Rent a car in Melbourne with Europcar
Melbourne is the state capital of Victoria, located in the south-eastern part of mainland Australia. Known as the Australian capital of culture, it is famed for its great art galleries, hipster bars and generally laidback way of life from its creative, exciting city centre to its lively neighbourhood hubs. Whether you love sport and the great outdoors, or eating world-class cuisine, Melbourne is a city that is well worth exploring.
Car hire in Melbourne is a great option for discovering all that the city has to offer as well as exploring further afield in the state of Victoria.
The Europcar car rental experience in Melbourne
There are numerous Europcar stations to collect your Melbourne car hire from. If you are arriving via plane, branches at Tullamarine Off Airport or Melbourne Airport allow you to be on the road as soon as you land. There is also a pick-up point at Melbourne Southern Cross train station, plus several others in the heart of the city.
From compact two-seaters, to trucks and 4x4s, we have the car hire to suit your journey. The Nissan Micra or Hyundai Accent are perfect to get small groups from A to B safely, whereas the Toyota Camry or Mercedes B200 are great options for families or larger groups.
Moving means you probably need van hire and Europcar has the vehicle to help you out, with both van and ‘ute’ hire available. Whenever and however you want to travel, Europcar offers the flexibility to pick up and drop off your hire car at different stations, and enjoy car hire for short or long term periods to suit you.
Driving in Melbourne
To rent a car in Australia you need a valid international driving permit plus a valid driver’s licence issued from your country of residence.
The Australian speed limit differs between the Northern and Southern Territory. In Victoria, the maximum speed limit on motorways is 110 km/h, on single-carriageways it is 100 km/h, in built-up areas it is 50 km/h and near schools it is 40 km/h.
Melbourne has the third largest tram network in the world, with trams running on the inside of each driving lane. Be aware that trams stop regularly to drop off and pick up passengers; you can overtake the trams but only when there is enough room to pass safely and the doors are not opening.
There are several hook turns in Melbourne. These are a way of turning right at an intersection from the left lane and you are alerted by the traffic lights when you can turn.
The centre of Melbourne is very busy, with traffic peaking during the weekday rush hours of 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm.
In the centre of the city, most paid parking bays are limited to one hour, increasing to two hours after 6.30pm. Outside of this zone, parking is available for longer, and there are some off-street car parks which allow long-stay and overnight parking. You can pay for parking with credit/debit card or cash at the meter. Payment can also be made via phone with PayStay but you will need to open an account beforehand.
Australia has many toll roads. Most of these use an electronic system meaning you have to buy an e-tag pass in advance, or you have three days to pay the charge online once you have passed through the toll.
If you plan to travel outside of cities, be aware that road surfaces will be variable, journeys will take longer and there will be fewer petrol stations. Be prepared before you set off and make use of the rest stops which are every 80-100 kilometres on motorways and roads. Check the weather before you travel as this can dramatically affect driving conditions.
Discover Melbourne and the surrounding area by car
Melbourne’s city centre is a little over 6 kilometres square, but its suburbs span nearly 10,000 kilometres square. Hiring a car to travel around, whether inside the city or further afield, is the most flexible way to get around.
If you fancy exploring outside of Melbourne, head to the town of Bendigo (153 kilometres away); a great hub for those seeking culture and food all year round, this is a popular destination when the weather is not great for exploring the coast.
Further away, there is the Great Otway National Park, 210 kilometres south of Melbourne. This is a spectacular area of natural beauty where you can see koalas, birds and diverse fungi.
The region boasts many great driving routes, including the Great Ocean Road and the Melbourne to Sydney Coastal Drive (via Canberra).
Around 25 minutes (15 kilometres) by car from Melbourne, the Heide Museum of Modern Art is a charming non-profit gallery and sculpture park. Permanent collections include international and local painters and sculptors including Anish Kapoor and Albert Tucker. The gardens are a great place for the kids to enjoy and interact with the art and you can bring a picnic to eat beside the Yarra River which runs through the grounds. There are various guided and self-guided tours within the gallery.
Around 55 minutes by car from the centre of Melbourne, Australian Garden is an outpost of the famous Melbourne Botanic Garden. While not as historic as its big sister, Australian Garden has a healthy catalogue of around 170,000 species of flora and fauna. The beautifully manicured gardens make a perfect day out, and with a picnic from the café in the visitors centre you can enjoy lunch in the sublime surroundings.
Things to see in Melbourne
With green spaces, myriad art galleries and sporting activities, hipster bars and cafés, and the breath-taking Victoria national parks and forests, it is not hard to see why Melbourne has been voted the most liveable city in the world seven years in a row.
Diversity abounds, from chic neighbourhoods like South Yarra and Fitzroy, to the more traditional architectural styles seen in the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Flinders Street Station, Remembrance Shrine and Royal Exhibition Building. And cuisines from all around the world can be found on Victoria Street.
Don’t miss Melbourne Zoo, the oldest zoo in the country, and the Botanic Garden’s 94 acres of stunning Victorian landscaping.