Renting A Car In Brisbane: All You Need To Know

Brisbane, Australia is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty to see and do. From the lush greenery of the botanic gardens to the bustling nightlife of Fortitude Valley, there’s something for everyone here. With so much to explore, renting a car in Brisbane is the perfect solution!

Not only does it give you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, but it also means you can take in all of the city’s sights and sounds at your own pace.

In this travel guide, we’ll show you how to rent a car in Brisbane, step-by-step.

We’ll cover everything from getting the best deal on the right vehicle to some great road trips, so you can make the most of your time in this incredible city.

Do you need for renting a car in Brisbane?

While it’s definitely possible to get around using public transportation or even on foot, having your own car can make your trip much more convenient and enjoyable.

Brisbane is a sprawling city with many different neighborhoods and attractions to explore – having a car will help you get to them all without the hassle of public transit.

Also, renting a car gives you the flexibility to take day trips to nearby destinations, like the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast or the lush rainforests of the Sunshine Coast.

Plus, if you’re traveling with a group, renting a car can be a cheaper way to get around.

If you’re looking to see all that Brisbane and its surrounding areas have to offer, renting a car is definitely worth a thought.

Here are some other reasons:

  • It’s super handy if you’re traveling with a group or carrying a lot of luggage.
  • Taxis and public transportation fares are expensive in Australia, so renting a car could save you money.
  • You’ll have the freedom to come and go as you please, without having to worry about bus or train schedules.

We recently took a car trip from Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain, and it was absolutely breathtaking. The drive was smooth and easy, and we were able to take in the gorgeous scenery along the way. Once we arrived there, we were blown away by the stunning views and lush rainforest. We spent the day exploring the walking trails and even visited a local winery.

Travel guide to Tamborine mountain in Australia.
Tamborine Mountain views!

This travel experience wouldn’t have been possible without a good-value rental car. That’s where Discover Cars comes in handy – it lets you compare all the available rental options to find the lowest price. With their help, I was able to find the perfect car, making my trip all the more enjoyable.

What requirements are there to rent a car in Brisbane?

To rent a car in Brisbane, you must have a valid driver’s license from your home country. It should be at-least a year old.

If your driver’s license is not in English, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). You should get one from your home country before you set off – luckily, they’re usually quick and cheap to get.

When booking your rental car, you can pay for it using the most common payment methods like credit card or debit card. If you use Discover Cars, you can even use PayPal.

Be careful, you’ll need a credit card (not debit) to pay the car’s deposit when you arrive. This credit card needs to be under the same name as your passport. The rental company will place a hold on your deposit money, which will be released when you return the car.

Take note, most rental car companies in Australia require you to be at least 21 years old to rent a car. Some companies may have even more requirements for larger vehicles.

Travel guide to Brisbane, Australia.

Australia Car Rental Checklist

Here’s a checklist for renting a car in Australia:

  • A driving license from your home country – at least a year old.
  • Over 21 years old.
  • Possibly an International Driving Permit (IDP) – if your license is not in English
  • Your ID (passport).
  • Credit card, debit card, or PayPal for payment when booking the car online.
  • A credit card in your name (not a debit card) for paying the deposit on arrival.
  • Extra insurance if you prefer.

Tip: Paying for extra insurance when renting a car can give you peace of mind on the road. It can cover damage or theft of the car.

What are some road trips from Brisbane?

Brisbane is a great starting point for many road trips into the astounding Australian countryside. Here are some of my favorite Brisbane road trips.

Lamington and Springbrook National Parks

For a scenic drive, this is a great option. Journey through lush rainforests and hike to stunning waterfalls with incredible mountain views. (2-3 hours each way).

Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island

Ferry over to either of these beautiful islands for a day of pristine beaches and wildlife. Both offer pristine beaches, fantastic snorkeling, and an abundance of wildlife. (2-3 hours each way including car ferry).

Mt Barney National Park and Scenic Rim

Drive through the beautiful scenery of the Scenic Rim region and hike to the top of Mt Barney for stunning views. (2-3 hours each way).

