Whilst driving in Australia, you are probably going to see more Apollo branded vehicles on the roads than any other campervan rental company. Currently they have over 4000 vehicles with plans to add another 1500 vehicles to the fleet. Established in 1985 in Australia, they now also operate in New Zealand, USA and Canada. Whilst the Apollo brand is probably the most famous of the brands operated by this company, they also own Star RV, Cheapa Campa and Hippie Campers, which satisfy the higher, lower and youth priced segments of the market. Within the Apollo branded vehicles you will find Campervans, Motorhomes and 4wd campers.
What Apollo Tells Us
Apollo wants us to know that they have the largest camper hire rental fleet in Australia. They are proud of being one of the largest privately owned leisure vehicle operators in the world.
Apollo hopes to have a vehicle for to suit every style of self drive holiday and is aimed at those travellers with just a little bit more money and more care for quality. Their cheapest camper is still of pretty good quality and is a Hi Top camper with all the modern conveniences. From there the vehicles just get bigger, better, nicer and pricier. They aim to impress with their selection of locations, vehicles and their caring staff.
Campervans and Motorhomes running under the Apollo brand in Australia are a maximum of 3 years old. After that, or at 150,000km, they sell them or pass them on to their cheaper family of campers under the brand of Cheapa Campa.
Like pretty much all the campervan hire companies, you are charged by calendar days used, not time of day picked up like car rental. So it pays to pick up early and drop off late as you are paying for whole day regardless.
If you rent a motorhome with a toilet you will have to get used to the idea of emptying the cassette as if you return it full, you will be paying a fee. Which begs the question - where is the nearest dump point to the location you are returning to. There are not many dump points inside major cities. Check out
Just so you know which of the Apollo brands is best for you, here is how they stack up: Star RV is the brand used for campervans and motorhomes that are brand new to $60,000km (about 1 year). Apollo campervans are run from 60,000km to 150,000km (1 year old to approx. 3), Cheapa Campa then runs the camper from 150,000km to end of life which might be about 5 years. Hippie Camper has new and old vehicles that are aimed at the youth market so are generally smaller with fewer amenities and only a couple of different models.
Reviews of the Apollo Campervans:
Apollo Hi Top Campervan
This is the base model vehicle for Apollo keeping bells and whistles to a minimum. Whilst it could sleep 4, it can only seat 2 as the kitchenette is directly behind the driver, meaning other passengers would have to sit sideways on the bench seats and this is not allowed. All the necessities are there for driving, sleeping cooking eating and cleaning but that's about it. Remember though that Apollo set a higher bar than "budget" agencies in the market so the base model at Apollo will be equal to or better than the "deluxe" model at a cheap agency.
Base model so has less inclusions
Bed set up across the bench seats
Manual pump water
Storage above driver
Fully stand up
Pillow and case, sleeping bag, sheet, bath towel cooking gear
Expect to pay at least $63pd
Can fully stand up.
Functions well to get from place A-B, cook and sleep, but not much else.
Storage above driver cabin not entirely taken up bedding and mattresses.
You have to find public toilets and showers regularly
Small gas cylinder of 2kg
Sleeping bags supplied: who want to be sleeping in a bag 100 other people have been in.
Manual gear shift
Apollo Endeavour Campervan
Same base model vehicle and most the same attributes of the HiTop except for a different layout in the back to accommodate 2 extra bodies. It's indicated to be 2 adults sleeping below and 2 kids sleep above, however I checked with Apollo about having 4 adults and it is fine to do. The maximum weight rating for the upper bed is 200kg. The average weight of an adult is 75kg so just be sure to sort your sleeping out best according to weight.
Can fit child seat - forward facing only from 9kg/70cm upwards.
1/2 size fridge
Little storage as the compartment above driver full of bedding
Expect to pay at least $78pd
Child seat capability
Not going to be a lot of storage for 4 peoples gear
Child seat is $30pd - only about $11 when you rent a car.
What's the difference between...
Hi-Top and the Endeavour Campervans?
Endeavour - Auto transmission; HiTop - Manual
Endeavour - baby seats OK; HiTop - nope
Endeavour - water tank 55 litres; HiTop - 31 Litres
Endeavour - Doona and sheets; HiTop - Sleeping bag and sheets
The rest is the same.
Apollo Euro Tourer Campervan
Why the Euro name? - because it is based on a European model vehicle - in this case a VW rather than the Australian built Hiace used for the other 2 campervan models (used to be Mercedes Sprinter so don't be surprised if you get a Merc model). With total shut down of all vehicle manufacturing taking place in Australia, pretty soon Apollo will have to name all their vehicles after other parts of the globe.
