Guide to Car hire Australia: Advice

Webcarhire gives you this comprehensive car hire advice – perfect for anyone looking to hire and drive a car in Australia.

Car hire, Australia at a glance

•    All the major car rental companies operate in Australia and offer airport, off-airport, city, suburb and some rural collection and drop off points.

TIP: Some local suppliers offer cheaper car hire because their fleet is typically older. If you don’t mind driving something with a few extra km, check out the local car hire suppliers Webcarhire partners with.

•    Like in most countries, airport collections require a surcharge. This extra cost covers the convenience of a hassle-free pick-up and drop-off and will appear in the cost before you book.

TIP: Off-airport pick-ups avoid this extra charge.

•    One way rental in Australia is widely available. This suits travellers who may want to travel from state to state, except Tasmania.

•    Generally, most car rental companies require renters to be at least 25 years old and have held a valid driver’s license for at least one year. Drivers aged 21-24 usually encounter a surcharge and are not permitted to rent specific car groups. Rental agreements vary between rental companies and states. For instance, in Tasmania a probationary license cannot be held by the renter.

•    Some car hire companies have restricted access to remote areas to off-road vehicles only. This information will be outlined on your rental agreement, or you may wish to speak to staff at the pick-up desk for further clarification.

•    All car rental companies require a credit card to be presented on pick-up – this does not include debit-credit cards.

TIP: The person whose name appears on the rental agreement must be the holder of the credit card presented at the pick-up desk.

Important information for tourists

A valid driver’s license will need to be presented at the pick-up counter. This will need to be in the English language.

Some countries’ licenses are recognised by Australia. These are listed here.

Quick Facts about Australian roads

•    In Australia you drive on the left. Steering wheels are positioned on the right, while you must give way to cars on the right.

•    Road rules are set by state bodies which means there can be some variance in road rules between each state.

•    Melbourne trams are an extra challenge for drivers. When driving in the CBD, hook turns are required to clear the path for trams which drive in the centre of the road.  A hook turn involves making a right turn from the left lane. Get instructions here.

•    Parking in central business districts across Australia is typically hard to come by. This can also be particularly expensive during the day.

•    There are several tollways in Australian major cities. Signs will warn you of any you’re approaching, giving you the option to take the next exit and avoid paying the toll. Check with the car rental company for the best procedure if you are going to drive on a tolled road.

•    There is no fee to cross state borders but fees may apply if picking up and dropping off in different states. Ensure your rental has enough mileage for your big trip and that there is no mileage cap in your rental agreement.

•    Dial 000 for emergencies.

Driving conditions in Australia

Australian roads are in excellent condition. Inner city traffic congestion is an issue for city drivers – you’re best to avoid peak hour driving.
Drivers are generally good tempered, though there have been some reports of road rage.

Generally, you will find driving in Australia a pleasurable experience.

Popular scenic roads

•    The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is a popular coastal route. The stretch is home to the 12 Apostles. Driving can be a little tricky for some first timers, particularly if you drive in the wet. Some helpful tips can be found here.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

•    South Australia’s Barossa Valley is only an hour from Adelaide Airport. The region holds over 50 wineries, many of which are world famous.

Jacob's Creek Winery, Barossa Valley, South Australia

•    For a taste of real Australian outback, head to Uluru. From Alice Springs, take a left on the Stuart Highway then follow Ernest Giles Rd, Luritja Rd and Lasseter Hwy to arrive at Uluru in less than 6 hours.

Uluru, Northern Territory

References and useful sources of information

http://australia.gov.au/topics/transport/registration-and-licences
http://www.austroads.com.au/overseas.html
http://australia.gov.au/people/tourists
http://www.aaa.asn.au/touring/driving.htm

Webcarhire has all the car hire, Australia options you need

Book your car hire with one of our trusted suppliers. Go to our car hire Australia page to compare, save and book.

Images by @nosha, @amandabhslater, @mtchm

DISCLAIMER: We strongly recommend you research for the full requirements for your travel to Australia before you book your car hire with Webcarhire.

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