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How to rent a car at an Australian airport

Sometimes collecting your hire car from an airport is the perfect way to start your trip, but there are a few points to keep in mind.

If you’re thinking of booking a hire car at an Australian airport, VroomVroomVroom is here to help. We make comparing prices on airport rentals easy, by sourcing rental vehicles rates from Australia’s leading car rental brands including Avis, Bargain Car Rentals, Budget, East Coast, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, No Birds, and Sixt. This allows you to compare prices and hire vehicles from a comprehensive range of brands, all on the one screen — and book your car in as little as two minutes.

What to consider when booking at an airport

Like renting from a standard car hire depot, collecting a car from the airport is fairly simple, however there are some extra things to keep in mind to make the entire process both as affordable, and as easy, as possible.

On-airport and off-airport depots

It can be more expensive to rent a car from the airport rather than a suburban depot due to additional airport surcharges, but there’s also often the option of choosing to hire a car from an on-airport depot or an off-airport depot. Using the latter generally means you’ll need to use a shuttle service between the airport and the depot — but this can be a more affordable way to rent a car close to the airport.

Both on- and off-airport rental cars tend to be in higher demand than suburban depots, so it’s a good idea to book well in advance to avoid missing out, especially if you need to book a hire car during peak travel seasons. As an added bonus, booking in advance can also increase your chances of getting your hire car for a more competitive rate.

Include your flight number

When booking an airport hire car, you should include your flight number. This allows your rental provider to keep track of any delays to your flight and so ensure that someone is at their car hire desk ready to process your booking when you arrive.

Picking up your airport rental car

When it comes to picking up your airport rental vehicle, once you arrive at the airport you’ll need to locate the car hire desks. These are generally located either beside or within a short walking distance of the baggage claim area by arrivals. VroomVroomVroom has detailed explanations on where the car hire desks are on our pages for each Australian airport, see for example our airport pages for Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.

Returning your hire car to the airport

If you are returning your hire car to the airport then catching a departing flight, be sure to plan ahead and allow sufficient time to drop off the car and get to your terminal. This is especially important with off-airport depots as you’ll need to allow time for the shuttle service to transfer you to the airport terminal.

What to do if your flight is delayed

If your flight is delayed, as long as you supplied your flight number when you made your booking, your rental provider will be able to see that your flight has been delayed, and act accordingly. If you know you’ll be late (for a reason other than a flight delay) in either collecting or returning your rental car, you should contact your rental provider to let them know.

Top airport locations in Australia

Adelaide Airport (ADL)

Adelaide Airport (ADL)

Alice Springs Airport (ASP)

Alice Springs Airport (ASP)

Avalon Airport (AVV)

Avalon Airport (AVV)

Ballina Byron Airport (BNK)

Ballina Byron Airport (BNK)

Brisbane Airport (BNE)

Brisbane Airport (BNE)

Cairns Airport (CNS)

Cairns Airport (CNS)

Canberra Airport (CBR)

Canberra Airport (CBR)

Darwin Airport (DRW)

Darwin Airport (DRW)

Gold Coast Airport (OOL)

Gold Coast Airport (OOL)

Hobart Airport (HBA)

Hobart Airport (HBA)

Launceston Airport (LST)

Launceston Airport (LST)

Learmonth Airport (LEA)

Learmonth Airport (LEA)

Melbourne Airport (MEL)

Melbourne Airport (MEL)

Newcastle Airport (NCL)

Newcastle Airport (NCL)

Perth Airport (PER)

Perth Airport (PER)

Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY)

Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY)

Sydney Airport (SYD)

Sydney Airport (SYD)

Townsville Airport (TSV)

Townsville Airport (TSV)