DriveMyCar Mercedes-AMG CLA45

The last time I drove an AMG was insane. It was 44 degrees on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit and I had half an hour with the Mercedes-AMG GTS. Being honest, the car actually didn’t feel that fast on the wide-open F1 track. It was an enjoyable experience but it doesn’t shake your nuts. The CLA45 from DriveMyCar is a different story.

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2018 Ultimate Guide To Rental Car Insurance

The leading causes of frustration, anxiety and financial distress when renting cars is damage and insurance. Whilst airport waiting times, car swapsies, and unfair rental terms come in succeeding places on the frustration-o-meter, nothing ruins a well-planned trip than an insurance claim.

This article deals with rental car insurance for prestige cars. By prestige cars, I generally mean European cars that have a higher daily hire rate, cost more to repair, and typically come with a higher damage ‘excess’. Other cars also fit into these criteria.

Let me show you how to save some dollars and your sanity.

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Avis Signature Australia - BMW

Avis adds BMW to their Signature Series!

It’s been a long time coming. Until very recently, Avis wasn’t really playing the prestige rental game. Until now. To celebrate the introduction of BMW to the Signature Series, Avis are offering $50 off when you rent for 4 days or more by 15th December 2017. Here is what they have on offer.

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Straight road

Minimalism for Drivers

I’m a minimalist. Whilst I cringe when associating with anything popular, I can’t deny my connection to the ideology. At first sight, there appears to be a conflict in reconciling my love for driving with my desire for minimalism. Look deeper and this isn’t so.

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Europcar BMW 320i

There’s a lot to say about BMW drivers. Most characterisations, typically involving balding middle-aged corporate men with existential mid-life crises, are unfair. Given my Volvo Driver Moment, I was open to reconsider that such stereotypes could be open to interpretation.

Europcar recently launched three new BMWs into their Australian fleet: 320i, 220i cabriolet, and 420i cabriolet. This was a second bite at the apple for BMW after Hertz dropped them for Audi in the Hertz Prestige Collection. The Australian premium and prestige rental market is now home to Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz. If a different German each weekend is your kind of thing, we’re improving each year, and Ride Hacks covers it all.

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The new Hertz Audi A4

Every avid car renter who gives a damn about their driving experience needs to have their vanilla strategy and their opportunistic strategy.

This post is about finding your vanilla strategy, the Hertz upgrade to the new Audi A4, my upgrade from the Audi A3 to the A4, and what to do when you unknowingly puncture a tire in a rental car.

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europcar jaguar f-pace

Europcar Launches The New Jaguar F-Pace SUV

The Jaguar F-Pace is an unnecessary car, in every sense of the word.

It was only by chance that I stumbled upon Europcar releasing the F-Pace for hire in Australia. Avid RideHacks readers would recognise that I have a soft spot for Europcar despite prices significantly higher than Hertz.

When I saw they were introducing the Jaguar F-Pace in the first week of October 2016, I decided to make a reservation as the first Australian to drive the first ever Jag offered by a major rental company.

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Europcar Volvo vs Mercedes

Europcar Volvo S60 vs Mercedes-Benz C200

The last time I rented a Volvo from Europcar, my world changed forever.

You see, I had a perfectly ignorant view of Volvo cars and the people who drove them. I was proudly confident, believing that the common Volvo rhetoric would be true.

They’re probably slow, probably felt like sitting on a school bus, and probably weren’t any safer than their German comrades. People who bought them were clearly suckers of one of the biggest marketing heists in history.

That was the perfect story. Except it was wrong.

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Hertz Audi Q5 Business Class Challenge

I’m a big city guy. All of that fresh air and the absence of multi-linguistic arguments echoing from sunrise to beyond sunset, it’s nice for a weekend break. Sorry Canberra, I probably won’t be a resident anytime soon. But this post is about a challenge.

Imagining that you were in Sydney CBD, and you get that call from your boss. You need to travel to Canberra immediately. You weigh up your options. Uber to the airport and fly down, or hire a car?

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Ultimate Guide to Hertz Prestige Rentals

Loyalty. Does it really exist, or do most people only care about the deal of the day?

This guide is about Hertz, and not only their loyalty program, but everything you’ll ever need to know about renting prestige cars such as the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayman, and Ford Mustang (ok, maybe this one isn’t prestige). This 12-page guide will answer every question you might have about Hertz.

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76 hours with the Tesla Model S

Waking up felt like any other day. Although perhaps the departure from my bed was more of a childish jump rather than the usual stumble. Looking like the front man of a one-man marching band, I arrived at the Tesla dealer in Artarmon (Sydney) at 9:30am (neither 9:29am nor 9:31am) holding every piece of my camera gear, not knowing what I may need. Holding back my excitement, I put on my best calm person voice and remarked:

“Morning! I’m here to take the Model S for three days.”

