[VIC, TAS] Free Travel for Cars on The Spirit of Tasmania


Spirit of Tasmania ferry passengers will be able to bring their car or motorcycle at no charge for a period of four months under an expansion of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme.

Spirit of Tasmania passengers can bring their car or motorcycle for free from March 1 until June 30
The Federal Government has expanded to the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme to boost tourism

The free travel for cars and motorcycles applies to travel on both the Melbourne to Devonport crossing and Devonport to Melbourne.

The temporary increase in the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme is applicable for new bookings made on/after 14 January 2021 for travel between 1 March and 30 June 2021 (unless sold out prior).

via ABC

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  • Autobots roll out

  • High chance the cars will get COVID in such close confines below deck. Risky move…

  • Good idea to take your own car. I read the travel adviser in the Sunday paper saying that car hire companies sold half their fleet during the border lockdown and the cheapest price he could find to hire a car for 2 days in Tasmania mid December was $700.

    Both those claims seem implausible to me but hey I'm not a travel guru.

    • I went in December and had 13 days car rental locked in at $1,700 and 2 weeks later I went to make a change and they said it would be a new booking and the cost was around $4K

      I thought that couldn’t be right but I looked around and everywhere was either out of cars or were charging similar amounts
      The daily rate was around $300

      Needless to say I stuck with my original booking

      • +2 votes

        Yeah damn. I think I recall paying something like $50-$60 a day for a small car in Tassie just a few years ago.

        • Just found the invoice from Europcar, Hobart Airport for 4 days in a week just before Christmas in 2016, MITSUBISHI ASX LS 2WD: $146. So a new, comfortable, basic SUV for $36.50/day.

          • @pizzaguy: Hobart airport in 2018, 12 days, AUD $350

            Was a Kia Cerrato IIRC.

            Isn't it interesting how the pricing does the opposite of what it should because they are essentially using customers who absolutely need a hire car to recoup their costs.

            That's how capitalism is supposed to work yeah?

            Low demand, high supply, unbelievably high costs?

            • @Telios: @shaybisc said above:

              Sunday paper saying that car hire companies sold half their fleet during the border lockdown

            • @Telios: As there was very low demand during prolonged lockdown in Tas followed by lockdown in Vic, there were very high costs per car then.
              So they got rid of surplus fleet to reduce their costs to survive.

              Now with increasing demand & low rental supply, price rises steeply.
              Which should encourage them to restock fleet (hopefully for next summer rush) - if covid conditions don't stop people travelling to Tas

              That's how capitalism is supposed to work

            • @Telios: Low prices are meaningless if there's no stock :/
              High prices sends signals to businesses to supply more of what people demand, that's how capitalism works

      • Woah you're right, it's like $200 a day now. I checked my car rental from a couple of years ago too and it was about $50 a day.

    • Sadly not implausible, I had my entire travel plans booked , flights, hotel, air bnb stays , tours .
      And couldn't find a single car to book anywhere from any company. So cancelled my entire trip in December

    • Nope, not implausible - both statements true. Just a shame doesn’t start earlier.

    • A friend of mine got a quote for 8 days car hire from Avis around the first week of Jan, it was $3000.

      • I just had a look at East Coast Car Rentals and they're still fairly reasonably priced. Not as cheap as i recall them to be, but none of this insane pricing that people are getting (i.e. $3000 for 8 days from Avis, or $4000 for 14 days).

        Dates i looked at were 11 to 14-Jan-21, base costs without any extras tacked on came out to be about $470.

        I've always found them to be heaps cheaper than the big companies (i.e. Avis, Hertz, Europcar etc.). Although on rare occasions, the big companies get cheaper with promotions and discount codes.

        • I just had a look at East Coast Car Rentals and they're still fairly reasonably priced.

          They would probably have had no cars available before the NSW (and now QLD) clusters hit.
          Before the NSW cluster there were zero spots available on the Spirit of Tasmania at the end of Dec to early Jan. After NSW there were quite a few empty spots across several days during that period.

