Price comparison: Car Next Door vs hire car

Car Next Door or a traditional hire car? It can be tricky to work out the best deal for your trip. There are so many variables: price per day, distance, cost of fuel, reduced excess, additional drivers...

We’ve done the sums to make it easier for you to choose the right car each time.


Remember though that the cheapest option is not always best. Consider:

  • Can you pick up and drop near you, or do you need to go to the depot during opening hours?
  • How long will it take you to travel to the car hire depot and do the paperwork?
  • Can you get the type of car, van or ute that suits your trip?

It's also good for your local community and the planet to make use of cars that would otherwise be sitting idle. 

Car hire vs Car Next Door - cost comparison table

With excess reduction No excess reduction

Use a hire car if:

Hire car price per day is... ...and you're travelling at least...
...and you don’t want to have additional drivers.
$30 110km every day
$50 215km every day
$60 265km every day
$80 370km every day
$90 425km every day
$100 475km every day

In all other situations take a Car Next Door.

(Based on a fuel price of $1.40/litre and fuel consumption of 10 litres per 100km and a Car Next Door car at $35 a day and 33c a kilometre; excess reduction of $25 a day for a hire car and $0 a day for a Car Next Door Heavyweight user.)

Want to see how we worked this out, or find out whether a hire car or Car Next Door is best for your trip?

Try our cost comparison calculator Book a Car Next Door

When Car Next Door is usually cheaper

Car Next Door is usually cheaper if:

  • You only need a car for a few hours
  • Your trip includes days with little or no driving
  • It’s a peak time, like long weekends and school holidays, when car rental prices surge
  • You want to reduce your excess
  • You’re sharing the driving with others

Plus with Car Next Door you’ll get:

  • cars right in your neighbourhood that you can pick up and drop off anytime between 6am and 11pm;
  • round the clock emergency phone support;
  • roadside assistance; and
  • carbon offsetting

And because you’re using cars that are already in your area, you’re helping your neighbours offset their car costs, reducing waste and helping the environment.

Want more detail?

There are lots of variables with car hire, but the three that make the most difference to the final price are:

  • Excess reduction
  • Cost per day
  • Distance travelled

Excess reduction

  • If you want the peace of mind of a reduced insurance excess, Car Next Door can save you a lot of money.
  • You can reduce your Damage Cover Liability (DCL) to $500 for $1.50 an hour or $18 a day, or by choosing our $19/month Heavyweight plan.
  • With a hire car, you’ll often be paying $25 or $30 a day to reduce your excess.

Cost per day

  • With Car Next Door you’ll pay around $30 a day for a small or medium car, $40 a day for an SUV and $50 for a ute or van.
  • Car hire prices vary a lot depending on the time year and length of booking.
  • Based on prices quoted on in May 2018, the average price for a small car in off-peak season is about $80 a day.
  • In peak times, such as Christmas holidays, you could pay more than double, and at other times or from smaller operators you might get a deal on a car for $50 or even $30 a day.

Distance travelled

  • With Car Next Door, you pay a flat rate of of 21c, 33c or 45c for every kilometre you drive, in addition to the hourly or daily rate of the car.
  • This covers fuel and compensates the owner for the extra wear and tear on their car.
  • With a hire car you usually just pay for the fuel you use, so the final cost will depend on the car’s fuel efficiency and the price of petrol.

Check it out for yourself: try our cost comparison calculator to find the best deal for your next trip.

Try our cost comparison calculator Book a Car Next Door

We know we’re not the cheapest option for 100% of trips, and we don’t want you to pay more than you have to. But because every trip is different, the cheapest or most convenient option will be different each time too. That’s why we created the calculator - so you can quickly and easily compare your options and get the best deal on car hire for every trip.

Real life trip comparisons

To see how the cost comparison works in practice, we ran the numbers on a few common trips. These calculations are based on a daily price of $50 for a rental car and $35 for a Car Next Door car, 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).

Save $90 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 $158 in a Car Next Door (but the three-day escape from the daily grind is priceless). 


  Rental car Car Next Door
Total $247.40 $157.80
Time $150 ($50/day) $105 ($35/day)
Fuel/distance $22.40 $52.80
Excess reduction $75 $0

Save $233 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 $328 in a car from Car Next Door.


  Rental car Car Next Door
Total $560 $327.50
Time $350 ($50/day) $245 ($35/day)
Fuel/distance $35 $82.50
Excess reduction $175 $0

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 $137 in a Car Next Door. You’d be better off in a rental car for this one.


  Rental car Car Next Door
Total $118.40 $137.30
Time $50 ($50/day) $35 ($35/day)
Fuel/distance $43.40 $102.30
Excess reduction $25 $0

Save $30 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 $156 in a Car Next Door.


  Rental car Car Next Door
Total $186.40 $155.80
Time $100 ($50/day) $70 ($35/day)
Fuel/distance $36.40 $85.80
Excess reduction $50 $0

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 can try our Car Next Door vs rental car calculator for a detailed comparison.

Try our cost comparison calculator Book a Car Next Door

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 $35/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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