Use our price comparison tool above to search over 900 companies across 53,000 locations worldwide for the best-priced car rental for you dates and destination. Searches are displayed by price so it's super easy to pinpoint the cheapest option and companies and each of their cars are reviewed and rated by customers for transparency and peace of mind.
How much does it cost to hire a car?
Car hire costs depend on the type of car, pick-up and drop-off locations, length of hire and your age.
The most economic rides are generally the cheapest and often the longer your hire, the cheaper the cost per day. Those who are under 25 will typically have a "youth fee" attached to their hire due to heightened risk of accident and damage. Most car hire sites allow you to filter your search by cost so you can find the cheapest cost for your hire needs.
Do car hire companies price match?
Yes! Many car hire companies and car hire booking sites such as Rentalcars.com and DriveNow feature price match or best price guarantees. If you find a comparable deal you can call them up to match or even better the price.
Can I hire a car without a credit card?
Not really. While car hire companies accept numerous forms of payment, including credit cards, debit cards, cash and traveller's cheques, it's pretty rare that you'll be able to hire a car without supplying a credit card. This is required to cover incidentals such as tolls, excess kilometres, cleaning bills or damages that are found after you've dropped the car off. Credit cards can be ordered online here quickly and easily and many come with no annual fee.
What driving licence requirements are there?
Licence requirements differ depending on where you are driving. Locally, you can use your Australian licence to hire cars anywhere in Australia and New Zealand.
Internationally, you may be required to obtain an international driving permit (IDP), which is a translated version of your licence to help you communicate with local authorities should you need to present proof of your eligibility to be on the road. Provisional licence plate holders can hire cars in most countries, though you may be hit with a surcharge if you're under 25 years old. If in doubt, check with your car hire company before booking.
The eligible age to hire a car differs by location. In the US you can rent a car at 18 while in Australia rental age starts from 20.
Generally most locations will hire to drivers aged 21+ however there is often a youth surcharge attached to drivers aged 21–24.
Is there a car hire age surcharge if you're under 25 years of age?
Rental car agencies can charge additional fees daily for drivers under 25. The amount of the surcharge varies with each company and for different age ranges. In Australia, larger companies will only allow under 21s to hire a car if they hold a full driver's licence.
To give you an idea of costs, we've outlined some of the more popular companies and their youth surcharges in the table below. If your company isn't included, consult its individual terms and conditions to determine what the charge will be.
Youth surcharges by age range
We've based these surcharges on the cheapest hires from Sydney Airport. Fees may change depending on the car hired and the hire location.
18–20 years old
$15/day (driver must be 20 or over)
21–24 years old
How do I decide on which car model to hire?
If you are attempting to save money with a rental car, the model type you choose should be suited perfectly for your needs.
Generally the larger the car, the more expensive it will be, so if you are travelling as a pair there is no need for a larger vehicle. Larger cars are most economic when you're at or near the maximum capacity of passengers.
Also, take into account the amount of room you need for your luggage, the amount of petrol it consumes and the expected distances you plan to travel by car.
For a general idea, this is what you can expect to get from economy rentals, SUVs, larger cars and luxury vehicles:
One-way rentals allow you to pick up your vehicle from one location and drop it off at another. Most car hire companies offer this service. You can search for one-way hires with our comparison tool by toggling between "pick up" and "drop off".
If you're lucky and a relocation deal fits in with your plans you could be in for a hefty discount. Relocations are one-way rentals on specific routes for specific dates and are an economic way for rental companies to have cars that were dropped off at a different location returned to them.
Most sites, like DriveNow, have a relocations page, where you can search for these deals.
What is car hire excess insurance?
Car hire excess insurance is your financial saviour should things turn south during your trip and your vehicle gets stolen, maliciously damaged or involved in an accident. It does this by covering or reducing the excess imposed by the rental company and could save you a motza as this excess can cost up to $5,000. Read our Car Rental Excess Insurance guide for more and to purchase your cover.
Alex Keshen is the global travel publisher at Finder and has been living, breathing and, of course, writing about all things travel for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and has appeared in Travel Weekly and the Huffington Post. A master of maximising her annual leave and finding the best bargains around, she can’t remember the last time her backpack weighed more than 10kg and is happy to share her tips and tricks to help you travel better.
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