What you should know before hiring a car in Sydney
Car hires in Sydney: practical information
Where to rent a car in Sydney
You're planning a trip Down Under. After you book your tickets from London to Sydney, it's time to search for cheap car rentals in Sydney for those inevitable day trips to Queensland and elsewhere. Unless you only plan to stay in the city, a car rental in Sydney goes a long way for having a great holiday in Sydney. Sydney Airport has a number of car rental companies with desks in both terminals. They include Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, Thrifty and Redspot.
You will find the same car hire companies in Sydney as at the airport as well as some local companies which sometimes offer cheaper rates. Try Bayswater Car Rental at Kings Cross. If you hope to travel from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane, consider a one way car hire in Sydney since it's quite a trek, 10 hours drive, and alternatively you can fly back on a low cost airline.
Driving in Sydney: parking and other tips
Driving in Sydney is very easy, especially outside of peak times. Driving is just as quick as any means of public transportation too. Expect quite a bit of traffic in central Sydney from Monday to Friday 6:30am to 9:30am and in the afternoons from 4:30am to 6:30pm. On sunny summer weekends, the roads heading to Bondi Beach are busier than usual and parking lots along the way and nearby fill up quickly!
There is plenty of parking in central Sydney but it can be very expensive as well, sometimes as much as $70/day or $25/hour. Check out any early bird specials, where you park and leave at certain times. You can park at the Opera House for $16/day if you enter before 10am and leave between 3-7pm. On evenings and weekends, most car parks charge $15-$25. Alternatively, you can park on the street for $1.10-$2.20/hour with a 4 hour limit. All-day street parking is available in the Domain and Hickson Rd and are metered but they're taken quite quickly. If you book an economy car hire in Sydney for your entire trip, make sure your hotel in Sydney offers parking.
Road trips from Sydney: what to do, what to see
Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is about 45km away and makes for a quiet day trip out of Sydney. It's the second oldest national park in the world and is a popular picnic spot in good weather. There is an entry fee for cars taken into the park which can be paid to an attendant or at the Visitor's Centre. Don't miss the view from Bungoola Lookout over teh gorgeous Hacking River Valley.
Not far from Sydney are the Blue Mountains, a great spot for trekking and taking day walks in Katoomba. You can also take a tour of the Jenolan Caves! While the mountains aren't particularly high, they're renowned for their incredible scenery and impressive cultural attractions. The Blue Mountains are protected as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's easily accessible from Sydney, just head down the Metroad 4 for 1 hour with a Sydney car hire.
The Hunter Valley is a great trip out of Sydney. It's a popular wine growing region with enough wineries to fill a weekend. It is almost a 3 hour drive north from Sydney, not far from Newcastle. Join an organized wine tour (there are plenty to choose from!) or head off on your own with your Sydney rental car. Just make sure you appoint a designated driver and take time to enjoy the scenery as well!