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    Car Hire in Australia - drive Down Under

    Like no other place you’ve ever been, Australia is as much a continent as it is a country where some of the world’s most exciting and varied road trips can be enjoyed. With warm seawater and guaranteed year-round sunshine, it is blessed with some of the world’s most distinctive and diverse natural environments, meaning that the sudden sighting of exotic wildlife and/or rare geographical features could happen at any moment!

    With the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Indian Ocean to the west, Australia has thousands of miles of sandy coastline, much of which is skirted by long stretches of modern motorway, such as the world-famous Pacific Highway running down the east coast and the Great Ocean Road in the country’s stunning south-east.

    The best way to fully appreciate the full beauty of Australia’s coastal and inland areas is to hit the road with your car hire in Australia. The country has many unforgettable attractions to explore, from Ayers Rock and its surrounding landscape to the kaleidoscopic coral of the Great Barrier Reef.

    With an Auto Europe car hire you can enjoy Australia at your own pace, whether it’s a relaxing wine-tasting tour through the Adelaide Hills and Barossa vineyards or an exhilarating drive down the country’s reef-fringed Capricorn Coast. With dozens of convenient pick-up and drop-off locations dotted all over Australia, Auto Europe is by far the best choice for your road trip down under, with the widest choice of vehicles of any operator in the market. Besides offering the best rates for car rental in Australia guaranteed, Auto Europe charges no credit card or booking fees and offers free cancellations up to 48 hours before pick-up.

    With a car you are able to fully discover this amazing country and see sights you will not find anywhere else in the world. Pick up your car hire in Melbourne and tour three of the region's famous wineries or visit Sydney and explore the Giant Stairway in the Blue Mountains.

    Booking with Auto Europe means paying less than you would pay when booking directly through any of the suppliers, including Europcar, Hertz, Sixt, Avis, Guerin and Budget. Select and reserve your car in a few quick and easy steps using the Auto Europe booking engine, or for a more personal touch why not call one of our reservation specialists on +44 123 3225 114 who are on hand 7 days a week to help with your travel plans. Previous clients have left their feedback on our car hire reviews in Australia page for your viewing.

    What are the most important driving rules in Australia?

    • Give way to the right at unsigned cross intersections.

    • Driving in Australia is done on the left-hand side of the road.

    • Seatbelts are mandatory, and the use of mobile phones while driving is limited to hands-free systems only.

    • Drivers cannot make a U-turn at a set of traffic lights, unless a sign specifically indicates that you can.

    • Australia has strict laws about drinking alcohol while driving, with the legal limit set at 0.05 BAC. Due to the fact that driving is a very complex task that requires correct decision-making and total concentration, Auto Europe strongly advises that you do not drink and drive.

    • In Australia, petrol stations are sometimes also referred to as 'Service Stations', and there are over 5,000 locations throughout the country, so filling up your car rental in Australia shouldn't pose any problem. Most stations accept international credit cards, but before refueling make sure you know which type of fuel your car requires. Outside major cities, do not assume that petrol will be available late at night, in the early morning or even on Sunday. If you are planning to drive overnight, make sure you know where you are going and where you will be able to get petrol.

    What to do in Australia

    Brimming with unique attractions, exciting activities, absorbing museums and endless landscapes, not to mention one of the world’s most fascinating indigenous cultures (the Aborigines), Australia is a multi-faceted tourist destination that caters effortlessly for young and old travellers alike. Although the country has many iconic sights, such as the Sydney Opera House, Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock and Bondi Beach, it is very often the unexpected things that tourists encounter by complete accident that make Australia such a special place to visit. Here are a few things you really shouldn’t miss on your next trip to sunny Australia;

    • Sydney, New South Wales: A lively city with a fine natural harbour, Sydney is the first port of call for most first-time visitors to Australia. The first of Australia’s historic colonial cities, its attractions continue inland across the beautiful Blue Mountain region, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed area popular for its hiking trails and panoramic views. Take a stroll through the Rocks district of old Sydney to buy souvenirs before getting up close to the city’s iconic opera house close by.