    • yes, during early COVID period in April 2020, I saw 18-month old late 2018 model Hybrid Camry Altise from fleet only asking 24000 drive away with Odo reading less than 30k… real bargain…

    • This is true,

      I can say this from my own perspective, a majority of the locations didn't have vehicles available, and those who had, they weren't affordable.

    • I live in Tassie and drove past a Hertz yard yesterday that was completely empty except for those small trucks that people use to move houses. Never seen it like that before - it actually stood out to me, and I drive past it everyday.

    • It's for sure plausible, there were lots of photos during peak covid of airports and adjacent fields overflowing with rental cars. They would have to offload a few as it would have cost them a fortune to just keep the cars there (insurance, parking, depreciation, registration etc).

    • Yeah mercury reported on it there aren't enough rental cars for the number of people visiting now. They are trying to get some sort of resident car rental going and this must be another way they are trying to fix the problem

    • It's true. I tried over new years (after booking spur of the moment flights with my gf and another couple), nada available, only camper vans. Luckily a friend of a friend lent us their spare car for the 4 days

    • Just came back from Tassie… $206 per day for a Europcar IFAR Mitsu ASX.

  • From memory the vehicle cost is absurd, so great move.

    • It's already heavily subsidized, normal car fare is about $120… It gets pricey if you're towing a caravan/boat or such due to the extra length…

      • Imagine there's a few of us here who would pay for the extra length.

      • My understanding is that the ferry route is considered to be part of the National Highway 1 route, and the cost is subsidised at what it would cost to drive the equivalent distance

  • Would rather have it now.

  • It's a bargain if you want to travel to Tassie, but it's everyone else's tax dollars that are subsidizing this freebie.

    • You could say the same about Medicare though…

      • Medicare / car ferry..

        Yeah OK.

        Your analogy is bad.

      • Everyone uses Medicare and there is Medicare levy and Surcharge for that…

        • Everyone can use Medicare not everyone does just like the ferry. Everyone still pays for it. If it makes you feel better I'm sure they can add a line on your tax that says 'ferry levy', it all comes from the same place.

          • @knobbs: Tbh everyone kind of uses Medicare even the people that have private health. Where do you think your Covid tests are being financed from? I am sure there would be other examples. I do agree with your point though, it all comes from the same place.

            • @bigbadboogieman: Yeah I'm not arguing Medicare isn't an essential service or saying ferries and Medicare are of equal value. Just the comment I replied to was having a dig other people paid for it and might not use it. The same can be said for Medicare. For example I haven't used anything the would benefit from a Medicare payment in over 3 years. I'm sure at the end of the day I have paid more in Medicare levies than I would have claimed. It all goes round though some you win some you don't.

          • @knobbs: Everyone uses medicare one way or the other and will need it.

    • Sort of like the M5 toll cashback scheme. Just more scenic.

    • Which is true of most of the cost of the National Highway. I don't travel from Perth to Adelaide but my tax dollars are paying it. The Bass Strait ferries are cheaper than building a bridge to link Melbourne to Hobart…

      • Motorists already pay a 45c per litre fuel excise/tax which is meant to pay for roads.

  • I've already got a booking with a car for April - any news if this will be refunded?

    • "The temporary increase in the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme is applicable for new bookings made on/after 14 January 2021 for travel between 1 March and 30 June 2021 (unless sold out prior)."

    • No it won't. Only bookings made after 14th January.

  • Cool, remind me in 53 days time.

  • I was supposed to be in Tassie today but cancelled because of the ridiculous car rental fares. Campercans were also north of $400+ each day with toilet and bathroom

    • Same, somehow let me know when it recovers??

    • I managed to luck out and get a 4x2 Dual Cab Ute for $250 for 5 days rental next week. Some of the car prices were nuts.

    • That sounds cheaper than some of the car rental prices up above. If you're looking for car rental options, there are cheaper options than the big companies.

      Unsure about how much campercans typically cost per day, but i would have thought depending on the number of people it sleeps $400+ sounds pretty reasonable considering you wouldn't have to pay for accommodation.

    • Wicked Campers have flooded the streets here already.

  • "kids! hop in the boot. we are going on an adventure!"

