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Cheap Car Hire Darwin Airport

Big savings on car Rental at Darwin Airport

Compare the best Darwin Airport car rental deals from a dozen rental brands. Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, Europcar, Enterprise, Alamo, Bargain and more.

  • Low prices
  • Huge choice of brands
  • No booking fees
  • No credit card fees*
  • Instant confirmations
  • Free cancellation on most cars
  • Free amendments on most cars
  • 24/7 customer service

* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.

4WD rental

Quick and convenient. Good prices.

Fraser Laidlaw Australia

Booked a car rental then had to change it. No problem - very helpful staff and great service!

Wendy Tapscott Australia

Quick and easy to find what we wanted. Will recommend you to our friends.

Peggy Thomas USA

Car Hire Options at Darwin Airport

Taking a taxi from Darwin Airport into the city centre will take around 15 minutes and cost you as much as $30. And that’s just one-way. If you’re travelling further, then the cost will be even higher. So why not book a rental vehicle instead? Hiring a car at Darwin Airport gives you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace and can save you money.

There are over 13 brands providing rental cars at Darwin Airport. If you want to find the best car hire deals that's a lot of websites to check out...

To make things easy, our car rental comparison search engine hunts down the very best offers available from all car rental suppliers and lists them side-by-side for you. This lets you instantly compare and find the best deals.

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National, Enterprise, SIXT, Keddy, Dollar, and Thrifty Car Rentals all have desks located in the arrivals level at the baggage claim on the ground floor of Darwin Airport and their vehicles are parked close to the front entrance, next to the drop off zone.

On the other hand, Bargain Car Rentals is the only “off-airport” rental operator. Located close to the airport (just over 3km away), Bargain Car Rentals will transfer you between the terminal and their depot. Although this isn't as convenient, it might be a cheaper way to rent a car from Darwin Airport.

Before you go to the desk to pick up your hire car, make sure you have your booking confirmation eVoucher, a valid driver’s licence for each of the drivers, a credit card or cash for the bond and suitable ID.

On-Airport Rental Brands

“On-airport” means these rental companies have check-in desks at Darwin Airport, within the airport terminal.

The big advantage of this for you is convenience and speed. Once you’ve checked in you can jump in your car and get going. No waiting around for transfer vans.

But it does come at a cost. The fees are higher than off-airport rental companies to offset the costs of being at the airport.

When you land at Darwin Airport, you’ll find “on-airport” rental counters in the Arrivals Hall on the ground floor, near baggage collection.

Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these on-airport car hire brands at Darwin Airport:

  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Europcar
  • Keddy
  • Enterprise
  • SIXT
  • Hertz
  • Dollar
  • Thrifty
  • Alamo
  • National

Off-Airport Rental Brands

“Off-airport” companies don’t have check-in desks within the airport. This means you’ll need to make your way to their car hire depot to check in and collect your car.

Bargain Car Rentals is the only “off-airport” hire car company at Darwin Airport. The company offers a free shuttle service, collecting you and dropping you off at their car hire depot which is less than 20 minutes away. The service operates only during business hours. (Confirm business hours when booking, but at time of writing the depot is open from 7am-7pm on weekdays and from 7am-5pm on weekends.) You arrange for the shuttle service when you make your booking and you’ll need to let them know when you’ve arrived.

Off-airport car hire companies like Bargain Car Rentals aren’t as fast or convenient as using on-airport car rentals. But the big advantage is they are usually much cheaper.

Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these off-airport car hire brands at Darwin Airport:

  • Bargain

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • All the best deals in one place from over 12 different rental brands at Darwin Airport.
  • Instantly compare the best deals. No need to waste your time checking out multiple websites.
  • Easily filter results by price, brand, or type of vehicle.
  • And if you're finding it difficult to decide, check out the customer ratings to hear from those who've been there and done that.

Darwin Airport Car Hire Tips

Ways to save money on Darwin Airport car hire

Compare prices of on-airport and off-airport brands. If you're not in a big rush, hiring a vehicle from off-airport car hire depots can result in big savings.

But you will have to take extra time with the shuttle transfer. Transfers are usually free, but limited to opening hours, so check when you book.


Don’t hire a bigger vehicle than you require and consider if you really need all the extras you’ll be offered, such as a GPS. Google Maps on your phone will normally do the trick, provided phone data charges aren’t an issue.

With lengthy distances and long travel times between major cities, petrol stops are likely to be frequent. Fuel prices can vary widely from place to the next, so if you want to spend less at the pump use a mobile app like MotorMouth to find the best prices.

Driving in Darwin and the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is one of the most stunning parts of Australia, but driving here requires extra care due to the climate, tough terrain, and large distances. Once you leave Darwin the road conditions vary and some destinations are only safe if you have a 4WD. Adjust your speed, especially on unsealed and gravel roads.


Kangaroos and other animals crossing the road are commonplace in the Northern Territory, so keep your eyes open to avoid collisions. The environment can be harsh — for your safety, it’s essential you plan your trip and ensure you have plenty of fuel and water on board.  Fill up whenever you can as it can be a long way before you get to the next fuel stop.


In Australia, you’ll need to drive on the left-hand side — if you’re not already used to it, you might find it difficult to adjust. Unless otherwise signposted, the speed limit in urban and suburban areas is 50km/h — 100km/h when you are driving on a highway. When driving your hire car, all occupants must wear seatbelts or an approved child restraint (a child safety seat or booster seat depending on the child’s size).

