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Planning a road trip holiday to Australia.

Step-by-step car hire process

Use our step-by-step guide to car hire in Australia to get out of the slow lane and onto the expressway. With VroomVroomVroom you can have your perfect hire car selected and booked in under two minutes.

Hiring a car in Australia can have plenty of moving parts — aside from the car — but with a bit of forethought and planning the entire booking process can be almost as easy as getting in the car and turning the key. Use our step-by-step guide to car hire in Australia to get out of the slow lane and onto the expressway. With VroomVroomVroom you can have your perfect hire car selected and booked in under two minutes.

For those in a hurry, we’ve got a quick guide up top, but if you have the time, do read our more detailed blow-by-blow guide—it will cost you a little bit of time, but our tips could well save you some money.

Quick guide to renting a hire car in Australia

1. Search for a hire car

  • Select your desired pickup location, pickup and return dates, country of residence, age group. If you need a one-way rental, uncheck the “Return to the same location” box and select your desired drop off location.

  • Click on “Search.”

2. Compare

  • Our hire car search results can be sorted by price, brand, type, and more, so filter the results as needed.

  • Select your desired vehicle.

3. Personalise booking

  • Review the details of your chosen vehicle, including important information, and add any extras — such as a GPS unit or child seat — as required.

  • Opt for rental vehicle excess insurance if you’d like some added peace of mind.

4. Book

  • Familiarise yourself with the Terms and Conditions.

  • Enter your personal information and flight details, then finalise your booking.

See, that was quick! Now if you’d like to read our full with-the-kitchen-sink blow-by-blow guide to renting a hire car in Australia, please read on.

Step 1: Research and understand the car rental requirements, excess insurance, and any restrictions

Check the car rental requirements

Before you do anything else, your first step should be to familiarise yourself with the basic requirements for booking a car. These include making sure your licence will be valid for a hire car in Australia, if you need to register more than one driver, and checking that the available means of payment work for you.

  • Do you meet the driver’s licence requirements for renting a car in Australia? If you’re an international visitor, you may need to provide an International Driving Permit if your licence is not in English.

  • Will you need to book an additional driver? If so, they are subject to the same rules as the primary driver.

  • Are you familiar with the rules around paying for your hire car? While credit cards are the preferred means of payment, there may be other payment options available to you.

Decide if you want to purchase excess reduction insurance

Nobody plans to have an accident in their rental car, but that’s why they’re called accidents! All rental cars in Australia come with a level of basic insurance, but there is a step you can take to further reduce your risk in this area — it’s called “excess reduction insurance”.

  • If you happen to damage your rental vehicle while it is in your possession, you’ll be liable to pay up to the capped excess amount (stated in your car rental agreement). In order to avoid having to pay this cost in the case of an accident, you can purchase excess reduction insurance.

Check for any restrictions

The final point you need to consider is any any other restrictions apply to you, and the most common one that may pop up relates to your age.

  • Did you know that there are age restrictions when it comes to renting a car in Australia? In most cases, you will need to be over 21 years of age to rent a car. Drivers under the age of 25 will need to pay a young drivers surcharge and drivers over the age of 75 may need a medical certificate stating they are fine to drive.

  • None of the car rental providers listed on VroomVroomVroom permit smoking — including vaping — in their vehicles. Car rental providers may charge fines and additional cleaning charges if they determine smoking occurred in the hire vehicle. It is an offence in some Australian states to smoke in a vehicle where any passengers are under 18 years of age.

Step 2: Find a car that suits your needs

Ok, now that most of the small print is out of the way, let’s get on to the fun bit — how VroomVroomVroom makes it so easy to find the perfect hire car for you.

Plan ahead and save money

  • If you have some wiggle room on your travel dates, you can try searching with different days and times to find when the rates will be lowest.

  • If you have some flexibility regarding pickup location, considering trying car hire rates for the same dates at a nearby location to your first choice. We list hundreds of depots across Australia.

  • Airports, while convenient are often the most expensive location to rent a hire car, so consider an off-airport location.

  • Book early because timing is everything, and if you wait too long to book, you could get stuck comparing a limited fleet of cars at higher rates. Booking ahead of time will generally mean you’ll have a wider range of cars and prices to choose from.

  • If you need a one-way rental rental car, you’re in luck as all of our suppliers offer one way bookings between their depots, subject to availability. On the search form just enter your pickup depot and remember to uncheck the box reading “return to same depot” and enter the return depot. Note that dropping the vehicle in a different location may incur a one-way surcharge on your rental car.

  • The price of rental cars may vary depending on your nation of residence. This is due to different insurance regulations in each country, and as such each may have a different rate that needs to be charged according to the insurance Terms and Conditions of the rental provider. These laws make some rates slightly higher than some others — the difference is unavoidable and part of the conditions of renting a car in Australia.