Sunshine Coast

Head north along the coast for a day trip of sun, sand, and surf. You’ll find fantastic beaches, great restaurants, and a relaxed atmosphere. (2-3 hours each way).

Toowoomba and Darling Downs

Visit the beautiful gardens, museums, and cultural landmarks of this charming country town. (1.5 hours each way).

How much does it cost to rent a car in Brisbane?

You should expect to pay about $10-20 per day to rent a standard car. If you’re looking for a larger vehicle, or something fancier, you’ll need to pay more.

Thankfully, many car hire companies in Brisbane offer discounts for booking earlier or longer rental periods, so always compare prices to get the best deal – A great tool to use is Discover Cars.

If you’re visiting during the tourist season of September to November or March to May, it’s especially important to book ahead so you’ll get the best deal.

Tip:  Extending the car rental for a few extra days means you’ll get a lower daily rate. Choosing a five-day rental instead of just two or three days may only cost only a little more.

Where should I rent a car in Brisbane?

You can pick up your car rental from these places in Brisbane:

  • Brisbane Airport: Many car rental companies have a counter at the main airport.
  • CBD: Some companies have car rental depots in the city center.
  • Fortitude Valley: A popular location for pick up, located just a few kilometers from the city center.
  • South Brisbane: Another popular pickup spot near the city center.

When choosing to rent a car in Brisbane, it’s always a good idea to book through a car rental comparison site like Discover Cars.

You can easily compare all the different car rental deals – and your car will be waiting at your preferred pick-up spot when you arrive!

Useful tips for renting a car in Brisbane, Australia.
Renting a car in Brisbane is the best way to explore the city and its surroundings.

What type of car is best to use in Brisbane?

If you plan to explore the city and its surroundings, a small or mid-size car could be the best option. These cars are easy to maneuver in the city and can be more fuel-efficient than larger vehicles – they’re also cheaper!

If you plan to explore the surrounding national parks or go on longer road trips, a larger vehicle like an SUV with 4WD might be a better choice. You’ll have more space for passengers and luggage, plus you’ll be better equipped for off-road adventures.

You should also think about the weather conditions and the terrain you’ll be driving on. If you’re visiting during the wet season between November and April, or plan to drive on unpaved roads, a vehicle with four-wheel drive may be necessary.

Tip: Most rental cars in Australia use automatic transmissions. Be sure to book ahead if you want a manual.  

Is driving in Brisbane difficult?

Driving in Brisbane is not too much of a challenge, though of course, the center gets quite congested during peak times – typically from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

The great news is there’s lots of parking – and you can get early-bird deals if you arrive before 9 a.m.

Another thing to note is in the Brisbane Central Business District (CBD), the roads become clearways at 4 p.m. This means that cars parked on either side of the road will be towed, and it’s a pain to get your car back. You should just play it safe and stick to larger car parks in this area. 

In the areas surrounding the city, then generally a car will be as quick as any other way of getting around, except at the height of rush hour. A good tip is to use a navigation app – a good one will reroute you around high-traffic areas.

Keep a lookout for toll roads in and around Brisbane, such as the Gateway Bridge crossing the river near the airport, the Clem-7 tunnel, and the Go-Between Bridge. You can’t pay with cash, so you should pay afterward on the Queensland Toll Road Website.

Is it a good idea to rent an electric car in Brisbane?

In recent years, Brisbane has been trying to become a more environmentally friendly city. So if you’re trying to be greener, an electric car could be a good choice as rental companies now offer a great range of electric cars. 

The city has a good charging infrastructure, so it’ll be easy to find charging stations in Brisbane. As a bonus, you’ll get to enjoy having a super quiet and efficient car while reducing your carbon footprint.

On the other hand, for longer road trips you might feel restricted by the limited driving range of an electric car.

You’ll need to check ahead for charging stations along your route. If you plan to really cover some distance, make sure to get an electric car with a long range.

Tip: Most rental companies have a limited supply of electric cars – so always book ahead so you won’t be disappointed. 

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