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How to Find a Great Deal on Car Rentals in Australia

5 minute read

By John Warbuck

Whether you’re renting a car out of necessity or because you’re planning an amazing vacation, finding the best deal isn’t always easy. It’s important to determine what’s most important to you when you’re looking for a rental car before you begin comparing prices.

This guide reviews some ways you can save money on your next rental and the top-rated car rental companies in Australia you can rent from.

Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock

Economy Cars Cost Less

While luxury cars certainly add convenience features and comfort to your travels, they come at an additional premium. If you’re able to sacrifice some of the bells and whistles, you can get a much better deal. Another upside to choosing an economy car is that they’re much more fuel-efficient.

If you’re traveling with a family, you certainly want to rent a vehicle with plenty of space but choosing a crossover vehicle instead of a large SUV may save you money.

Compare Prices Online

Many travel sites offer exclusive deals on rental vehicles if you book a flight, hotel and rental into a single package. One way to make sure you’re actually getting a deal on your bundle though is to visit the rental company’s website to check the rental rates you can get when you don’t bundle. Rates change often and there may be special deals available that make it better to avoid bundling your travel services under some circumstances, so do your homework.

Return the Car Fueled-Up

One of the ways rental companies make a lot of money is by charging a premium to refill the tank. You’re not required to return the car with a full tank of petrol, but if you don’t fill it to the same level it was when you received it, you’ll be charged when the rental company refills it. Rental companies charge more for fuel than you’d pay for it if you took the time to do it yourself.

Top-Rated Car Rental Companies in Australia

While the largest car rental agencies have reputations for being dependable and competitively priced, it’s still possible to get a great deal from rental companies that don’t have a global presence beyond Australia. This list reviews all the best rental car companies serving Australia, from the global powerhouses to Australia’s regional car rental companies.

If you’re planning a trip and want to begin comparing car rental prices, these companies are an excellent place to start.

Alamo Rent a Car

Alamo is best known for its international business and it serves cities and airports across the entire world. It’s one of the largest rental companies serving travelers that visit Australia from around the world. If you have a large group, Alamo may be able to get you a great deal on a van or full-size SUV. Alamo’s vehicles are very clean and its customer service is excellent, from the checkout counter to dropping the vehicle off.1


Enterprise made a big splash when it teamed up with Redspot to launch its foray into Australia. As one of the largest rental companies in the world, Enterprise has a ton of experiences and resources that allow it to offer a superior consumer experience. With a fleet of over 1.5 million vehicles across the globe, you can be assured that Enterprise has the type of vehicle you’re looking to rent and that its rates will be competitive.2

East Coast Car Rentals

East Coast Car Rentals is one of the oldest automotive rental companies in Australia. It’s easy to locate an office, as they’re in every major city and airport in Australia. The company’s primary business strategy is to offer high-quality, newer vehicles with low mileage so that customers have an excellent rental experience. Cost is just as important as quality, which is why East Coast Car Rentals offers competitive rental rates that compare well with East Coast’s competitors.3

Budget Car Rental

Budget is one of the most known rental car companies on the globe. Budget operates out of most airports in the world and has offices throughout Australia, making it easy to find a location that’s within reach. Budget is also always adding new vehicles to its fleet, so you’re able to choose from an extensive selection of vehicles, whether you’re looking for an economy car with good gas mileage or something with more luxury features.4


Hertz is another global leader in the rental business, but it focuses on delivering extras that can make a world of difference. Hertz offers the latest selection of premium vehicles with luxury features and adds its own proprietary satellite navigation technology, in-car Wi-Fi and emergency roadside assistance. With counters in all major cities and airports in Australia, it’s also very easy to find a Hertz office that’s close to where you’re at or where you’re headed.5

Avis Rent a Car

Avis is a global juggernaut in the car rental business, with counters in every major airport and travel destination on Earth. In Australia, Avis has developed a reputation for attentive service, fair prices and offering clean cars. Customers are able to pick their cars up with very little wait time and can simply return them to the lot and go. This makes it especially easy if you need to return your vehicle before the office opens in the morning.6


Europcar is one of the most reputable car rental companies in Europe, but it also has a large presence in Australia. Its rates are extremely competitive and often lower than the major rental companies, which makes it easy to find a good deal if you’re willing to go without some of the upgraded frills you’d find with its larger competitors. Europcar is renowned for the cleanliness of its vehicles and the easy pickup and drop-off process.7

Firefly Car Rental

Firefly is owned by Hertz Rental Car and is its budget brand in Australia. The company’s focus is on providing quick, dependable service at a fair price point. Firefly’s access to Hertz’s resources allows the company to offer a wide range of vehicle types and the company employs the same type of check-in and drop-off process as its parent company. Most Australians use Firefly specifically due to its competitive pricing model that can save you a lot of money.8


Thrifty is another car rental company with locations in all major cities and airports, but it also has very few limitations on where you can go with the vehicles you rent from them. If you need to pick the vehicle up in one location and drop it off somewhere else, there’s no hassle for doing so. While Thrifty isn’t as well-known on the global stage, it’s one of the most trusted rental car agencies in Australia.9


National is renowned for its large fleet of buses and vans that serve airports at international airports throughout the world. It also serves vacationers in need of a rental car for their vacations. Where the company receives its highest marks is the condition of the vehicles it rents. You can expect to receive a vehicle that’s impeccably clean and well-maintained. National also has a quick pick-up process and returning the vehicle is as easy as parking it on the lot and going on with your day.10

John Warbuck


John Warbuck is a seasoned freelancer and ghostwriter who has covered a variety of topics throughout the years. When he is not at his keyboard, he can be found at the gym, mastering new recipes or teaching his Australian Shepherd math problems.


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