The secret way to get a get a hire car upgrade: Why ordering a manual can land you with a top-of-the-range automatic on the cheap
- Manual drivers can be traded up to upgraded models when hiring a car
- Stock of manuals are limited, forcing rental companies to upgrade customers
- Fewer Australians are driving traditional transmission vehicles than ever before
Big holidays are often dampened by the missing dollars in your account but for those drivers handy with their left foot you could be looking at an ungraded car for less.
A staff member at a Budget car rental outlet in Sydney confirmed that travellers can be upgraded to the next class of vehicle if the company are not able to provide a manual as promised.
The Holden Spark is a manual only low cost option in the range popular with those looking to keep costs down, however these models can be snapped up quickly.
The Holden Spark is the cheapest model available to rent with a manual the only option
‘Nine out of every ten cars we get in are automatics so we very often run out of manuals,’ another staff member confirmed.
Low cost options like the Holden Spark are the bottom of the range and rental companies can be forced to upgrade your car if an automatic equivalent isn’t available.
Automatic cars such as the European made ZB Holden Commodore or the Hyundai Kona compact SUV can suddenly be on the table.
The European designed and built ZB Holden Commodore has been commended for its sleek looks and luxury interior
Ordering a manual hire car is becoming a rarity in Australia with most major companies including Thrifty and Apex no longer stocking manual transmission passenger vehicles in their range.
Although generally the less sought after option, special requests are often made for manual cars.
Sales of manual vehicles have declined in Australia over the last decade with sales dropping to eight per cent in 2016 according to WhichCar.
The compact SUV is very popular among young families offering considerably more space than an economy hatchback
Honda made the decision in 2015 to completely discontinue the manual option on their popular small car the Civic with the exception of the Type R model.
Drivers often seek out a manual due to an increased amount of control and simplicity of the vehicles.
This feature is particularly popular in sports cars, featured in popular performance models such as the best selling Ford Mustang selling over 60,000 units in Australia.
Fewer manual vehicles are being purchased in Australia than ever before but still prove popular with car enthusiasts