A great way to discover the vast country of Australia is to take a rental car trip. You can drive off the beaten path and decide at any time how long you want to stay in a certain place. There is enough to see: The country “Down Under” not only attracts with its varied landscape but also with charming cities that offer numerous sights.
The road network in Australia is well developed, but multi-lane highways can only be found on the main traffic routes. The rest of the streets are in good condition but can be very narrow. The traffic routes in the outback are usually unpaved.
Due to these different road conditions, you should keep the planned route in mind when choosing a rental car in addition to criteria such as passengers and luggage. Whether it is a classic car, a minivan or an all-wheel-drive vehicle, you can check the prices online. The providers are compared in just a few seconds and displayed together with the insurance conditions.
Insurance for rental car
Liability insurance is included as standard for rental cars in Australia. Unlimited coverage is required by law for personal injury, but there is no minimum limit for property damage. Therefore, make sure you have sufficient cover.
Besides, fully comprehensive insurance and theft insurance are usually included. These usually require a high deductible. For an increase in the daily fee, travelers can agree that they will be reimbursed in any case after the trip.
Due to the unusual driving conditions and the left-hand traffic prevailing in Australia, it is advisable to take the fully comprehensive insurance. You should consider a service package that covers damage to glass, tires, roof, and underbody.
Driving license in Down Under
Adjust the selected insurance to the planned route and check carefully whether there are exceptions to the driving license. Car rental shops partially exclude driving on individual roads or entire regions, such as Tasmania. In some cases, trips to Western Australia or the Northern Territory without permission may be prohibited. There are also clauses stating that trips outside the city area between sunset and sunrise are not permitted. Unpaved roads are generally only to be driven by four-wheel-drive vehicles.
The kilometers included in the rental price are usually unlimited. However, there may be deviations in individual vehicle categories, especially vans or camping vehicles. Then a certain number of kilometers is included but you have to pay for additional kilometers.
In Australia, the rental car is taken over fully refueled and returned. If it is not refueled, it will be charged, and in some cases, a service fee will also be added. Sometimes the variants half/half or empty/empty are offered.
During the rental period, remember to refuel as often as possible, especially in the outback. If necessary, take a reserve canister with you on longer routes.
Collection and return
The rental happens in Australia at the airport or in the city office, sometimes the rental car can be delivered for a fee. Some providers do not have their station directly at the airport – in such cases, the transfer to the rental car takes place via shuttle service. Please note that fees usually apply to one-way rentals.
To collect the rental car, you must present an identity card and a valid driver’s license. If it is not in English, then you also need an international driver’s license. A credit card is required for the deposit, usually in the amount of the excess.
Generally, rental cars in Australia are only given to drivers who are at least 25 years old. However, younger drivers from the age of 21 are often allowed to get behind the wheel if they pay a corresponding fee. However, the driver must hold the driver’s license for at least one year. One or more additional drivers can also be entered for a fee. This surcharge is partially waived if the additional driver has the same place of residence as the main driver.
Traffic rules in Australia
In Australia, there is left-hand traffic, but at unregulated intersections, priority is given to right-wingers. There is also a belt requirement for all vehicle occupants, a ban on mobile phones and a 0.5 alcohol limit. Safety vests do not have to be carried. Besides, smoking is prohibited in almost all states, provided that there are underage children on board. The speed limits are between 40 and 60 km/h in urban areas, 70 to 110 km/h in urban areas, and in some cases 130 km/h in Northern Territory.
If you are driving a rental car in Australia, the best thing to do is avoid driving at dusk and at night. Especially in the outback, a kangaroo can quickly cross the road.
The Best Road Trips in Australia
The largest cities in Australia are on the east coast. But the country also has many other worthwhile travel destinations.
Probably the most attractive destination is the east of Australia with the capital Sydney. Don’t miss the harbor with the more than 500 meters long Harbor Bridge and the world-famous Opera House. You can also visit the legendary Bondi Beach from Sydney and drive to the Blue Mountains National Park by rental car, which delights with its unique rock formations.
If you come to Melbourne, a visit to the city center, where the most important sights are located, is worthwhile. With a rental car, you can reach the highlight of the state of Victoria: the rock formation “The Twelve Apostles”. The limestone cliffs, located on one of the most spectacular coastal roads in southeast Australia, rise up to 60 meters from the sea.
Brisbane scores with the beaches in its area. With the rental car, you can drive north to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast or south to the Gold Coast.
The undisputed symbol of Australia is Ayers Rock. The Aboriginal sanctuary is easily accessible by rental car from Alice Springs. The Uluru, as the indigenous people call the mountain, offers a unique picture, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Great Barrier Reef
The small town of Cairns is located directly on the coast and is the perfect starting point for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can leave your rental car for a day and discover the colorful underwater world of Australia.
The city of Perth lies isolated from the rest of Australia. With the Kings Park in the middle of the city, which is one of the largest city parks in the world, and the historical sights, Perth is still worth a visit. With the rental car, you can quickly get to the charming coastal town of Fremantle, which attracts with numerous attractions. Drive a little longer to Margaret River in the south, which delights with fine beaches and appealing wineries.