  • Rental providers may be participating in marketing to specific countries to encourage tourism by offering cheaper rental rates, and so may ask for proof of residency at the time of collecting your rental car to be eligible for any discounts. When booking a hire car you must choose “I live in...” according to where you currently live.

Compare and choose your car

  • One of the most decisions you need to make is regarding what sort of hire car you need. Do you need a small car ideal for city driving? A spacious but fuel efficient car with plenty of luggage space? A larger car for bigger groups and longer drivers? Something more sporty? Choosing the best type of car for your needs matters.

  • Consider what sort of extras you might need. Would you like a GPS, unlimited kilometres, or a child seat? All these can be arranged as a part of the booking process, so it helps if you have them in mind before you book.

  • If the car you want is not listed in our search results this usually means that vehicle is either sold out or not available at that location. If you’re after a truck or commercial vehicle, we recommend you use our App.

Book your rental car with VroomVroomVroom

  • Booking with VroomVroomVroom can take as little as two minutes. So once you have considered all the above booking a hire car couldn’t be easier.

  • All the vehicles are laid out for you, sorted by price and supplied by the country’s top rental brands.

  • Add any extra accessories such as baby seats or GPS units. In most instances all that is needed is a single click.

  • Compare rates, choose the perfect vehicle, and book.

  • As soon as you’ve booked, we’ll send you a booking confirmation number to your phone or email. There is nothing to print out or write down.

  • Our staff are REAL people, and you can reach us via phone, email, or live chat. No robots here; you’ll be treated with care, compassion, and courtesy.

  • If you’d rather use a smart phone app, we have you covered with the VroomVroomVroom app which makes it super easy to book a car on the go.

  • Once you are all done, please consider leaving us a review to let us know how we did. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Step 3: Pick up your rental car and begin your adventure

We said in the previous section that selecting and booking your hire car is the fun bit, but that’s not really true, because here you are about to pick up your car, and once you’re rolling away in your hired car the fun can truly begin.

Arrive at the depot

  • To get the most value out of your rental car it makes sense to arrive on time. If you’re unfamiliar with the depot location, plan your route in advance.

  • Once at the depot you’ll need to sort out some paperwork before you get going, and the best way to make this painless is to show up with all your required documents. At a minimum you’ll need the following:

    1. Driving licence and your International Driving Permit (if required).
    2. Credit card in the name of the renter.
    3. Any additional drivers will also be required to show their licence.

Do you require any optional extras?

  • If you didn’t arrange optional extras during your booking process, for a fee, you can request child seats, GPS devices, pre-paid fuel, and more.

  • If your rental depot is a premium location, you will be required to pay an extra fee at the counter. Airports are often considered premium locations and attract a surcharge.

Check the car for any damage

  • A depot staff member will give you a form marking any existing damage to your vehicle. Do not assume that this is the only damage on the vehicle, as things can easily be missed.

  • Check your rental vehicle carefully — inside and out — for any damage.

  • Take photos and video of any damage, and make sure you report any damage not marked on the form.

  • It is important to do a check yourself and report any extra damage. No damage is too small.

  • If you are unsure of any of the features of the car, ask a car rental representative to show you before you leave the depot.

  • Once you have confirmed there is no additional damage, it is time to sign on the dotted line.

Sign your rental agreement

  • Read your rental agreement and the Terms and Conditions carefully.

  • Ask the car rental representative if there’s anything you need clarified.

  • Note the date and time when you will need to return the vehicle.

  • You will be offered excess reduction products at the counter to reduce your financial liability. If you have already purchased rental vehicle excess insurance, you may not need this.

  • You did it and it’ss time to start your journey — have a great trip!

Step 4: Return your rental car at the depot

We hope you had a great road trip! Now that your trip is almost over, it is time to return your hire car. As with when you picked up your car, dropping off your hire car is straightforward, but there are a few simple steps to keep in mind to avoid unexpected delays or charges.

Fill up the car

  • Before you return your vehicle, make sure the fuel tank is full to avoid any additional charges.

  • If you have selected to pre-pay for your fuel, you are not required to fill the tank before returning the vehicle.

  • You will be charged for the fuel at a more expensive rate if you return it to the depot without a full tank.

  • You can use the VroomVroomVroom Fuel Price Compare app to find the closest petrol station to the depot to ensure that the fuel tank is full when you return it.

Take your personal items

  • Make sure you don’t leave any of your personal items in the rental car when you hand over the keys to the rental assistant. The assistant will then check the car for any additional damage.

Pay any final charges

  • If you have not returned the car with a full tank, or if there is any additional damage or you have exceeded the mileage limit, this is when you will need to pay any additional charges. Once you have paid the specified amount, you are ready to leave the depot.

  • If you have been charged for damage, it is a good idea to keep a copy of the receipt as your insurance company will require this document if you are making a claim for reimbursement.