travel arrangements when renting a car in Australia’s external territories?
  27. If I am unable to rent a car from Europcar or Thrifty because neither are represented at the location I am hiring from, does that mean I will be non-compliant with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules?
  28. Can drivers under 25 hire a car with Thrifty or Europcar?

Q1. Can I book international car rental through Thrifty and Europcar?

A1. The WoAG arrangement with Thrifty and Europcar is for domestic car rental only. International car rental bookings can be made through existing channels, including each entity’s travel management company (TMC). Europcar and Thrifty may also be able to assist with your international travel arrangements in some situations, however this is not mandated.

Q2. Can I book a car with Thrifty or Europcar for personal use?

A2. No. Personal (leisure) use provisions are not included in the scope of the WoAG arrangements.

Q3. How are tolls managed?

A3. Thrifty and Europcar both have a national arrangement for management and payment of tolls with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) that includes all cars being fitted with an E-Toll tag. Where a car is driven on a toll road, Europcar and Thrifty will securely pass on the relevant details of the rental arrangement to the RMS who will charge the Diners Club account directly for the actual cost of the tolls plus a $3.30 daily service fee.  Europcar and Thrifty can provide an access link to the RMS website to assist entities with obtaining additional information for reconciliation of toll transactions.

Q4. What if I can’t get a car through Europcar or Thrifty?

A4. While Europcar and Thrifty collectively have a very large fleet and a comprehensive number of car rental offices throughout Australia, there may be times when a car is simply not available at a particular location at a certain time for various reasons.  If you are using the online booking tool to make a booking and a vehicle is not available on the dates you have requested, please contact the car rental provider directly to discuss your arrangements. Giving sufficient lead time prior to pick-up will assist the car rental providers to source a vehicle.

Where you are unable to rent a car through Europcar or Thrifty, this should be reported to your entity's travel manager, who in turn should provide that information to Finance.

Q5. Can I rent a car for a one-way trip only?

A5. Yes. Both Thrifty and Europcar can facilitate one-way car rental requests. Some frequently used one-way hire locations do not attract a fee (the list of locations is available by emailing phase2travel@finance.gov.au). For other locations, fees vary depending on the pick-up and drop-off locations, whether Europcar or Thrifty have a location at the destination, length of the rental and distance between the two locations. Entities should obtain a quote and assess the feasibility and value for money of the one-way rental prior to making a booking.

Q6. Is there a booking fee payable to the car rental companies?

A6. No, there is no booking fee payable to the car rental companies under the WoAG arrangements. Entities should be mindful that standard TMC and WoAG fees will apply when making a car rental booking through a TMC. Where flights are being booked through TMCs, the rental car should also be booked at the same time due to the bundled fee arrangements that will apply.

Q7. Do I have to sign a rental agreement when I pick up a car?

A7. Only if you are not a member of Europcar’s Ready program or Thrifty’s Blue Chip program. Travellers that are not members of those respective programs will be required to sign a rental agreement, which is only for the purposes of identifying the driver. Some terms and conditions on the rental agreement will not be applicable as the overarching contractual terms and conditions in the Deeds between the Commonwealth (Finance) and the car rental provider will take precedence.

Q8. Is it compulsory to sign up to Europcar’s Ready program and Thrifty’s Blue Chip program? What are the benefits?

A8. It is not compulsory to sign up any or both of these programs; however, Europcar and Thrifty encourage drivers to become members of their priority programs. The benefits of these programs include the seamless booking of cars and express collection and return of cars as there is no need to line up at airport rental counters.

Entities' staff whose form of payment for car rental will be by individual virtual Diners Club accounts should sign up for both Europcar’s Ready Program and Thrifty’s Blue Chip program. This will ensure that the card number is in the traveller’s profile as the form of payment.

Q9. I am already a member of Europcar’s Privilege program/Thrifty’s Blue Chip program for my private rentals. Can I use the same number when booking a car for official travel?

A9. Neither Europcar nor Thrifty allow for duplicate (private and business) profiles in their system, this means that you will need to join the programs as a government traveller. This will allow your profile to be linked to your entity's Corporate Discount (CD) profile and the card payment arrangement. In Europcar’s case, Government travellers will join the Ready program, which has been specifically established for the Government. Thrifty Blue Chip profile data would need to be updated with your entities’ CD number and your entity’s Diners Club card number.

Q10. My entity needs 4WDs to be supplied with special safety equipment. Can that be accommodated?

A10. Both Thrifty and Europcar have the capacity to provide a variety of specialised equipment with 4WDs. Entities with such requirements are encouraged to contact Thrifty and Europcar to discuss their ongoing requirements so that the necessary equipment is made available at the required rental locations. Speciality equipment must be requested and confirmed at the time of booking. Certain locations have cars fitted with equipment to meet mine specifications to enable these cars to be taken onto mine sites.

Q11. Is there a cancellation or “no show” fee?

A11. There are no fees associated with cancelled bookings or no shows for passenger car. For 4WDs and commercial cars, cancellations of less than 24 hours and no shows may attract a one-day rental fee. Travellers are strongly encouraged to notify Thrifty or Europcar as soon as possible if their circumstances have changed and the booking is no longer required.

Q12. What happens if I return the car late?

A12. There is a 59-minute grace period for late returns. If the car is returned after the grace period, a fee will be applied.

Q13. What happens if I get a fine while I am driving a rental car?

A13. If a driver receives a traffic or parking infringement during the rental period, on receipt of the fine, Thrifty or Europcar will identify the driver, advise the relevant traffic authority of the driver’s details, and the infringement will then be forwarded by the authority to the driver for payment. Thrifty and Europcar do not charge government travellers an administration fee for this service.

