Bear Rentals Review

Rated 3.8 / 5 from 16 reviews

Editors Review

On last check of Bear Rentals, their website was still up but their vehicles weren't. 

I went by their Sydney branch and had a word. Covid messed up their business model and the vehicles, classics that they are, were just getting too wrecked too often for the repair costs. 

They still love their Range Rovers but these days its all about restorations and customization.

This review is left up so that people looking for information about Bear Rentals can get lastest rather than being left in the dark.

Follow this link if looking for 4wd campervan hire in Sydney

About Bear Rentals 

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.


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 saltwater (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 the sand! In fact, to take the phrase out of their terms and conditions, you are not allowed to 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, complete 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 a 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 to 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.


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 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.


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. 

Also, for the past years, they have accumulated a few negative reviews, including issues about vehicle condition and communication. Still, their 4WD campers are something to consider if you want to enjoy the off the beaten track. Bear Rentals and its sturdy vehicles have some nice perks to get you going. 


For those with a heart for adventure, but of course, with some limitations, Bear Rentals is the 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.


  • Allows you to experience some off-road adventures
  • Unique campervans
  • Offers collection and return to most major Australian cities
  • Good for adventurous travellers


  • Books out often
  • Few models on set
  • Mixed reputation


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Tell the world about your experience renting from this company
Marianne T - avatar not loaded
, Australia
1 Review

"Great 4wd vehicle for a Great 4wd holiday!"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

We hired a 4wd from Bear Rentals to go to the Big Red Bash in Birdsville and our Land Rover didn't miss a beat.

Jesso was extremely helpful over the period leading up to the hiring - and even upgraded us at the end to one with a pop up roof - which was great. They did recommend we hire the vehicle for a little longer than we first wanted - which was sound advice - as Birdsville is a loooong drive.
The vehicles are older and have a bit of mileage on them - but our experience was that it went really well - didn't miss a beat travelling over 4,500km on tar, corrugated and other unsealed roads.

When we picked up the car all the bits and pieces were really well explained - we didn't feel rushed at all. It felt more like we were borrowing a car from a mate for a couple of weeks. They even put us on to a more comprehensive and less expensive insurance option and refunded the difference to us really quickly.

I was particularly impressed with the fitout of the "kitchen" the quality of the cooking utensils etc was awesome - couldn't be happier.

If your looking for a luxury 4wd experience this probably isn't the company for you (but then probably neither is a 4wd holiday!!) - if you're looking for good customer service, a sturdy and reliable vehicle - and the opportunity for an awesome adventure - then this is your company. We couldn't fault them.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
L. Wallin - avatar not loaded
, Australia
3 Review

"really good deal for blue mountains"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

My friend and I wanted to hire a campervan for just one week to go to see The Blue Mountains before we left Sydney. We did not have a very big budget but Jesso gave us a good price on a Bear car because we were just going not very far and back only on the main roads and into National Parks. Our Bear was so cool and it’s name was Little Red. We felt really cool driving around in the car ? The staff were all from The Blue Mountains so they told us some cool places to visit that we didn’t know about or see on the map. Hopefully soon I can come back and take Little Red for an adventure up to Cairns. Thankyou Jesso and the Bears!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
L. Wallin - avatar not loaded
, Australia
3 Review

"Birthday Bear!!!!"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

We hired a couple of Defenders as a surprise for my brother in law’s 30th. I thought it’d be a nightmare to hire a car under his name without him knowing but Bear Rentals was so helpful with the surprise they even organised the fridge to be full of beers from the brewery across the road when we picked up the cars. We had a question about 4WD’ing half way through the trip and they easily explained over the phone. The cars were older (I think our’s were 2004 and 2006) but we had no problems and all the cooking and kitchen gear was clean and great. Thankyou Bears!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
T. Hargreaves - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"What a GRRRRRRRRReat way to see Australia"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

I hired a Bear and trailer for the summer to take my family for a trip to Australia - we couldn't have had a better time - thanks Bear!

The customer service was fantastic and Jesso handled everything from start to finish, including recommending a cafe that we could go to for breakfast while we waited for them to open (which was a godsend when getting off a long haul flight).

I was a bit concerned orignally by the age of the vehicles but Baloo who was seven years old didn't miss a beat and I can't wait to come back and hire again.

The trailer is great if you've got kids - we were able to set up camp with the trailer and use the bear to explore - then at night we could chuck the kids in the roof top tent and have our own space!

Highly recommend all round!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
Chris - avatar not loaded
, Germany
1 Review

"All you need for your Adventure."

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

"... for the road less travelled".
This is actually all about.

It was so easy to get set up the roof tent.
No better way to sleep in the outback.

Driving with the defender is a great adventure.
Nothing compares!
This car is made for the rough landscapes.

Great support when we've had a little issue.
Looking forward for the next time to hit the road again with the Defender and Bear Rentals ;-)

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

"Bear Rentals"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

Had the most awesome adventure with Little Bear!! It was the perfect truck for our cubs to explore the real beauty of Australia, I only wish it didn't have to end... National Parks, waterfalls, surf beaches, coves, ultramarathons, dolphin feeding... The adventures were endless ??☀️ The Bear took us everywhere we wanted to go and had everything we could possibly need ?️ ⛰ Nothing beats lying up in the roof tent, with the sound of waves and sky full of stars.... Magic. Thank you guys ✨?

