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Rental car calculator - see how Car Next Door prices compare to traditional car hire

Need long-weekend wheels for less? Check out our detailed cost comparison of Car Next Door vs traditional car hire prices.

Kate Trumbull

The feedback we get from our Borrowers is pretty consistent: they love using Car Next Door, but when it comes to longer distance trips, the per-kilometre charge makes Car Next Door feel expensive. Maybe you’re better off with a traditional rental car for long trips?

This didn’t seem right to us, so we whipped out the calculator, sharpened our HB pencil and did the sums. What we found might surprise you. You can read our cost comparisons on four common trips below.

If you'd like to do your own detailed comparison, you can use the tool we used for the calculations below.

Our Car Next Door vs rental car calculator allows you to compare the cost of any trip based on a number of variables, including the price of each car you're considering, distance, time and daily excess reduction.

That way you'll know you're always getting the best deal. Just because you live car free shouldn't mean you need to pay through the nose for your next roadtrip.

Rental car or Car Next Door?

Based on:

  • a daily price of $50 for a rental car and $30 for a Car Next Door car,
  • a per-km price of 33 cents for a Car Next Door car 14c/km for a rental car (for fuel); and
  • excess reduction of $25 a day through the car hire company and $0 through Car Next Door (assuming you’re on our $19-per- month Heavyweight plan),
    we did the comparison on some common trips.

Traditional rental car from popular hire car company

An equivalent car from Car Next Door

Save $104 on your long weekend: Sydney to the Blue Mountains

Bushwalks through dazzling scenery, delicious local produce and cosy nights in an AirBnB sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

This 160 kilometre round trip from Sydney would set you back about $247 in a rental car, and $143 in a Car Next Door (but the three-day escape from the daily grind is priceless).


Rental car Car Next Door
Time $150 ($50/day) $90 ($30/day)
Fuel/distance* $22.40 $52.80
Excess reduction $75 $0
Total $247.40 $142.80

Save $267 on your week from Melbourne to Torquay

Book a car with roof racks for your surfboards and chuck the kids in the back seat because you’re headed to the beach for a week!

The 250 kilometre round trip from Melbourne to Torquay (including some extra kilometres for driving during the week) will cost about $560 in a rental car, and $293 in a car from Car Next Door.


Rental car Car Next Door
Time $350 ($50/day) $210 ($30/day)
Fuel/distance* $35 $82.50
Excess reduction $175 $0
Total $560 $292.50

Go for a rental car for a day trip from Melbourne to Bendigo

Explore the current exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, take a trip on the hop-on-hop-off tram, and enjoy a meal at one of the many excellent local restaurants.

This 310 kilometre round trip from Melbourne would cost $118 in a rental car, and $132 in a Car Next Door. You’d be better off in a rental car for this one.


Rental car Car Next Door
Time $50 ($50/day) $30 ($30/day)
Fuel/distance* $43.40 $102.30
Excess reduction $25 $0
Total $118.40 $132.30

Save $40 on this overnight mini-break from Brisbane to Toowoomba

Spend the day wandering through beautiful parks and gardens, and take in a show at Australia’s largest regional theatre, the Empire Theatre. Sounds like a pretty good mini break!

In a rental car you’d pay around $186 for this 260 kilometre round trip, and about $146 in a Car Next Door.


Rental car Car Next Door
Time $100 ($50/day) $60 ($30/day)
Fuel/distance* $36.40 $85.80
Excess reduction $50 $0
Total $186.40 $145.80

Phew, that was a lot of sums to do in one sitting! But now we know for sure: Car Next Door is often the most affordable option, even for trips with more kilometres.

The only hidden extras with Car Next Door are the extra benefits

  • Our cars are right in your neighbourhood – no more hiking to the rental car depot
  • 24 hour pick-up and drop-off – collect and return the car whenever it suits you, even if it’s out of business hours
  • No paperwork, just hop in and drive

Of course there are many factors that contribute to the final cost of any trip, including:

  • the seasonality of rental car pricing
  • what kind of car you need
  • how important it is to you to reduce your excess
  • whether you’re on our Featherweight or Heavyweight membership plans

You should always fully consider your options to get the best deal for your trip, whether that's through Car Next Door or a traditional rental car company.

The good news is that on every car’s profile page we’ve included a handy calculator to help you do just that. Simply enter an estimation of how many kilometres you’ll travel, and the calculator will give you a rough guide of your final cost. Simple.

And don't forget you try our Car Next Door vs rental cost calculator for a detailed comparison.


Fuel costs were calculated based on 33c/km with Car Next Door, and 14c/km in a rental car, assuming $1.40/L for fuel and consumption of 10L/100km.

We have calculated the cost for a rental car at $50/day and an equivalent Car Next Door car at $30/day, for a Heavyweight member. Heavyweight membership costs $19 a month and comes with a low $500 excess for all trips, and no booking fees.

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