Car hire in Australia

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Car hire in Australia

Hiring a car is the absolute best way of exploring Australia and all of its wonders. With a rental car, you’ll be able to get to many exciting destinations that would otherwise be inaccessible. The landscape and nature in the country is truly exceptional, and by hiring a car, you’ll really get the most out of your holiday.


For car hire in Australia there are certain rules and requirements. These requirements may vary depending on your chosen car hire company, but there are a few general rules to be aware of before renting a car.

  • To be able to rent a car in Australia, you need to be at least 21 years old, and you need to have had your driving license for a minimum of a year.
  • Some car hire companies will charge extra if you are under 25 years old.
  • If you are over 75 years old, there might also be an extra charge. This will depend on the specific car hire company’s terms and conditions.
  • Some webpages give you the information that car hire companies in Australia require an international driving permit. In our experience, however, this is not the case. We have rented cars in Australia on several occasions and have never needed international driving permits.

Please note that these rules and conditions might differ between companies. It is therefore important that you carefully read the terms and conditions before you book your rental car.

Add-ons at booking

Should you want extra equipment in the car, e.g. a GPS or a child car seat, it is best to add this when booking the car. This will, in turn, facilitate the pick up of your car and ensure that the equipment is available on site.

We strongly recommend that you use a GPS when driving in Australia. There are many smaller roads in the country side, and the distances are long. It is, therefore, a good idea to use a GPS so that you don’t drive for miles in the wrong direction.

By Australian law, children under 7 years must sit in a child car seat, so remember to add this to your booking if there will be children under 7 in the car. You should also be aware that children between the ages of 7 and 16 years also are required to use a child car seat or booster seat. This is, however, only required if the seat belt is not positioned correctly on them.

Driving in Australia

Australia is divided into states that have somewhat different traffic rules. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check the particular rules of the states in which you plan to drive in advance.
Below we’ve listed some traffic rules that apply throughout Australia:
  • Both driver and passengers must wear seat belts whenever the car is moving.
  • Some roads and bridges are tolled. Many car rental companies supply an electronic pass that facilitates the payment. It’s also possible to pay online up to 48 hours afterwards.
  • Keep in mind that although Australia has left-hand traffic, the “priority to the right-rule” applies in maneuvring. This means that drivers coming from the right are given priority at cross roads without traffic lights. Accordingly, drivers coming from the left must yield to drivers approaching from the right in the absence of traffic lights or sign posts.
  • Speed limits are generally as follows: 50-60 km/h in urban areas and 100-110 km/h on motorways.
  • Australia uses a system of white and yellow speed signs. The white speed signs tell you the maximum speed allowed wheras the yellow signs tell you the recommended speed. You are likely to see the yellow speed signs on winding roads with sudden sharp bends. A lower speed is recommended on these roads to make motorists aware of the fact that high speed can jeopordize safety on the road.
  • Some car parks have rules on the direction and angle in which cars should be parked. It is fairly common to see “rear to kerb” on parking signs, meaning that the rear of the car should be facing the pavement. It is possible to be fined for not complying with these kinds of rules, so pay attention to the parking signs!