See Canberra’s best with these great car hire deals.
Hire a car in Canberra and you can nip from one side of the city to the other in just half an hour, even at rush hour.
Alternatively, take your motor into the countryside that surrounds the capital and you can explore vineyards, valleys and some of Australia’s most historic towns.
Before you go, here are a few hints that should help your road trip run like clockwork.
Top Canberra car hire deals
Road rules: What to know about driving in Canberra
As in the rest of Australia, in Canberra cars drive on the left side of the road. Thanks to the clever placement of roundabouts in the city and dual carriageways on the city outskirts, Canberra doesn’t really experience the sort of congestion other capitals do.
Prepare for roundabouts. Canberra is home to over 400 roundabouts. Each one is governed by a “halfway round” rule, which means you must enter the left lane if you are turning off before the halfway point and you have to use the right lane if you intend to turn off after the halfway point.
Beware of wildlife. Wild animals are common on the remote roads that surround Canberra. Kangaroos, wombats and possums often stray onto the roads, especially at dusk and dawn. Drive more slowly in these areas and try not to swerve if you do encounter an animal; it’s safer to brake and continue on course.
Watch out for cyclists. Canberra has a reputation for being the cycling capital of Australia, so keep an eye out for cyclists when you drive around. Most intersections have coloured bike lanes where cyclists have right of way.
Popular Canberra driving routes
Canberra to Murrumbateman. Follow the Barton Highway north of Canberra and you’ll reach Murrumbateman in just over half an hour. It’s an easy drive with high returns. The village is orbited by vineyards where you can go wine tasting or sit down to a long lunch in the countryside.
Canberra to Kangaroo Valley. It takes two and a half hours to drive north-east from Canberra to Kangaroo Valley. The region has christened itself “Australia’s most beautiful valley” and is home to rainforests, creeks, rivers and bushland. The region also hosts a regular craft beer and barbecue festival in November.
Canberra to Braidwood. Braidwood is a stopped clock of a town. The history of many of its buildings can be traced back over 100 years. Antiques shops, tea houses, old-world pubs and an old-fashioned lolly shop are also part of this place’s appeal. It takes an hour to drive here from Canberra.
Frequently asked questions about car hire
- Who offers cheap car hire from Canberra airport? Avis, Budget, East Coast Car Rentals, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty all hire out cars at Canberra airport.
- I'm on my provisional licence. Can I drive in Canberra? Most big-brand car hire companies won’t rent vehicles to drivers on provisional licenses. Redspot and East Coast Car Rentals are the exceptions in Canberra.
- How does car insurance work? All hire cars come with a standard level of insurance in Canberra. Check your policy to see how much the excess is set at though. It can be really high and you might want to take out additional cover to lower the price. You can compare rental excess insurance here.