If you are planning a trip and want to rent a cheap car in Australia, here are some tips to save money and find the right vehicle. Driving a car in Australia is pretty easy, and it’s the best way to discover the big cities with its surroundings. Public transport are quite expensive in Australia, and campervan rental is not the best option if you don’t want to sleep in the vehicle. There are many car rental companies across Australia and prices can change depending on location, availability etc.
Car rental companies
Car rental agencies are spread all over Australia. They are usually located close to airports or city centres. However it will be harder to find an agency in small towns. For cheaper quotes, we suggest you to go to the big cities.
Most popular car rental companies
All these companies offer more or less the same services. Your choice will often be based on price and availability.
How to find a car to hire
To rent a car in Australia, you can either:
– Directly go to a car rental agency (if you’re already on the spot)
– Book a vehicle through a renter’s website
– Use a Rental cars comparison website
Car hire comparison
We recommend you to use a comparison website, so you can just sit there and wait for it to do the job. You will then be able to compare all the available vehicles and choose the best offer.
How to rent a cheap car in Australia
Prices are different depending on the agencies, the city you’re renting the car from, the type of vehicle etc. It starts from approximately $25/day in big cities and can rise up to $150/day according to the type of car you rent and the rental options you choose. Count approximately :
– $30/ day for an Economy Car
– $40/ day for a Medium Car
– $45/ day for a SUV vehicle
– $60/ day for a 5 doors car
– $80/ jour for a Sedan car
– $85/ day for a 4WD or a station wagon
– more than $100/ day for a premium car or a MPV
Renting a car will be much more expensive in a small town than in a big city, because the competition is lower there and demand exceeds supply. As an example, renting a car in Byron Bay is much more expensive than in Brisbane.
Cheap car rental
Here are some recommendations to get a good deal with your car rental:
– Avoid small towns
– Avoid “one way” rentals (learn more about “one way” rental below)
– Book well in advance
– Prefer the agencies that are near the airports (prices are often higher in the city)
– Rent a car for more than 3, 4 or 7 days. Daily rates usually decrease gradually.
– If you are several travellers, you will be bale to share the cost of rental and other expenses such as gaz.
– Compare the additional mileage costs. If the mileage costs are lower, a vehicle that is more expensive per day might eventually be cheaper.
Conditions to rent a car in Australia
– Be at least 19 (Generally it is required to be more than 21)
– Hold a driving license for at least 1 year
– Hold your national and international driver’s licence (or an official translation). Please note that if you hold a drivers licence written in English, you are not required to have an international driver’s licence.
– Have a credit card
« One way » rental
You can rent a car in a city and return it in another city. So just like you would do with a campervan, you can rent a car in Sydney and return it in Brisbane. Hence, you will need to return your vehicle in the agency indicated in your contract. The one-way fee will depend on several criteria, and specifically on the location you want to return your vehicle. We recommend to compare the drop-off prices with different cities before choosing where to end up your trip. It actually might be cheaper to drive an extra hour and return your car in another city.
A lot of companies charge additional fees when the driver is less than 21 years old. The rental agency can also add costs for car equipments such as GPS, car seats etc.
Kilometers are not always unlimited. There are indeed 2 options when you rent a car:
– Unlimited mileage. In this case, the price remains the same, whether you drive 100kms or 500kms.
– Restricted mileage allowance. You are not allowed to drive more than a certain number of kilometers. Any additional kilometer will be charged consequently. They usually charge around 0,25 cents/0,30 cents per additional driven kilometer. The costs depend on the car rental company you choose.
If you cancel your rental, the company will keep the deposit you made during your booking process. Sometimes the company also charges an additional penalty if you don’t pick up the car you booked.
A deposit is required for any rental. The cost of deposit depends on the type of car you rent as well as the driver’s age. It is taken out of your credit car and you get a refund as soon as your return the vehicle.
Insurance and deposit
When you rent a car in Australia, you can choose to get an insurance and cover all the material damages made to your vehicle or anyone else’s vehicle. Without this insurance, you will have to leave a deposit to the supplier (“excess” or “bond”). The amount of this deposit corresponds to your deductible (maximum liability). The costs of insurance depend on the suppliers and on the type of vehicle you rent (generally $20-30/day). Some companies offer cheap insurance but with a deductible. Make sure you have a look at the amount in your rental contract. Sometimes your credit card or your travel insurance cover the deductible for a car rental overseas. Don’t forget to have a look at your contract and check if you’re covered. Please note that even if you have this kind of insurance, you will still have to pay the deposit to the supplier. Your private insurance will refund your reparation costs but won’t pay the deposit for you! In any cases, breakdown assistance will be included in your car rental contract, with no additional fees.
Tips when renting a car in Australia
Have a deep look at your rental contract and do not hesitate to ask any questions when you pick up your car.
– Make sure you carefully examine your car before you leave
– Take some photos!
– If you’re planning on driving in the big cities, research how you can pay the tolls
– Double check that the vehicle corresponds to the model you booked. It can happen that the model you booked is no longer available. In this case, you will be offered another model. If it happens, you should be upgraded.