Another Australian car industry player has raised its hand to help in trying times.
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The Australian arm of car rental company Hertz will provide 240 free hire cars for healthcare workers across Australia during the COVID-19 crisis, CarAdvice has confirmed.

UPDATE 8/4/20: Hertz Australia has confirmed Tasmania is now participating in the offer, with an additional 30 cars allocated to the state.

Hertz’s initiative will offer the cars rent-free for up to 30 days, for doctors and nurses registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Cars can be collected from selected Hertz locations nationwide, with all states receiving an allocation of 30 cars each.

Healthcare workers are able to book a free car up to June 30. Relevant identification will be required upon vehicle collection.

“Hertz Australia deeply appreciates the hard work of Australian healthcare workers in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, testing patients and caring for those with the virus," a Hertz spokesperson told CarAdvice.

After the 30 day period has lapsed, healthcare workers can opt to continue renting the vehicle at a heavily-reduced rate, “equivalent to up to 50 per cent off standard rental charges”.

Models eligible for hire are limited to small cars such as a Toyota Corolla, and small SUVs such as a Nissan Qashqai.

Healthcare workers who miss out on a car in their state's allocation have the option to rent a vehicle for the same reduced rate.

CarAdvice believes the free rental offer may be extended beyond June 30, while the reduced rate will be available until further notice, pending circumstances surrounding the virus.

“Hertz is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and is taking all steps necessary to ensure the continuity of car rentals at this time and the protection of our staff and customers,” Hertz said.

Standard terms will apply regarding insurance excess in case of an accident and rates for higher, optional levels of coverage.

Hertz Australia’s announcement follows rival Europcar’s scheme to offer discounted cars to healthcare and essential industry workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In late-March, Hertz US began offering free rental cars to healthcare workers in New York City for up to one full month.

COVID-19 has been found to be highly-contagious in confined spaces and during interactions lasting more than 15 minutes.

This has made public transport a high risk for infections – and made private vehicles a safer form of mobility for healthcare professionals.

The Australian car industry has proven pivotal in aiding the coronavirus situation, with car dealers, workshops and rental car companies deemed essential services during the pandemic.

Australian car parts manufacturers are also among over 1000 businesses that have offered their services to help an overly-strained medical equipment production industry.

How to apply

Applications for vehicles are currently being assessed via email. Healthcare professionals wishing to take up the offer can send an enquiry to hertzsales1@hertz.com .