• Approx 24 hours
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Thanks to its many long roads and scenic views, Australia is a great destination for a road trip. Similar to America but with less petrol stations and food joints - make sure you stock up before leaving on your car journey. You can hire cars from all major Australian airports.

Get behind the wheel

It's a big country, covering 5% of the world's surface, so there are some long drives in-between cities. If you're heading to the outback, make sure you have a map, it's also a good idea to let your rental company know you're heading there as a few areas are not covered by insurance. If you decide to head across Aboriginal land, you will need permission and be sure to close any gates that you open along the way. If there's a whole gang of you, why not rent a camper-van and an experience a true group road trip.

Cars are also useful if you're moving about a lot in Australia's the huge cities like Sydney, saving you time on waiting for public transport and letting you dictate your own pace.

Popular drives in Australia

Stuart Highway - Positioned right down the middle of Australia from Darwin through to Alice Springs. There also happens to be no speed limit, although we advise you not to get too carried away.

West Coast - Whilst driving down the west coast, you'll get the opportunity to stop off and see some of Australia's most exciting cities such as Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Great Ocean Road - If you're into exploring, then take the Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide, where you'll see one of the most spectacular sections of the Australian coast.

Highway 1 - The longest highway in the world which is over 250,000 km long. If you've got the time, this is the road trip to take. It takes you right around the rim of Australia, don't underestimate it though, it'll take you nine months to do it properly. Only for the hard-core road trippers with time on their hands.

General Advice on Hiring a Car

When you purchase car hire you are entering into a contract with your car hire company. Always check their terms and conditions before you buy to make sure you're aware of your responsibilities when you collect your car in Australia, and any additional charges.

Here's a few things to watch out for:

  • Almost all car hire companies add a mandatory fee for drivers under the age of 25.
  • Check what level of insurance is included for the hire car in Australia. In particular check how much the excess is (the amount you need to pay in the event of any accident) you may want to take out additional insurance.
  • Check what the fuel policy is with your car. Don't forget to fill up the tank before you drop it off if you've agreed to return it full!
  • Find out if there's a maximum daily mileage - especially if you're planning to do a lot of driving in Australia!
  • You'll need to pay a deposit (or pre-approve one) to pick up the car. Most car rental companies will only accept credit cards for this.

  • If you'd like more advice on common charges (and what you can do to avoid them) read our complete guide to car hire.