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How to choose the best type of hire car for you

Rental cars come in many different shapes and sizes and one of the important decisions is choosing the right hire car for what you need.

Are you planning an Australian road trip holiday? With such a diverse landscape and so many destinations to choose from, you’re almost spoilt for options. One of the most important early decisions you need to make though, is what sort of hire car is best for you?

To answer this question, you first need to consider where you plan to drive. Just as there’s little point hiring a campervan if all you plan to do is zip around the inner city, hiring a compact car for a family road trip from Darwin to Adelaide probably won’t be the wisest move of your holiday.

With this in mind, here is a quick guide to help you figure out what sort of rental car is the most appropriate for your road trip holiday in Australia.

A small car for city driving

If you’re planning on spending most of your time in one of Australia’s larger cities such as Brisbane, Melbourne, or Sydney, chances are a smaller car will be a better bet. Why? The downtown areas of Australia’s metropolitan cities do get clogged with traffic and parking can be limited. Likewise, there’s a greater chance you’ll be spending more time on narrow, and one-way, roads rather than broad national highways.

For all these reasons, a smaller, compact car is a prudent choice. If you’d prefer a vehicle with more ground clearance, or are travelling with a group such as your family and so would prefer a more spacious hire car, consider a compact SUV, though we’d suggest a full-size SUV may get a little unwieldy when it comes to inner-city driving.

What small cars do our suppliers offer?

The Suzuki Swift, Mitsubishi Mirage, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Micra, and more.

What are small cars perfect for?

Driving in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Sydney.

A fuel-efficient car for the Outback

If you’re intending to explore Australia’s Outback, the first thing you need to know is that it is big. Really big. Like, bigger than Texas big. Part and parcel with this size comes the kilometres you’re going to need to drive to get from one place to another, so choosing to hire a fuel-efficient rental car can save you money.

Another point you need to keep in mind is any mileage restrictions that may apply to your rental vehicle. If you’re planning on racking up thousands of kilometres, you’ll be wanting to go with an unlimited mileage option.

What are fuel efficient hire cars in Australia?

The Audi A4, Hyundai Elantra, Holden Barina Spark, and more.

What are fuel efficient cars perfect for?

Driving in the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia.

A larger car for challenging roads

Having a larger vehicle such an an SUV which offers more ground clearance and space inside may give you some extra comfort when travelling in areas of Australia where the roads are a bit more challenging. This style of hire car is also quite well-suited to longer trips as they tend to be more spacious inside when compared to a traditional sedan.

Please do keep in mind that you’ll need to stay on sealed roads at all times, otherwise you risk having to pay the cost for any damage caused to the vehicle.

What large cars do our suppliers offer?

The Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV 4, Hyundai Tuscon, and more.

What are large cars perfect for?

Driving in Far North Queensland, the Kimberley, and other rural areas of Australia.

A convertible for cruising along the coast

If you’re looking to travel in style along Australia’s scenic coastal highways, and as long as you don’t mind spending a bit more money on your rental car, our suppliers offer a range of premium convertible vehicles. With a convertible you can feel the open air on your face while you drive along some of the most beautiful highways in the world — just be sure to watch out for thunderstorms. It is important to note that for premium and luxury rental vehicles different excess amounts may apply.

What convertible vehicles do our suppliers offer?

The Mercedes Benz E250 Cabriolet, Porsche Boxster, and more.

What are convertible vehicles perfect for?

Driving along the Great Ocean Road or the Pacific Coast Highway south of Sydney.

Important Information

Things to check when choosing a hire car

Be sure to check things like mileage limitations, fuel efficiency, storage space and the transmission of the rental vehicle you are planning to hire. Particularly in areas of the Northern Territory, daily mileage limits will apply, and you may be charged extra for each kilometre you travel over the specified limit.