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Travel Guide

The Best Way to Discover Sydney is with a Car Hire

Sydney Opera House and Sydney central business district

There are few cities in the world as recognisable as Sydney. Explore the greater Sydney region with an affordable hire car. VroomVroomVroom has partnered with car rental providers in Sydney which include Europcar, Budget, Avis, Thrifty, Hertz, and Enterprise (formerly Redspot). VroomVroomVroom can help you book a car hire, whatever your preference may be.

Start exploring the city and marvel at the view of Sydney Harbour. The harbour is always full of bustling water traffic. Visit the iconic Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and the magnificent Harbour Bridge. Soak up the culture at Cockle Bay Wharf and the historic Kings Cross. For a taste of history visit the Rocks, or relax in the sunshine at Bondi Beach. Click here for a list of some of the most enjoyable road trips from Sydney.

Location Overview

Sydney is New South Wales’ capital city and is located on the mid-eastern coast of Australia. It is Australia’s most populous city and is known for its excellent beaches and iconic harbour. Attractions within driving distance from the city centre include the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and Hyams Beach (AKA the world’s whitest sand beach in the world).

In and around Sydney, some of our favourite things to do year-round are:

Summer (December, January, February): Australian summer and the beach go hand in hand. Explore Sydney’s many beaches including the iconic Bondi Beach as well as hidden gems like Clovelly and Tamarama beaches. If you’re feeling active, the Bondi to Bronte seaside track is a 3-kilometre oceanside walk with beautiful scenery that is worth the hike.

Autumn (March, April, May): For the fitness lovers, the Blue Mountains Ultra Trail run is a must in May. The race is held at Katoomba, a 1.5-hour drive from Sydney and covers up to 100km of rugged trails through the Blue Mountains National Park. If you prefer to stay in Sydney’s city centre and take it easy, the Vivid Sydney Light and Music Festival brings the city landmarks and buildings to life from May to early June each year. Foodies will love the 3-hour drive out to Orange for their annual F.O.O.D (Food of Orange District) festival in to sample the local culinary goodies that is held in April.

Winter (June, July, August): The Hunter Valley is a great winter destination with their annual Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival in June and Snow Time in the Garden event at the Hunter Valley Gardens for family fun in June and July. The famous wine district is a 3 hour drive from Sydney and makes a great weekend getaway.

Spring (September, October, November): The Tulip Time Festival in late September is a highlight in the Southern Highlands town of Bowral during springtime. Bowral is a 1.5-hour drive from Sydney and is both a nature and foodie hub for a weekend getaway. Racecar enthusiasts head out to Bathurst, a 3-hour drive from Sydney, to enjoy the Bathurst 1000 race in mid-October each year.

Year-Round: The scenic beauty of the Blue Mountains is a little over an hour’s drive from Sydney. The UNESCO World Heritage landmark is full of natural beauty and walking trails including The Three Sisters, Scenic Skyway, Jenolan Caves and Leura cascades picnic area. If you’re looking for a longer drive or weekend adventure with the family, the Dubbo Zoo is well worth the journey. Closer to the city, Sydney’s northern beaches such as Manly and Collaroy are a great day trip.

Where to Find Rental Cars in Sydney

There are many rental car depot locations in both the Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs to hire a car from in addition to the rental counters at Sydney Airport.

Major car rental companies such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty all have multiple depot locations in and around the city centre including:

Avis World Square: 395 Pitt Street, Sydney (Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sundays from 8am to 2pm)

Budget World Square: 395 Pitt Street, Sydney (Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm)

Europcar Sydney City: Pullman Hotel, 26 -36 College Street, Sydney (Open from Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm)

Enterprise Potts Point: Holiday Inn Hotel, 203 Victoria Street, Potts Point (Open from Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday from 7.30am to 12.30pm)

East Coast Car Rental Sydney City: 5/191 William St, Darlinghurst (Open from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 12 noon.

Hertz Sydney Downtown: 65 William Street, Darlinghurst (Open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 5.30pm and Saturday and Sundays from 8am to 4pm)

Thrifty Sydney City: Shop 4 191 William Street, Darlinghurst (Open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 4.15pm and Saturday to Sunday from 7.30am to 11.45am.)

One tip to note is that some non-airport car rental depots are not open 7 days per week or have shorter opening hours during the weekend. It’s best to check your preferred pick-up location’s operating hours when choosing your car to ensure they’ll be open if you are running late with picking up or dropping off your car. You can use our search map feature when booking a rental car to find the depot closest to your location. Some non-airport car rental depots also close for key holidays throughout the year such as Labour Day and Christmas Day.

Customer Reviews and Feedback for Renting in Sydney

The best way to get an idea of renting a car is to read about fellow traveller’s real recent experiences. Our team have reached out to some of our customers who recently rented from Sydney and their experiences are shared below.

Stephen (July 2019): I collected a Mitsubishi ASX from Europcar Australia when I flew into Sydney Airport. We were there for a holiday and found the pickup and drop off process okay. I rate the SUV provided to us a 9/10.

