We have been to Melbourne a few times in the last 12 months – sometimes for Blogging events and sometimes for Family reasons. Normally I use public transport to and from the Melbourne Airport but this time I had a bit of travelling to do.
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Alpha Car Hire in Melbourne (to the Rescue!)
This time I was going down to World Vision Australia which is not in Melbourne city but about an hour drive from Novotel St Kilda. With public transport it would have taken about 1 1/2 hours- and that was having to change trams/trains etc! I thought it would be easy to have use of a hire car.
Our January Trip To Melbourne
When we went down in January (to our older sons Navy Graduation) we hired a small car from another company. We couldn’t even get a car big enough for all of us back then as Melbourne had so much on in January (I think the Tennis was on?) and everything was booked out 🙂
We had been in Touch with Alpha Car Hire (back in January) but they were so booked out they had nothing available. I had kept their contact details because their staff were so friendly. So as soon as I had my flights confirmed and my accommodation all sorted, I once again got in touch with Alpha Car Hire in Melbourne, via email.
Soon Everything Was Confirmed
I never realised that when you arrive in Melbourne there is a courtesy bus waiting for you. As soon as you arrive, and you have collected any luggage that you have, you ring Alpha car office and they tell you where to meet the bus. Then the Courtesy Bus will deliver you to Alpha Car Hire in Melbourne office.
I arrived very late Wednesday and happened to be at a time when their office is busy – did you know that you can also pay to leave your own Car there instead of having to pay crazy Airport Parking Fees? Never realised that until I was waiting in line to organise my hire car!!
Car Hire and Airport Parking
Within moments of paying for the insurance I was given keys to the most amazing little Car. A cute little cream coloured Nissan Micra. I so would have loved to say that it was my car for ever – no it’s not big enough for our family but hey I can dream cant I?
Nissan Micra ~
My Little Dream Car
Did you know that with a car that small, and all that travelling around, it only took $14.60 in petrol to fill it back up!!! Oh my gosh – our family beast takes over $100.00 to fill it up! Hurry up boys and move out of home so I can buy a small car.
How Gorgeous Was This Little Car ~
Nissan Micra on the inside…its just as cute on the outside 🙂
Driving Through The City
I am so NOT good with directions. If I have been to a place three or four times then I am ok…but I had my GPS so it was smooth sailing into St Kilda Novotel. The fact that the Nissan Micra was so easy to drive in city traffic was such a bonus. Being a small car it made it so easy to move around and everything in the car was so user-friendly. Alpha car hire has certainly picked a good small car for their hire fleet.
I parked the Car and felt like I was part of the “In Crowd” – you know….the rich and famous crowd. Never felt like that before, but gee it felt good to park outside of the Novotel and walk up the steps with the confidence of knowing that the Nissan Micra fitted in with such a classy hotel. Unlike our old tank of a car which would have stood out like a sore thumb.
After Checking In At The Novotel ~
I moved the Car into the Secure Parking Area…for safe keeping!
Going To World Vision
The next morning I waited until another couple arrived. I was so lucky to be travelling with two more World Vision Ambassadors (still not comfortable with saying “ambassadors” but I will cover that later!) to World Vision Office. Even though my GPS lead me up the garden path, and even though I was so nervous driving in Melbourne we made it – with only moments to spare.
World Vision Head office in Melbourne
A full On Day of Learning
There was so much to learn about the workings within World Vision. I still can’t believe how much I have learnt and how much more I have to learn. When the event was finished I had to make my way back to St Kilda.
Funny enough the GPS took me back a different way – a more direct way! Not sure why that happened..but it did. It was actually much nicer drive, more direct and I only took one wrong turn – told you I am no good with directions.
After dropping off the other couple I made it back to the hotel, and parked in their secure car park. I so wanted to make sure I kept the cute little car safe.
On Friday morning I had to drive to the Digital Parents Conference – which was only around the corner. I had to be there before 8.00 am so that I had the “Early Bird” car park special. Cant remember how much that saved in parking fees…but not much!
Friday AfterNoon Traffic in Melbourne
Did you know in Melbourne that the traffic is crazy in the afternoon – I left the conference early so that I could make the airport in time for my flight. Mind you my flight was delayed twice – and had two gate changes! Luckily I did leave Melbourne City early because it was over an hours drive, through snail crawling peak hour traffic.
I got back to Alpha Car Hire Company and had to say a massive Thank-You for the car….and explain how I had chipped the back underneath the wheel…. Those car parking spots at World Vision are so tiny – yeah I was also nervous driving out of the car park thinking about the GPS taking me back to St Kilda. So very grateful that the wonderful staff were so understanding.
Which Leads Me To Must-Haves When Hiring A Car:-
- All Hired Car Companies have the ability to offer Insurance when hiring a car – to bring down the excess in case of Car Accidents or damages. PLEASE pay the extra insurance every day…its worth it to feel more at ease!
- Organise how to pay for the Melbourne Toll Ways before you return home. There was a mix up with my Hotel Bill and Novotel charged me twice (which was no-ones fault, just one of those things!). Which meant that I had no money in the Debit account to pay for the Toll Way. When I did have money cleared in the account, the three days was over and even after two phone calls to CityLink Travel I was NOT able to pay the toll fee. Which means I will now have a fine to pay 🙁
- If you can’t pay the City Link travel toll-way by credit card then you can make your payments via any Australia Post Office..found this out when it was too late!
- Ask the friendly staff at Alpha Car Hire how much travelling time you are going to need to return the car – especially if you are driving back through peak hour traffic so that you will make your flight on time.
- Allow extra time for pickup and drop off to the airport when you do return the hired car – again you need to allow extra time so that you can make it to the airport in time.
- Hire a GPS or take your own – it will make driving easier when in Melbourne!
- Only fill the car up to when the Petrol Nozzle clicks I put in $14.60 when I could have easily stopped at $14.00…never realised that smaller cars use less fuel! (that is actually not a Must-Have but a friendly tip!)
Alpha Car Hire Courtesy Bus ~
Pick up and Drop offs!
Would I Hire A Car Again?
In a heart beat – I would pay the extra insurance and would hire a car again. Would I hire through Alpha Hire Car in Melbourne? Sure would….now that I know where the courtesy bus is to pick up passengers, and how its vital to allow extra travelling time to/from the Airport I would happily use Alpha for travelling needs.
Would also up date my GPS so that it gave clearer instructions of where to go…..instead of telling me to take left hand turns into streets that have a No-Left hand turn sign!
There is One Thing that I would have liked..the poor staff member behind the counter was rushed off her feet! When I arrived Wednesday there was a few people who were waiting for a lift to the airport to catch a flight – and there were two people picking up their cars, two people hiring out cars…so the friendly staff member was trying to do everything at once.
Alpha Car Hire in Melbourne Office ~
I would have liked to jump behind the counter to help her out.
The people waiting for their lift to the airport was very concerned about making their flights on time….maybe they didn’t realise about the extra travelling time that I mentioned above in the “Must-Haves” list 🙂
Have You Hired A Car In Melbourne Before?
New Life on the Road
Please Note:- Alpha Car Hire in Melbourne provided a hire car for my use while I was in Melbourne. A massive thank-you sent your way for making my trip much easier. All thoughts and opinions are my own…I was not paid to write anything.