The Euro tourer is the luxury model of the campervan class. Significantly bigger than the Hiace model that is used for the HiTop and Endeavour models, it could easily fit 4 people, but Apollo have decided it is better suited to 2 people traveling in style. This vehicle is when you are really starting to get to hotel-room style on wheels. Electric pump water, TV, DVD, air con (when on mains power), 3/4 sized fridge bigger than many hotels - shower and toilet. If connected to mains power, this has all the facilities of a decent hotel room minus the carpet. When not on power you will lose the air con and microwave and the use of any power sockets however, this is the same for all campervan and motorhomes that carry those items. A normal powered site at a caravan park will set you back $30-$50. Some will be more in high season, some will be less in some towns. (if you are interested in comparing campervan hire using caravan parks VS car hire and hotels, read this article )
Of course, like all things luxury, there is an additional price to pay. In this case it is basically double what you will pay for the HiTop and 50% more than the Endeavour, but if you are the kind of person that likes to glam it up when traveling, this is the unit for you.
3 burner stove
3/4 size fridge
TV & DVD player
Air con whilst parked (mains power)
Double bed made from the lounge area
expect to pay: $123pd
Well appointed inside makes it a plush ride.
Doonas and sheets rather than sleeping bags and sheets.
Got to empty toilet casette before return which can be a smelly job.
Interior height only 1.9mtr (other models 2m)
They don't even throw in some camp chairs for free when you rent this higher priced vehicle, still got to rent them separately.
Reviews of the Apollo Motorhomes:
Apollo Euro Camper Motorhome
Motorhomes are bigger, plusher and more expensive than campervans and generally have walk through access from the front seat. The base model of the motorhomes for Apollo is the theEuro Camper.As we have moved into the more luxurious category, TVs, DVDs, Microwaves, showers and toilets all become standard and this motorhome is no exception. This model is perfectly acceptable and being less than 3 years old will have all the mod cons that you are after. You can expect a higher level of quality of appointments, but one of the biggest complaints about motorhomes is that the shower/toilet area is "smelly". Everyones tolerances are different but keep this in mind for all motorhomes with those facilities.
Baby seats available
Shower toilet etc
Air con in the main cabin when on mains power
Expect to pay: $145pd
Comfy for 4 peeps
Baby seat available for family friendly
Cheapest motorhome model from Apollo
Mileage on motorhomes is poor at 14ltrs per 100km
Some wear and tear on cushions and door/drawer latches
Emptying toilet cassettes can be bad news for the squeamish
Apollo Euro Star Motorhome
This is just a slightly upgraded model of the Euro Camper. The swanky thing about this model that sets it apart from many others is the electric raise and lower of the double bed at the back. Very handy at the end of the day when it comes to bed time - no moving of boards and cushions to make the bed. The only concern is what if it gets stuck? I hope there is a manual override. Generally the more moving parts a thing has, the more things there are to break down. There is also a slide out cooker come BBQ from the side of the motorhome. Australia loves to BBQ so this is a welcome addition to allow for smokey outdoor cooking under the expansive awning.
This is a really homely unit. It has luxury and comfort and will be just a like a plush hotel room on wheels for those who want all the creature comforts when they travel.
Microwave and gas oven
2 gas + 1 electric hot plate
3/4 sized fridge
Outdoor stereo and speakers
Double bed over cabin
Double bed with electric lift/lower
Expect to pay at least: $156pd
What's the Difference Between...
Euro Star and Euro Camper Motorhomes?
Euro Star: automatic - Euro Camper: manual transmission
Euro Star: fridge 150ltr - Euro Camper: 110ltr
Euro Star: cooktop 3 (2 gas 1 electric) + oven - Euro Camper:3 gas
Euro Star: gas 9kg - Euro Camper: 4 kg
Euro Star: water tank 150ltr - Euro Camper: 100ltrs
Euro Star: Electric life bed - Euro Camper: no lift. smaller 2nd bed
Apollo Euro Deluxe Motorhome
This is thelargest modelApollo offers with 3 double beds for6 people. The fridge is a little small to cater for 6 people I think, but there is a lot to fit in to this motorhome. Something else to keep in mind is showering for 6. The hot water system can be slow to heat up and quick to run out in motorhomes, so don't plan on all 6 people showing one-after-the-other. You should spread it out between mornings and nights - and keep the times to a minimum, 100 litres of water won't go far when there are 6 showers in a day. On the up side, this model has a grey water waste tank making the vehicle entirely self enclosed. This is handy for some council parking rules that only allowed self contained motorhomes to park legally overnight on the side of the road.
There are actually a tonne of little things in this motorhome that make it a sweet ride, not the least of which is the separate dining area for kids, the awning and the outdoor speakers so make sure you sit through a walkthrough video for this motorhome before you drive away in it.
