Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, is a bustling city known for its vibrant arts scene, world-class dining, and incredible shopping experiences. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that travellers worldwide flock to Melbourne all year-’round. And if you’re also considering visiting, we suggest you opt for a rental car to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace.
And if you’re unfamiliar with renting a car in Australia, this comprehensive guide shares tips for finding the best car rental service, saving money and discovering Melbourne’s top attractions.
When renting a car in Melbourne, you’ll want to choose a reputable company that offers a wide range of vehicles at competitive prices. Some factors to consider include the company’s reputation, location, vehicle selection, pricing, and any available extras or add-ons.
Additionally, remember the type of vehicle you’ll need, whether it’s a compact car for city driving or a larger SUV for road trips.
Renting a car at Melbourne Airport is a convenient option for many travellers. To ensure a smooth experience, follow these tips:
- Book in advance: Renting a car in Melbourne can be competitive, especially during peak travel seasons. Book your rental car well in advance to provide you with the best deal and vehicle of your choice.
- Research and compare different companies: Take the time to research and compare car rental companies at Melbourne Airport. Look for reviews, prices, and available vehicles to find the best fit for your needs.
- Familiarize yourself with rental procedures: Before arriving at the airport, familiarize yourself with the car rental process. This step includes understanding the required documentation, payment methods, and additional fees.
- Inspect the vehicle before driving away: Before leaving the rental car lot, thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any existing damage. Take photos and report any issues to the rental company to avoid being held responsible for pre-existing damage.
- Keep all relevant documentation handy: Ensure you have your driver’s license, rental agreement, and any other necessary documentation with you while driving the rental car.
With a rent a car Melbourne at your disposal, you can easily explore Melbourne’s top attractions. And where should you go, you ask? We’ve grouped these must-see destinations into four categories: road trips, places to eat, outdoor adventures, and family activities.
- Great Ocean Road: This iconic coastal route offers stunning ocean views, picturesque towns, and the famous Twelve Apostles limestone formations. Stop at scenic lookouts, enjoy local cafes, and take in the breathtaking landscapes along the way.
- Yarra Valley: Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to world-class wineries, gourmet restaurants, and beautiful scenery. Take a leisurely drive through rolling vineyards and sample some of Australia’s finest wines.
- Phillip Island: A popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts, Phillip Island offers the chance to see penguins, seals, and koalas up close. Drive along the coast and visit the Phillip Island Nature Parks for an unforgettable experience.
- Dandenong Ranges: Explore lush forests, charming villages, and beautiful gardens in this picturesque mountain range. Drive along winding roads, stop at quaint cafes, and enjoy the stunning views from the lookout points.
- Mornington Peninsula: Discover pristine beaches, wineries, and natural hot springs on this lovely peninsula south of Melbourne. Drive along the coast, stopping at charming seaside towns and sampling local produce.
- Queen Victoria Market: A Melbourne institution, this historic market offers a wide range of fresh produce, gourmet foods, and delicious street eats. Sample local delicacies and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
- Chinatown: Located in the heart of Melbourne, Chinatown offers a diverse selection of Asian cuisine, from authentic Chinese dumplings to Malaysian street food. Explore the vibrant streets and indulge in a culinary adventure.
- Lygon Street: Known as Melbourne’s “Little Italy,” Lygon Street is home to some of the city’s best Italian restaurants, cafes, and gelaterias. Enjoy a leisurely meal and soak up the European atmosphere.
- Southbank: This riverside precinct is home to numerous fine dining establishments, trendy bars, and casual eateries. Dine with views of the Yarra River and the city skyline.
- Royal Botanic Gardens: These sprawling gardens are home to thousands of plant species and offer a tranquil escape from the city. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, join a guided tour, or participate in one of the many events held throughout the year.
- St Kilda Beach: This popular beach offers a lively atmosphere, with plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants lining the foreshore. Enjoy a swim, take a walk along the pier, or try your hand at watersports like windsurfing or kiteboarding.
- Brighton Beach: Famous for its colourful bathing boxes, Brighton Beach is a picturesque spot for a relaxing day by the water. Swim, sunbathe, or enjoy a beachside picnic with stunning city skyline views.
- The Grampians National Park: A few hours’ drive from Melbourne, this rugged mountain range offers spectacular hiking trails, breathtaking views, and opportunities for rock climbing and abseiling.
- Melbourne Zoo: Home to over 320 species of animals, Melbourne Zoo offers an exciting day out for the whole family. See native Australian wildlife and exotic species from around the world.
- SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium: Explore the underwater world at this state-of-the-art aquarium, featuring interactive exhibits, live shows, and close encounters with sharks, rays, and other marine creatures.
- Luna Park: This historic amusement park in St Kilda offers thrilling rides, carnival games, and family-friendly entertainment. Enjoy a fun-filled day out with the kids.
- Puffing Billy Railway: Take a ride on this century-old steam train as it winds its way through the scenic Dandenong Ranges. A unique and memorable experience for all ages.
Your rent a car Melbourne doesn’t have to break the bank. Follow these tips to save money on your rental:
- Book in advance: As mentioned earlier, booking your rental car ahead of time can help you secure the best deal.
- Compare prices: Take the time to research and compare prices from different car rental companies to find the best deal.
- Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle: Opt for a car with good fuel economy to save on gas expenses during your trip.
- Look for discounts and promotions: Keep an eye out for special offers, discounts, or promotions that can help you save on your rental.
- Purchase comprehensive insurance: While it might seem counterintuitive, protecting you from costly damage fees can save you money in the long run.
- Opt for unlimited mileage: If you plan on driving long distances, choosing a rental car with unlimited mileage can help you avoid extra costs.
To ensure a smooth and enjoyable car rental experience in Melbourne, keep these best practices in mind:
- Choose a convenient location: Renting a car from a location near your accommodations or the airport can save you time and hassle.
- Familiarize yourself with local driving laws: Before hitting the road, understand Melbourne’s local driving rules and regulations.
- Plan your route in advance: Use a GPS or mapping app to plan your route ahead of time, considering traffic, toll roads, and parking fees.
With a rental car, you can embark on unforgettable road trips from Melbourne. Consider exploring the Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley, Phillip Island, Dandenong Ranges, or Mornington Peninsula for memorable experiences.
In conclusion, rent a car Melbourne is an excellent way to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. Following the tips in this guide will prepare you for a memorable and hassle-free car rental experience. Happy driving!