    • Melbourne, Victoria: A rich mix of modern buildings and Victorian-era architecture, Melbourne is one of the great cities of the Southern Hemisphere. Nestling idyllically in Australia's south-eastern corner, its inner city is a labyrinth of cobbled lanes and alleyways lined with an enticing assortment of bars, cafés, galleries and restaurants featuring food from all over the world. Founded in 1885 and still operating today, Melbroune’s extensive tram network is as efficient as it is characteristic, particularly in and around the city’s colonial-style Flinders Street Station.

    • Ayers Rock, Northern Territory: Of all the world’s most striking picture-postcard images, Ayers Rock is arguably the most recognisable of them all and well worth visiting with your rent a car in Australia. This huge and very impressive sandstone formation stands 1,142 feet high with a total circumference of 5.8 miles. The centrepiece of central Australia's vast red sandy plains, it forms part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies in the world, namely the Anangu Aboriginal people who still consider the mountain to be sacred.

    • Great Barrier Reef, Queensland: Stretching more than 1,200 miles along the Queensland coastline, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is an extremely fragile and highly complex ecosystem brimming with tropical fish of every conceivable size and colour. A site of remarkable variety and beauty, it contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs with 400 types of coral and 1,500 species of fish, including the dugong (‘sea cow’) and large green turtle, both threatened with extinction.

    • Kakadu National Park: Spread across 8,000 square-miles at the northern tip of Australia, Kakadu National Park attracts visitors from all over the world because of its staggering array of lush wetlands, ancient gorges, abundant wildlife and Aboriginal rock art. An area of stunning natural beauty, the area has afforded shelter to Aboriginal inhabitants for thousands of years and today attracts large numbers of tourists on account of its great diversity of birds, flora and fauna.

    Road trips with my car hire in Australia

    From the peaceful country roads of the vast hinterland to the long motorways skirting the Pacific and Indian shorelines, Australia offers road trips to suit all tastes, with an abundance of sightseeing opportunities along the way. Featuring unique coastal journeys and exciting rides through the Outback, a classic road trip around Australia is one of the best ways to experience the country's wide-open spaces and truly magnificent scenery. Book your car at one of Auto Europe's many pick-up points before choosing from a wide range of itineraries such as Adelaide to Melbourne, Alice Springs to Darwin or Canberra to Brisbane, because you're guaranteed to have the time of your life!

    With its picturesque scenery and plenty of places to pull over, the world-famous Great Ocean Road tops most road trippers' bucket lists these days, along with America’s Route 66. Starting at the surf town of Torquay south-west of Melbourne and ending at Warrnambool west of the city, this amazing coastal highway skirts the red granite mountains of south-eastern Australia, providing a succession of head-spinning vistas en route. Don’t miss the Twelve Apostles, a series of striking rock formations and one of the great natural wonders of the world.

    Nothing prepares visitors for the shimmering grandeur of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in central Australia, home to the unmistakable Ayers Rock, one of the planet’s most loveable landmarks. This dazzling standalone piece of red rock is the centrepiece of a remarkable region full of rare beauty and obscure natural attractions, making it the ultimate pilgrimage for road trippers visiting Australia.

    Following much of the full extent of the Great Barrier Reef, the evocatively-named Capricorn Coast highway (M1/A1) connects the east coast tourist mecca of Brisbane with the charming seaside city of Cairns some 1,000 miles to the north. Straddling the Tropic of Capricorn (hence its name), the many attractions along this picturesque coastline greatly enhance the visitor's experience, including the family-friendly Yeppoon Lagoon resort at Rockhampton and Rosslyn Bay, a luxurious oasis for road trippers exploring this spectacular stretch of Australian shoreline.

    Leaving Sydney along the motorway north towards Byron is one of the world’s most scenic road trips and certainly a highlight for people exploring this part of Australia in their car hire in Australia. This coastal odyssey connects two of the country’s most popular tourist centres, with some spectacular surfing beaches and jaw-dropping land and seascapes in between, most notably at Woolgoolga, Red Rock and Nambucca Heads. Don’t miss the chance to swim with dolphins at Port Stephens, while a leisurely drive through Myall Lakes National Park will almost certainly be the highlight of your trip.

    Wine lovers should head for Swan Valley, one of Australia’s preferred wine regions. Home to some of the best wines in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere, the area lies a few miles inland of the country’s glorious west coast and within easy striking distance of Perth, a lovely city on the Indian Ocean. The Swan Valley wine region boasts more than 40 estates where many excellent types of verdelho, chenin blanc and shiraz wine are produced. Take advantage of the 20-mile drive along the well-organised Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail which includes a series of enticing stopovers encompassing fresh farm produce, distilleries and arts and crafts markets.

