Melbourne is the unofficial cultural capital of Australia, and has been repeatedly rated among the most liveable cities in the world. It’s also a great place to launch into some of Australia’s most iconic journeys - a Melbourne Airport car rental will set you up for adventures that could include one of the most beautiful coastal routes on earth, a tour through Victoria’s wine regions or even a trip into ruggedly majestic mountains.
As wonderful as Melbourne is, it would be a waste to come so close to the treasure trove of opportunities that surround the city without delving into them for at least a day or two.
Of course, whether you’re travelling to Melbourne for business or intending to use the city as a springboard for an amazing Australian vacation, securing your transportation is the first step to a successful visit.
There are many different car rental suppliers based at Melbourne Airport, which can make it a little tricky to determine which deal is really the best for your trip. However, AirportRentals.com.au allows you to compare all your Melbourne car rental options side by side, so you can quickly and easily figure which one is perfect for you then book it online without ever having to trawl through a dozens of supplier websites. This makes organising a Melbourne Airport car hire both straightforward and transparent, allowing you to get on with planning the rest of your trip.
To start booking a Melbourne Airport car hire, you’ll need to enter a few basic details about your trip in the AirportRentals.com.au search box - for example, where you need to pick up the car from, the pick up date and time, and when you’ll be dropping your vehicle back to the supplier. From there, you’ll be able to peruse all your options - you can simply scroll till you see something you like, or filter the results with criteria like car type, rental company or transmission. Once you’ve made your selection, confirming your booking will only take a few minutes - that’s it!
Melbourne Airport Car Hire Brands
When it comes to the brands offering Melbourne Airport car hire, you can expect to select from an array of well known international suppliers as well as smaller, more local brands which sometimes can offer amazing deals. Budget, Avis, Hertz and Europcar are among the more well known car rental companies based at Melbourne Airport, while smaller brands to look out for include Redspot and Firefly.
Melbourne Airport Information
Melbourne Airport has four different terminals - three domestic and one international.
● Terminal 1 is for flights by Qantas group airlines, both domestic and regional.
● Terminal 2 is home to all international flights, in addition to a handful of domestic services.
● Terminal 3 is dedicated to flights by Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.
● Terminal 4 is reserved for budget airlines.
Free WiFi is available in all Melbourne Airport terminals - the airport itself provides WiFi access in Terminal 2, 3 and 4, while Qantas offers a free WiFi connection in Terminal 1.
ATMs can be found throughout the airport, and if you’re needing to change over your foreign currency to Australian dollars (or vice versa), Travelex and ANZ can be found both landside and airside. If you find yourself with questions about the airport itself or Melbourne travel info, the Travellers’ Information Service is located on the ground floor of Terminal 2 in the International Arrivals hall.
Driving in Melbourne
As big cities go, Melbourne is relatively easy to get around by car, but there are a few road conditions that make Melbourne driving a bit different to most other places. One very important thing to note straight away is that Australians drive on the left hand side of the road, unlike most other countries. For a comprehensive look at driving in Australia, see our Australia driving guide, otherwise for more Melbourne specific advice, read on below.
If you’re used to driving on the right hand side of the road, remember to care extra care at intersections. When it comes to Melbourne specifically, trams are a major feature in the CBD and have given rise to ‘hook turn’ intersections. These intersections are always clearly marked with a ‘Right Turn from Left Only’ sign - at these intersections, drivers turning right at the traffic lights must perform a hook turn to avoid delaying trams. To do a hook turn, enter the intersection from the left lane and indicate right; move to the far left of the intersection, then when the lights are green make a wide right turn. For more tips on driving around trams in Melbourne, see the Vic Roads guide to Victorian road rules.
Like any other city, Melbourne has rush hour traffic so in order to avoid a frustratingly slow journey, try to stay off the road between 7am - 9am and 5pm - 7pm on weekdays. Unfortunately, weekends aren’t exempt from heavy traffic either, with a peak time around midday. Sunday usually finds Melbourne’s roads less congested than Saturday.
Getting from the Melbourne Airport to the CBD
The most popular way to drive between Melbourne Airport and Melbourne’s CBD is via the CityLink toll road - this will put you back about $15 depending on which exit you take. CityLink works on a free-flow tolling system known as e-TAG, and you can buy a pass at the CityLink website ahead of time or even pay up to three days after you travel. Be aware that if you take longer than three days to pay, you’ll accrue extra fees. A more roundabout route to get into the city from the airport, taking the M80 until it joins up with the M1, will avoid tolls but it can take around 15 to 20 minutes longer to get into the CBD.
Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit in Melbourne is 50km per hour - this can rise up to 100km per hour on motorways outside of the city, or even 110 km per hour on some parts of the freeway. Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory for all occupants of a vehicle (this has been the case across Australia since the 60’s), and those travelling with young children should check Victoria’s child restraint requirements. Drinking and driving is illegal in Australia - the legal limit for blood alcohol in the state of Victoria is 0.05, so it’s safest not to drink at all before driving. When it comes to sharing the road with public transport in Melbourne, it’s important to remember that drivers should give way to trams, and to buses that are pulling out from a stop.
There’s no need to confine your road trip to Melbourne of course. Booking a Melbourne car rental opens up the whole state of Victoria and beyond to keen explorers. For a start, one of the world’s most stunning coastal road trip routes lies within easy driving distance of Melbourne.
Road Trips from Melbourne
● The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is famed worldwide for its breathtaking coastal vistas, with one of its most iconic sights being the Twelve Apostles, towering pillars of sandstone rearing from the waves in a striking testament to the power of wind and water. If you have time for a longer road trip, consider heading northeast toward Canberra.
● Heading east
Australia’s capital city will present you with many opportunities to delve into the history of this nation. From Canberra it’s only a few hours to Sydney, Australia’s largest city and one of the great cosmopolitan centres of the world. At that point, the country’s east coast is yours for the taking - it’s easy to sculpt an itinerary that perfectly suits your schedule and travel style.
● Heading west
Heading in the opposite direction, you can point your Melbourne car rental toward Adelaide. To get the most out of this trip, you’ll want to head along the coast (including the Great Ocean Road) and take several days to reach the charming city of Adelaide. Wine aficionados should make sure to book in a wine tour in the Clare or Barossa Valley wine regions while in the Adelaide area, and those seeking adventure and the true heart of Australia will find that they’ve arrived at the perfect place to start a journey into red sands of the Outback.
● Tackling Tasmania
If you’re really hunting for a different take on the Australian road trip experience, a ferry trip can take you and your Melbourne car rental across Bass Strait to Devonport on the northern coast of wild Tasmania. Showing off a cooler, greener side to Australia, this island state is bursting with lush forest landscapes, exotic creatures and pristine beaches.
Parking in Melbourne
Parking in Melbourne isn’t the easiest of propositions, but there are ways to minimise the hassle. Parking buildings provide one of the simplest solutions, however they tend to be quite expensive. Street parking can be quite a bit cheaper but you need to pay very careful attention to the parking signs to ensure that you’re parking in the right place, for the right amount of time. Parking fines can be fairly severe, reaching upward of $120, so be sure not to overstay. Parking at the airport shouldn’t be an issue if you’re picking up or dropping off a Melbourne Airport car rental, but in case you need it, you can book with Ace Airport Parking with rates varying according to duration.
Melbourne Petrol Stations
Your Melbourne Airport car rental will almost certainly come with a full fuel tank so there shouldn’t be any need to fuel up before setting out on your journey, but returning your car to the airport is another matter entirely. Most car rental suppliers require you to return the vehicle with a full fuel tank, so taking note of petrol stations near Melbourne Airport can make your life a lot easier. BP Connect The Tulla is located right next to the airport, however it’s generally very busy. It’s also set on the exit side of the airport, though looping back around isn’t too difficult. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, there are several other stations very nearby with three of them set close together on Mickleham Road.
Melbourne Airport Car Rental Pick Up Depots
Many car rental suppliers have pick up depots right at Melbourne Airport, while a few others are located a short distance away from the airport. If your pick up depot is located off airport, you will almost certainly be able to catch a free shuttle from your terminal to the pick up point - just make sure to find out details such as where to find the shuttle from your car rental supplier ahead of time. Brands which have rental desks at Melbourne Airport include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot, Thrifty, Auto Europe, Apollo, Firefly and Keddy.
● East Coast Car Rentals is located near the airport at 2 Tarmac Drive, Tullamarine.
● Atlas Car Rental can be found at 29 Catalina Drive, Tullamarine, not far from Melbourne Airport.
● Bargain Car Rental has a depot not far from the airport at 10 Smolic Court, Tullamarine.
● Alpha Car Rental has a pick up depot at 33 Catalina Drive, Tullamarine, near Melbourne Airport.
● Advance Car Rental is located just minutes from the airport at 7 Adina Court, Tullamarine.
● Ace Rental Cars can be found near Melbourne Airport at 16 Tullamarine Park Road.
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