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Can I take my rental car on a ferry in Australia?

Ferry travel

Although some of Australia's islands are accessible by road, others are not, and if you’re hoping to take your rental car off the mainland, it’s important that you adhere to the terms in your rental agreement. Depending on your rental provider, there may be restrictions around where you can take your rental car, so make sure to check with them before setting off.

Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a popular Tasmanian destination, boasting unique wildlife, renowned wineries, and spectacular scenery.

car-icon.png Hobart is only 30 minutes away from the ferry crossing at Kettering, making it the ideal place to rent a car and start your journey from.

Read more about taking a rental car to Bruny Island.

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is accessible by road. Here, you can visit the famous local penguins without the need to take a ferry.

Collect your rental car in Melbourne. From the city, it’s only a two-hour drive to the island via the bridge at San Remo.

Read more about taking a rental car to Phillip Island.

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is a hiker’s paradise with miles of scenic hiking trails across the island’s national park.

Pick up your car from Townsville and be sure to ask your rental provider whether you’re permitted to take your rental car on the Fantasea Ferry to Magnetic Island.

Read more about taking a rental car to Magnetic Island.


Because Queenscliff is not a separate island, the ferry that operates from Sorrento to Queenscliff is classified as part of the Australian road network and it is therefore accessible to rental cars. Of course, make sure to double check with your rental provider before setting off.

You can either fly into Melbourne and pick up a rental car there, or you can collect a car in Mornington and drive to Sorrento from there.

Read more about taking a rental car to Queenscliff.

Kangaroo Island

Just off the coast of South Australia, you won’t want to miss the beautiful views and hiking trails that Kangaroo Island has to offer.

You can choose to pick up your rental car directly from Kangaroo Island with depots located at the airport and the island’s ferry terminal. Alternatively, some car rental providers will allow their vehicles to be taken on the ferry from the mainland with prior authorisation.

Read more about taking your rental car to Kangaroo Island.

Moreton Island

Moreton Island is located off the coast of Brisbane and is the third-largest sand island in the world, with 98% of it being a national park.

Unfortunately, due to the island consisting mostly of sand, you are not allowed to take your rental car to Moreton Island.

Restricted islands

Car rental providers do not allow their vehicles to be taken to many other Australian islands. For example, travel is not permitted to K’gari (previously Fraser Island). To drive on K’gari, visitors would need to hire a special 4x4 vehicle from a local provider.

Other islands generally blacklisted by rental providers include the Whitsunday Islands, Lizard Island, Fitzroy Island, Lord Howe Island, and Rottnest Island.

If you wish to take your rental car on other ferries in Australia, you’ll need to check with your rental provider beforehand.


Before you take your rental car on a ferry

Make sure you check the terms and conditions of your car rental agreement before you take your rental car on a ferry. While travel is permitted to some islands, usually it is only with prior authorisation from the car rental provider. In some cases, ferry travel may void any insurance you have on your vehicle, leaving you responsible for paying for any damage costs.