In retrospect, I wasn’t so calm.

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Europcar Mercedes-Benz GLE250D Review

Equally, such cars deserve the attention from those who can admire their quirks, idiosyncrasies, and faults. These are the cars with a personality we hate to love and love to hate. The Europcar Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D is one of those cars.

In a short pregnancy, the Mercedes GLE was announced in early May 2016 and a week later we had our hands on what seemed like an ex-demo entry-level Mercedes SUV — a direct competitor to the Hertz Audi Q7. Although I usually undertake these reviews myself, this time would be a bit different. I had a pair of accomplices and they had a grand plan.

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Hertz Ford Mustang GT

Hertz Ford Mustang GT Review

Some people are rude. Yet, despite their irreversible desire to be the most obnoxious person at our party, we still send the invitation and quietly hope they show up. Albeit usually late.

The V8 Ford Mustang GT is undoubtedly one rude car. It’s loud in every way. Whimpering for attention with pops and burbles on each downshift, the Mustang casts a spell on everyone it passes.

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Who was the Tesla Model S built for?

Imagine your great grandfather.

It was the turn of the century and his faithful horse ‘Elmo’ had seen better days. He needed to safely transport your family and take care of business without relying entirely on public transport. The prospect of $200 for another horse and $400 for a carriage was a year’s salary.

There must be a better way.

Fast forward 100 years and the same conversation take place in the same bars.

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Accident replacement vehicles

The Dirty Truth About Accident Replacement Vehicles

If you’re like me and have never had an accident (or at least not recently), you probably haven’t thought about the step-by-step process of what you need to do to ensure the following few weeks aren’t the worst in your life.

Do those monthly insurance premiums suggest that they will make your life easier in such an unfortunate event? Think again sailor.

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Mishaps at Hertz Melbourne Airport

Tuesday morning, the end of Chinese New Year, Melbourne airport. Which was the lead domino that led us to manically driving a ‘Guards Red’ Hertz Porsche Cayman back to the airport 23 hours and 29 minutes later?

It all started with a Europcar booking.

You see, there is a quirk of Europcar’s guaranteed availability. Whilst it’s pleasant that they guarantee your car instead of their infamous switcharoos, their process for confirmation isn’t the smoothest.

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Europcar Mercedes-Benz c200 review - Head

Mercedes-Benz C200 Review

The Mercedes-Benz C200 was a long sought-after car on my books. For a few reasons. I had previously driven the predecessor out to Western Sydney for a themed birthday party where I dressed as The Joker, and whilst I was quite impressed with the previous C200 as a ‘base model’ to the Mercedes C-Class range, I was looking to purchase the new AMG C63 at the time and wanted to drive the new W205 build.

This is a Mercedes-Benz C200 review from the perspective of a Europcar rental.

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Europecar Mercedes-Benz A Class Review

This is a review of the Mercedes-Benz A-class that seems to be permanently on sale at Europcar.

When a rental company has a permanent sale, they are really telling you that (for the first time) their pricing is transparent and you won’t pay different amounts depending on the length of rental, day of week, your loyalty status, the booking engine used, where you pick it up from and…the list goes on.

Transparent pricing — sounds like a fantastic step forward. Though not quite revolutionary.

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Hertz Audi Q7

Hertz Prestige | Audi Q7 Review

The Uber Black Driver, the Adventurous Executive, the Soccer Mum.

When the Audi designers were selecting their ideal persona to drive the new Audi Q7, I bet they were confused. And, after five days driving the Hertz Audi Q7, covering most types driving you could imagine, this confusion had rubbed off onto me.

Ride Hacks unlocks the driving experiences that you can book this weekend. Whilst this is a review of the Audi Q7, it’s equally – and perhaps more so – a review of what it’s like to rent the Hertz Audi Q7.

You’ll soon understand why this distinction matters.

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Volvo XC60 Review

What’s your first thought of a Volvo driver?

Safe, probably old, conservative, and likely drives too slow. Right? This is what I’ve known the Volvo brand to culturally represent, and at times embody, since I was a young boy.

Until 10am yesterday morning, I was such an ass.

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DriveMyCar BMW Z4

DriveMyCar Prestige | BMW Z4 Review

What do you think of when I say ‘car rental’?

My guess is that it’s either a brand – Hertz, Avis, Europcar. Or a feeling — ‘I remember that time when they scammed me on insurance!’ Perhaps both.

Whatever you think about car rental now, it’s all about to change. The cars themselves aren’t changing, it’s our relationship to them.

One of the relatively new, yet fundamental advances in car rental is the addition of the peer-to-peer marketplace. That is, renting a car that is actually owned by someone other than the rental company.

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How Ride Hacks changed the world in 2015

Ride Hacks changed the way we think about driving experiences, in only three months. It’s the beginning of the journey. The end is nowhere in sight. Yet, the change is happening.