2 dining areas
Toilet and Shower
3 gas burner and microwave
1/2 size fridge
Baby seat OK
Waste water tank
Expect to pay: $156pd
1 bed a little small
14ltrs per 100km fuel efficiency is pretty lame
Changing a flat tire is a REAL pain
Apollo Euro Slider Motorhome
Apollo are stepping up a notch with this motorhome being the only one that has a slide out wall to expand the living and cooking area when parked. If you are looking for a hotel-room-on-wheels, then you have found it here.
With all the modern conveniences for both cooking and relaxing, it will be hard to find a motorhome flasher than this when you turn up to a caravan park. Please keep in mind the motorhome must be parked on a flat stable surface to be able to side out, this is not always the case with roadside stops. Roadside stops are normally in great condition along the main Australian highways, but if you want to be get off the beaten track and on the the B roads and C roads, the spots are less maintained. You shouldn't let this stop you from renting this motorhome, just something to keep in mind. Like the Euro Deluxe, this motorhome has a grey water tank so is completely self contained - very handy if you find yourself pulling up to a road side stop that only allows overnighting in fully self contained vehicles.
Be aware this motorhome has complicated system to run all the little devices it has - there are circuit switches galore and numerous things that must be turned on, off or turned on in a certain order to make everything work. You should watch the "Show Through" video here or at Apollo before driving away. It lets you know things like how to empty the toilet cassette and that it takes 20 mins to heat up the water for a shower. It also highlights some traps you can fall in to that that will result in extra fee charges if you don't do as they ask.
It is a little pedestrian and long but I really advise you watch it all before renting it or heading out in it.
Slide out wall
NO child seat allowed
Full size fridge
walk through access
4 stove cooker
Full oven 4 cooker stove, range hood, microwave
Expect to pay: $173pd
Luxury and space via the slide out wall
Fully self contained
Decent amount of gas for hot water and cooking
Get to 2nd bed via a ladder
Must be parked on flat solid base to open slide wall
Changing a tire can be very hard
If looking for something even more luxurious than the Apollo Motorhomes, then Star RV campers will be newer and flasher.
Review of the Apollo 4WD Campervans
Apollo are offering 3 models of 4wd (4x4) campervans.
Adventure Camper: A low-level model for 2 people
Overlander Camper: Low-level model for 5 people
Trailfinder Camper: a hard-core, go anywhere for2 people
What do i mean by low-level and hard core?
Low Level- Dirt roads that are graded or slightly washboard roads, creek crossings, grass fields, flat-lands.
Hard core- Desert tracks, deep ruts, severe washboard roads, steep incline/decline, forest track bush bashing.
Dirt road, mostly graded, mild washboard, low creek crossings vs
Dust, ruts, washboard and mud
The Adventure 4x4 Camper
The Adventure Camper uses the concept of building tortoise-shell accommodation on the back of a ute (flat bed vehicle). These utes are mainly used by tradies to carry tools and get into muddy places for work. Strictly speaking they are 4wd vehicles (not AWD) including Hi and Low range gears but are not great for high ground clearance and steep terrain.
The advantage of this kind of model is the room. The tortoise shell on the back goes up and over the roof and allows for designers to come up with great concepts using all the available space. So when it comes to comfort and space this baby is right on. All this extra space comes with a price of course - it is heavy. Given the average ground clearance of the Toyota Hilux it is built on, and the extra weight, expect a few more rock bashes under the vehicle and keep the angle of of incline attempted as merely "insane". Also a reduction in fuel efficiency compared to some others.
Plenty of room
Air con in main cabin (with mains power)
Pop top roof to stand up
Side awning comes standard
Small 40ltr water tank
Pros: 4x4 driving fun to be had. Go almost anywhere
Lots of room compared to other 4x4 styles
AIr Con in rear cabin
Awning comes standard
Cons: Heavy with the shell on the back.
There are some places it just wont get too without trouble
No walkthrough from front - must enter via rear door
The Trailfinder 4x4 Campervan
The Trailfinder Camper, built using the Toyota Landcruiser is in another category. If you are looking to go to those places in Australia that only the few get to go to, this is the 4wd campervan for you. It will go places the other models won't go due to it's high ground clearance, whopping V8 turbo diesel engine, all terrain tires and it's pure engineering to survive no matter what you throw at it. Don't get me wrong, you can go plenty of places in Australia with the Adventure and Overlander models, but quite honestly, there will be a nagging feeling in the back of your mind - will we make it to the end of this track? No such feeling with the Trailfinder. It's more like - that track was killer fun, where is the next one?
