Car Rental Brisbane
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Why rent a car in Brisbane?
Brisbane is a great place to explore by car. It has something for every traveler from interesting architecture to fun, interactive museums, and impressive landmarks. The city is quite spread out, so the best way to experience it all is with your own ride. From Brisbane, you can also easily access many of Australia’s most famous beaches with some of the best surfing spots on the planet.
Top ways to enter Brisbane
- Brisbane Airport: One of the largest in Australia and the busiest in Queensland, Brisbane Airport serves more than 23 million travelers every year. The airport has flights to and from more than 80 destinations in Australia, Oceania, and Asia. Divided into international and domestic terminals, Brisbane Airport is located about 17km (10 miles) northeast of Brisbane city center.
- Gold Coast Airport: Formerly known as Coolangatta Airport, Gold Coast Airport serves the famous beach destination of the same name. The airport is served by 9 different airlines that offer many domestic flights as well as connections to New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries. Gold Coast Airport is about 99km (61 miles) south of Brisbane and can be reached by car in a bit more than one hour.
- Sunshine Coast Airport: Served by four different airlines, this small and cozy airport mainly provides domestic connections, but there is also a seasonal flight to New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Sunshine Coast Airport is about 105km (65 miles) north of Brisbane.
- Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport: The only international airport in Queensland that’s not on the coast, Toowoomba Airport hosts flights to Melbourne, Sydney, and a number of smaller airports in Queensland. The airport is located 140km (87 miles) west of Brisbane and can be reached in about two hours.
Useful city facts
- Located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Brisbane has a subtropical climate. Thanks to its proximity to the equator, Brisbane is one of the most humid cities of Australia. The average temperature is 27°C (80°F) in January and February, the warmest months, and 16°C (61°F) in June and July. July is also by far the driest month, while January is the most humid one.
- Inhabited for more than 20,000 years, the Brisbane area was and still is home to the indigenous Jagera people. Before colonization in the 19th century, the settlement had a population of fewer than 10,000 people. Nowadays, Brisbane has 2.4 million inhabitants, making it the third-largest city in Australia.
Top destinations and activities
- The University of Queensland. One of the most beautiful urban areas in Australia, the sandstone buildings of the university complex are surrounded by wide boulevards and picturesque lakes. The university is not only a place of education but also has attractions like the UQ Art Museum, a number of surrounding green areas, and the nearby Eleanor Schonell bridge.
- Queensland Maritime Museum. Established in 1971, but telling the story of a much longer history, the Queensland Maritime Museum houses impressive vessels of different ages (famous examples include the 1925 steam tug Forceful and the 1945 river frigate Diamantina, both of which previously served the Royal Australian Navy). There are also exhibitions on the technology of early lighthouses and a number of unique artifacts obtained during the maritime archaeology exhibitions in the nearby Coral Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
- Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, the planetarium honors the astronomical pioneer and one of the first explorers of the Southern Skies. A Scottish officer and explorer, he also gave the name to the city itself. Nowadays the planetarium features the impressive 12.5 meter diameter Cosmic Skydome as well as a number of exhibitions on the universe. Before visiting, check the opening hours and other information on the Brisbane City Council’s official homepage.
Traffic and parking tips
- One of the largest road hazards in Australia is the wildlife. Take extra caution when driving in bad weather or after dark as this is when most of the collisions with wildlife take place.
- Mobile coverage is very rarely available outside of major highways and population centers, so take extra caution when traveling in rural areas.
- Another great risk when traveling outside of main highways is the heat. The temperatures can reach extremes very easily, especially during the summer months and in inland areas. Always stay properly hydrated and plan your route in advance to be able to supplement your water supplies.
- Laws concerning driving under the influence differ from territory to territory in Australia. In Queensland, the legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers and drivers with provisional licenses. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines and a driver license ban.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation need to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The primary, nationwide emergency number in Australia is 000.
There are a number of toll roads in Australia, mainly in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. In New South Wales, there are nine currently active toll roads, which is more than in the rest of the country combined.
Most toll roads in Australia use an open toll system with mainline barrier toll points. All toll roads in Australia use a cashless payment system. You can purchase a prepaid pass for most toll roads. Some rental cars in Australia are equipped with electronic transponders, the price of which may or may not be included in the rental price. Ask your car rental provider about it in advance.
Different toll roads are operated by different companies, so there is no nation-wide fee system in place.
