HOW TO Rent A Car Perth WITH 23 Australian Driving Tips [2023]


If you’re searching for how to rent a car in Perth, Western Australia, then look no further! As a resident of this great state, I’m excited to stop the overwhelm and help you make a decision. You’ll be able to confidently navigate your way through renting a car in Perth by the end of this article.

My biggest worry when booking hire cars in Perth WA was that there was always so many companies to choose from and I never knew which Perth car hire companies were legit, or which ones were going to leave me standing at the airport without a car. Especially in a foreign country! Do you ever feel the same?

This article contains some affiliate links which means that I may earn a small commission when you click on them, at no additional cost to you. I do hope you find the information in this article helpful!

First and foremost, most travelers want to know about the most trustworthy and best place for car hire in Perth WA. When I rent a car in Perth, I recommend and I always use Discover Cars, and you can see why below.

Discover Cars have a searchable directory of over 500 vehicle rental agencies across Australia, including Perth, so you can find the perfect car for your needs at the most competitive price.

Alright, ready to learn the ins and outs of renting a car in Perth? Let’s get into it, starting with the most frequently asked questions about Perth car rental.

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Image of sheep crossing the road on a regional road, from a perth car hire car
Going on a road trip in Western Australia is exciting! You never know what you’ll find, but you’ll need to find some decent cars for hire Perth first!

Rent A Car Perth FAQ

Is it safe to rent a car in Perth?

Yes – it’s definitely safe to hire a car in Perth Australia! Western Australia is one of the safest places you will find in the world.

That’s not to say that bad things don’t happen in Perth, because they do.

However, if you’re prepared, which you will be after this article, you should feel perfectly safe renting a car in Perth

Is it safe to drive in Perth?

Yes, Perth is generally a very safe place for drivers. The roads are well-maintained and there are plenty of signs to help guide you along the way.

The only downside to this experience is that you will have to drive in a foreign country, where the road rules may differ from those of your home country. (If you keep reading, I summarise the most important driving tips for you in WA, so you have no need to stress!)

Also, be mindful that during the peak tourist season in Western Australia (ie. Christmas, Easter, and long weekends, and summer in general), traffic can become heavier than usual – although people have told me before that what I consider hectic is nothing compared to other countries, so take that with a grain of salt!

Make sure you adhere to the speed limits and drive carefully to ensure your safety as well as others.

How are the roads in Perth and Western Australia?

The roads in Western Australia are generally very well maintained, and it’s easy to get around the state.

The highways between Perth and the major towns and cities are in great condition, and the main roads around them are too. With so many scenic routes to explore, you can take the road less traveled and uncover some true gems.

So, unless you’re traveling somewhere off the beaten path in a remote location, you should be fine with a mid-size or economy car, and shouldn’t need an SUV or 4WD.

🚗🚗🚗Are you looking for more information on the different road trips you can take from Perth?! Check out these detailed guides, including stops, tours, and places to stay along the way: PERTH TO EXMOUTH, PERTH TO MARGARET RIVER, PERTH TO BUSSELTON, PERTH TO PEMBERTON, so you can travel WA like a PRO! 🚗🚗🚗

hire car parked off a bush track near Margaret River in the states southwest
A car parked up near a bush track in Margaret River, in the states south west, car for rent Perth

Should I get a car rental in Perth?

If you’re a visitor coming to Western Australia, then absolutely – renting a car is the best way to get around. It allows you to explore at your own pace and see all the wonderful sights that Perth and Western Australia have to offer. Plus, it’s really affordable and convenient!

Compare this with trying to book taxis, or ubers, or manage tours, or figure out how to get somewhere with public transport, or try to figure out what you’re meant to tip your drivers or if you’re meant to tip them at all… just trust me on this.

In my time working in accommodation in Margaret River in the southwest of WA, I only came across a few people that came to Margaret River without a car, and I can tell you now, they did not enjoy their experience at all.

Western Australia is an extremely vast state, I don’t think you even really realize until you are here, how far away everything is from everything else, and ultimately the best way to see it is with a car, otherwise you will just miss out on the best sights and waste heaps of time trying to figure out how to get to places, and time is the most valuable commodity on a holiday!

I’ll only say it one more time, unless you are booked on an organized tour out of Perth, I would highly recommend you hire a car.

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Is there Uber in Perth?

Yes, there is Uber in Perth, and also in the smaller cities of Bunbury and Busselton, but you will not find Uber anywhere else in Western Australia. In short, without a hire car, you’ll have to use taxis, buses, trains and tours to get around the state.

picture of a cow on the side of the road
Proof that it’s always important to pay attention driving on country roads in Western Austraila – here was a cow I nearly hit a little while ago! Rental cars Perth WA

Where’s the best place for Perth car rental?

Are you wondering about car hire at Perth Airport? The best place for Perth rental cars is at Perth Airport (code: PER).

