If you are on a mission to explore South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, you can choose between several means of transport; bus, train, tram, bicycle or car. Adelaide’s public transport system can take you to the main sights of the city, sometimes even for free. However, to completely immerse yourself in all that Adelaide and its surroundings has to offer it is best to get a car rental in Adelaide.
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Requirements for driving and renting a car in Adelaide
In order to rent and drive a car in Adelaide, and in Australia in general, you need:
- be at least 19 (21 for most companies)
- a valid driver’s license and an international license. The easiest way to get the international driver’s license is to apply for it in your hometown before arriving in Australia. This method is simple, free and fast. If you don’t have an international driver’s license, you will need to have your driver’s license translated by an official NAATI accredited translator.
- Have a credit card for payment and bond.
Comparison website for car rentals
To get a car rental in Adelaide, it is best to use a price comparison website. This way, you’ll definitely find a good deal for your car rental! Comparing is winning!
Car rental in Adelaide
Throughout Australia there are several car rental agencies which not only provide a broad selection of rental vehicles but, the competition ensures high quality services at a reasonable price. The main car rental companies are:
Most of these agencies are located at the airport, which makes your arrival easier. There are also agencies in the town centre of Adelaide if you decide to hire a car at a later date.
Car Rental prices in Adelaide differ from agency to agency and take in to account the model of car and whether it comes with any extras such as a rooftop tent or camping equipment. Generally, the average cost is $50-$60 per day with some agencies offering a cheaper weekly or monthly rate. So for renting a car for the week, it will cost you less than 30 dollars per day. In addition, if you book in advance, you will find more attractive rates than for a last minute rental.
Good to Know
Some companies refuse to rent vehicles to young drivers, meaning drivers under 21 years old. Others allow it but apply additional fees for the rental.
How to get a cheap car in Adelaide
- Book the car at least one month in advance
- Use an online price comparison website
- Go to agencies near the airport. They offer the best prices
- Rent a car for several days to get discounts
- Consider all rental conditions (number of kilometers, petrol price, insurance etc.. so as not to have any unpleasant surprises at the end).
- Share the costs with other backpackers (a second driver is sometimes even included in the rental price)
- Choose a car with low fuel consumption and with as few options as possible so as not to pay hidden extras.
- If there are several of you, prefer the oldest person to drive the car (the younger you are, the higher the price).
- Be flexible in your booking dates because from one day to another the prices are not the same.
- Avoid getting fined (parking, speeding, etc.).
Our parking tips in Adelaide
Adelaide being a city on a human scale, it is much easier to get around by car than in Melbourne or Sydney. To park in town for free during the week, aim for the morning before 9 a.m. or the evening after 7 p.m. Alternatively, you can park on South Terrace for free and take the free tram to the city center.
On the weekend not too many worries since on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays, paid parking spots often become free!
Visit Adelaide and surroundings
South Australia boasts some of the best beaches in Australia and you can find some of them on Adelaide’s doorstep. We recommended taking a 30-minute drive to Glenelg, Semaphore or Henley beach during your stay. Here you will discover postcard perfect white sand, amazing blue hues, long esplanades and spectacular sunsets over the sea.
Thirty to forty minutes beyond Adelaide city is the laidback “Adelaide Hills”. Here you will drive through kilometres of picturesque vineyards and the charming German influenced town, Hahndorf. You will also be greeted with panoramic views of Mount Lofty. It is easy to spend a full day exploring the hills, wine tasting and coffee sipping your way up, down and around.
Adelaide is said to be THE wine capital of Australia so what better way to find out for yourself then joining a wine tasting tour in the renowned Barossa Valley. Accompanying the 50 vineyards in the region is many award-winning restaurants to choose from in between the cellar door visits.
If you are a surfer visiting Adelaide, then the Fleurieu Peninsula is your destination of choice. Victor Harbour or Port Elliot to be exact which is just over an hour drive from the city. After a morning of rolling waves and dolphins, go for a stroll or tram ride across to Granite Island and explore the beauty of the Little Penguin reserve.
If being surrounded by kangaroos and mountains while camping is your kind of adventure, then take a road trip to the Flinders Ranges National Park. Located 5 hours North of Adelaide it is a popular destination to escape the bustling city life. There is plenty of hiking and driving options within the National Park therefore a few days is recommended.
This island is the jewel of South Australia. After a two-hour drive south and another 45 minutes by ferry, you are on a beautiful pristine island. Kangaroos, seals, dolphins, whales, eagles, pelicans, crystal clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches create magical moments.
Do you dream of thrills? Why not go meet the great white shark? The Eyre Peninsula is home to the Great White shark cage diving as well as many other underwater activities such as snorkelling with sea lions and swimming with dolphins. Port Lincoln is roughly 7 hours from Adelaide so plan a day just for driving.