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Why rent a car in Melbourne?
It is a great idea to explore Melbourne by car as you’ll be able to first explore this unique city and then set out on a longer adventure along the state of Victoria.
Top ways to enter Melbourne
- Melbourne Airport: Large, modern, and busy, the airport serves more than 35 million passengers annually.
- Canberra Airport: Although the capital city is 470 km (290 mi) away from Melbourne, it is still home to the nearest international airport. The drive between the two cities can be done in less than seven hours.
- By public transportation: If you’re not arriving in Melbourne by plane, you can also conveniently pick up a rental car at Melbourne Downtown.
Useful city facts
- Melbourne has often been named the world’s most livable cities by many different ratings, and is almost always included in the TOP 10.
- Melbourne has a temperate oceanic climate. The summers, which in Southern hemisphere typically last from December to February, are very hot, with temperature often exceeding 30 °C (86 °F). The winters are mild and more wet.
Top destinations and activities
- Royal Botanic Gardens. Covering a vast area in Melbourne and its suburbs, the botanical gardens are home to more than 8,500 unique species of plants, as well as different birds and animals, some of which you might be lucky enough to spot on a relaxing day out there.
- Fitzroy. Fun, quirky, and always in fashion, Fitzroy is probably the hippest place you’ll find for thousands of kilometers if every direction. It is as easy to make new friends here as to get lost in the cozy bookshops, art galleries, and small concert venues.
- Melbourne Zoo. Australia’s oldest zoo is a large and modern nature area where about 320 species of animals live. You can observe most of the domestic marsupial and other animal species here, as well as to visit the Orangutan Sanctuary, look at penguins in the Wild Sea exhibit, and see the pride of the zoo, the Trail of the Elephants.
Traffic and parking tips
- One of the largest road hazards in Australia are 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 nature 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 set out your route in advance to be able to supplement your water supplies.
- Driving under the influence laws differ from territory to territory in Australia. In Victoria, the legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers and drivers with provisional licences. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines and a driver licence ban.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The primary, nationwide emergency number in Australia is 000. Victoria state emergency number is 131 444.
There are a number of toll roads in Australia, mainly in the states of Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. In Victoria, there are two active toll roads, Linkt (formerly known as CityLink) and EastLink.
Most toll roads in Australia use an “open roll system” with mainline barrier toll points. All toll roads in Australia use cashless payment system. You can purchase a prepaid pass for most toll roads. Some rental cars in Australia are equipped with an electronic toll responder the price of which is usually 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 Victoria, visit the website of the Royal Automobile Association (RAA) of South Australia.
Ideas for a day-trip
- The Great Ocean Road. More of a route for a road trip than a single destination, driving the Great Ocean Road is one of the best ways to experience the scenic beauty of Victoria state. See the coastal cliffs near the Apollo Bay, watch koalas in the surrounding eucalypt forests, and stop at stunning beaches along the way - the Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage for a reason.
- Phillip Island. Less than three hours drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island and the nature park of the same name is known for its famous inhabitants - penguins and seals (statistically, there are more of the latter on the island than there area humans). The opportunities to observe both species are plenty.
- Yarra Valley. Having won as many awards as their counterparts in Bordeaux and Burgundy, Yarra Valley is Australia’s number one wine destination. The wines are best sampled together with some delicious local food in one of the many area’s restaurants. If you can, set aside not one, but at least a couple of days for a full experience so that you and your travel buddy (or buddies) can take turns in enjoying the wines.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Australia is the Hyundai i20, although travelers also love the Toyota Corolla and the Kia Rio. The most popular rental car types are economy, standard, and compact.
- Alpine National Park. Located in the Central Highlands of Victoria, this national park is a great place to explore for its beautiful wooded areas, long hiking trails, and accessible summits. Rest in the shade of the beautiful snow gum tree, then travel further to nearby Kosciuszko National Park in neighboring New South Wales.
- Sydney. About nine hours drive northeast, Sydney is one of the most famous world cities for a good reason. Travel there for its famous harbour, unique architecture, and many nature areas nearby.
- Tasmania. There are a bunch of cozy towns and villages on the island of Tasmania, but the number one attraction is its unique, untamed wilderness. If you want to travel from Melbourne to Tasmania with a rental car, you’ll have to take a ferry, so it’s good to first ask your car rental provider if they permit it.
How can I save money on my rental car?
Follow these tips to get the best rental car deal in Melbourne:
- Compare 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 on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Melbourne is the cheapest in October when renting a car is more than 70% cheaper than the yearly average.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Melbourne?
What’s the usual rental length in Melbourne?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Melbourne?
Top 9 Cities near Melbourne
Top 20 Locations near Melbourne
Top 4 Best Melbourne Suppliers in 2019
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