We know how picking up a car hire at an airport can be a bit confusing, so we at VroomVroomVroom have compiled a few checklists to help you find the rental counter and collect your vehicle as fast and hassle-free as possible.
Upon arrival at the airport, proceed to the location where you have reserved your rental car. If arriving on a flight, make sure to include your incoming Flight Number so your booked vehicle will be at the correct Terminal. Also, prepare your booking details, mode of payment (credit/debit card), valid drivers licence/international drivers licence and flight details to collect your booked car rental. Review your contract thoroughly.
Pay for the rental. When making payment at the pick-up location, provide the reservation number as well as your driver's licence and credit card. It's recommended to pay with a credit card when possible. Credit card companies will often cover some of your insurance, which makes using a credit card in this instance a smart option for many. But keep in mind that different car rental companies have various policies on whether debit cards can be used.
Check the car for pre-existing damage. Take a few minutes to check both the exterior and interior of the car as well as the engine. You can also take photos or videos of any pre-existing damage using your smart phone, to have proof of the car's condition at the time of pick-up, in case the supplier believes you have damaged the vehicle. Never accept any rental car with major damage or make sure you inform the supplier if there's slight damage so you can ensure that this is documented.
Drive away. Once you collect the keys and a copy of your contract, you can now drive your hire car directly from the airport into the city or to your favorite destination.
Popular airports in Australia
Picking up a rental car from the airport is the most convenient way to start your journey. When you disembark your flight, you will see signs for 'Car Rental'. Most car hire desks are often located within the terminal. If there are no staff members at the counter, you can proceed to the car park office. Below is some information about the popular airports in Australia:
Adelaide Airport (ADL): You will see car rental desks at the airport on the ground level at the front of the terminal near the baggage claim area. Parking for car hire desks can be found on the ground floor of the multi-level park. You can easily find the six leading rental car companies in South Australia, such as Hertz, Europcar, Budget, Avis, Hertz, Thrifty and Enterprise. Click here for parking options at Adelaide Airport.
Brisbane Airport (BNE): You will find car rental desks, including Hertz, Thrifty, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, and Budget in both terminals at Brisbane Airport, near baggage claim. On level one of the P1 car park you will find the main offices if there are no representatives inside the terminal. If you have brought a car to the airport and planning to rent once you get to your destination, you can check the parking options here.
Cairns Airport (CNS): Collecting your hire car at Cairns Airport is quick and easy. Car hire counters are located in the Arrivals Hall of both T1 and T2. Car rental return car parks can also be found at both terminals.
Canberra Airport (CBR): Situated at the intersection of Canberra's main east-west arterial road (Parkes Way/Pialligo Avenue) and eastern ring road (Monaro Highway/Majura Parkway), the six car hire providers' desks at CBR are located on the arrivals (lower) level of the roadway just outside the terminal.
Darwin Airport (DRW): The car hire desks at the DRWare situated at the Arrival Hall near baggage collection on the ground floor.
Gold Coast Airport (OOL): Located at the southern end of the Gold Coast, you will see the car rental desks just opposite the arrivals areas at Gold Coast Airport. Your rental company will direct you to the correct parking location to pick up your vehicle. Click here to see the different parking options at the Gold Coast Airport.
Hobart Airport (HBA): Picking up your car hire at Hobart Airport is easy as there are seven rental companies to choose from. All rental desks can be found inside the Arrivals area.
Melbourne Airport (MEL): It's easy to rent a car at Melbourne Airport. Service desks are located at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 near the baggage carousels. If these are unattended, simply follow signs to the main car park office. If you plan to leave your rental car for a few hours, you can check the car park options here.
Perth Airport (PER): You will find the car rental counters in public arrivals hall after exiting the customs/quarantine area. Car hire desks at T1 Domestic, T3 & 4 are located within the Baggage Reclaim area of the airport. If you are being dropped off at the airport, there is free parking at Perth Airport for one hour. Click here to see other parking options.
Sydney Airport (SYD): Car rental company desks generally open from 5 am until 11 pm (varies per supplier). Car rental desks are conveniently located at the arrivals area of both the domestic and international terminals at SYD. If you are bringing a car and would leave it at the airport to rent when you get to your next destination, check out the parking options here.
David wants to pick up his rental car from Brisbane Airport
David's flight arrives into Brisbane Airport, where he has a reservation for a rental car. He proceeds to the baggage claim area of the terminal, where he sees the car rental service desks. Upon finding that there are no staff at the desks, he follows signs to the car park office. He is able to find assistance, and successfully pick up his rental car from this point.