Car Hire in SydneyWhere to pick up
Car rental locations in Sydney
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Car rental in Sydney
Don’t make the mistake of only visiting the incredible city of Sydney during your trip to New South Wales, but plan to rent a car in Sydney in order to independently and comfortably explore the city’s unique surroundings. While Sydney is considered by many to be Oceania’s prime metropolis, the city is also located in the center of some of southern Australia’s most spectacular natural sights as well. Australia is, after all, one of the best nations to explore by rental car! Here is a guide to driving in New South Wales and to finding the cheapest car rental in Sydney, Australia.
- After you pick up your rental car in Sydney, remember that traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road.
Driver’s License Requirements for Car Hire in Sydney
All drivers with a valid driver’s license are permitted to drive in Australia for up to three months. However, if your driver’s license has been issued in a language other than English, you are also required to carry an international driver’s permit with you. Be sure to register for an international driver’s permit before you depart from your country of residence.
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Rental cars in Sydney are available in over 25 locations throughout the city, including the Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD), downtown, and in the Mascot suburb. Car hire in Sydney starts as low as €15 a day!
Tips for Cheap Car Hire in Sydney
By far the cheapest location in which to book your rental car in Sydney is the Sydney International Airport, where companies like Carhood Car Rental keep prices under €20 a day year-round—depending on availability! If you are planning on visiting Sydney during the popular spring and summer months (typically October through February), be sure to book your rental car well in advance in order to get the best prices. The price of car hire at the Sydney Airport often rises to around €30 a day in January, even if you book your car around five months in advance.
If it is inconvenient for you to pick up your Sydney rental car at the airport, you can also often find good car hire prices in downtown Sydney and in Mascot.
Keep an eye out for discounts of around 20% that drive the price of car hire in Sydney even lower!
Key Things to Remember: Car Hire in Sydney, Australia
Speed limits in Sydney:
- While the typical speed limit for built-up areas in New South Wales is 50 km/h, the speed limit in Sydney’s city center is 40 km/h. The number of streets with a speed limit of 40 km/h expanded in 2016, so even if you are accustomed to driving in Sydney, keep an eye out for revised speed limits throughout the city.
- Rural roads, motorways, and freeways typically have a speed limit of 100 to 110 km/h throughout the rest of New South Wales.
Rush hour in Sydney:
- A rental car can be a burden in central Sydney, so it is recommended that you primarily hire your car on the days on which you drive outside of the city—or if you are staying outside of the city and commuting in. If this is the case, try to avoid morning and evening rush hours, which typically last from 6:30AM-9:30AM and 4:30PM-6:30PM respectively.
Parking in Sydney:
- Parking in car parks in downtown Sydney can be wildly expensive if you don’t plan ahead. You can often save around $70 by booking a parking spot online before you arrive or by taking advantage of early-bird specials. Still, even when you plan ahead and take advantage of special deals, expect to pay around $20 a day to park in central Sydney.
- Street parking is metered until 10 pm seven days a week in Sydney city center. You can expect to pay between $1 and $4 an hour.
Toll roads, bridges, and tunnels in Sydney:
Numerous roads and tunnels are tolled throughout the city and are demarcated with a sign announcing “Toll.” The roads that are tolled in Sydney include the:
- Falcon Street entry to the M1 north
The tolled bridges and tunnels in Sydney include the:
- Harbour Bridge
- Harbour Tunnel southbound
- Eastern Distributor northbound
- Lane Cove Tunnel
- Cross City Tunnel
Especially if you are driving through Sydney outside of morning and evening peak travel hours, you may find that tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels do not actually save you any time in getting to your destination. Especially as some tolls can cost as much as $8, it is worth your time to compare tolled and un-tolled routes to your desired destination!