Chrstine C (July 2019): I booked a compact Toyota Corolla through Thrifty at Sydney Airport. I found the car to be in good condition. The pickup process was quick for me. I was also able to return the vehicle easily with no hassles following the signs to return rental cars when arriving at the airport.

Quick Facts on Hiring a Car in Sydney

Available car types​Mini, Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Fullsize, Premium, Luxury, Wagon/Estate, Van, SUV, Sport​​
​Rental depots​​103
​Airport depots​​12
​Suppliers​Avis, Budget, East Coast, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty​


Reasons to book a car hire in Sydney with VroomVroomVroom

We are the leading car hire comparison website in Australia. Booking a car hire is quick and easy using our website. Here are some more reasons why you should rent a car with us.

  • Convenience - Our trusted car rental suppliers have depots throughout Sydney. There are even car rental counters at the Sydney airport.
  • Great rates - We have negotiated with our partners so we can provide the best rates. Read our price promise for more details.
  • Wide selection of cars - Finding the perfect vehicle for your next trip to Sydney is easy as we compare rental cars from trusted brands. Whether you need an economy car or an SUV, you can find it here.
  • Trusted since 2001 - Book with confidence knowing that you are booking a car rental through a secured website. We have helped more than a million people find the right vehicle for their trip.
  • Fantastic customer service - Our booking system is easy to use, but should you have any questions, our highly-trained car rental experts can help you out. Get in touch by phone, email, live chat, or via any of our social media channels.
  • Motorhome comparison - Do you think that your road trip may be better-suited for a motorhome? We also offer a comparison service for hiring a campervan in Sydney.

Best time to visit Sydney

Sydney boasts events, attractions, and cultural experiences all year around. Its temperate climate means that no season is too uncomfortable.

Every January, the Sydney Festival brings the streets alive. The festival has an exciting program of art, music, dance and a range of free activities. For all things fabulous, don't miss the Mardi Gras parade. The annual Sydney Mardi Gras in February celebrates Australia's LGBTQI culture.

There is no need to get the winter blues in Sydney as Vivid lights up the harbour. The popular festival of light kicks off on May 26. It features an outdoor gallery of illuminated sculptures. There are also visual projections on the Opera House sails. Sydney hosts many events for the holiday season. This culminates in the annual NYE Fireworks display. At any time of year, the Sydney nightlife is exciting. Here are also a few more reasons to visit Sydney in December.

Driving Tips in Sydney

Sydney is a big city with traffic to match. Significant congestion in the CBD at peak times is not uncommon. It is a good idea not to travel during these periods if you can avoid it. Sydney's public transport network includes trains, buses, trams and ferries. Consider leaving your hire car at your hotel while exploring the CBD. Instead, take advantage of public transport.

Sydney has some toll roads, including the Harbour Bridge and tunnel. These tolls use a cashless system and cars from VroomVroomVroom's suppliers have electronic tags that let you pass through them. It is always a good idea to discuss payment options with your provider when you pick up your hire car. For more driving tips and information on toll roads in Sydney, click here​.

VroomVroomVroom Insider Tips

  1. For visitors from the UK with children that need booster seats, you’re better to hire one in Australia, as you won’t be able to use British booster seats in Australia. They have to be Australian approved. Worth knowing before you lug the bulky booster seat on that long flight!
  2. You can save a lot on fuel by finding the cheapest closest petrol station with this useful fuel price comparison app​, plus it’s free to use.​

Flying from Sydney Airport?

We have gathered some great parking deals and options for the next time you are looking for a car park at Sydney Airport. Check out all the parking suppliers at Sydney Airport so you can easily find a car park that will suit your budget and preference. Book a car park ahead of time so you will have the peace of mind knowing that you have a fully-secured parking space waiting for you upon arrival at the airport.

FAQs about hiring a car from Sydney

Is it difficult to drive in Sydney’s city centre?

Sydney’s city centre is very congested during peak hour from 7am to 9.30am and 4pm to 6.30pm from Monday to Friday. The city is full of one way streets so it’s best to avoid driving during this period if you’re unfamiliar with Sydney’s city centre.​

How do I find my nearest petrol station in and around Sydney?​​

Vroom’s Fuel Price Compare app will show you the cheapest place to refuel your rental car based on your current location. You can check it out here.

Do I have to pay tolls when driving in Sydney?

Yes, there are tolls chargeable on the major roads in and around Sydney. The tolls as cashless so you will need an electronic tag or pass to drive on toll roads. Speak with your chosen car rental supplier about options to pay for tolls during your journey when you collect your hire car.

What is the speed limit in Sydney?

Sydney’s city centre speed limit is 40km/hr while urban areas further out are 50km/hr.

How do I find a carpark in and around Sydney?

Street parking is available outside of the city centre while paid car parks are most common in the CBD. You can try searching for a carpark in real time based on your preferred location using the Oscar parking app.

Explore the bays, beaches, and awesome sights of Sydney

Being a harbour city, you need to get on the water to get the best out of Sydney. There are many ways of doing this: it could be as simple as taking the ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour, or as elaborate as a sunset cocktail cruise.

