Car rental in Sydney from $38*
Driving in Sydney can be slow going at times, but if you want to explore New South Wales it is much easier with your own car rather than relying on patchy and often expensive public transport.
Where to hire a car in Sydney
Perhaps the easiest place to rent a car is at the airport when you land. There are 6 car rental companies at Sydney Airport (Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty) available to both international and domestic travellers. In the international terminal, you’ll find these companies in the arrivals hall. They are also present in the car park between the domestic terminals.
Car hire is also available in the city. The biggest congregation of offices is on the east of the CBD, heading along William Street away from Hyde Park.
What to expect when driving in Sydney
Cars in Australia drive on the left, just as they do in New Zealand.
The generally accepted rule of slow, medium and fast lanes goes out of the window in the CBD, with drivers using each lane (and undertaking) as they see fit.
You may see transit lanes (indicated by a T2 or T3 in a red circle) on some roads. This number indicates the number of people you must have in your car to use this lane.
Driving over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge can be confusing, as the lanes do not have a fixed direction but instead change to adapt to traffic needs. If you’re planning to drive over the bridge, it’s advised to do so outside of peak traffic hours.
Sydney’s roads are toll-heavy. Speak to your car rental agency about how best to pay these.
Popular road trips from Sydney
Sydney to Newcastle
Often thought of as Sydney’s younger (and more attractive) cousin, the town of Newcastle has everything Sydney has but without the same traffic of general hustle. Explore some quiet, beautiful beaches, explore the burgeoning café culture or head out to the nearby Hunter Valley and taste some of the state’s best wines. The drive from Sydney to Newcastle is a touch over 2 hours on the M1, and this route includes tolls.
Sydney to Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is one of the most scenic parts of New South Wales. Just two-and-a-half hours west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains is well set up for tourists. Go to the lookouts, walk the trails or buy a ticket for the cable car and see the area in all its wonder.
Sydney to Canberra
Australia’s capital is often overlooked, but when it’s just 3 hours away from Sydney it’s definitely worth a visit. The planned city is noticeably easier to drive around than Sydney and it’s a hotspot for politics and history. If you want a slightly less highbrow experience, Questacon mixes science, learning and optical illusions for a great day out.
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Please note: all information is correct as of December 2018.