If you plan to fly in and out of Perth Airport, hiring a car there is the best convenient decision. Most rental companies have a selection of vehicles available at the airport, so it’s easy to find one that fits your needs.

A car rental in Perth city might be cheaper, but you’ll end up spending more by the time you’ve paid for a taxi to get there.

You will also save time if you rent a car at Perth Airport, as you will be able to hit the road straight away after collecting your luggage.

What’s the best car rental in Perth Airport?

When it comes to car rental in Perth Airport, there are lots of great options and most companies offer the same level of service. It’s a matter of personal preference and what type of car you need.

To help you decide, it’s best to compare the different companies and their prices using a comparison website like Discover Cars. You can also check customer reviews to get an idea of what other people think about their services.

This is why I love renting with Discover Cars, because I can see reviews from recent customers.

Overall, there is no one best car rental in Perth Airport, so it’s best to do your research and find the one that suits you best!

Plenty of sight to be seen driving around WA! Car hire in Australia Perth

What’s the best company for cheap car rentals in Perth?

If you’re looking for cheap car hire in Perth, then check out Discover Cars. They offer a range of cars to suit all budgets and requirements, from economy to luxury and SUVs.

They also offer great deals on longer-term rentals, so if you’re planning a longer trip around Western Australia, then Discover Cars is a perfect choice.

How much does renting a car in Perth cost?

Are you wondering the cost of car hire in Perth? The cost of renting a car in Perth will depend on the type of vehicle you need, how long you rent it for, and your age.

If you’re looking for a good deal, then compare prices on Discover Cars or other comparison websites to find the cheapest option available.

Generally, though, you can expect the cheapest rental car available to start at about $50 per day, and the price to go upwards from there.

What do I need to car rent in Perth?

It does vary from company to company, but generally, this is what you will need to rent a car in Perth:

  • Your Australian or International Drivers Licence (most car companies will accept all English language driving licenses, but you may require an international driver’s licence if your license is in another language)
  • Your Credit Card (they will not accept debit cards or other people’s credit cards)
  • Your Medicare Card or Passport (as a second form of ID)
  • You must be at least 25 years or older (some companies will rent to you if you’re under 25 and over 21, but they will probably charge you extra fees for this)
kids riding their bikes down a Western Australian road
Plenty of interesting looking roads in WA, cars for hire Perth

How do I hire a car in Perth?

It’s easy to do car renting in Perth. All you need to do is the following easy steps:

  • Use Discover Cars to find a car you like, for the dates you like, from the location you like.
  • Check reviews and double-check dates and locations. Weigh up the cost of picking up a car at the airport versus picking it up in the city (I always prefer the airport so as to save time)
  • Compare offers between different cars, including policies and prices.
  • Book your preferred car. I always recommend booking a car in advance because it’s usually less expensive, and if you wait until you arrive, the rental companies may be all sold out of your preferred vehicle, therefore leaving you with vehicles that might be out of your price range.

Now you have your car booked, what do you do once you arrive to pick up the vehicle?

  • Inspect the car carefully in the presence of a sales assistant and make sure all damage is documented and photographed.
  • Be sure to ask about what to do in the case of a breakdown or accident.
  • Check if you need to return the car with a full tank of petrol, what the charge is if you don’t, and where the nearest petrol station to the hire place is.

Ok, you’ve enjoyed your holiday, and now you need to return your car, what do you do?

  • Fill up your car as close to the drop-off point as possible.
  • Return your car during opening hours.
  • Get a sales assistant to inspect the car in your presence immediately upon your return.
  • Get a written statement acknowledging the car was returned undamaged.
  • If there is damages, sort them out on the spot.
car parked in the Boranup forest
Car parked in the Boranup Forest, near Margaret River, cheap hire car from Perth airport

How far can you take a rental car out of Perth?

If you are planning on doing some country driving, this is worth checking out with the rental company you want to book. I’ve seen some companies which have a 500km limit from Perth, (however you can pay extra to go further), while others have a limit of 100km per day.

Most of the ones I’ve seen have unlimited mileage, which is what you want in Western Australia, so just make sure you have this. It’s basically impossible to keep to under 100km a day if you’re driving around Perth and beyond!

How old do you need to be to hire a car in Western Australia?

This depends from car hire company to company, but you generally have to be 25 years old to hire a car, although some companies accept people below 25 and above 21, as long as they pay an extra fee.

🚗Looking to get around via car? Find the cheapest car rentals here!

Do you need an international driver’s license to rent a car in Australia?

If you have a driver’s license in English, most car hire companies will accept this. If it is in a different language, you will generally have to obtain an international driving permit, but just check what the conditions are for the car you’re hiring if you’re not sure.

How long can you drive on an overseas license in WA?

You can drive on an overseas driver’s license in Australia for up to three months. After that, you will need to obtain an Australian driver’s license.