The Trailfinder is also better appointed for outback adventure. 2x 90ltr tanks not only gives you more fuel, but a safety in case once gets a puncture. The water tank is nicely tucked under the chassis keeping it safe but not getting in the way of day to day use and is a better sized 50ltrs. In the other 2 models, water and extra fuel all come in jerry cans. Trying to add just a little bit of luxury to the outback workhorse, Apollo have added a pop-top roof for added headroom when parked, a larger 48ltr fridge and a side awning included. The side awning will protect you from the elements whilst using the slide out cookers and sink on the passenger side.
If you have kids unfortunately this model won't suit you, but if you are a couple looking to see the wilds of Australia, you can't go pass the Trailfinder that hopefully will get you into a little trouble but will also be able to get you out of it too.
Side extending kitchen
Burly V8 Turbo engine
Pop top roof to stand up
Side awning comes standard
50ltr water tank
Powerful engine and trusted outback vehicle
Pop top roof
Larger fuel and water tanks
Drivers cabin not as quiet or comfortable as Adventure Camper
no toilet, shower outdoor solar
The Overlander 4x4 Campervan
The Overlander is the newest addition for the 4wd section of Apollo and should appeal to those who are travelling outback with a family or those who just like to rough it. No Sleeping inside the camper, all sleeping is done in tents. Some in a roof tent and the rest on the ground in an awning. Also, no real adjustments to the interior of the vehicle so they can continue to sit 5 people in there - the seating has been left traditional with a front row and back row. The rear storage is the only area where some customisation has been done. There is more storage on the roof and that is also where the tents go. There is a whopping 45ltr fridge/freezer in the back that will run off the house battery but whilst it is nice to have that much refrigeration for 5 people, it takes up A LOT of room. In the end the problem with this camper is storage. Up to 5 people in there and very little spare space to put all their stuff. The blue box on the roof will go a bit of a way, but if you are taking a whole family in this, be aware that you are going to be putting things in every nook and cranny you can find to store them.
This campervan is really the only 4wd option that Apollo are offering for families, and it seems there competitors are doing the same, but at the end of the day you are really just getting a 4wd and a tent. I guess its a one-stop shop, but I wonder what could be achieved just by renting a 4wd, a tent and 32ltr fridge. There are some other little benefits though, the awning that comes included as standard, the gas burner and the table to put it on. If you are travelling to the point of pickup from overseas or similar, then this vehicle still has an appeal, but many Australians would be able to achieve what's there by renting a 4wd and taking things they probably already have.
5ppl family capability
large side annex
Burly V8 Turbo engine
2 kids seats allowed
Side awning comes standard
15ltr water tank
Powerful V8 Landcruiser
Takes 5 peeps including child seats
45ltr fridge and house battery to run it
Sleeping in tents
Tiny water tank
BTW if you can grab an air compressor from an auto store it is well worth it on long off-road trips. When driving on long dirt roads you should let air out of the tires, the compressor will let you blow them back up once you get on the bitumen.
This is a benchmark company that the others measure themselves against. You will almost certainly find a vehicle style to suit you but they book out quick in high season because of their popularity
By far the most complained about aspect of Apollo is the time it takes to return the safety deposit that you give when you commence hire. All campervan and motorhome rental companies will take a bond of some sort - Apollo seems to be lagging the most in getting it back to you. In the mean time it can leave a big hole in yourcredit cardthat may rack you up some interest charges with your bank. Considering the amount of complaints about it I can only assume they are stashing it away in a short term high interest account. There is nothing you can do to speed it up so be prepared.
In March 2016 we had the experience of renting an Apollo camper for 14 days. That ended up in something like a nightmare. We rented a Euro Deluxe model for 3 persons – so we had plenty of space.
We paid for the value pack so we wouldn´t run in to any unexpected expenses.
The first night on the campground we found out that one chair was broken and one element in the gas oven was defective and the electrical kettle blew the fuse. Also the awning was defective and could not be used.
These were annoying things that we could live with and work around.
A lot worse was it when we ran into problems with the fuel system. We had to call the Apollo road assistance after filling up the tank on a Shell station. I opened the drain screw in the bottom of the filter housing to drain out possible water. The water was pouring out in an amount that I have never seen from a fuel filter before. The fuel system was apparently not maintained. That was later confirmed.
The road assistant got the vehicle started. I made a few rounds on the parking lot. Everything seemed normal.
We drove on and filled up the tank a couple of times the next days. We were heading for Ayres Rock.
When we lacked about 200 kilometers the engine lost power and a warning lamp came on.
