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A step-by-step guide to the car hire process

Car hire process guide

By understanding the rental process in Australia, you will be able to worry less about planning and spend more time focusing on your holiday. VroomVroomVroom brings you a step-by-step car rental guide which covers everything from research to return.

Step 1: Research and understand the car rental requirements and restrictions

Check the car rental requirements

  • Do you meet the drivers licence requirements for renting a car in Australia? You may also need to provide an International Driving Permit if your licence is not in English.

Read more about licence requirements.

Decide if you want to purchase excess reduction insurance

  • If you happen to damage your rental vehicle while it is in your possession, you will 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.

Click here for more information about reducing your excess.

Check for any restrictions

  • 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.

Read more about age restrictions.

Step 2: Find a car that suits your needs

Compare and choose your car

  • When you travel in Australia, it is essential to pick a car rental that will work with what your plans are. In Australia, distances between places can be considerable. For example, if you are travelling between Brisbane and Sydney, or driving along the west-coast, you might want a bigger vehicle that is also fuel efficient, such as a Toyota RAV 4 . Alternatively, if you are inner-city driving, you might prefer a compact car that is easier to park, like a Kia Rio .

Read more about which vehicles are best for a road trip in Australia.

Book your rental car with VroomVroomVroom

  • Did you know that you can book your car rental in under two minutes? VroomVroomVroom prides itself on its easy booking process. Compare rates, choose the perfect vehicle and book simply and efficiently.

Will you need an International Driving Permit?

  • Is your licence in English? If it isn’t, you will be required to present an International Driving Permit in conjunction with your current driver’s licence from your country residence.

Here is more information about International Driving Permits.

For more information on how to book your car click here.

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

Arrive at the depot

  • Arrive at the car rental depot at the time you have specified. If you are unfamiliar with the location, it is a good idea to plan your route in advance. Make sure you have your booking confirmation, driver’s licence and any relevant identification documents. Here is a quick checklist of things you should remember to bring with you:
  1. Driving licence and your International Driving Permit (if required).
  2. Credit card in the name of the renter.
  3. Additional drivers will also be required to show their licence.

Read here about required documents.

Sign your rental agreement

  • Check over the details of your rental agreement carefully and ask the car rental representative if there is anything you do not understand. Note the date and time when you will need to return the vehicle, and read the terms and conditions set out in the agreement.
  • 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 require this product.

Do you require any optional extras?

  • For a fee, you can request child seats, GPS devices, to pre-pay your 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.

For more information of adding extras, click here.

Check the car for any damage

  • Take photos and video of any damage, and make sure you report any damage not listed. Once you have confirmed there is no additional damage, it is time to start your journey. You will receive a form with the existing damage marked. Do not assume that this is the only damage on the vehicle, as things can easily be missed. It is important to do a check yourself and report any extra damage. 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.

Read more about checking for damage.

For more information on how to pick up your car, click here.

Step 4: Return your rental car at the depot

Fill up the car

  • Before you return your vehicle, make sure the fuel tank is filled with fuel 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 app to find the closest petrol station to the depot to ensure that the fuel tank is full when you return it.

Download the app here.

You can read more about fuel policies in our guide.

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 pay these 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.

Read about more additional charges here.

Rental process in Australia infographic

From booking your rental to returning it to the depot, you can save the infographic below and refer to it at any point you are unsure of the rental process in Australia.

Rental Process in Australia Infographic