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Getting Around Sydney in a Rental Car

Sydney driving tips

As Australia’s largest city, Sydney has a lot to offer visitors from the bustling CBD to the vibrant, sprawling suburbs. A rental car is a great option for those wishing to get the most out of their visit to Sydney, so what are you waiting for?

Driving in Sydney

  • Sydney’s roads—especially bordering the CBD—can be tricky to navigate even with a GPS, and one wrong or missed turn could add a lot of time to your drive. Be sure to account for this when you need to drive somewhere within a certain timeframe.
  • Peak times (between 7am to 9pm and 4pm to 6pm) can be overwhelming to those not accustomed to driving in large cities, with traffic jams and extra long travel times typical for the city.
  • The speed limit for residential areas is generally 50km/h, with active school zones enforcing 40km/h. On Sydney's motorways, however, the speed can be as high as 110km/h.
  • Unlike in other states, U-turns are not permitted at traffic lights in New South Wales.
  • There are a number of toll roads throughout Sydney, so be sure to check with your rental provider around toll payment.
  • Curbside and secure parking options within the city and inner suburbs can be expensive. If you’re staying outside the city, consider driving your rental car to a train station and training it into the city for the day.

Where To Drive Your Rental Car in Sydney

  • The Rocks: Home to Circular Quay and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks is a popular locale of cobbled laneways and historical attractions.
  • Pyrmont: Overlooking the harbour, the suburb of Pyrmont is home to the Star Casino, the Sydney Fish Market, and some great restaurants and pubs.
  • Bondi: World-famous Bondi Beach is located on Sydney’s east side and is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of sand and surf.
  • Milsons Point: Situated on the north side of Sydney Harbour, Milsons Point is home to the popular Luna Park and is easily accessible by both car and ferry.
  • Newtown: Bordering the south of Sydney’s CBD, Newtown is a popular, artsy suburb that holds an array of cafés, thrift shops, bookstores, and galleries.

Toll Roads in Sydney

Major toll roads in Sydney include the Harbour Bridge, Cross City Tunnel, Eastern Distributor, Lane Cove Tunnel, the M5 East Freeway, and more. Make sure you check with your rental provider about toll payment, and in the meantime, have a read of our Toll Roads page.

Parking in Sydney

Curbside parking in Sydney’s CBD is metered in most places, including in the inner suburbs. There is also the option of secure parking, which will generally have a flat rate that is calculated based on the parking duration. Secure parking garages can be found all across the city, including in Kings Cross, on Goulburn Street, and at Sydney Airport.

Driving Distances


Before you return your rental car, be sure to fill it with petrol to avoid any additional charges. Here are a few twenty-four hour, centrally-located petrol stations in Sydney:

  • 7-Eleven - 59 Oxford Street, Paddington
  • Coles Express - 387 Wattle Street, Ultimo
  • Coles Express - 562 Botany Road, Alexandria

You can also compare fuel prices in New South Wales with the VroomVroomVroom Fuel App.

Sydney is famous for its wealth of attractions. We recommend visiting the iconic Opera House, Paddy’s Market in Haymarket, and the beautiful Darling Harbour, where you’ll find the Sydney Aquarium and the IMAX movie theatre.