We “limped” to a campground near Ayers Rock. I called Apollo and told the assistant that we had to consult a workshop. The next morning we were told to go to a nearby workshop. After some testing and test driving the tester read a too low fuel line pressure which could indicate a dirty fuel filter. They had a filter in stock so it wouldn´t be much trouble to replace the filter. Then the trouble began as the filter housing couldn´t be separated. The fuel tank was drained as the fuel was awfully dirty, but the warning lamp was still coming on when we made a test drive. It was now night and I called Apollo again and asked for a replacement camper as the one we had was not reparable as the workshop feared to break the filter housing in order to separate it. Heavy marks on the filter housing indicated that somebody had tried to take it apart before. We were told that we would be contacted the next morning.
The next morning we received a call from Apollo. We were told that our contract was cancelled because we had filled up the tank with contaminated fuel at a Shell tank. That came as a surprise – if you can´t refuel at regular tanks – where else can you?
I was told that the camper would be picked up by a tow truck and we had to decide whether we wanted to go on the tow truck or by bus. There could only be 2 of us on the tow truck and we had to pay the tow truck and all repairs as we had violated the contract by using contaminated fuel. Bus tickets would not be paid by Apollo. I could only protest and say that I could not agree.
One hour later Apollo called again with a new offer. We could go to the workshop again as they now were instructed how to separate the filter housing. I went to the workshop. They tried again to separate the filter housing – which broke in the process. The workshop now towed the camper back to the campground, where we now were stock until the next morning, where new parts arrived.
With a new filter the warning lamp still came on from time to time and the engine lost power so we had to go very slow. We “limped” on to Alice Springs and got rid of the camper.
The manager here claimed that he had heard nothing about our contract being cancelled.
When we came home and I checked my Mastercard account I found that Apollo Camper had made a
$ 2.500 withdrawal on the day they cancelled our contract.
I wrote a letter of complaints explaining that it was lack of maintenance that caused us to spend about 3 days in the workshop – which the work shop also had told Apollo. So I don´t feel we owe Apollo Camper anything – on the contrary I feel we should be eligible for a substantial compensation as we had to spend the most of 3 days in a work shop.
The “Guest Relations Supervisor’” wrote a letter back where he still claimed that we had filled the camper with contaminated fuel and claimed that others had the same trouble that day. We spent about 3 hours on that Shell tank without seeing other vehicles having trouble.
He also claimed that the repairs had cost more than the $ 2.500 they had already charged. I can only wonder as the vehicle was still under warranty.
Looking at reviews from other customers Apollo seems to have great fun of dragging tourists around by the nose when they are in trouble. They read their own contract the way the devil read the Bible – and let their customers pay accordingly.
So never ever rent a camper from Apollo.
A. Rebiso, Australia
Reviewed 1 month ago
Check the roof of the camper vans as there was a large scratch on mine which cost us 700$. We arrived in cairns and i was asked to inspect the camper after a 30 hr flight. As the roof was 2.3m high i didn't check it and once we arrived in cairns they pulled out poles with mirrors and stung me big time. Please dont make my mistake and make sure you check the roof.
C. Watts, Australia
Reviewed 2 months ago
This company is really unhelpful if you no longer need the campervan. The call centre staff member I spoke to even said they have a strict no refund policy for prepaid rentals.
If you do book with this company review their T+C's ( I didn't) and only pay a deposit. When you pay a deposit you are entitled to a full refund within 1 month of hire. But if you pay in full up front they charge a 100% cancellation fee, no matter when you try to cancel. I tried to cancel in August 2016 when the hire was Dec - Jan 2017
Also I find it very average that they make you put the security deposit onto a credit card, plus then charge you a 2% CC fee, and it can take up to 6 weeks for it to clear in your account so you end up paying interest on it.
K. Slowik, Australia
Reviewed 3 months ago
My recent apollo adventure in a hitop was fine. everything worked and the staff in Sydney were fine.
C. Jean Francis, New Caledonia
"APOLLO SEEMS TO CONSIDERS ITS CUSTOMERS AS POOR LITTLE THINGS ONLY GOOD TO PAY."
Reviewed 3 months ago
With my personal friends, I often rent 4WD vehicules to make remote area and outback trips of Australia.
During previous trips in Australia , cited below, We have not had any problemes with Kea the rental company.
- Cairns - Cape York (4x4 drive rental -Kea)
- Kakadu National park (4x4 drive rental -Kea)
- Kimberley (4x4 drive rental -Kea)
That time we choosed, Apollo to rent 3 Overlander Toyota Landcruisers from the 8th to the 21st of October 2016. These cars had to be prepared for trips in remote areas, away from any possibility of assistance. We, as group, needed to be self sufficient to completely appreciate the full outback experience . Our budget was planed for that outcome.
So unfortunately, we had a lot of troubles with your vehicules and equipment associated with the rentals.
> Tyre : the second day of our trip, we discover that the rear right tyre of one of the vehicules was delamining from the inside after a flat. We had to repair it in Mount Dare (South Australia).
