The Ultimate Guide to Car Hire in Melbourne


Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is known for its vibrant arts scene, world-class dining, and picturesque landscapes. If you’re planning a visit to this fantastic city, you’ll want to rent a car to explore all it offers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about car hire in Melbourne, from choosing the best service to exploring must-visit destinations and insider tips to save money.

Choosing the Best Car Hire Service in Melbourne

Regarding car hire Melbourne, several factors must be considered to ensure you choose the best service for your needs. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Research online: Search for “car hire Melbourne” to find a list of reputable companies operating in the area. Read reviews and testimonials from previous customers to gauge the quality of service and reliability.
  2. Compare prices: Obtain quotes from multiple car hire companies to find the best deal. Remember that prices may vary depending on factors such as the type of vehicle, rental duration, and additional services.
  3. Check for hidden fees: Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid any unexpected charges, such as additional insurance, one-way fees, or late return fees.
  4. Choose the right car: Consider the size of your travel group, the amount of luggage, and your planned activities to determine the most suitable vehicle for your needs.

Top Tips for Hiring a Car at Melbourne Airport


Renting a car directly from Melbourne Airport can be convenient for travellers. Here are some top tips to make the process as smooth as possible:

  1. Book in advance: Secure your preferred vehicle and save money by booking your Melbourne airport car hire well before your arrival.
  2. Compare options: There are several car rental companies operating at Melbourne Airport. Research and compare their offerings to find the best deal.
  3. Check operating hours: Ensure the car hire company’s operating hours align with your arrival and departure times to avoid any potential delays or complications.
  4. Inspect the car: Before leaving the airport, thoroughly inspect the rental vehicle for any existing damage and report it to the company to avoid being held responsible for it upon return.

Exploring Melbourne with a Rental Car: Must-Visit Destinations

With your Melbourne car hire sorted, it’s time to hit the road and explore the city and its surroundings. Here are some must-visit destinations:

  1. Great Ocean Road: This iconic coastal drive offers stunning views of the ocean, lush rainforests, and the famous Twelve Apostles limestone formations.
  2. Yarra Valley: Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is renowned for its wineries, gourmet food, and beautiful scenery.
  3. Phillip Island: Home to the famous Penguin Parade, Phillip Island is a haven for wildlife lovers and offers beautiful beaches, coastal walks, and charming villages.
  4. Mornington Peninsula: With its picturesque beaches, national parks, and charming towns, the Mornington Peninsula is perfect for a leisurely day trip or weekend getaway.

How to Save Money on Melbourne Car Hire: Insider Secrets

  1. Book early: Reserve your hire car Melbourne well in advance to secure the best rates and availability.
  2. Avoid airport surcharges: While renting a car at Melbourne Airport can be convenient, it may come with additional fees. Consider off-airport rental locations to save money.
  3. Choose the right car: Opt for a smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle if you don’t require a large or luxury car.
  4. Look for discounts: Search for promotional codes, deals, or special offers to save on your car rental.

Comparing Car Hire Options in Melbourne: Finding the Perfect Fit

When comparing Melbourne car hire options, consider the following factors:

  1. Vehicle type: Choose a vehicle that suits your needs, whether it’s a compact car for city driving, a spacious SUV for a family road trip, or a luxury sedan for a special occasion.
  2. Rental Duration: Determine how long you’ll need the car and whether a daily, weekly, or monthly rental is most cost-effective.
  3. Insurance coverage: Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage through your personal auto insurance, credit card or by purchasing additional coverage from the rental company.
  4. Additional services: Consider whether you require extras such as GPS navigation, child seats, or roadside assistance.

What to Expect from Melbourne Airport Car Hire Services


Melbourne airport car hire services offer a range of benefits, including:

  1. Convenience: Renting a car directly from the airport lets you start your journey immediately upon arrival.
  2. Variety: Most major car rental companies have a presence at Melbourne Airport, offering a wide selection of vehicles to choose from.
  3. Customer support: Airport car rental counters typically have extended operating hours and on-site staff to assist with any issues or questions.

Best Practices for Hiring a Car in Melbourne: Dos and Don’ts


  • Book in advance
  • Research and compare options
  • Inspect the rental car for damage
  • Familiarize yourself with local driving laws and regulations


  • Overlook hidden fees
  • Forget to refuel before returning the car
  • Leave personal belongings in the car when returning it
  • Drive on unsealed roads if the rental agreement prohibits it

Hidden Gems: Offbeat Road Trips from Melbourne with a Rental Car

  1. Dandenong Ranges: Just an hour from Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges offer lush forests, scenic lookouts, and charming villages.
  2. Ballarat: Rich in history, Ballarat is home to the famous Sovereign Hill open-air museum, showcasing Australia’s gold rush era.
  3. Wilsons Promontory National Park: Known for its pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and stunning coastal scenery, Wilsons Promontory National Park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers.
    1. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs: These picturesque towns are famous for their natural mineral springs, luxurious spas, and beautiful gardens. A perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.
    2. Grampians National Park: With its rugged mountain ranges, breathtaking lookouts, and abundant wildlife, it’s an ideal destination for outdoor adventurers and nature lovers.
    3. Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula: Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula offer charming coastal towns, beautiful beaches, and a thriving food and wine scene.
    4. Mount Macedon and Hanging Rock: Steeped in history and natural beauty, Mount Macedon and Hanging Rock provide stunning views, picturesque gardens, and fascinating geological formations.

Essential Tips for Driving in Melbourne and Victoria

  1. To ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience in Melbourne and the surrounding areas, keep these crucial tips in mind:
    1. Drive on the left side of the road: In Australia, vehicles drive on the left side of the road, and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. Be cautious, especially at intersections and roundabouts, if you need to get used to this driving orientation.
    2. Observe speed limits: Speed limits in Melbourne and Victoria vary depending on the type of road and area. In urban areas, the default speed limit is 50 km/h, while on freeways and highways, it can range from 80 km/h to 110 km/h. Be sure to observe posted speed limit signs and adjust your speed accordingly.
    3. Beware of toll roads: Melbourne has several toll roads, including CityLink and EastLink. Ensure you know the payment options and arrange for an electronic tag or pass if necessary.
    4. Watch for wildlife: When driving in rural areas, be cautious of wildlife crossing the roads, particularly at dawn and dusk. Kangaroos, wombats, and other animals can cause significant damage to your vehicle if a collision occurs.
    5. Familiarize yourself with local parking rules: In Melbourne, parking rules can vary depending on the area and time of day. Be sure to observe posted signs and follow any applicable restrictions to avoid fines.
    6. Carry a valid driver’s license: To rent a car in Melbourne, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. International visitors may also need an International Driving Permit (IDP) if their license needs to be in English.
    7. Avoid drinking and driving: The legal blood alcohol limit in Victoria is 0.05% for full license holders and zero for learners and probationary drivers. It’s always best to designate a sober driver or use alternate transportation if you plan to consume alcohol.

With this comprehensive guide to car hire Melbourne, you’re now well-equipped to make the most of your visit to this vibrant city and its beautiful surroundings. From choosing the best car rental service to exploring hidden gems and following essential driving tips, you’ll be ready to hit the road and create lasting memories in Melbourne and beyond.

Written by Kan Dail