Renting a Car in Australia – Melbourne

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Travels in 2013, updated 17 November 2015

Rental Car Companies in Melbourne

Our Journey: Road trip to Great Ocean Road and Halls Gap.

We used: Spendless Car Rentals,

Verdict: We chose Spendless because of its relatively affordable rates. Renting a car in Melbourne doesn’t come cheap! Anyway, this car rental is about 5-10minutes drive away from the airport. The employee will pick us up at the airport to the car rental shop. Not a fancy shop, but a small car garage.


We made our car reservation online and chose the GPS option. However, when we were there, they did not have any unit. There was another couple in the same predicament. It was a Sunday and the employee in the office is not a full time staff, but comes in only on Sunday. So they only know how to do simple procedures. They took a long while to contact the boss, and we still have to wait for the boss to travel to the supermarket to get GPS units for us. We were on a tight timeline for the great ocean road trip, so we were very behind time. In the end, we had to skip a few stops. :( But I will still give them a second chance because of their pricing and not too bad car condition.

Others: AvisBudget, EuropcarHertzThriftyRedspotAlpha Car Hire (we nearly went for this, but they ran out of our desired car size).

Car Sharing Options: Go GetFlexi Car

Tips in Renting a Car

Thing to Look Out For

  • Damage Excess: I’ll advise you to pay extra to reduce damage excess. Read to see what the damage excess covers. Usually the damage excess doesn’t have tyre and windscreen protection. You have to pay extra or take a premium rental plan for the cover.
  • Travel Insurance: If you are buying travel insurance (highly recommended), be sure to look under the section of ‘Rental Car Excess’ and see how much you are being covered for.
  • Other fees: GPS, extra driver*, 24 hour breakdown/roadside  assistance*, e-tag for toll fees, baby seat, etc. Do your research and look out for any hidden cost or additional fee.
  • Good to have: Unlimited mileage*

*When we rented, it was free for Spendless Car Rentals!

Compare Rates is a good tool to compare the rates among (big) car rental companies in Melbourne. You can usually book a car at a low rate. However, the website doesn’t include the ‘Other fees’ mentioned above.

As we didn’t want to shock ourselves with the many extras to top up when we collect our car, we reckoned it’s better to book straight from the car companies. At least the online quote (price + adds on) given to us is nearer to the actual price we are going to pay. And since we are on a budget, we went looking for smaller car companies. :)

More Tips

Toll Road in Melbourne

Citylink and Eastlink are the only toll roads in Melbourne. There are prominent signs, advising motorists that they are approaching, entering or leaving a toll road. Toll roads in Melbourne have blue signage with gold coloured lettering. This is in contrast to the green signage with white lettering used on roads that do not require the payment of tolls.

Pictures of toll road signs (Victorian roads):
More information on Victoria’s Roads:
Citylink Map:



All toll roads in Melbourne are cashless – only electronic payments. You can

  • rent an e-toll tag from the car rental company
  • arrange a pass from Citylink. This “Melbourne Pass” can be arranged up to 48 hours after your first trip on CityLink. (
  • do nothing – “Most hire car operators will have arrangements for you to drive the vehicle on Melbourne’s toll roads without restriction and you will be automatically billed for any usage. Either an electronic tag is fitted to the vehicle’s windscreen or the vehicle’s number plate registered with toll road operators. Confirm when collecting your vehicle. Additional processing charges may be added to standard toll fees.” –

Your choice depends on where you are going and how often you will use the tolls. If you are going from Melbourne city to the Great Ocean Road, then you can get by without paying any tolls.

Journey Planner

Updated 10 October 2013

Disclaimer: All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. and/or the author shall not be held responsible for any injury, loss, expense or damage of any kind whatsoever suffered or incurred by any person who accesses or uses the information and external websites stated above. Full disclaimer here.

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