- One annex with sleeping for 3 people was impossible to fit so we were obliged to use a tent.
> Gas for the stoves provided:
- we received 6 gas bottles and we discovered on the second day that 3 gas bottles were completely empty. this resulted in fact that by day 4 we had no more gas.
- during the rest of the trip, it was Impossible to buy or to refill the empty bottle except for back in Alice Springs!
> Fridge :
- One fridge from one vehicule, stopped working when not plugged directly to a power source. we tried to self repair but we had no technical notice/manual to guide us. This made it impossible to store food in this car and the food stored in this fridge had gone off making it unsafe to eat increasing the budget unnessissaraly . The problem was found by your staff, once we lost a day of travel to Alice Springs, at your Apollo depot, the second battery in the vehicule designated to the fridge was out of order.
Because of these problems, we were obliged to change our logicistical and financial plans and camp daily in a camperground with a restaurant or some type of dining service for the three vehicules and 9 people.
> These car are rented to accomodate 5 people but in reality it is only possible to have 3 !
And we spent about 10 000 AUS$ (3000 per car, we added a complete insurance package).
➢ we increase our group budget (about 2900 $AUS more)
➢ the three cars were obliged to drive back from Kings Canyon to Alice Spring to fix all the problem
➢ we lost one rental day, the difficulties to deal with their Alice Spring branch because they were only 2 people to take car of so much customers,
Andy Smart Guest Relations Supervisor Apollo Motorhome Holidays 698 Nudgee Road Northgate, Brisbane QLD 4013 Australia gave us a very poor answer. First time he try to separate our group to try to deal withg each team ! We refuse. We refuse. We were a group. He propose us 25 $AUS for the gas bottle !!!! Ridiculous.
After an exchange, he increased his answer to abou 800 $AUS and without waiting our answer he draft the money separately. His commercial speech was pleasant but almost insulting if we consider the costs that we had to face because of the lack of seriousness in preparing their cars and the ridiculous proposal as compensation. They did not take into account the reality of things as we describe it in our mail to the company.
We prepared our expedition seriously. She was greatly disturbed by their lack of seriousness such as providing empty gas bottles impossible to buy or to refill elsewhere than Alice Spring, 800 km north of our position !!! And we didn’t switch on the EPIRB because we got stuck in sand near Mount Dare !
We understand that mistakes may sometimes occur even in a serious company. But they doesn’t take in consideration the real financial consequences of their mistakes on our budget. We therefore urge Apollo to reconsider their answer which is totally out of proportion with the probleme that lack of preparation caused us.
So, I decided to explain in all my articles the difficulties we encountered with Apollo. And I am now going to inform as more as possible the poor consideration of Apollo for its customers in order to discourage potential future people do rent an Apollo car.
Reviewed 3 months ago
We were excited to fly into Brisbane and collect our campervan for our road adventure up the Queensland coast. We arrived at the Brisbane branch to be greeted by rather unfriendly and unwelcoming staff that really seemed uninterested in our business. We were then confronted by the true facts of the insurance on the vehicle and signed away a further $800 for 'comprehensive' insurance and bedding. Ok, perhaps we had not clearly read the very small print but this is not what we expected. Then having to stall explaining all the that additional $800 did not cover on the vehicle (basically anything that was likely to be damaged), oh, and the need to take out further insurance to cover the windscreen and tyres (which we then declined). We felt completely ripped off! We watched other customers equally horrified at what they were hearing. Oh, and a further 1.5% charge for having to use the 'credit' feature on my bank card.
Finally signed up and handed the keys, we were pleased to be on the way only to be presented with a 250,000km Cheapa Camper. Yes we had chosen this camper over the Apollo as it was slightly cheaper but it certainly was not clear that it would be a clapped out van! Ripped cushions (flattened beyond useable and extremely uncomforable to sleep on for 16 days), cracked flooring but more significantly, a water heater that didn't work. So having decided to have a van with toilet and washing facilities so we could visit unserviced sites, we were forced to stay at sites will full amenities.
The only pleasant experience was dropping the van off in Cairns. Despite my frustrations with Apollo, we were welcomed by an extremely friendly and professional member of staff (quite unlike the Brisbane service).
Never again would we rent through Apollo. Wish I had read online reviews before booking. Extremely disappointing for $3000.
And worst of all, I wrote to Apollo with details of our experience and received no response!!
"Apollo camper credit card bond question?"
