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Australia Twelve Apostles
Australia Twelve Apostles
Sydney City View Harbour Bridge
Sydney City View Harbour Bridge
Melbourne Australia Cityscape
Melbourne Australia Cityscape

About Australia (AU)

The biggest country in the Oceania region, Australia has a breathtaking diversity of landscapes and animal species, as well as sprawling metropolitan cities offering excellent cultural attractions. This “island continent” is made up of mainland Australia and several islands, including Tasmania. Main cities, which are largely concentrated on the coastline, include cosmopolitan Sydney, with its iconic Opera House; trendy and bike-friendly Melbourne; Brisbane, in Queensland; vibrant Perth, in Western Australia; and Adelaide.

Renting a car in Australia is the best way to discover this beautiful country, which offers everything from the sprawling interior Outback region, to the pristine beaches of the Gold Coast. The Great Barrier Reef offers visitors some of the best snorkeling in the world. Catch crocodiles and the remnants of prehistoric indigenous rock art at Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, where you will also find Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

  Getting around

Keep in mind that in Australia, you drive on the left side of the road, which can be difficult to get used to if you are coming from a country where it is the reverse. While the conditions of the roads are generally good, in the more rural parts of the country you may encounter unpaved roads. As Australia is such a large and geographically diverse country, you may also encounter several different climates, some subject to occasional severe weather events such as cyclones or even blizzards in the Snowy Mountains region of Victoria and New South Wales.. The northern part of the Western coast, for example, frequently experiences strong thunderstorms.

  Choosing your car

Some of the major rental companies in Australia include Hertz, Avis, Budget and Enterprise. Depending on where you are going, you may want to rent a car with a 4x4 transmission, which may come in handy in areas such as the Outback. Travelers looking for an Australian cheap car rental can go for a compact option, which offers the best value for their money.

Business travelers may want to get a sports car or comfortable luxury sedan, such as a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz. A convertible is a classic choice for a coastal drive. Other popular choices for car rentals in Australia include SUVs and 4x4’s, trucks, people movers or 7—12 person mini vans.

  Tips and advice for renting a car in Australia


If your journey will take you through sparsely inhabited areas, plan carefully to avoid running out of fuel and other supplies, as towns and service areas may be few and far in between.


Australia has an extensive wildlife population, including koalas, kangaroos and crocodiles. In areas with signs indicating the presence of wildlife, be sure to drive your car rental with caution, especially at night.


You can find up-to-date information on road closures and traffic on the official government sites for each of the six Australian states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia).


Similarly, you can find the official rules of the road for each state online, although we have outlined some key indicators here on this page. It’s a good idea to glance through these before your trip, especially if you will be going through more than one state.


For optimal peace of mind, consider getting comprehensive insurance for your Australia car rental. There is also the ability to obtain Collision Damage Waiver Excess Waiver insurance from your existing insurer, here on this website, or your car rental supplier. Compare the options, and if not included on your travel insurance you may well find that the cheapest car rental excess waiver insurance can be found on our site.


As you may encounter long distances, book a car hire in Australia that is spacious enough for you and all members of your party. Air conditioning comes standard with most cars for optimal comfort.

Are you driving a rental car in Australia?

Urban Speed Limit


50 kph  | 31.1 mph
Rural Speed Limit


100 kph  | 62.1 mph
Motorway Speed Limit


100 kph  | 62.1 mph
Fuel Price




Road Driving


Driving Age


16 years of age
18 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services


Documentation requirements



Here's some more in depth Australia driving rules and guidelines for car renters:

New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia — these are all areas within a huge, diverse continent that beg to be explored. Of course, the best way to see anything is off your own back, and a road trip could seriously enhance your time in this beautiful land we call Australia.

Driving within the various states of Australia is becoming a hugely popular way to see the country. Of course, this brings with it various questions about driving in a foreign country, especially if you are using a rented car. So let’s look at the basics.

Driving license/paperwork

You are able to drive within Australia on a foreign driving license, valid for the same class of vehicle, for three months after your arrival in the country. That being said, rules and regulations vary from state to state, and in some you may be required to carry an international license as well as your foreign license, and some may ask for a formal translation, which is the International Driving Permit (IDP).

Age restrictions

You must be at least 21 years of age to drive in Australia. Anyone 70 years and over will be asked to take regular medicals and eye examinations.

Let’s talk the law

  • In Australia, vehicles are driven on the left side of the road
  • Do not use mobile phones while driving, except a hand’s free kit
  • Give way to right hand side traffic
  • Always abide by the speed limit
  • Always wear seat belts while driving, including passengers
  • Drive in the direction of arrows marked on the road surface
  • Don’t overtake with white lines
  • Always carry your license while driving
  • Traffic signals and road signs must always be obeyed
  • Never take U-turns at traffic lights
  • While turning, always use indicator
  • At pedestrians crossings, always give way to pedestrians
  • Children under seven years of age should always be seated in the back seat of the vehicle


The normal speed limits on Australian roads are as follows:

  • 100 km/h (62 mph) on freeways and major highways
  • 50-80 km/h (31-49 mph) on local road

Never be tempted to speed in order to get anywhere faster, as you’ll be caught by one of the many speed cameras, and fined. Road signs will give you the exact speed limit for that area.