For more information about the toll roads in the state of Queensland, visit the state’s toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Glass House Mountains National Park. Home to the Glass House Mountain Range, eucalyptus woodlands, and volcanic plugs, this national park is a perfect place for a day outdoors. The park is home to a number of interesting bird and animal species, such as the black cockatoo, the grey goshawk, and Freycinet’s frog. The park can be explored either on foot or by driving through in a car, but either way, make sure to buy and try the macadamia nuts, a local delicacy. Just 60km (37 miles) north of Brisbane, the Glass House Mountains can be reached in less than one hour.
- Gold Coast. The second-largest city in Queensland, the Gold Coast is known as one of the best surfing spots on the planet. There are countless long beaches that have bars and restaurants as well as equipment for water sports. If you travel up or down the coast, you can also find more remote shores just for yourself. Gold Coast is the ultimate holiday destination. About 78km (48 miles) south of Brisbane, Gold Coast can be reached in one hour by car.
- Toowoomba. Affectionately called ‘Woombie’ by locals, Australia’s second-largest inland city might not be as glamorous as some of the destinations on the coast, but a careful observer will find plenty to enjoy here. The city is rich in both Aboriginal and colonial heritage which can be observed in its architecture and museums and is also home to beautiful green areas like the Queens Park Botanical Gardens and nearby Crows Nest National Park and Glen Rock State Forest. Just 125km (77 miles) east of Brisbane and reachable in 90 minutes, Toowoomba is definitely worth the trip.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Brisbane is the Hyundai i20, although travelers also pick the Mitsubishi ASX and the Toyota Camry a lot. The most popular rental car types are compact, standard, and full-size.
- Moreton Island. A 36km (22 mile) long island in the Pacific, Moreton is a natural paradise near Brisbane. With plenty of picturesque bays, coves, and lagoons, here you can see wildlife such as humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles, dugongs, and swamp wallabies as well as doing such activities as parasailing, snorkeling, and sandboarding. Moreton can be reached from Brisbane by ferry, and it might be possible to go with a rental car, but it needs to be a 4x4 vehicle and you need to obtain a valid Moreton Island Recreation Area vehicle access permit. Ask your Brisbane car rental provider about the possibility to take your 4x4 rental to Moreton.
- Sunshine Coast. Another surfing spot, Sunshine Coast is less-discovered and therefore less crowded and more affordable than the Gold Coast. With plenty of opportunities for water sports and accommodation ranging from luxurious to cut-price, there is something for every traveler. Besides beautiful beaches, you’ll also find Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo which is home to such varied species as giraffes, cheetahs, Sumatran tigers, and many species of crocodiles and the beautiful Mapleton Falls National Park. The Sunshine Coast is about 106 km (66 mi) north of Brisbane and can be reached in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Sydney. The epic 910km (565 mile), 10-hour-long road trip south along the coast is not for everyone, but the opportunity to see Australia’s largest and most famous city should, at the very least, be tempting. It is indeed a long, though stunning, drive that needs to be planned in advance. When you’ll finally see Sydney’s landmarks like the Opera House and the Sydney Tower at the end of your trip, we promise it’ll feel like an experience of a lifetime. Needless to say, there are plenty of places of interest and accommodation opportunities along the way.
How can I save money on my rental car?
Try these tips to get a good rental car deal in Brisbane:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Brisbane is the cheapest in October when renting a car is about 64% cheaper than the yearly average and about 78% cheaper than renting a vehicle in April.
Top 10 Cities near Brisbane
Sydney Car Rentals from $18.29 per day752.2 km / 467.4 miles away
Gold Coast Car Rentals from $17.73 per day94.8 km / 58.9 miles away
Canberra Car Rentals from $55.44 per day956.2 km / 594.2 miles away
Marcoola Car Rentals from $16.34 per day86.9 km / 54.0 miles away
Rockhampton Car Rentals from $47.58 per day518.3 km / 322.1 miles away
Newcastle Car Rentals from $49.45 per day614.2 km / 381.6 miles away
Hervey Bay Car Rentals from $45.51 per day230.9 km / 143.5 miles away
Port Macquarie Car Rentals from $50.19 per day451.2 km / 280.4 miles away
Tamworth Car Rentals from $31.31 per day466.6 km / 289.9 miles away
Bundaberg Car Rentals from $21.46 per day287.1 km / 178.4 miles away
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Brisbane?
What’s the usual rental length in Brisbane?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Brisbane?
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