Hopefully, that has answered a lot of your questions when it comes to hiring a car in Perth! Now you are full bottle on that, let me talk to you about some of the most important driving tips there are for driving on Western Australian roads.

country road, rent a car perth
A Western Australian dirt road (only a few roads are like this :)) Perth Australia car hire

23 Australian Driving Tips

1.Drive on the left-hand side of the road

If you’re used to driving on the right side of the road in the place that you come from, the most important thing you can remember when driving in Australia is that we require that you drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Make sure that the driver should always be close to the center of the road. You must also stay in the left lane unless passing (you must overtake on the right). If there is a broken white line down the middle of two lanes, it’s safe for you to pass if conditions permit; however, should such lines be solid, overtaking won’t be an option until one breaks closer toward your direction.

2.Give way to the right

In Australia, no matter what state you’re in, when there is no traffic light or sign at an intersection, drivers must give way to vehicles coming from the right.

3.Seatbelts are compulsory

This one is pretty self-explanatory! In Western Australia, it is compulsory by law for all drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt. The fine for a driver starts at $550 and goes up depending on how many other people in the car don’t have seatbelts on, and it’s also $550 for a passenger over the age of 16 that is either not seated or without a fastened seatbelt.

car on a dirt track near Augusta WA
Car on a track near Augusta, in the southwest of WA, cheap car rental Perth Airport

4.It’s illegal to use your mobile phone while driving

It is illegal to use your mobile phone while driving in Australia, so if you need to make a call or text, pull over and park where it is safe to do so. The fines for mobile phone use while driving in Western Australia start at $500 for touching or holding a phone to make, receive or end a phone call, and $1,000 for creating, sending or looking at a text, email, social media, photo, video etc.

5.It’s illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol

The police take this seriously in WA. Fines for returning a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) over 0.05 and under 0.08 start at $1,000, go up steeply from there and end in imprisonment.

If you are caught driving under the influence of drugs, the penalties start at $1,250.

6.All speed limits are in kilometers

Speed limits in Australia are measured in kilometers per hour (km/h) as opposed to miles per hour (mph). This is because the metric system is used for most measurements and calculations throughout the country. Try not to get worried about converting anything if it confuses you, just remember to look for our speed signs and make sure your speedometer is below that speed.

start of a gravel road in WA
Gravel road in the south west of WA, cheap car hires Perth

7.Always park on the left-hand side of the road

It is illegal in all states of Australia, including Western Australia, to park your car against the flow of traffic on a road. Therefore, if you’re driving along a two-way street and spot an open parking space on your right side, don’t think about squeezing into that spot with your door at the curb – just keep driving!

8.Check for parking signs (2P means you can park for 2 hours, 3P for 3 hours, etc.)

Parking signs are important because they provide vital information about parking restrictions in a given area. In Australia, most areas will have either two hours or three hours of free parking available with signs like “2P” and “3P”. This means you can park your car for two or three hours without any charge, but must move it when your time is up.

If you come to an area that has “2P TICKET” or whatever the length may be, make sure you find the meter where you can get your ticket from, and once paid, display it in your windshield, and don’t overstay the ticket length.

Also keep an eye out for “No Stopping,” “No Standing,” or “No Parking” signs, as these mean that you cannot park in the area indicated.

Checking for parking signs can save you from getting a fine and help ensure that you don’t get stuck with an expensive ticket! And you very well might, as rangers will regularly go around and check parking tickets or the length of time you have been parked.

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9.Railway crossings

I have actually known people that have been seriously hurt at railway crossings, so maybe I’m a bit paranoid, but it’s really important to obey all signals and signs, so you can enjoy your holiday safely.

At railways crossings in Australia, drivers must stop at the designated stop sign/line/barrier and wait for an indication that it is safe to cross. The signals could include flashing lights or bells in addition to any electronic gates or a flagman signaling the tracks are clear.

Once you have been given the sign that you may cross, do not stop or linger on the tracks and make sure you keep your vehicle clear of the crossing in case another train comes.

Do not enter a railway crossing unless there is enough room for your vehicle to pass completely over it. Also, be aware that it is illegal to stop in an area painted with yellow criss-cross lines. Fines can be substantial, so make sure to give way to trains when approaching railway crossings.

Following these simple rules will help keep you and other road users safe while navigating around Australia’s railway crossings.

rent a car Perth parked in the Boranup forest Margaret River
Car parked in the Boranup Forest near Margaret River, rent car Perth cheap

10.Pedestrians have right of way on a pedestrian crossing

Western Australia has its own rules and regulations when it comes to the right of way for pedestrians compared to the other states in Australia, but one thing is certain: as a driver, you must give way to all pedestrians on a marked pedestrian crossing. If you see zigzag lines painted across the road, that’s an indicator that there could be a pedestrian crossing up ahead and you should drive with caution.

Drivers should also give way to pedestrians when turning, making a U-turn, at all intersections and stop signs, and at a slip lane with a stop sign or stop line. