Bear Rentals Review

Customer rated 3.2 / 5 from 6 reviews

Editors Review

Bear Rentals is a niche 4wd campervan hire company based mainly in Sydney, but with a presence in Cairns (North Queensland). They are small company with only two depots and limited fleet.

What Bear Rentals Tell Us

The use of Range Rover vehicles is unique in Australia with few to none campervan hire companies using those brand of campers. And Bear Rentals is a small company that offers a handful of 4wd (4×4), most of which are Range Rover brands. They even have decided to have some fun with their “bear” motif and named their range of campers after them: Black (bear), European Brown (bear), and the Cub. Obviously, each model offers something a little different. Another way Bear Rentals is trying to stand out from the Sydney campervan hire crowd is by not actually having many branches. Most of the depots are serviced depots only, so the vehicles are normally delivered/ collected from your hotel, airport or within the city. However, a phone call to arrange it will probably get you through.

Fleet

Bear Rentals actually encourages you to get off the road. Whilst there are a number of other companies out there that rent out 4wd campers, most seem to want you to stay on the main roads, with the concept of going off-road in their 4wd camper being an annoyance. Not so with Bear Rentals. From the get-go, they want you to travel the road less traveled and have an adventure in their campers that can sleep 2 to 5 persons. And kudos to them for taking this line, it is refreshing to see a company suggest you use their vehicles for some excitement rather than just getting from A to B in comfort. On the downside, they tend to keep the same rules as most the other companies. It is understandable that no company wants or allows their campervan to be driven in salt water (rusts the camper in a heartbeat) and only specialist companies are allowed to have vehicles on Fraser Island (Queensland) so there are no complaints about Bear Rentals disallowing that kind of travel, but they also say no sand. Well, there are some great 4wd adventures to be had in sand! In fact, to take the phrase out of their terms and conditions, you are not allowed go “off road” which is …

6.6. In this clause the phrase “off road” means driving conditions including but not limited to fire trails, beaches, sand, tracks, fields or paddocks

The Black

Built on a Land Rover Discovery, the Black is for those of you with a penchant for tough adventure; it’s for those travellers who want to go places that you can’t get to in using a fancy Mercedes or mini Toyota camper. The Black will show you the entirety of Australia– not just the highway, but of course, minus the fire trails, paddocks, beach, sands and the like. Still, it is more fascinating to return home with stories of places that your fellow travellers couldn’t get to with a tiny, white van. The vehicle sleeps 2 at the fold out expedition roof tent, completed with two sleeping bags, pillows, and even towels. There's also a fully-kitted kitchen bag filled with utensils and crockery, as well as a 50 L fridge for your foods and beverages. The entertainment system includes a CD player with Radio & USB jack. 

The European Brown

A Land Rover Defender as base, the European Brown is a newer, plusher 4wd version that has air conditioning. The air conditioning might not be that amazing, but it can still cool off the scorching summer heat. It also comes along with unlimited km and up to 4 extra drivers listed for free. A noticeable difference is the additional camping gear to fit all travellers. Two bodies can sleep in the rooftop tent and the extra passengers can rest in the 3-man tent with all sleeping essentials. This is definitely not the highest of plush accommodation, but Bear Rentals is about adventure, not about luxury. So, suck it up and get living-rough if you want to go the kind of places the European Brown can take you. Cooking equipment supplied along with awning, table, chairs and an enlarged 55ltr fridge running off the house battery.

Insurance

The standard liability is $7,500 excess ($7, 500 bond) at $0/day. But of course, you can limit the excess by paying additional dollars per day. Reduction option 1 is at $19/day for $5, 000 excess ($5, 000 bond) and reduction option 2 is at $39/day for $1, 000 excess ($2, 500 bond). Whilst these two options are already securing, you might want to add the Outback Package for an additional $20/ day to reduce the towing and/ or recovery to $500. This package is only available for the option 2. And as a side note, check what the fine print says or verify with the company about damage to the awning and maybe check it out before leaving the base. You might get stuck with a whopping insurance bill when you realize that awning isn’t covered in the “all included” insurance.

Reputation

Bear Rentals is one of the few rental companies in Australia with a quite unique fleet. With the 4wd vehicles, you can certainly go to places that your white, luxury van can't bring you. Having Range Rovers is part of their niche and if you are a Range Rover fan, then you are going to love hiring a campervan from these guys. The company, however, is just like most rental companies as they don't allow their vehicles to be taken to fire trails, tracks, fields, paddocks, beaches and sand. Suddenly, the urge to get your adventure driving takes a downturn. Still, you can enjoy the off the beaten track with the help of Bear Rentals and some additional perks to get you going are unlimited KM’s and free extra listed driver.

Summary

For those with a heart for adventure, but of course with some limitations, Bear Rentals is your go-to rental company that gives you two options to satisfy your thirst for off-road fun and excitement.  This small and rare company have a limited fleet, so expect the models to be easily booked out. Make up your mind and grab the phone if you want to rent from them.

From the Agency

No word from this agency yet. Come back and see if they checked in soon.

Pros

  • Allows you to experience some off road adventures
  • Unique campervans
  • Offers collection and return to most major Australian cities

Cons

  • Books out often
  • Few models on set
  • Limited depot

Facilities

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Genevieve - avatar not loaded
, Canada
1 Review

"Stay Away from Bear!"

