Renting a Car in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa

Renting a Car in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa requires a bit of thought. Of course, you want to save money, you want to visit cool places, and you want to be safe. Here’s our suggestions for renting a car in Australia, and our experience.

Where to Rent From

There are plenty of rental companies in Australia, and we’ve rented from places such as Hertz, and Thrifty. We found Thrifty to be a great rental company if you’ve got a little bit of a higher budget, they take care of their cars so they run really well and they nearly always come with an in-car SatNav. You can also use comparison sites which will help you to compare all the prices of the car rental companies, our favourite it VroomVroomVroom.┬áHere are some suggestions of some also car rental companies for those on a bit of a higher budget:

  • Hertz
  • Thrifty
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise

There are also rental companies targetted particularly at backpackers, most of these rental companies provide Campervans for rent. On our first trip to Australia last year we were trying to decide between using the Grey Hound bus company, or rent a campervan – after reading horror stories about both, we decided on a car rental instead.

We have rented several times from a rental company named Jucy, we usually rent their Styla car, which is slightly larger and more comfortable than the compact car. The reason we’ve enjoyed renting from Jucy so much is their price, they are always nearly half the price of the main car rental companies and also provide rentals to a lower age group – so if you’re over 21, you don’t have to pay the ‘young driver extra insurance’, unlike the other companies that tend to be 25. I’d definitely suggest renting a Jucy car to all backpackers, they are cheap but still comfortable enough and will get you around Australia on a good price.

Other Things to Think Of

The price of your car rental will depend on a few things, one of them being your age. If you’re under 21 you’ll find that most rental companies will definitely make you pay an extra surcharge, so budget for this.

Another big and important thing to think about is insurance. We’ve heard of lots of backpackers driving cars and campers around without paying for the extra insurance, we always advise not to do this. Driving in a new country is strange, and you’re probably going to be more dangerous than you were at home. There’s also lots of wildlife to think about – people often crash into Kangaroos jumping out into the middle of the road at night, or even in the day. If you crash the car without paying for the full insurance then you’ll be stung with a massive fine, which could well and truly ruin your Australia experience.

Depending on where you got your licence, you may be required to travel with an International Driving Licence. Tom and I are both from the UK, and both have full manual UK driving licences so we’ve not yet had to have an Internation Driving Licence to drive in Australia.