Drunk driving

Laws with regards to drinking and driving are extremely strict in Australia, and police will carry out random breath tests. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.05 g/100ml is permitted for full license holders. For provisional and learner licences, the BAC is ZERO. It is advisable not to drink at all, regardless of the legal limit, and that way you know you’re not in trouble. Being caught out over the limit is a serious criminal offence and may carry possible prison punishment.

Parking regulations

Parking in Australia has both free and paid types. For parking in cities, there is always a time and a fee. For parking aid, there are quite comprehensive parking signs in Australia, which will help you find your way. For example, a sign stating 1/2P means you can park there for half an hour, and similarly, 3P means you can park for three hours. ‘Ticket’ means pay and display. It’s worth mentioning that S in a red circle with a diagonal red line through it means no stopping.

Australia Driving Ideas Guide

There are a multitude of things to do in this country, but one thing you won’t do during your two-week holiday is get in your Australian rental car in Sydney to drive to the west coast.  Australia is so big that it’s its own continent.  Instead pick an area and focus on getting to know that region by choosing Australian accommodations as you hop from place to place.


This is a modern, upbeat city basking in a Mediterranean-type climate, with lots of green space and gorgeous beaches on the outskirts. Simply walking and driving in the city and environs is enough for a full vacation.  To give an idea, King’s Park in the city is 400 hectares with expansive treed areas, lakes, gardens and even a bush land to satisfy every mood.  The Water Labyrinth is an interactive artwork and golden Instagram opportunity, and on nearby Heirisson Island, you can visit the kangaroos in their natural habitat.

A great one-day road trip is up into the hills surrounding Perth on the Kalamunda Trail. This round-trip journey of about 100 km (62 miles) takes you through three national parks and into Kalamunda Historical Village depicting earlier life in the Perth Hills.  Be sure to take in the short ZigZag Drive on Gooseberry Hill that will have your camera shutter clicking, and definitely stop off at some of the wineries en route.   Another trip is beside the Indian Ocean to Cervantes, 201 km (125 miles), to view the surrealistic Pinnacles Desert with limestone shards sticking from the ground like daggers as tall as 3.5 meters (11.5 feet).


A city with a harmonious blend of the old with the new, interspersed with green spaces and numerous bridges over the Yarra River that meanders between tall buildings.  An entire day can be spent perusing storefronts in the city’s many laneways, and when a thirst comes on just turn into one of a multitude of watering holes or cafes. Take a stroll along the magnificent harbour front and end up at Docklands that is delightful for young and old with its large observation wheel, the Melbourne Star.

The city is located in Victoria’s state offers so much for day tripping. One drive that should be a must is along the Great Ocean Road, a 243 km (151 miles) stretch that starts in Torquay, 95 km (59 miles), and has stupendous ocean views with pounding surf and super sights such as The Twelve Apostles, a geological formation rising from the Southern Ocean.  This is also big surfing country dude, so expect to see a Hang Ten or two.

But Victoria is also well known for its Yarra Valley’s prime wine country. Travel inland to this famous winemaking region, 61 km (38 miles), and spend blissful hour upon blissful hour going from winery to winery.  Just make sure you know who in your party the designated driver is.  If you have some extra time in Melbourne, you may want to consider taking the ferry and spending a few days in Tasmania.

Port Douglas

Who hasn’t heard of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of, if not the best, coral features in the world?  This tropical town is situated on the Coral Sea so one of the obvious things to do here is live in the water.  Wandering the town’s streets or the four-mile beach will quickly bring you into contact with tours and adventure trips occurring in this area.

But as if that isn’t enough, there’s also a rainforest to visit.  Daintree Rainforest, 68 km (42 miles), is best seen on a guided river cruise along the Daintree River and keep your camera handy for the resident crocodiles.  If you begin to yearn a little for city life Cairns is not far, 66 km (41 miles), and the drive along the coast is stunning.

A definite bonus is the money you’ll save with Cheaperthancars car rental that will get you where you want to go, and your Cheaperthanhotels accommodations will be welcome after your eventful fun-filled days and nights in the Land of Oz. We really do believe that the less you spend the more you can do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthancars Team   

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Frequently asked questions about renting a car in Australia

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1. What is the best time of year to book a rental car in Australia?

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2. Is it possible for one way rentals in Australia?

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3. Should I rent a round trip or one-way rental in Australia?

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4. Which location should I rent my car from in Australia?

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5. Do I pay more fees and taxes for renting a car at the airport in Australia?

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6. What insurance do I require for driving a rental car in Australia?

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7. What is the best way to save money on rental car insurance in Australia?

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8. Should I prepay my rental car booking in Australia?

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9. What are the largest numbers of vehicle seats available for a rental car in Australia?

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10. What types of sports and special cars are available in Australia?

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11. Can I take my rental car across borders in Australia?

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12. How do I inform the rental company I will be crossing a border from the Australia?