a long road with red dirt on the side and green bush

Car Hire in Australia 2023 | Top Tips & Tricks for Renting a Vehicle

Are you looking for car hire in Australia? With so many car rental companies available, it can be hard to know where to start. From comparing prices and services to understanding the rules and restrictions for car hire in Australia, you should consider a few key things when looking for car rentals. This article will provide tips on getting the best car hire deals in Australia and ensuring your trip runs as smoothly as possible.

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Should I Rent a Car in Western Australia?

Renting a car in Western Australia can be a great way to explore the region at your own pace. With beautiful beaches, stunning national parks, and cute country towns, car hire in Western Australia offers the perfect way to make your holiday even more enjoyable.

You’ll be free to discover hidden gems while experiencing all that Western Australia offers. Whether you’re looking for car hire in Perth or further up north, you’ll find car rental options tailored to suit any budget and travel plans.

What to Know Before Renting a Car in Australia

Before renting a car in Australia, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. It pays to do your research before booking car hire so that you can be sure you’re getting the best deal and car for your needs.

1. Cost

The cost is the first thing to consider before car hire in Australia. Different car rental companies will offer different rates depending on the type of car and season. If you plan on travelling long distances, make sure to factor fuel costs into the equation and enquire about any special offers or discounts that may be available.

2. Safety

Another consideration when hiring a car in Australia is safety. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions of your car hire agreement carefully, especially about liability insurance and excess charges if there should be an accident or damage to the car.

with car hire in australia you can travel along long roads like this with red dirt on the side
Perth to Exmouth road trip

3. Type of vehicle

It’s also important to find out what type of vehicle would best suit your needs, as this will affect how much it costs. Generally speaking, bigger cars cost more than smaller ones, so a smaller model might be more suitable if you’re just travelling with one other person.

4. Reputation

It’s worth investigating different rental companies and considering their reputation for customer service and how quickly they respond to queries.

5. Features

Finally, it’s worth thinking about extra features such as GPS navigation systems or child seats, as these can add significantly to the cost but are worthwhile if they make your journey smoother and safer.

6. Documents

You will need a valid driver’s license and a credit or debit card to hire a car in Australia.

An international driving permit is also required if the driver’s license is not in English.

the middle of caves road stretching out before you with trees lining each side of the road
Margaret River region

7. Your itinerary

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

There are many pick-up and drop-off locations available throughout Australia. Depending on where you’re travelling to and the car rental company you choose, you can find car hire services at airports and major cities.

If you’re flying into Australia, then the airport will be the most convenient pick-up location for your car. Most car rental companies have a presence at all major Australian airports, so it’s easy to arrange car hire from most international flight destinations or domestic flights around Australia.

Car rentals can also be arranged from some Toyota car dealerships through its Kinto app. This usually offers more flexibility when picking up and dropping off the car, and Kinto cars can be rented by the hour or day.

Km limits

Some car rental companies limit the km you can do during the rental period. This is more common in Australia’s North West, like Broome. If you exceed the distance, you are usually charged a fee for every kilometre over.

red dirt unsealed road leading to conspicuous cliffs
Walpole

8. Age Restrictions

Do you have to be 25 to rent a car in Australia?

The minimum age for car rental in Australia depends on the car rental company. Most companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license; however, some may require drivers to be 25 years or older. Generally, drivers between the age of 21 and 24 will have an additional fee added to the cost to cover extra insurance costs.

It is always best to check directly with the car rental company you plan on using ahead of time to see their age requirements and whether they have any restrictions on minimum and maximum ages.

9. Damage

Scrutinize your vehicle before taking possession of your car to ensure all pre-existing damage, no matter how minor, is documented. Take photos, too, as proof.

a long straight road inbetween bushland with no one around
Shark Bay

Is Driving in Australia Easy?

Driving in Australia can be a great way to explore the country and its many attractions. Although it may seem daunting initially, Australian roads are generally well-maintained, and driving is usually straightforward.

However, you should consider a few things before embarking on a road trip around Australia. In particular, drivers must familiarise themselves with local laws and speed limits and be aware of hazards like wildlife, bushfires, or unexpected weather conditions.

Driving in Western Australia Tips

  1. Buy a Telstra SIM card, as their regional coverage is the best.
  2. Distances are long, so stop regularly and try to share the driving.
  3. The open road speed limit is 110 km per hour and 50 km per hour in built-up areas. However, pay attention to the signs as they often change.
  4. Don’t speed. WA has mobile and fixed speed cameras and red light cameras.
  5. It is illegal to touch your mobile phone while driving, and all passengers must wear a seatbelt.
  6. Be prepared. Carry plenty of water and food in case of breakdown.
  7. Ensure you have enough fuel, as service stations in remote areas are 100 – 300 km apart, and some may be out of fuel. Also, remember that most of them do not open 24 hours.
  8. If you get bogged on a 4wd track, stay with your vehicle so it will be easier to find you.
  9. Sealed roads can be closed due to flooding, and unsealed roads are unreliable in wet weather. Keep up to date with Main Roads or the local visitor centre.
  10. Road trains (large trucks with up to four carriages) can be as long as 60m, so extreme care must be taken if overtaking.
  11. The north west part of Western Australia can be affected by cyclones, particularly between December to March. Keep up to date with emergency advice on the WA Emergency site. You can keep informed of bushfire advice there too.
  12. Watch out for wildlife when driving, especially around dawn and dusk.
truck driving along road
A small road train on our Perth to Kalbarri road trip

What Kind of Car Should you Rent in Western Australia?