Reviewed 5 months ago
I have rented cars before overseas and stayed in hotels and done bond by credit card with no charges but apollo campervans have got me worried with their fine print:
Bond amounts are:
* $2700 : if you don’t purchase Excess Reduction. (Debited)
* $1200 : if you purchase Excess Reduction Option 1 at $16 per day, paid to Apollo direct. (Pre-authorisation)
* $250 : if you purchase Excess Reduction Option 2 at $26 per day, paid to Apollo direct. (Imprint)
I have my own travel insurance so don’t want to double up, but from what i see they want to debit my card for bond which means i will get fees for currency conversion both ways (paying bond and getting back). Let alone what the exchange rate will do (and at the moment I couldn’t see it moving in my favour).
I also noted in the rental contract this
“Payment of this Bond is only accepted by credit card. The bond will be debited to the credit card account immediately. An administration fee equal to the merchant surcharge applies.”
so if i get this right they are also going to charge merchant fees on my bond which i am guessing would be around 3%. So on $2700 it is $81 Aus or over $100 NZ. Add that with my currency conversion fees and i could be out well over $300 in bond costs for a $250 rental.
From the looks of it i might have to pay the $16 a day so i can get the pre-authorisation bond so it works out cheaper. Even though i got full rental excess insurance up to $5000nz.
Anyone had any experience or thoughts on the matter please share.
A. HitTheRoad, Australia
Reviewed 5 months ago
Hi Mary and Tim,
My name is Melanie and I am the Marketing Coordinator for Apollo. I would like to follow up your bond refunds for you as these are something that we do endeavour to return asap. I can appreciate that this is a large sum of money. Are you both able to advise me of your reservation numbers and I would be happy to look into this for you.
A. HitTheRoad, Australia
Reviewed 5 months ago
Taking the bond out of your account does seem a little over the top. So they basically have your money, can invest it for the period of your rental, earn the interest before they hand it back & charge you for the priveledge.
It may be worthwhile looking at dealing with a different company.
Reviewed 9 months ago
Just had a 3 week trip in WA ruined by a 75 dollar fee to fill out an accident report for a chipped windscreen, despite full cover... they are very clever with there wording and will try to get money anyway they can. The campervan was fine, but the rude receptionist and hidden fees have put me off for life....would not recommend !!
Reviewed 1 year ago
In autumn 2015 we hired a 6 berth motorhome from Apollo Motorhomes in Australia. In brief, the motorhome was dirty, scruffy and a health hazard. The motorhome had been used off the bitumen and was covered in red sand. We would have lost at least half a day to get this cleaned. The main points are, when we collected the motorhome the toilet was half full of faeces, the dirty water and clean water hoses were stored together, the seats were torn and stained and during our 6 week hire, we had to mend the external door (to the motorhome), the lockers did not lock, internal cupboard locks did not hold so that the contents fell out and the screws holding the odd thing like curtain rails did not exist and the curtains fell off. We were met with a brick wall when we pointed out these facts to Customer Services. A full report is available on request.
Reviewed 1 year ago
Comments confirm my opinion of Apollo. Forget fair trade. They reckon they cannot act if details are in the co terms and conditions. Who are they kidding. The details are so ambiguous and confusing for English speakers let alone overseas visitors. The devil is certainly in the small print. They also give misleading quotes which do not include insurance excess reduction or bond whilst urging people to book and pay a deposit. Thus locking someone into what they think is a fair and reasonable price. They are a blight on the Australian tourist industry and are out of control. Time someone brought them to account. Maybe some branch of the media will have the guts to take them on. They have been getting away with dodgy practices for years and think they can do as they like especially as they and a couple of other mega companies own nearly every brand operating in Australia.
Jan van den Ende, Netherlands
Reviewed 1 year ago
Non-Australian travelers should anticipate an extra cost of 225 Australian dollars. The reason is that Apollo doesn’t just make a reservation on your credit card as other rental agencies do, but they deduct the bond from your credit card and transfer it back after your trip. That means that you pay two times credit card fees, which is (Mastercard) 2 * 1.5% * 7,500 Austr dollars = 225 dollars. On top of this you run the risk that the rate of the dollar decreases in the meantime.
A. HitTheRoad, Australia
Reviewed 1 year ago
Apollo currently has approximately 5,500 vehicles, although they are not all in Australia. I am informed that, legally, bonds are to be held in a trust account, interest earned from bonds are not attributable to the company that holds the bonds as it is not technically the company's money (however I have not confirmed this). But, one does wonder what a company does when it holds up to $16M in bonds?
