On the 6th of March 2020, the Federal Court granted leave to the ACCC so that they can continue proceedures against the former operators of 'Australian 4WD Hire' and the company itself. The full decision of the court can be found here, where the judge states there is a serious question to be tried.
Unfortunately, the decision also revealed that the liquidator of Smart Corporation Pty Ltd is now unfunded and won't be participating in proceedings until further notice.
This comes after a 'new' operation was set up called 'Explore 4WD Hire'. This company has a very similar website as 'Australian 4WD Hire', and in some sections still calls itself 'Australian 4WD Hire'.
As I've said before, stay well away from 'Australian 4WD Hire' and be very cautious in dealing with 'Explore 4WD Hire'. When you are thinking about booking services like this, make sure to only purchase from reputable and reliable traders. Particularly, I'd encourage you to ask yourself and the business these questions.
1. Will the business be around to honour your booking?
2. Can you contact the business easily and do they respond promptly?
3. What guarantee do they give that you can get your bond back at the end of the trip if you have done the right thing?
4. Does the insurance they offer cover you for all events, including single vehicle incidents and things like getting bogged, flooded, etc.?
5. Is the hire contract clear and understandable or confusing and full of exclusions?
I'll continue to keep you updated about the work of the ACCC, and hope that people who have been ripped off will be repaid soon.
On the 5th of February 2020 I revealed to State Parliament yet another example of dodgy dealings from the former operators of 'Australian 4WD Hire'. Here's my speech to Parliament.
After my media release, the ABC published this story on their website and this story on the TV:
This comes after my previous work exposing this company, and this action from the ACCC.
One of the jobs of a Member of Parliament is to stand up for the rights of consumers when you believe they are being ripped off. That is why I have spoken both in Parliament and to the media about the actions of Australian 4WD Hire.
I love four-wheel driving; it's an epic way to see what our great country has to offer, but for some people, it has been an utter nightmare. I would caution potential renters of 4WD hire cars to be careful of the contracts when signing, and hire from reputable companies only.