Car Rental Prices: Australia Sees a Staggering 8.6% Surge in 2024

PUBLISHED ON May, 20 2024


Renting a car frequently emerges as the most economical and convenient means of exploring the outskirts of major cities, where public transportation may not be adequately accessible.

Renting a car in Australia is increasingly favored by travelers for its myriad benefits. Foremost, it bestows a sense of autonomy and adaptability, allowing individuals to explore at their leisure and discover hidden gems. This choice offers convenience, eradicating dependence on public transit schedules or pricey taxis. Moreover, it empowers travelers to tailor their journeys, facilitating impromptu stops and scenic detours. Additionally, it proves economical for groups or families, sparing them the expense of multiple transit fares. In sum, renting a car enriches travel experiences, fostering lasting memories and genuine immersion in visited locales.

Our recent study found that the average cost of car rentals in some of Australia’s most well-liked car rental spots has increased by 8.6% since 2023. This is not the highest price increase that the public has seen in recent years, and it comes after prices already increased by 50% after the Covid-19 pandemic. As the cost of car rentals continues to climb, it’s essential to discover strategies to navigate these newfound challenges. Whether you’re planning a road trip or a city getaway, understanding the implications of rising rental prices is paramount for making informed travel decisions.

The study by, a leading provider of stand-alone car rental insurance, looked at the cost of hiring a large car (Toyota Camry or similar large car) for a week, from July 1st – 7th 2024, in seven destinations (Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney) with eight rental companies, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, Sixt and Thrifty, and compared these to the same week in 2023.

The study revealed that the average cost to hire a full-sized hatchback this July will be around AU$ 725 for a week. For the same type of vehicle in July 2023, the average price for a week was only AU$ 667.

Darwin saw the largest price increase of 14% – a staggering price rise of AU$ 137 (from AU$ 983 to AU$ 1,121) – followed by Perth which saw a 11% increase of AU$ 78.

The smallest percentage increase was for Melbourne, which saw its 2023 price for a week’s rental of AU$ 576 increased by 3% to AU$ 593.

Car Rental Prices: Australia Sees a Staggering 11.5% Surge in 2024

Car Rental Prices: Australia Sees a Staggering 11.5% Surge in 2024

It is pretty obvious that not all car rentals are born equal, and that the cost of living (and car rental) may differ from one place to another. Nevertheless, recent data on car rental prices in Australia has revealed exorbitant rates, with Enterprise at Darwin Airport topping the list at a jaw-dropping AU$ 1,455.85 per 1-week rental. Following behind is Thrifty at Perth Airport, demanding a staggering AU$ 991 for a (large) rental car. These exorbitant prices mark an alarming increase compared to previous years, leaving travelers dismayed and questioning the affordability of renting a vehicle.

In the midst of soaring car rental prices across Australia, there is a glimmer of hope for budget-conscious travelers. Budget, a prominent car rental company, stands out with its affordable rates, offering a much-needed respite from escalating costs. The lowest recorded price for the same type of car rentals (full size -Toyota Camry or similar) was found at Brisbane airport , where a vehicle could be secured for just AU$ 424.78. This stark contrast to the exorbitant rates presented above highlights the significance of shopping around and exploring different rental options to secure the best deal. With a considerable price gap between the highest and lowest rates, it is evident that savvy travelers who are willing to do their research can still find reasonably priced car rental options amidst the market upheaval. 

Even though renting a car has a cost, there are numerous additional elements that could force travelers to pay even more for their week’s rental.

The study reveals that ‘extras’ purchased from the rental desk can cause costs to spiral, and have risen by 8% in the last twelve months. In 2024, drivers will pay on average AU$ 26 for an additional driver, AU$ 121 for a child’s car seat and AU$ 318 (!!!) for excess waiver insurance, including super damage waiver and tire and windscreen excess.

While it may be useful to have an extra driver on the rental policy, costs vary from US$ 18 in John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY, on average, to US$ 65 in Orlando International Airport.

One of the biggest expenditures for tourists at the rental counter is typically the additional waiver insurance, which protects drivers from this additional liability. Excess liability is the sum due even if the renter is not at fault if the rental car is stolen or wiped out. According to, the average extra liability for theft and damage was about AU$ 4,334. Many car rental companies offer various policies, including a super damage waiver (average cost: AU$ 228) and tire and windscreen cover, with a combined average cost in this study of AU$ 302.75 per week in Australia. This is five times more expensive than a policy from a specialist insurance provider, like, which charges only AU$ 74.90 for a week’s policy that covers damage, theft, and tyres and windscreen cover. With, annual car hire excess insurance policies start at AU$ 142.90.

Gil Farkash, the CEO and founder of, said: I am concerned regarding the continuous rise in car rental costs, coupled with persistent fuel price hikes, which poses challenges for travelers planning road trips”. Gil continues: “it is important to ensure consumers’ access to fair and competitive enhanced transparency and uniformity within the car rental sector”.  

It really pays to compare prices, as they can differ between rental agencies. It’s also very important to verify the cost of any extras you may require, so there are no unexpectedly high costs when you go to pick up the rental car. When compared to the excess waivers offered at the rental counter, purchasing car rental excess insurance from a specialized insurance provider like might result in significant savings.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I buy a plan for just one day?

Yes. Insurance for a single day is available.

Can I buy a plan for part of my rental only?

No. We provide a single journey plan. You are covered from the time you pick up the rental car up to the time you return it or on the last date written on your Certificate of Insurance, whichever comes first.

Can I buy a plan when I pick up my rental car?

No. You should purchase a policy before starting your travel.

Find the answers you’re looking for to the most frequently asked car hire insurance questions as well as other questions relating to our products and services.

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