Everything you need to know to hire a car in Launceston, including the best deals for the biggest bargains.
Located in Tasmania's north, Launceston is popularly used as a gateway into the rest of the island. To its west is the iconic Cradle Mountain, to its east the spectacular Great Eastern Drive, and just north is the beautiful Tamar Valley region.
Being a tiny island, the best way to capture it all at your own pace is by car.
If you’re enticed by the idea of driving through Launceston and its exquisite surrounds, we’ve got all the info you need. That's car hire deals from the top rental companies in the area as well as general road rules so you stay safe and avoid having to call on your car insurance.
Top car hire Launceston deals
Road rules: What to know about driving in Launceston
While the same road rules apply in Launceston as the rest of Australia, including driving on the left side of the road, there are a couple of other things to be mindful of:
- Be aware of your vehicle size. If you’re renting a motorhome, campervan or any other large vehicle, it’s important to be size-aware. Watch for height indicator signs and overhanging tree branches.
- Be aware of cyclists. Drivers must be at least one metre from a cyclist when overtaking on roads restricted to up to 60km/h. When travelling on roads where the limit exceeds 60km/h, drivers must give a berth of 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists.
Popular Launceston driving routes
- Cradle Country: Indulge in the variety of Tasmania's beautiful natural landscapes, from the north coast's patchwork of farms to the magnificence of Cradle Mountain on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It's a windy drive from Launceston and is best experienced with a night or two staying near Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
- Tamar Valley: Drive north from Launceston and the arresting Tamar Valley region opens up to you. It's a tantalising route that winds through rivers and valleys and encompasses wine country and wetlands. Ensure you stop by Batman Bridge to marvel at its architecture and engineering, Beaconsfield Mine for a historical throwback and any one of 30 vineyards along the Tamar Valley Wine Route. But don't forget to bring a designated driver along with you when you do!
- Great Eastern Drive. This breathtaking drive is a 176-kilometre run that hugs the eastern coast of Tasmania, taking in a colourful coastline of sandy beaches, forest and rich blue water. It starts at St Helens in the north and trails past Surf Coast and Freycinet Peninsula down to Orford.While it can be achieved in a day (without return), it's recommended as a weekend drive. From Launceston it's a two-hour drive to St Helens, though if you'd prefer to start closer to Launceston you can begin the drive from Fingal or St Marys instead, which are around 90 minutes from Launceston.
Frequently asked questions about car hire
Who offers cheap car hire from Launceston airport?
I’m on a provisional license. Can I drive in Launceston?
Yes, drivers holding a valid Australian P licence can drive within Tasmania, however the following rules apply:
- When in a 100km/hr zone, P licence holders must drive no faster than 90km/hr
- When in a 110km/hr zone, P licence holders must drive no faster than 100km/hr
- You cannot tow a trailer or boat
- You must obey the zero alcohol limit
- P plates must be clearly displayed at all times
Can I pick up a rental car in Launceston and drop it off in Hobart?
Some companies, including Thrifty, let you pick up your rental in Launceston and drop it off in Hobart and vice versa. This can be organised with your car rental company when you book.
How does car insurance work?
Car insurance differs depending on the level of cover you choose. Car hire rental excess insurance is worth investing in as it will help to reduce the excess payable in the event that you need to make a claim.
You can get insurance directly from the company you’re booking with, although you do have the option to buy your insurance elsewhere if you prefer.