Rental companies may charge extra for drivers aged under 25, normally payable when you pick up your car. Age restrictions may apply in certain locations. Check the rental company's website before booking.

Car Hire from Canberra Airport

Car Hire at Canberra International Airport

With Skyscanner, travellers going to Canberra through Canberra International Airport will find it easy to look for and book the best car rental deals even before arriving in the city. Renting a car and driving across the Australia’s capital, Canberra, will be a breeze, due to many rent-a-car options at competitive rates and excellent road conditions.

Where to hire a car at Canberra International Airport

Upon arriving at Canberra International Airport, car rental options are available for travellers wishing to rent a car for their stay in Canberra. At the airport, there are seven car rental companies that are located at the arrivals hall of the terminal, adjacent to the baggage collection belts. These companies include, Avis, Budget, East Coast Car Rentals, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot Car Rentals, and Thrifty. Pre-booking can be done from the airport, but the cars are also available for rent on the day. The counters are near Gate B.

Upon completing rental procedures, proceed to the airport car park and go to the respective parking bays of the car rental company of your choice. Some companies allow their cars to be returned at a different location, while others require the cars and keys to be returned where you rented them. Vehicle types that can be rented from most of the companies include Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full Size, Full Size Sports, Hybrid Eco Friendly, Premium, Luxury, Prestige, Special Coupe, Station Wagon, Full Size Van, Full Size 4WD, and Standard SUV.

What to expect when hiring a car from Canberra International Airport

Different car rental companies have different conditions when renting and returning their cars. Some may require you to return the car with a full tank. Some companies have the Prepaid Fuel Option where the vehicle can be returned at any fuel level. If you do not purchase this option and return the vehicle with less fuel that it had when it was rented, a Fuel Service amount per litre applies. The car must be filled only with the fuel type specified in the Manufacturer’s Specifications that will be provided by the company. There are only few fuel stations on the main roads of Canberra, as most are located near local shops off the main road. Fuel stations can be found by looking for the small blue fuel pump signs pointing off the main roads. A number of petrol stations can be found east of Northbourne Avenue at Civic (Canberra’s commercial centre). Take note that petrol is more expensive in Canberra than in Sydney.

Driving around Canberra International Airport

The terminal precinct at Canberra International Airport was redeveloped to feature a two-level, dual-lane axial road system that functions as the entry and exit road to the terminal. It connects to Pialligo Avenue outside of the airport boundary with an overpass system. The airport is approximately eight kilometres from the city proper of Canberra. When driving from the airport to the city, Parks Way and Morshead Drive can be taken, or alternatively, Fairbairn Avenue.

Generally, when driving within Canberra and the rest of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the default speed limit is 50km/h, unless stated otherwise on signposts. Some of the major roads have 60-100km/h speed limits in 10km/h intervals. At school zones, the speed limit is usually 40km/h. Travellers should also be aware that ACT is equipped with speed cameras with warning signs, as well as mobile speed camera vans, so watch out for these. There are also fixed speed traps in Canberra to watch out for. They are highly visible with multiple signs.

Car rental customers in Canberra will be relieved to know that most of the major attractions in the city provide free parking. Some of the areas that parking spaces can get very limited during working hours are in the Parliamentary Triangle, covering the National Library, Questacon, the Old Parliament House, National Gallery, and Commonwealth Place, among others.

Getting to your destination

From Canberra International Airport, here are some popular destinations in Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory where you can drive to with your rented car.

Civic is the main shopping and commercial area of Canberra. It is approximately eight kilometres from the airport, via Morshead Drive, A23, or Fairbairn Avenue. When going to Civic, follow the signpost that indicates “City” instead of “Civic.” The streets and the government parking lots of Civic are with parking meters, so drivers should have enough change for these. There are also multi-level carparks in the city centre with ticket pay-stations and pay-booths. When opting for whole day parking, note that this option is cheaper on the rooftop level.

Capital Country
Outside of the bustling city is the Capital Country, which is more than 60 kilometres from Canberra International Airport via Federal Highway/Remembrance Drive/M23, or via Sutton Road. Historic towns may be explored here, as well as Aboriginal settlements and the Namadgi National Park, which covers most of the ACT. Scenic drives on unsealed roads can be done here. The visitor centre is located on Naas Road.

South Coast
About two hours’ drive from the airport is the South Coast of the neighbouring New South Wales region. Located approximately 199 kilometres from Canberra International Airport, take Monaro Highway/B23 and B72 to get to South Coast. On the way you will pass by Braidwood, a heritage-listed town about an hour from Canberra, on the western side of the Great Dividing Range. Historic buildings and the Braidwood Museum can be found here.

The drive to South Coast from Canberra offers scenic views. At South Coast, enjoy activities such as whale watching, kayaking, swimming, surfing, or just lazing on the unspoiled coastlines.

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