  • Reviewed 1 day ago

I was so excited for our 3 week road trip in Australia. Unfortunately, we chose the wrong car company to go with. On the second day with our bear rental we needed a boost. On the third day they needed to replace our battery. We were unable to drive our vehicle above 80km/hr. We had to take it to get diagnosed. We had it in the shop for 2 days. We were told that the if we rented another vehicle they would cover the cost, we never received any compensation. We never received any compensation for the 2 days we paid for the vehicle and it was in the shop. Eventually the car would not go over 60 km/hr and it was dropped off at a depot and we were given another vehicle from Avis. We did not receive any compensation for the last week of our vacation without the vehicle. It was hassle after hassle. We were on the phone a lot with the company trying to resolve these issues. You would be better off renting a 4x4 and buying camping equipment rather than renting from Bear. Very disappointed!

4Service 1Mechanical 3Interior 1Value
F. Hopkins - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"STAY AWAY!!!! Rent from a REAL CAR COMPANY!"

  • Reviewed 1 day ago

Hi - Rented 4 of their vehicles over a 3 month period and were just flabbergasted and the horrible quality and service. Cars were not delivered at the agreed upon time to start. Fine, I let that go and rented from hertz for the first two weeks. Then, when I finally got my Vehicles, I was riddled with constant mechanical problems, Air conditioners didn't work, the amenities we had agreed upon were not IN the vehicles. TWICE I had to get the same Vehicle towed off the side of the road, Bear Rentals was remotely helpful with this, but the first time I had to wait some 6 hours because - wait for it - the TOW TRUCK BROKE DOWN on the way to me, so of course I can't stand on the highway with the car, no problem, tow truck picks up the car, Bear Rentals "Fixes" it and gets it back to me some 2 weeks later (While still charging me for the car and I'm having to rent from Hertz to replace it). Then the same situation happens a week before my rental is suppose to be renturned and these clowns have the tow truck pickup my rental and then inform my via email that they have CANCELLED my rental contract (Which I never received) and repo'd the car. Absolute mooks, do not do business with them, they hire random exchange students to pick you up from the airport and have horrible communications. Barely even a real company STAY AWAY!!!

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
Elise - avatar not loaded
, Australia
1 Review

"Ultimate glamping adventure!"

  • Reviewed 2 months ago

Bear Rentals is THE perfect car for the ultimate camping trip. Being into nature without crowds, we loved our 4WD camper.. It maneuvered the dirt roads to remote hiking trails and secluded camping spots that vans couldn't access! Camping was so easy, we just picked a spot, flicked a switch, and our roof tent was assembled (with beds already made!!!) The refrigerated esky meant our beers were cold on arrival, and the kitchen sink, grill and appliances meant my friend (who is a great cook) could cook us lamb and roast veggies under the stars! Perfect! The roof tent only takes a minute to put down - so daytime hikes were easy. The staff were even nice enough to recommend some of their favourite secret camping spots and trails. 100% recommend giving these guys a call if you're up for a memorable outdoor adventure!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
S. lehmann - avatar not loaded
, Germany
2 Review

"not serious!dont make the mistake to rent one of their cars!"

  • Reviewed 3 months ago

Cannot recommend Bear Rentals anymore.
They do not refund the bond and when you are back at home they stop communication with you.

The cars and trailers are old and in bad conditions.
It might have cost our lives. All on a sudden, there was no power steering, no more brakes, when the engine belt broke. Fortunately we where not on a steep winding mountain road
if you call them for road assistance they are not reachable and finally it lasts more than 10 hours to get them organized a towing service for us. ( in distance of 40 km to a big town )
Due to this we lost 3 days of our holidays
waiting for the car wreck to get repaired

The Discovery we got had over 360.000 km on it’s display. It was bad maintained. Same with the camper trailer: the sealing was worn and water entered every time it rained whilst driving. So our bed in the tent was pretty wet and no way to sleep in it. We where forced to spent the nights in hotels - not the idea of a camping trip!
The car and trailer where dirty when we got it. materess full of bad bugs No compressor equipped, no hose. Only one flame of the stove worked properly.

They never refund the bond because they will find something to hold it. It seems to be their business model to keep the bond

5Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
Steev - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Could be great, but weren't. Wouldn't repay the security bond"

  • Reviewed 8 months ago

It is such a shame to have to write this negative review. Initially Bear rentals couldn't do enough for us, alas as soon as they had our money and security bond we were treated somewhat less courteously. The Landrover TD5 was apart from a gearbox issue,was excellent and the Alu Cab conversion was absolutely brilliant,( talk of every place we stopped at). Our problem with the firm was no-one would answer the phone on a weekend(we had the van for 3 weeks) so things like the gearbox problem didn't get fixed for 3 days. It has taken them over 40 days to refund our security bond and they still haven't paid us for the Ensuite tent we bought on their approval. The bond has only been repaid after I had got the bank involved. Nothing was a problem and then, suddenly we were as good as ignored. I personally couldn't recommend Bear Rentals.

4Service 3Mechanical 5Interior 4Value
Greg Dickens - avatar not loaded
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 2 years ago

My wife and I hired a Bear Rentals landrover and roof-tent for our honeymoon. I could not have wished for a better adventure vehicle: The car itself was an older model, so no delicate electronics to go wrong and I didn't feel too precious about giving it a hard time off-road. It easily made it to the tip of Cape Melville and could have done much more.

The tent was comfortable, clean and waterproof. And the stove, cutlery and pans supplied with the car were all in perfect order.

All in all, dealing with their company was a delight and their staff are courteous, punctual and go out of their way to supply what you need. And absolute pleasure, will rent again.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value