Cheap Car Hire Melbourne Airport
Big savings on car Rental at Melbourne Airport
Compare the best Melbourne Airport car rental deals from more than 19 rental brands. Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, Europcar, Enterprise, National, Bargain, Apex and more.
* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.
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Car Hire Options at Melbourne Airport
Taking a taxi from Melbourne Airport into downtown Melbourne will cost you $55-$80 (depending on traffic) plus an airport access fee of $4.50. 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 gives you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace and can save you money.
There are over 21 rental car brands at Melbourne Airport competing for your business. If you want to find the best deal 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.
Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine Airport or simply “Tulla” as locals call it) has about a dozen car rental companies with depots at the airport, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Keddy, National, SIXT and Thrifty. Other rental operators such as Alpha, Advance, Jucy, Bargain, Ace, Apex, and East Coast Car Rentals are located close to the airport and will transfer you between the terminal and their depot. You can add Europcar to this list too (the company has both on-airport and off-airport locations). Although off-airport isn’t as convenient, it is often the cheaper way to rent a car from the airport.
Before you pick up your vehicle, 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.
Book now and save! Just enter your travel details into the quote box at the top of the page to instantly compare a wide range of vehicles at the best price. This means you don’t have to waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter.
Let us do all the hard work so you can enjoy your time in Melbourne.
On-Airport Rental Brands
“On-airport” means these rental companies have check-in desks within the Melbourne 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 Melbourne Airport.
You can find “on-airport” car hire desks on the ground floor of the carpark at Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these on-airport car hire brands at Melbourne Airport:
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.
Most provide free shuttle services and will collect you from the terminals. This gets arranged when you make your booking and you’ll need to let them know when you’ve arrived.
Some depots are within the airport grounds and so only a few minutes drive. Others are off the airport grounds and so take longer to get to. At Melbourne Airport, Europcar has both on- and off-airport locations (so make sure you know which one you’ve booked with).
Off-airport car hire companies 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 Melbourne Airport:
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Melbourne Airport Car Hire Tips
Ways to save money on Melbourne 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 rental car 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 Melbourne
Two things make driving in Melbourne somewhat different than driving in other Australian cities — trams, and cyclists — and Melbourne has plenty of both.
So what do you do when you’re sharing a city street with a tram? At tram stops, where passengers are getting on and off, you need to stay behind the tram and give way to pedestrians. Don’t resume driving your hire car until the tram continues on. When overtaking a tram, you pass on the left. And because trams travel down the middle of the street, you may have occasion to make a hook turn. The hook turn is unique to Melbourne, and there are nearly 50 of them in the city — look for the ‘Right Turn from Left Only’ traffic turn sign at intersections. This VicRoads video tells you all you need to know to be comfortable sharing the road with trams in Melbourne.
Trams aren’t the only obstacles you need to look out for when driving a hire car in Melbourne. Watch for cyclists, particularly at intersections and when turning, and be careful to make sure it is safe when overtaking them. When turning right, you cannot enter the tram/bicycle lane until you are 50 metres from your turn. Check your mirrors and blindspots, and make sure you give cyclists plenty of room (as much as you would another car — 1.5 metres or about 5 feet or more).
Street parking can be hard to find in the CBD, with most spots metered and having a one-hour time limit (usually up until 8.30pm). Car parks are another option, but have a reputation for being expensive. If you are easily spooked by city traffic, you may find it easier to park your hire car near the inner city and catch a tram or bus to your destination.
You’re likely to find yourself on a toll road at some point when driving into or out of the city, or from the airport. Toll roads include the M3, Southern Link (Monash Freeway), Tullamarine Freeway, and Batman Avenue. Check to make sure your hire car is fitted with an electronic tag (e-Tag) to facilitate easy toll payment. With an e-Tag, the tolls are normally added to your car hire charge but rental companies can manage these payments differently.
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, and on highways the default limit is 100km/h. 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
When returning your rental car it’s best to ensure it has a full tank of petrol, to avoid the higher price that will be charged by the rental company. There are petrol stations close to the airport, including a BP station on Centre Road and Melbourne Drive, just 200m from the airport. Click here to find more petrol stations close to Melbourne Airport.
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A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring the Melbourne and surrounding areas, including the famed Melbourne wineries, nightlife and creative art scene. As one of Australia’s top tourist destinations, Melbourne has it all. Below are some of our favourite attractions that we know you will love. For more ideas, check out the Melbourne Tourism website.
Just under an hour’s drive from Melbourne Airport, the Dandenongs are an excellent example of the lush, rainforests and rolling hills that Australia is so well-known for.