We started with a mission of changing the way you think about luxury and prestige driving experiences. Our mission is evolving. Personal transport has also changed so fast that you probably haven’t noticed.

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Audi A3 Cabriolet Hero

Audi A3 Cabriolet Review

Writing this review of the GoGet Audi A3 Cabriolet has been challenging. After 24 hours with the car, plenty of sun with the roof down, and an elongated drive up to the northern tip of Sydney’s Palm Beach, I feel like I have a few words to say, yet I still don’t know how I feel about the Audi A3 in a convertible.

When one thinks of Audi, it’s hard not to think of the R8 or TT. Both cars will spark a variety of emotions, opinions, and arguments within seconds of dropping their name. This isn’t just between motoring folk — it seems everyone has an opinion about Audi.

I’m sure Audi likes this controversy. They like their brand to be injected into a conversation that was previously, and selfishly, hogged by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and the Italian-bred horse and bull.

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GoGet Audi A3 Sportback

Audi A3 Review

Since the beginning of Ride Hacks, we have stood for providing the most comprehensive reviews of prestige car rentals in Australia. However when we set out on this journey we didn’t expect to also become the most comprehensive reviewer of the Audi A3.

Whether this is good or bad luck, Audi has been proactive in doing deals with GoGet, Hertz and Hertz 24/7, so we have a lot of A3’s to choose from. That’s not really a bad thing.

Honestly, I like the A3. It’s a great car to drive. There is enough fun in the modest engine, the interior is well-refined, and you’re going to feel a touch more class than driving the Japanese or Korean alternatives.

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Hertz Porsche Cayman Review

As a product of luck rather than careful planning, we had previously arranged to see the latest 007 Bond film in the Sydney CBD Event Cinemas’ Gold Class that same evening. It wasn’t the quintessential Aston Martin, but I was thrilled to drive the Cayman into the city for our Gold Class experience.

As it was a late film, driving back home through the city after midnight was a magical experience – no traffic, the exhaust echoing against empty buildings, and a warm summer’s breeze.

I don’t know if Bond ever would come to Sydney, but he would have been jealous of this moment.

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Tesla Model S

Self-Driving Cars, Rights of Passage and Luxury Marketing

There’s no question, the automobile changed the world. Displacing horses with cars didn’t only benefit society with an endowment of productivity, it also cleaned up the mess that horses would make in city streets. It seems obvious, yet we take for granted that our streets are relatively clean, free from horse shit and its friends Mr Fly and Mr Rodent.

Fast forward into any major city in the 21st Century you’ll find traffic congestion, pollution and a pain in the ass for those who want to walk or ride their bicycle around the city.

Am I saying that cars are evil? Absolutely not. Will personal transport be different in 100 years? Absolutely. But there’s no need to be dramatic, let’s look at how personal transport has changed in the past 10 years.

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Europcar Prestige Review | Mercedes-Benz SLK

Ride Hacks is about driving experiences. This doesn’t (only) mean driving the most expensive cars that require three credit cards of insurance as security, or parading around in the quintessential red Ferrari. No, Ride Hacks is about redefining driving experiences with a touch of class — replacing that Toyota Yaris for $50 per day with a Mercedes-Benz at $150 per day. Three times the price, ten times the enjoyment. For us anyway.

But my day didn’t go as planned, did it?

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Audi Q5

Hertz 24/7 Audi Q5 Review

Naturally, when I was taking care of some business in Singapore and a client of mine mentions they will be in Sydney the following week, I jumped at the opportunity to put on my pretend Uber Black hat and chauffeur them to their destination — Castle Hill, not exactly a cheap taxi ride from Sydney Airport. How nice of me.

I’ve been waiting for a chance to try out the Avis Signature Series which seem to only be found at Sydney and Melbourne Airports. However with the $17 train ticket (or god-forbid, a taxi fare) to the airport to pick up the car, it didn’t seem such a smart time to test it out.

So the Hertz 24/7 Audi Q5 was chosen as the car for the job.

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Hertz Prestige Review | Audi A3

It all started when I wanted to do a comparison between my last review of the Super Fancy GoGet Audi A3 and the Hertz 24/7 Audi A3 — the well-needed replacement for the BMW 118i in their on-demand fleet. The booking was for 8am on Sunday morning for 24 hours. My wife and I planed to visit my sister and her partner in Newcastle, roughly a 300Km round trip from Sydney.

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GoGet Audi A3 Sportback

The Definitive GoGet Audi A3 Review

The Audi A3 is GoGet’s most recent category of on-demand vehicles available to hire within minutes notice. They refer to it as their ‘Super Fancy’ range, pushing down the current A1 which was considered just ‘Fancy’ for the past few years. After spending three days driving the A1, which really isn’t worth writing about, my experiences in the A3 have completely changed my view of what type of driving experience could be bought at a relatively low price.

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