Return with a full tank

On your way back from your holiday, plan ahead of time and make sure you return your rental car with a full tank of petrol. This will avoid being stung with the high price rental companies charge to top up the fuel tank. There are petrol stations close to Darwin Airport, including United Petroleum which is situated at 187 Bagot Rd. Click here to find petrol stations close to Darwin Airport.

Easy to use and very good prices, was not disappointed

Chris Turner New Zealand

Very easy to make a booking using your website

Roger Hill Australia

Booked a car rental then had to change it. No problem - very helpful staff and great service!

Wendy Tapscott Australia

Darwin Attractions

Darwin city skyline, Northern Territory, Australia

Jeremy De Guzman CC 2.0

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Darwin and the surrounding areas, including the beautiful parks and interesting heritage spots. The Northern Territory definitely has a lot going for it! Below are some of our favourite attractions that we know you will love.  For more ideas, check out the Northern Territory website.

Kakadu National Park

Aboriginal pictograph, Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land, Australia

Aboriginal pictograph, Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land

Covering almost 20,000 square kilometres (12,427 square miles), you have to see World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park to believe it! From the saltwater crocodiles lurking beneath the water to the monsoon rainforests, Kakadu is exactly what you would expect from the true Australian outback holiday.

Whether you visit during the tropical summer season, with high rainfall and spectacular floods, or the dry season, Kakadu will inspire you with its sheer beauty and the sort of landscape you can only find in Northern Australia.

Kakadu can be visited in a day, but you won't get to see much. Instead, it makes sense to book your accommodation in advance and really make the most of a region that has been home to the Aboriginal people for at least 40,000 years.

From the well-preserved rock art of the Kakadu to the beautiful cruises of Magela Creek and wetlands, there is no shortage of things to see and do. You can choose to take a short break for a couple of nights, or stay for a whole month (and you still might not see everything).

It will take you just under two hours to drive from Darwin to Kakadu, via the Arnhem Highway. Make sure you refuel wherever possible (at Kakadu Resort, Jabiru, Cooinda or the Mary River Roadhouse) as petrol stations are few and far between.


Garig Gunak Barlu

Cape Don lightstation

Cape Don lightstation, Garig Gunak Barlu CC-SA 3.0 Peter Kyle

If you want to say you've been to the top of Australia, you can if you go to Garig Gunak Barlu — a remote and rugged area with amazing beaches and a true outback feel.

The national park is a picture-perfect spot where you can enjoy bird-watching, fishing and gorgeous bush walks. You might even get the chance to see saltwater crocodiles and the endangered dugong (similar to a manatee). But be careful if you’re going for a paddle where there are signs warning about crocodiles and box jellyfish — both can be deadly.

If you are interested in the historical origins of Australia, you will enjoy a trip to Black Point Cultural Centre, where there are a variety of displays about the Aboriginal heritage and European settlements in the area.

While you are there, make sure you stick to the marked roads and tracks, and don't go off the track because you can easily get lost. Let someone know where you are at all times and don’t go bushwalking alone.

As it gets very hot in this part of Australia, it is important to bring a lot of water and stay inside during the hotter parts of the day (afternoon). Garig Gunak Barlu is a 14-hour drive from Darwin airport, so it is important that you book your camping spot well ahead of time. You will need to order a permit for travelling and camping, which takes two days to process. If you are planning on travelling through the area during the school holidays, it is important to book well ahead of time.

The Territory Wildlife Park

A Crested Hawk (Pacific Baza) with a zoo keeper at Territory Wildlife Park

Pacific Baza, Territory Wildlife Park Stephen Michael Barnett CC 2.0

Just a 45-minute drive from the city centre, the Territory Wildlife Park is a must-see attraction with wetland areas, creeks, springs and lagoons, all teeming with Australian wildlife.

Whether you visit the park during the wet season, when the rains flood the rivers and creeks, or the dry season, when you can take some great walking tracks and see the beauty of the area, you are sure to have a fun time.

The Territory Wildlife Park is a zoo which includes some stunning Australian wildlife — native animals, plants and bird-life which can, in some cases, only be found in the Northern Territory.

Territory Wildlife Park is situated on 400 hectares (988 acres) of natural bushland. You get there after visiting Goose Lagoon, Ooloo Sandbar, Aquarium and Billabong.

Head south from the city centre along the Stuart Highway and travel approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles) to Cox Peninsula Road, where you will turn right. Follow the signs to Berry Springs Nature Park. The park is next door to Berry Springs.


Berry Springs Nature Park

Bathers at the natural pools in Berry Springs Nature Reserve

Fun at the natural pools in Berry Springs CC-SA 4.0 Jessica O’Reilly

If you want to relax and revive after an action-packed experience in Darwin city centre, a trip to Berry Springs might be just what you are looking for.

With shaded picnic and barbecue areas, as well as clear swimming pools and the sound of native birds chirping in the trees above you, Berry Springs Nature Park is a favourite of tourists and locals alike.

Be aware of crocodiles in the lower parts of the pools. There will be signs warning you where you can’t swim.

If you are visiting between March and April, you will enjoy the stunning nature show of native flowers which bloom throughout the park at this time of year. Birdwatchers should enjoy the forest and woodlands which include 10,000 species of birds, among them Rufous-banded and White-gaped Honeyeaters as well as Arafura Fantail and Orange Footed Scrubfouls.

Berry Springs has an interesting history, with over 100,000 service personnel deployed to the area during World War II. During this time, the officers built a weir across Berry Creek in order to provide a swimming area as part of the camp. This weir is still used by visitors, and you can enjoy spotting the native fish and sea-life in the clear waters of the pools.

While you are at Berry Springs Nature Park, you might as well take in the views at Territory Wildlife Park, which is just next door.

Last Updated on September 7, 2022