Another great way to see Sydney is by land and renting a car is a great idea. You can easily access popular tourist destinations such as the Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo and Darling Harbour. If surfing is your thing, hop in your rental car and head to the city's legendary surf beaches of Bondi and Manly.

Attractions | Accommodation | Restaurants and Bars


Attractions

Real Sydney Tours


A great way to beat the central city parking and driving hassles is to give the hire car a break, and book a tour. Real Sydney Tours are a boutique tour company, who can offer tours in many languages, with caring guides. Their 6-hour 'Real Sydney' tour is the most popular, with a mix of the city, and most beautiful suburbs.

I'm Free Walking Tours

Address: 483 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

The company offers free walking tours of Sydney's sights. A popular choice is The Rocks walking tour. It leaves every evening from in front of Cadman's Cottage at 6pm. The Rocks was the site of the first European settlement of Sydney, and is full of secret laneways, pubs and historical buildings. There's plenty of tales of murder and mystery on this tour.

While hiring a car is the ultimate convenience, a tour can be ideal when you want to have a break from driving, or get an expert opinion on an area. Want to find out more awesome tours and activities in Sydney? Check out these comprehensive offerings from Tourstogo.com!

Accommodation

Seasons Harbour Plaza Sydney

Address: 252 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000

Seasons Harbour Plaza hotel room in Sydney
Seasons Harbour Plaza is conveniently located at the footsteps of George Street, Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay, QVB and Town Hall, Darling Park business towers, the conference and exhibition precinct and Westfield Sydney. The beautifully appointed apartment style hotel boasts an impressive range of one, two, and three bedroom fully furnished apartments and penthouse suites, in various sizes and configurations. All apartments feature kitchenettes with refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, washers/dryers, LCD TVs with cable channels and complimentary Wi-Fi. Seasons Harbour Plaza is surrounded by an array of culinary dining choices and entertainment venues, which are sure to spoil the most discerning of diners. Whether escaping to Sydney for a weekend, or setting in for a longer stay, Seasons Harbour Plaza offers unparalleled comfort, hospitality and value for money.

Seasons Darling Harbour Sydney

Address: 38 Harbour St, Sydney NSW 2000

Seasons Darling Harbour hotel room in Sydney

Your search for the darling of Darling Harbour apartment style hotel ends here. Seasons Darling Harbour is conveniently positioned on Harbour Street at the southern end of Darling Harbour and directly opposite the Chinese Gardens with the Entertainment Centre and Convention Centre right at the doorstep. Seasons Darling Harbour is surrounded with an assortment of restaurants and bars plus a diversity of tourist attractions to keep you entertained. The property focuses on providing personal customer service to all guests to ensure your stay is a memorable one. All apartments feature kitchenettes with refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, LCD TVs with cable channels and complimentary Wi-Fi. Featuring all the desired hotel amenities, with warm and inviting staff that have a great knowledge of the local area, Seasons Darling Harbour is perfectly suited as a base to explore Sydney.

Park Regis City Centre

Address: 27 Park Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Park Regis City Centre hotel room in Sydney

The Park Regis City Centre is the ideal accommodation for those who want to stay close to all the action in Sydney. The hotel is just a few steps away from Pitt Street Mall, Hyde Park, Darling Harbour, Queen Victoria Building, and Town Hall. The Rock Markets and Taronga Zoo are also within easy reach. There are 122 stylish rooms to choose from at the Park Regis City Centre – and all are equipped with modern amenities to bring in comfort to their guests. They also boast of their rooftop outdoor swimming pool which offers breathtaking views of the Central Business District and Sydney Harbour.

Park Regis Concierge Apartments

Address: 287 Military Road, Cremone NSW 2090

For a quick escape from the city centre, stay at Park Regis Concierge Apartments which is located near the Mosman upmarket. It is also near the financial district which makes it the perfect choice for business travellers. Feel at home during your stay as each room and apartment feature top-class facilities such as LCD television, complimentary Wi-Fi, and en-suite bathroom. If you're planning to extend your trip to Sydney, you can opt to stay in Park Regis' long stay self-contained apartment to enjoy their special rates.




Restaurants and Bars

Longrain

If you are looking for a place to have a drink and enjoy good food with friends, then drive over to Longrain. This south-east Asian influenced restaurant balances the four elements of hot, sour, salty and sweet in its dishes. It has a convivial atmosphere as diners sit at long communal tables, perfect for meeting new people and sharing tastes. The restaurant offers a comprehensive list of cocktails and wine to complement the food.

Blackbird Cafe

Address: 201 Sussex street, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, NSW 2000

Blackbird Cafe is an iconic eatery right on Darling Harbour. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant proudly serves Australian produce. Try out their chargrilled kangaroo served rare with truffle masked potatoes, or true-blue fish and chips, with beer-battered flathead fillets.


VroomVroomVroom Sydney
Australia, New South Wales, Australia
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