Malcolm Richter, Australia
Reviewed 1 year ago
Would never use Apollo again. We had booked to pick it up at 8.00am and were told it was still being cleaned when we arrived. Our response was not polite so then we were given another vehicle. We had the Euro Tourer and the bed was the most uncomfortable we had ever slept in. Before we left we asked if all the fluid levels in the vehicle had been checked and was assured they had. We had only travelled 300 km's when the Adblue light came on and the vehicle lost a lot of power. We then had to find a service station where we could top up with Adblue. It took over 25 litres to fill it at $1.26 per litre. If the level had been checked before we left then there is no way it would have run out so soon. According to the manual the vehicle was also 6,800km’s overdue for service. As well as the Ablue light on the dashboard there were 2 other lights that came on. One appeared to be connected to the vehicle lights but we could not find any that were not working as was indicated. The other light indicated that there was a problem with the exhaust system. We rang Apollo and were told to just drive the vehicle anyway, which we did. The toilet did not appear to have any chemicals in it at all. We could not get the TV to work at first. We then discovered that the antennae was not connected properly and there were no leads to move the TV to the wall above the bed. The staff are not trained properly to hand over the vehicles. All they seemed interested in was trying to sell us more insurance. As for the deposit, at the time we took it out we asked and were told that it would be 2-3 days before the money went back into out account. When we returned the vehicle we were told it could be up to 21 days. We asked where the extension lead was, and the young staff member went and got one and put it in the space beneath the back seat with the hoses. Imagine our surprise when we later discovered there was already one in the other side of the vehicle. He did not seem to know what was in the vehicle and what should have been in there. Surely all staff members should be aware of what and where all items are in the vehicle. We were a couple of days out when we discovered another doona and more pillows in with the other extension lead. We were not told about any of these. I can say with all certainty that I would never hire another vehicle from Apollo and would never recommend them to anyone else.
Reviewed 1 year ago
I know for sure it's not hundreds, but more than a thousand vehicles on the road at any one time. We hired an Apollo to go to a music festival and they told us at the rental station in Melbourne that they had more than 100 vehicles at the festival site alone......so now go figure how much interest they make everyday on our bonds!!!!!
Reviewed 1 year ago
What we did was contact the financial institution whose credit card we used for the bond and complained that the bond had not been refunded as promised. They then contacted Apollo, and magically, the bond was refunded. Apollo are making big money out of withholding the bond money by earning daily interest on the money they are holding. Think about it, they have hundreds of vehicles on the road at any one time, and at a conservative average bond of $1000 that's interest on $100,000 per day. Nice work if you can get it! Don't fall for it people, threaten them with the ACCC and the QLD Office of Fair Trading as well as your own financial institution on their backs, and they will refund the money quickly, I suspect!
Reviewed 1 year ago
Cross fingers for everything related to your rental with Appollo to go well, because customer service is definitely not one of their stronger points!
One of their agents made a mistake while explaining the rules on fuel for the vehicle drop-off which resulted in charging my sister and her partner twice for fuel - $100 dishonestly received by Appollo.
They would not discuss any refund possibility, I'd be better off talking to a wall... Defending themselves only by saying "that's impossible", well, guess what, this is actually what happened.
Even if they don't want to take responsibility for one of their agents' mistake, Appollo should at least be honest enough to recognise that a customer was charged twice and to make an effort to solve the issue (not to mention being polite over the phone, seems like I'm asking for too much!). Instead they prefer to treat their customers poorly and receive a negative review on every possible website, their call!
Paul Coleman, Australia
Reviewed 1 year ago
Having had a very poor experience with Apollo Australia from picking up the wrong vehicle in Perth and being told, 'it's school holiday time that's all we have left' we then had several issues with the equipment and comfort, spoiling are honeymoon adventure. on arrival at Sydney I spoke with a manager by the name of Julie who appeared to listen to my complaints and informed me that these complaints would be looked into, as a good will gesture Julie also offered to refund $200 and return the $80 cost of the taxi from Apollo to Sydney. As yet no money has appeared in my account and no contact from Apollo has been made
Reviewed 1 year ago
We just rented a campervan "hippie camper budget" with your company during 6 weeks and I want let you know we were not happy with your services :
- No maintenance on the car : battery dead the second day of the rent (we are not the only one with this problem) ; had to add oil and water before to do any km with the car ; back window doesn't lock, light inside the car does'nt work.
- Security : when the car was plug-in to a powersite, we felt electroshocks ; parking break doesn't work properly,
we also met other peoples who had problem with seat belt
-Service : a lot of extra fees are not clear at all. For example, the agent at the receptoin told us to bring the car back with the fuel but when I read the invoice, I saw 101$ for "pre paid fuel". Yet we never asked for this. if I havn't check I would paid two times for the fuel.
Also they charge 25$ for 2 bottles of gas which only cost 3$ each !
Moreover agents gave us a lot of pressure to take their insurance (even if we already had an other one) and they insist a lot to add many other options ;
To finish, it's take a while to get the bond back ( the previous rent we did, I called agents many times and sent many e-mail to get my bond back after almost 3 month)
This is our experience, that is why I strongy recomand to not hire a van with apollo.