Should the nominated driver not be the person driving at the time of the infringement a statutory declaration of the correct drivers details can be lodged for reallocation of the fine.

Q14. Is roadside assistance available?

A14. Yes, roadside assistance is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Drivers should identify themselves as an Australian Government driver when placing the roadside assistance call. Drivers will be required to quote their rental agreement number when requesting assistance.

Q15. Will I get a fuel card?

A15. Yes, a fuel card will be provided with the car. It is important that the driver fills the car up only at the service station(s) identified on the fuel card. Corporate or personal credit cards should not be used to pay for fuel.

Under the WoAG arrangement, government travellers do not need to fill up the car before return. Europcar and Thrifty both provide refuelling services. If you have to fill up a rental car, you should use the fuel card provided.

Q16. How are fuel charges calculated?

A16. Thrifty and Europcar have different methods for calculating fuel changes.

Europcar - Fuel Card pricing and charging:

  • Europcar will record the number of litres of fuel used and charged on the fuel card (if any), during the rental period (amount A).
  • If the car is returned to Europcar without a full tank of fuel, then Europcar will add the number of litres required to fill the car’s tank (amount B).
  • The total of A + B = C. C will be multiplied by the WoAG Government fuel price per litre to calculate the fuel charge for the rental period. 

Where a fuel card is not used, then the fuel charge will be calculated by the number of litres required to fill the car’s tank, multiplied by the WoAG Government fuel price per litre.

Thrifty - Fuel Card pricing and charging:

When a fuel card is used, the cost of the fuel charge is based upon the number of kilometres the car has travelled during the rental period. The fuel charge is calculated on a cents per kilometre basis for that car class.

If the driver is unable to refuel the car at an outlet nominated on the fuel card, then the fuel docket must be kept and provided to Thrifty for a refund for that fuel purchase only. Please note the rental will still incur the full fuel cost as per the fuel charge mechanism described in the paragraph above.

Q17. What do I do if I lose the fuel card I was provided with?

A17. If a fuel card is lost or stolen, it must be reported immediately to the location where the car and fuel card was collected. The location will then switch off the fuel card to prevent any other party using it. Fuel cards should be looked after like any credit card.

Q18. Do I have to fill the car up before I return it?

A18. No. Drivers are not required to fill the car up with petrol/diesel prior to returning it to the Thrifty or Europcar rental offices (including at airports).

Q19. Can cars be taken off road?

A19. Under the WoAG agreement, Europcar and Thrifty allow 4WD cars to be driven on unsealed roads, paddocks, fields, farm tracks and fire trails. Payment for any loss or damage to a car when it is driven on beaches, sand dunes, rivers or creeks will be the responsibility of the relevant entity.

Q20. What happens if I need to drive a passenger car on a dirt road because of road works?  Will I be covered by Europcar or Thrifty’s insurance?

A20. Thrifty and Europcar understand that there will be times that are out of a driver’s control, where passenger cars will be driven on unsealed roads. If the traveller drives the car sensibly and is mindful of the conditions, the likelihood of any damage occurring is minimal. In the unfortunate case where damage does occur, Europcar and Thrifty have agreed to act in good faith and consider the circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Q21. What do I do if I have an accident?

A21. Procedures for reporting accidents and roadside assistance will be provided with each rental car.

Q22. Is there a charge for additional drivers?

A22. Additional authorised drivers may drive the rental car at no extra cost.

Q23. What is an “authorised driver”?

A23. An authorised driver is defined in the overarching car rental services Deed with Finance as ‘any person having a valid driving licence for the relevant class of car who is authorised by an entity ("Entity Driver") or by an Entity Driver to drive a car provided in accordance with this Deed’.

Q24. Can I collect loyalty points with my car rental?

A24. No. Drivers will not be able to accrue any loyalty points (either for personal or business use) while renting a car for official purposes under the WoAG arrangements.

Q25. Do I have to inspect the car before I collect it?

A25. Yes, this is standard practice and is strongly recommended. While Thrifty and Europcar should inspect the car prior to collection and note any damage, it is important that the driver also inspects the car to make sure that all pre-existing damage is identified. This will avoid any disputes when the car is returned and inspected. A post rental inspection, if practical with car rental company staff in attendance, is also strongly recommended.

Q26. Am I required to use the WoAG travel arrangements when renting a car in Australia’s external territories?

A26. No. The requirement to use the car rental panel for domestic car rental services applies to the states and territories comprising the Australian mainland and Tasmania.

Q27. If I am unable to rent a car from Europcar or Thrifty because neither are represented at the location I am hiring from, does that mean I will be non-compliant with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules?

A27. No. In country, rural and remote locations where Europcar or Thrifty have a rental office within reasonable proximity of the location where a traveller requires car rental services, entities must use the WoAG panel.  Where a Thrifty or Europcar rental office is not within reasonable proximity, travellers may use an alternative car rental provider that represents value for money. Where entities are unable to use the WoAG car rental services, they should report the details to the Travel Arrangements Phase 2 team at Finance so that it can be raised  with the car rental providers to address supply issues in those areas.

Q28. Can drivers under 25 hire a car with Thrifty or Europcar?

A28. Yes. An authorised driver is defined in the Deeds with Europcar and Thrifty as any person having a valid driving licence for the relevant class of car and who is authorised by an entity to rent a . As a duty of care, it is recommended that drivers under 21 years only rent economy or compact cars.

Last updated: 10 December 2015