Part of an extinct volcano which was last active approximately 200 million years ago, the Dandenong Ranges are home to rainforests, Mountain Ash forestry, fern gullies and an amazing array of Australian wildlife.
From the lyrebird (with its beautiful song) to the cuddly koala and wombat, the Dandenongs are home to a variety of Australian birds and animals. Visitors to Healesville Sanctuary can also see how the animal hospital helps orphaned and sick animals recuperate and recover.
When you visit the Dandenongs, you can walk the 1,000 step Kokoda Walk, which commemorates the World War II Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. Plaques along the path memorialise the lives of those who died during the war on the long and tortuous walk.
The original trail was taken by Australian soldiers in World War II and ran for 96 kilometres (60 miles) through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. It was the location for the battle between Japan and the Allied forces. Long, hot days, coupled with the threat of tropical diseases such as malaria, made the track particularly difficult to travel.
After a long walk, you might like to take a break on the Puffing Billy Steam Railway, which is still running on the same 25 kilometre track that it has been travelling across for over a century. Alternatively, you might like to sip on a glass of Australian wine, which you will find at one of the many wineries along the Yarra Valley.
For more information on what to do while you are visiting the Dandenong Ranges, stop off at the Visitors’ Centre at 1211 Burwood Highway.
The Great Ocean Road
This is widely viewed as the best coastal drive in Australia. If you want to truly experience Australia, a trip down the Great Ocean Road will provide you with stunning panoramic views and plenty of fun activities to enjoy along the way.
Running from Torquay (just an hour’s drive from Melbourne) to Allansford, the Great Ocean Road was originally built between 1919 and 1932 by soldiers who had recently returned from war. The road hugs the coastline and travels alongside lush rainforests and towering cliffs of limestone.
Begin your trip with a surf on Bells Beach — it’s one of Australia’s most famous surf beaches, and holds the Rip Curl Pro surf competition at Easter, every year.
Great Otway National Park is home to the southernmost point of Victoria and some of the region’s most remote and beautiful rainforests. Get a glimpse of cuddly koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and some bright and colourful bird-life, all in their natural habitat.
Four hour’s drive down the Great Ocean Road, one of the country’s more famous attractions — the 12 Apostles — rises majestically from the Southern Ocean. Formed from the coastal erosion of the surrounding limestone cliffs, the 12 Apostles is a collection of eight limestone stacks (the remaining four have slowly eroded over time).
If you have always wanted to view a pod of whales in their natural habitat, carry on past Allansford to Warnambool’s Logans Beach. Between May and October, this is the perfect spot to see the Southern Right Whales return home to their nursery. Logans Beach has whale viewing platforms, located off Hopkins Point Road in Warnambool, from which you can see the mother whales and their calves playing together.
Although you could drive the whole road in a day, it isn’t recommended as you won’t get the chance as you will miss out on the full Ocean Road experience. Instead, you might like to book accommodation or camping grounds in advance.
If you’ve never seen a penguin parade before, you’ve probably never experienced ‘cuteness overload’. Visit Phillip Island and be entertained by the world’s smallest (and, dare we say it, cutest) penguins. On the island, you can expect to see Blue Penguins — lots of them — waddling ashore after a long day of hunting and swimming.
Take your pick of viewing options. There’s an area at Summerland Beach (with a 180-degree elevated view of the parade), an up-close view from the Penguins Plus platform, an underground viewing window, or the penguin sky box (where you can watch from an elevated viewing tower).
Phillip Island isn’t just about penguins, however. You’ll also find some stunning surf beaches, and the opportunity to treat yourself at a spa and healing centre. There are tours and scenic flights. And wildlife viewing opportunities such as the Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and The Nobbies Centre, an ecotourism destination which looks out at Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, some 16,000 or more of them relaxing on the rocks and swimming about in the ocean.
Australia has a varied and interesting history which includes the Australian goldrush which took place in the mid-1800s. Soon after Victoria became a state of its own, separated from New South Wales, there was a goldrush and Ballarat quickly went from being a sheep station to the home of 20,000 migrants, all desperately looking for their piece of the golden pie.
Ballarat attracts over two million visitors a year thanks to places such as the award-winning open-air museum Sovereign Hill, a recreated gold-mining settlement where visitors go back in time to witness the life of a gold-mining family and learn the history of the region. The Gold Museum, Eureka Centre, Botanic Gardens, Tramway Museum and Ballarat Ghost Tours are also great draw cards for the curious and adventurous.
When you want to unwind in Ballarat, grab a wine or beer in one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants throughout the area or take in one or more of the many art galleries dotted across the city.
Ballarat is just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne along the National Highway M8. It makes for a great day-trip or weekend stayover, with plenty of family fun activities.