When you are looking for a car to rent in Western Australia, there are a few different types of vehicles that may be suitable for your needs. The ideal rental car can vary greatly depending on your group’s size and the terrain you will be travelling on.

1. SUV

If you have a large group or lots of luggage, an SUV is likely your best option. SUVs come in many sizes and offer plenty of room for passengers and cargo. They also provide more ground clearance than most other vehicles, so they are great for driving on gravel roads or navigating off-road areas.

2. Hatchback

A hatchback might be a good option for smaller groups or solo travellers who only need a little cargo space. Hatchbacks are usually smaller and more fuel-efficient than SUVs and can be easier to manoeuvre in congested city streets.

3. 4WD

If you plan on doing some off-roading, then a 4WD is the way to go. 4WDs have improved traction and stability on rough terrain, making them ideal for exploring remote areas or camping.

4. Sedan

If you need something that is both comfortable and economical, then consider a sedan. Sedans offer plenty of space for passengers while still providing good fuel economy. Plus, they are often relatively inexpensive to rent compared to other types of cars.

Can you hire electric vehicles in Perth?

Europcar, Hertz, SIXT and Thrifty all offer electric vehicles to hire, and Avis and Budget have a range of hybrid cars. A great feature from Europcar allows you to pick the vehicle with the lowest environmental impact with comparable CO2 emissions data.

No matter which type of car you choose, make sure it has the necessary features for your trip, such as air-conditioning, cruise control, and a good sound system. Renting the right vehicle for your needs will ensure you have an enjoyable and stress-free journey in Western Australia.

Find Your Rental CarCar Hire in Australia 2023 | Top Tips & Tricks for Renting a Vehicle

white 4wd driving in coalseam national park by yellow wildflowers
Coalseam Conservation Park by Australia’s Coral Coast

Car Rental Companies in Perth Western Australia

Perth has a wide variety of car rental companies. Popular international brands such as Hertz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Sixt, and Europcar are located at the airport and have offices around Perth. Additionally, smaller local businesses, including No Birds Baywater and Mindarie Car Hire, operate in the metro area.

How Much does it Cost to Hire a Car in Australia?

The cost of hiring a car in Australia can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as the size and type of vehicle, rental company, length of hire, location, and added extras such as insurance. You should expect to pay around A$60-150 per day for an economy car from one of the larger companies. Prices will go up for higher-end vehicles or speciality cars from independent suppliers.

Another factor that affects car hire costs is the one-way fee. There is often a hefty fee if you choose a different drop-off location than where you picked up the vehicle. The highest I have seen is A$900 from Perth to Broome.

When returning your vehicle, fill up with fuel as close to the drop-off point as possible to avoid exorbitant refuelling fees (note that sometimes it is cheaper to pre-purchase a tank of fuel and return the car near empty).

If you plan ahead and book online, you may be able to get discounts or special deals, which could lower your rate significantly. For shorter rentals (less than a week), rates may also be more expensive due to daily fees that are not charged on weekly hires.

Whichever company you choose for your car hire needs in Perth, read up on their policies and any additional fees that may apply before signing a contract. It’s also important to compare different rates across different providers before committing to a particular deal. That way you can ensure that you get the best value for your money.

aerial view of car driving along indian ocean drive
Indian Ocean Drive by Tourism Western Australia

How to Rent Cheap Cars in Western Australia

Which car rental companies are the cheapest in Western Australia?

Budget and Sixt are the best known for offering competitive vehicle pricing. Avis and Hertz both offer discounted rates for long-term rentals. The small, local companies can provide great value car hire too.

Is it cheaper to rent a car for a week or by the day?

Generally, it is cheaper to rent a car for a week as opposed to by the day, as weekly rates often have discounts and other benefits associated with them, such as unlimited kilometres or vehicle upgrades. You could save money by renting a car for a week instead of by the day. However, it is important to compare all available options before deciding to ensure you are getting the best rate possible.

Is it cheaper to rent a car in advance or on the spot?

Usually, if you want the best deals, booking in advance online is always better. This gives you access to discounted rates unavailable when booking on the spot. Many car rental companies offer discounted weekly or monthly prices, so research ahead of time for a good deal.

If you’re looking for a last-minute rental, booking on the spot may be cheaper as companies try to fill their cars. However, this is usually only true with smaller local firms, and there will still be additional fees, such as taxes and insurance, that add up quickly.

Ultimately, if you have time, book early!

If you found this article helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. The small commission I may receive helps with the cost of running the site. Thank you.

Western Australia Travel Guide

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Click on the links which will take you direct to the website.

Flights ✈️

We usually fly Virgin Australia domestically due to their competitive prices and fantastic customer service and fly with Qatar Airways to Europe.

Travel Guides 📖

As well as using online resources, like other travel blogs, I like to flick through a paper travel guide too. I either rent them from our local library or buy them from Bookdepository if I want to take it with me.

Accommodation 🏩

We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.

Car Rental 🚘

To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated.

Campervan/RV Rental 🚐

Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.

Tours & Attractions 🎢

We use third-party sites ViatorGet Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.

Accessing Money 💵

We recently started using Wise to access funds internationally, including trips to Bali and Malaysia. They offer a debit card in 50 currencies and transfers are fast and free from hidden fees and exchange rate markups. Funds can be accessed through ATMs too. Wise has saved us a lot of money compared to our usual credit card and debit card.

Find out more from Wise here.

Travel Insurance 🌏

Cover-More and Travel Insurance Direct are our preferred travel insurance companies for domestic and international travel.

See this Travel Insurance for Australia guide for more information.

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