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Explore Melbourne with car hire from DriveNow

Melbourne can best be described as an urban playground. You never know what each laneway will hold, whether it be a quaint, cultured wine bar or an abandoned garage that’s been transformed into the newest, hippest hangout spot. The capital of Victoria is second only to Sydney when it comes to Australian city population and, even though often referred to as the New South Wales giant’s little brother, rivals its northern neighbour in terms of sheer amount of places to go and things to do and see. However, to simply paint Melbourne as a collection of trendy hotspots would be to insult the other fantastic aspects of this incredible city. In addition to the never-ending range of places to eat, drink, listen to music, and buy one-of-a-kind goods, you’ll also find solid institutions and pathways to adventure outside the CBD. The opportunity to travel a short distance to check out these attractions, as well as the city’s wonderful grid street system, makes car hire in Melbourne all the more useful for your trip.

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Compare Car Hire in Melbourne

Whatever your rental needs, DriveNow has the solution. Since 2003 we have been comparing the cost of car rental in Melbourne to help travellers find the best available deal. DriveNow’s online comparison service takes the stress and hassle out of securing cheap Melbourne car hire, all at no additional cost to you.

We have forged partnerships with all of Australia’s most recognised and trusted car rental brands, including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty, and many more to allow you to compare and select from the widest choice of rental providers.

Our comparison engine automatically searches for the latest deals on car hire in Melbourne to give you the best price on a huge range of vehicles, including sports cars, small to medium sized vehicles, SUV and 4WDs, and small cars that are budget friendly and fuel efficient.

We're serious about providing the cheapest available prices on rental cars in Melbourne. So much so that our rates are backed by our price-match guarantee. We don't believe in charging booking or administration fees, and in the event your travel plans change there are no cancellation penalties. We don't hide charges either – what you see on the screen is what you pay. The only added costs are any optional extras you elect to take out directly with the Melbourne car hire company and any young driver fees that may apply. What’s more, unless otherwise indicated, there’s no deposit and no credit card details required – simply pay on collection of your Melbourne hire car.

Low season rates with pickup in Melbourne's CBD start from just $30 a day making the car rental option a great way to see and explore Victoria.

With access to so many suppliers and Melbourne car hire depots, you have the added flexibility of being able to rent a car in Melbourne’s CBD, or pick-up your car hire at Melbourne Airport or from the car rental counters at Avalon Airport. With convenient, cheap car rental at Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine) or Avalon, you can start your trip on the right foot as soon as you land. Simply load your bags in the boot and you’re ready to explore the wonders of the city.

Why Use DriveNow for Hire Cars in Melbourne?

  • We partner with brands you know and trust
  • Free booking service with no fees or charges
  • Local 100% Australian owned and operated
  • We firmly believe in employing Australians and do not offshore our reservations team or any of our services. Our Melbourne based support team can be reached via phone, online chat, or email.
  • Impartial and instant rate comparison allows you to easily see how each rental company stacks up
  • In most instances, pay when you collect the vehicle, not when you book
  • Drive-away rates include all taxes and levies (excludes young driver surcharge)
  • We’ve been comparing pricing on Melbourne Airport car hire since 2003

Frequently asked Questions when hiring a car in Melbourne

How old do I need to be to rent a car in Melbourne?

The generally accepted minimum age for car rental in Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia is over 25. However, there are rental companies that will allow licensed drivers to hire at 21. Those that do will often have a surcharge fee for drivers in the 21-25 bracket and may restrict vehicle choice. These are not hard and fast rules, contact the DriveNow Reservations team who can advise the best way forward depending upon your pickup location, rental provider and age.

Where are the most popular pick-up locations for car rentals in Melbourne?

Away from the airport the most popular car rental collection points are in central Melbourne. Avis, Budget, Europcar, Firefly and Hertz have locations in Franklin Street whilst at Southern Cross Railway station in Spencer Street you will find Dollar and Thrifty along with Avis, Budget and Europcar. Enterprise are located in the heart of Melbourne at 34-60 Little Collins Street.

Are there ways to reduce my liability on car hire insurance?

All rental cars are supplied fully insured, however the hirer, you, will be liable for an initial amount in the event of an accident or damage. This excess amount varies between suppliers but can be upwards of $4000. You can reduce your liability to a few hundred dollars or less by directly paying the rental company a daily fee, which generally adds around $30 per day to your rental costs.

Many travel insurance policies will include car excess reduction options, alternatively DriveNow offers pre-purchased rental vehicle insurance through our partner Hiccup Insurance who specialise in car rental insurance and whose rates are often cheaper than those offered by the rental companies. Learn more about Australian car rental insurance options. Whichever option you elect to take remember that in the event of an accident secure copies of all documentation, police reports and if possible take photos.

Can I book a child seat with my rental car?

Rental companies offer both child and booster seats. You can hire infant and child seats when making your car booking. Use the comments section to provide any further details. Each rental provider has its own charges and conditions on seat hire, and fees can vary depending if you’re hiring from Melbourne Airport, Avalon Airport or another Melbourne location.

Do I have to return my hire car to the same branch?

No. One way rentals are a common occurrence. In some locations there may be an one way fee, this is more common when picking up or dropping off at remote rental branches in country Victoria or travelling interstate. Speak to the DriveNow reservations team about your particular needs.

Do rental cars come with GPS?

No, not as standard yet. When booking you can opt to also hire a GPS unit that can help you keep your trip on track.
Exploring areas in which you’re not familiar is one of the fun things you can do on your trip. On the other hand, getting lost in remote areas is not. A GPS unit might be the tool you need to enjoy the former and avoid the latter!