    How old do I have to be to rent a car in Australia?

    To rent a car in Australia you must be at least 21 years old (age may vary by car category) and have held your UK driver's license for at least one year. Drivers under 25 may incur a young driver surcharge, and the maximum age restriction with certain suppliers is 75 years old. For click here more information on driving in Australia.

    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car rental in Australia?

    In Australia, a considerable number of motorways have been tolled in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Notably, there is a toll to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Australian tolls are collected either electronically or in cash-toll kiosks, although Australia is moving towards a completely electronic toll collection system. Toll roads are found in the eastern states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. Currently, all are within the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Many toll roads accept cash, but others require an E-Pass in order to access the motorway. In order to help travellers, the Roads and Maritime Services of New South Wales has developed partnerships with several car rental companies in order to provide a tolling solution giving travellers the ability to pay for their tolls automatically.

    A bit of history

    Australia's indigenous people have lived on this land for over 60,000 years since the first inhabitants arrived overland from New Guinea. but things changed when Portuguese ships came ashore in 1536 and subsequently charted long stretches of its glorious coastline. In 1770, Captain James Cook ventured down the east coast in his famous ship, the HMS Endeavour, before landing at Botany Bay and declaring the country British. The first fleet of British colonists arrived at Sydney Cove in 1778 and in 1817 the name Australia was chosen to replace the country's original name - New Holland. Gold was discovered in Australia in 1851, first in New South Wales and then in Victoria, and later the gold rush extended to Western Australia in 1893. In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning monarch to visit Australia and in 1967 the Aborigine people were finally granted Australian citizenship and the right to vote.

    What is the currency in Australia?

    The Australian Dollar (AUD) is the currency used in Australia. Visitors are able to exchange their currency at any exchange counter, which are found at airports and on high streets all over the country. Most ATMs will allow withdrawal with an international credit card as well. International credit cards are also typically accepted as a form of payment in most locations, but visitors are strongly advised to check the fees with their card providers before leaving the UK.

    What time zone is Australia in?

    Australia is 11 hours ahead of the United Kingdom, which means that when it is 6am in London, it is 5pm in Canberra. Australia uses more than three time zones - including Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) and Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

    Which are the most common words and phrases in Australia?

    Despite speaking English, Australians have their own words for many everyday items visitors often need. Here are a few to get you started;

    G'day - Hello
    Arvo - Afternoon
    Barbie - Barbecue
    Chook - Chicken
    Dunny - Toilet
    Grog - Alcohol
    Milk bar - Convenience store
    Roo - Kangaroo
    Snag - Sausage
    Thongs - Flip flops
    Togs - Swimming costume
    Tucker - Food

    Electricity - Do I need a power adapter in Australia?

    Main voltage in Australia is 230V 50Hz, and most appliances coming from the UK will work on the same voltage as Australia. Plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins shaped like a 'V' and some may contain a third flat pin in the centre.

    Do I need a Visa to travel to Australia?

    British citizens will need a visa to travel to Australia. There are two different types of electronic visitor visas, the eVisitor Visa issued by the Department of Immigration & Border Protection (there is no application charge or service fee for this type of visa), and the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) which can be obtained through travel agents and airlines (there is no visa application charge for this visa but a standard service fee does apply).

    Should you require assistance from the consulate during your travels, please be informed of the location for the British High Commission in Australia's capital, Canberra. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.45am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm.

    British High Commission Canberra
    Commonwealth Avenue, Yarraluma
    Canberra ACT 2600
    Telephone: +61 (0)2 6270 6666

    Can I hire a campervan in Australia?

    A great way to see the vast and beautiful landscapes of Australia is to book a campervan hire in Australia. Explore the whole country from the long beaches of Sydney and amazing wildlife of the tropical rainforests to the magnificent Australian outback, including the famous Uluru rock formation, better known as Ayers Rock. We have partnered up with numerous motorhome suppliers including Mighty, Britz and Apollo to provide affordable campervan hire in all major destinations across Australia, with pick-up locations including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

    Useful links

    Australian Tourist Board

    Australia Travel Information