  • +22 votes

    The problem is convincing Victorians the border won't close and residents of Victoria won't be indefinitely locked out of returning home.

    The situation at present with those Victorians stuck in NSW is deplorable. Never again can a Victorian ever think they have a right to go home.

    • +10 votes

      Yea, seeing how hard the Victorian government is trying to get hundreds of international tennis players in with their entourage but lock out its own residents is baffling. Why is Andrews on holidays, thought he said he won’t stop until the virus stops lol

      • Why is Andrews on holidays, thought he said he won’t stop until the virus stops lol

        Don't talk bad about Dan 'round 'ere

        Many Dictator Dan lovers here

        • Damn, Daniel!

        • I speak my mind and I don’t mind the negs.

          Dan isn’t a bad person, he isn’t any better than most politicians though. It’s interesting how well he has done in gathering such a loyal following, I guess I can say the same about Donald trump. The mind of many is curious

      • It did stop, I mean pause; then someone decided to bring it over the border.

      • 2019-2020 summer holidays : PM Scott
        2020-2021 summer holidays : Premier Andrews

        there's something about holidays and
        no systems in place to handle a person going on holiday
        (but a bushfire and a manageable virus situation are 2 different things, i guess )

    • Obviously you didn't notice the virus that came back to Vic came from NSW .
      Tough love is required and in my opinion they moved too slowly .
      Also blame NSW Premier for low action on no brainers like mandatory mask use in public indoor locations .

      • I love how we use arbitrary lines on a map, where if someone crossed it we scold them.

        Maybe we should divide Victoria in the middle given most victorian cases right now are in the east.

        • Did you forget the postcode lockdowns already?

          • @donkeyhokey: Nope, I was in it, and there was no lines of cars at every road out of my postcode. If my child needed hospital care I could drive to the royal children’s (out of the postcode lockdown) etc…I could return home from work if I worked from city.

            It isn’t the farcical you see today with people risking their lives driving thru outback Queensland to SA to enter Vic.

    • This is the sole reason why I am very very hesitant at the moment to book my Tassie trip which I have been yearning for months now.

      • At this point, it's probably more likely that Tassie's gonna close their borders to VIC than VIC closing its borders to Tassie.

        But never say never i guess, although Tassie's been doing fairly well on the COVID front? I haven't heard if they've had cases or not, most of the news these days are on VIC and NSW.

    • OTOH, there was plenty of warning that the border closing was probable, but a lot of people were refusing to come back from their holidays. Then they act surprised.

      • -4 votes

        I can't imagine anybody thinking they'd be barred from returning home. No quarantine option, no indication of how long the block would remain, nothing.

        That is simply unprecedented in my lifetime.

      • This. I went into NSW at Christmas but avoided all the hotspot areas, and was prepared at any time to cross the border on any day if the situation changed. I know that's not possible for everyone, but the warning signs were there that the border should shut at any time.

        • Same, visited family in NSW, then they visited us around Christmas and went back no dramas because we all knew muppets would be spreading it and not getting tested around Christmas/NY period.

          If anything the blame needs to be heaped on the NSW government for how lax everything was, even after the Crossroads events.

          • @Telios: whether it's the NSW Govt. or the Fed Gov,
            people in authority have a hard time trying to decide health over money.
            health experts talk in 1 ear, business groups talk into the other ear of the leaders.

            if there's no health, then there's no money/economy.
            the economy depends on a healthy & safe population.

    • As this offer involves travel via Vic, it's the same situation for all Australians wanting to take up this Deal. Travel may not be possible. It's a gamble.

  • We can't even leave NSW :(

    • We couldn't leave even home months ago. No complain. I don't go Tas cos I am not sure I can come back home in VIC.

  • Yeah right… just in time for winter.
    Seriously, who wants to go there? Everything will be out of reach as everyone will be trying to "make up" for the COVID time, doubling/tripling/etc their price. Just reading the posts on the car rental situation puts me off.
    I'll sit tight on my very hard earned money (no… my salary hasn't tripled, more like I lost heaps of jobs) and wait for international borders to open.