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
J. Otto - avatar not loaded
, Australia
1 Review

"Disappointing experience with Bear Rentals !"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

Hired two Bear Rentals “European” Landrover Defenders from Perth on two occasions, for 5 weeks altogether. The following was part of the experience:
- Four break downs (ignition, clutch) requiring road assistance each time and causing extensive delays waiting for recovery vehicles or parts.
- Broken windscreen on pickup, with at least one large chip in the line of sight, that could not be repaired before setting off on the trip.
- Knob of gear stick coming off, discovered on day of pickup and temporarily fixed.
- Poor communication, messages and phone calls were not being replied to or replied to in ways that I consider unsatisfactory. An email I received from them after writing a review was even insulting.
- Pickup location changed on the day of the pickup while already enroute. I was informed on that after having driven for more than ½ hour into the opposite direction.
- Mal-functioning or non-functioning aircon, heating, camping stove, radio, instrument lighting, door mechanism.
- Lack of adequate documentation of what is in the car and how it is to be used.
- Lack of sun visors in both vehicles, making driving in morning and evening very hazardous.
- Being blamed for damage to a tire, that in all likelihood had occurred on a previous trip but was overlooked since no thorough inspection of the vehicle had occurred prior to my pickup.
- Apparent absence of safety check of the vehicle prior to pickup.
- Being charged cleaning fees three weeks after the vehicle had been accepted in the condition it was in, and subsequent refusal to pay the one-day rental refund that was initial offered for acknowledged delays on the first day of rental.
- Later than expected return of the AUD 7500 security bond.
There were some positives, for example the nice roof-top tent and useful interior lighting, that prompted me to hire a vehicle from Bear for the second time. However, the negatives, in particular the company's poor communication , have now come to outweigh those positives forcing me to look elsewhere for future rentals.

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
L. Wallin - avatar not loaded
, Australia
3 Review

"my new best mates"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

I hired a Bear for a well deserved trip out to Orange and the Central West. I may be biased because I am a Defender fanatic but the vehicle was awesome! I hired one of the European Bears and when the team found out I was a Defender fan they upgraded me to one of their Grizzly's! I spent 10 days burning around wineries, little towns and river campsites in a 2013 Puma which had the BEST set-up! Full slide out kitchen and the rooftop tent had internal access so when it unexpectedly pissed down with rain I was compeltely fine. The awning is easy as to setup it took about 15 secs and then tent took about 40secs which was great traveling alone. The team directed me to a couple of great local breweries in the area too which were a great detour and on return the fellas at the depot actually helped me unload and unpack the car.

These guys aren't a huge operation, I think most of the staff are family and friends which is cool because they know their stuff and spent a lot of time suggesting places to stop and some free campsites along the way I never would have found by myself. I'm planning my next trip down the South Coast with them in the new year and they've already given me some awesome fishing spots and even recommended what bait and tackle to use.

If you just want any old car then hire from one of the big guys but if you want a proper genuine off road experience then go with these guys. It's like planning a roadtrip with your mates.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
F. Dullinger - avatar not loaded
, Germany
1 Review


  • Reviewed 3 years ago

We rented a Land Rover Discovery with a folding trailer for 30 days.
Very old and poorly maintained vehicles (about 421000 km) with missing equipment (no license plate, no first aid kit, no tools, very bad tires, fridge does not work for 15 day’s, no roadside breakdown assistance!! ....).
Communication with Bear Rentals is very difficult. Mostly you reach only the answering machine and do not always called back even in emergencies (can take up to 6 days !!).
As we returned the vehicle we had to return it at a depot because nobody has time for it from Bear (you have to document the condition for Bear).
The deposit and the refund for defects are confirmed by mail from Bear but not transferred (65 days after delivery).
Reported the case to Customers Complaint and handed it over to a lawyer.
Stay away from Bear you waste time and money

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
Chloe Jackson - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review


  • Reviewed 4 years ago

My partner and I recently hired a Defender from the Bear Rentals Crew for our dream trip around WA!

The car was an absolute beast! The Land Rovers are a bit older (out’s was a 2009) but It didn’t miss a beat and we felt pretty darn cool parking up at campgrounds in our cool 4WD while everyone else were in little vans and utes. We took The European and it’s draw system and compact gear meant there was a heap of space, even when my brother joined us too! They gave us an extra tent and gear for him as well (no extra charge!!!) which was so nice. It was so awesome waking up in a rooftop tent overlooking the ocean. That’s a memory I will never forget!

The staff gave us tips and advice about our itinerary and even called to check in on us occasionally to make sure we were having fun.

We popped a tyre when we were 4WD’ing off road and the Bears were so helpful organising and pre-ordering a replacement spare along the way for us.

We cannot wait to get back on the road and try out the Grizzly next time.

Thanks Bears :)

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
Genevieve - avatar not loaded
, Canada
1 Review

"Stay Away from Bear!"

  • Reviewed 4 years 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


  • Reviewed 4 years 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 4 years 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
1 Review

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

  • Reviewed 4 years 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 4 years 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 7 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