How do I pay road tolls when driving a rental car around Melbourne?

Most rental companies facilitate automatic charging of road tolls to the credit card used when paying for your vehicle. These charges may appear after your rental period has completed. Check with your supplier when picking up your vehicle.

Melbourne offers an extensive toll road system, including part of the Tullamarine Freeway which leads in to the city from Melbourne Airport, the Bolte Bridge, the Monash Freeway covering the Domain and Burnely tunnels and EastLink between Springvale Road (Nunawading) and Frankston Freeway (Seaford).

What are the speed limits in Melbourne?

Freeways are limited to 100km/h with some exceptions. Residential streets are 50km/h and in many shopping strips this is further reduced to 40km/h. Dual carriageways operate at 70-80km/h.

Are there speed cameras in Melbourne and Victoria?

Yes. Victoria operates an extensive network of fixed and mobile speed cameras. Often the fixed cameras will be located out of sight behind road signs or bridges. Drivers of rental cars in Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia are liable for any speeding fine incurred and rental companies will often charge an administration fee in handling the associated paperwork.

What should I do if I pass a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights?

In Victoria all drivers and riders must slow to 40 km/h when passing stationary enforcement or emergency vehicles with flashing lights

What is a hook turn in central Melbourne?

A hook turn is a right hand turn you make from the left hand lane, something unique to Melbourne.

In central Melbourne in order to maintain tram traffic flow turning right at several major intersections is completed from the left hand lane using the following steps.

  • Approach and enter the intersection from the far left hand lane with your right indicator on
  • Move forward to the other side of the intersection, keeping as near as possible to the left of the intersection and clear of any pedestrian crossings
  • Remain stationary until the traffic lights on the road you are turning into have turned green and then turn right into that road

Can I take my rental car to the Ski Fields in Victoria?

No. Not unless you have purchased a specific snow package from the car hire company. Driving a rental car above the snow line in Victoria or NSW without a snow package voids your insurance cover and you are liable for all and any damage to a vehicle. The Snow package includes things such as Snow Chains which are mandated in Australia above the snow line.

How many Drivers can I nominate for my rental?

Some rental companies will allow you to nominate a second (and more) driver for free whilst others charge a small daily fee per additional driver. All must have full and valid licenses covering the vehicle being hired.

Is it more expensive to hire a car with manual or automatic transmission?

Unlike some countries, the cost to rent a car in Australia with automatic transmission is generally the same if not cheaper than a manual. The majority of rental cars in Melbourne are automatic.

What should I do before driving away from the rental branch?

  • Give the vehicle a check: Checking the vehicle you’re going to rent for damage is standard practice, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Make sure you look for any damage on your hire car and have the branch take note of dings and dents you identify (they normally have a form and vehicle diagram to mark this on). Take photos of any blemishes with your smartphone.
  • Learn about the fuel policy: Some rental suppliers will charge an arm and a leg to refill their vehicles if returned without a full tank of fuel. Avoid such stinging fees by making sure you fill up before your return. Learn about flat fuel charge options if you don’t want to mess with refilling yourself, or ask at the branch where the closest fuel station is located.

Some of the Best Road Trips from Melbourne

With car rental in Melbourne, you can set course for just about anywhere you and your fellow travellers’ heart’s desire. Looking for a bit of inspiration? Here are just a handful of the rad road trips on which you can embark with your Melbourne hire car.

The Yarra Valley


Food, fun, and fantastic wine make the Yarra Valley a must for any vino drinker visiting Melbourne

Much like Perth in the west, Melbourne can be a splendid springboard for a wonderful wine adventure. Located about 65km (40 miles) east and slightly north of the CBD, the Yarra Valley is home to some of the country’s most sophisticated blends. In just over an hour you will feel like you’ve been transported to an entirely different part of the world, complete with an exceptional collection of food and wine at your fingertips.

There are 80-plus cellar doors in which you can while away the time with wine, and while trying every single one seems like a valid life goal, you’d be better off narrowing your efforts a bit. Grab a bite to eat, sample the goods, and drink in the views at a handful of the amazing spots.

The short drive and Melbourne car hire mean you can make your way back to your Melbourne accommodation the same day if you want, though there are plenty of great places to stay in the Yarra if you prefer!

Frankston

A lot of people don’t associate sandy fun in the sun with Melbourne, but that’s a mistake. About 51km (32 miles) south of the Melbourne CBD and 26km (16 miles) from Dandenong, around the east side of Port Phillip Bay, is the suburb of Frankston and the great Frankston Beach. Just as enjoyable as the destination is the trip there. DriveNow’s cheap car hire in Melbourne gives you the tools to cruise along the scenic Beach Road, which hugs the aforementioned bay. This isn’t the fastest route to Frankston, but it is certainly an enjoyable one.

The Great Ocean Road

Witness the rugged splendour of the famous 12 Apostles

What many consider the quintessential Australian road trip, the glorious Great Ocean Road is so beautiful that we don’t blame you for hopping out of your car rental or campervan hire every few minutes to snap some sweet pics. While the highlight is the famous 12 Apostles, there is plenty more than these impressive formations to merit a ride on this great route. You can check out picturesque waterfalls and rain forests or stop and play on the beach at a variety of points along the way.

To get to the beginning of the road in Torquay, you’ll follow the west side of Port Phillip Bay for about 90 minutes, passing Geelong on the way. Then it’s up to you to decide how much of the GOR you want to cover. Plot out some landmarks to hit or go for it all and tackle the entire 400km (249 miles). With so many fantastic beachside towns in which to crash, you can take as much or as little of your Melbourne holiday as you’d like on this iconic route.

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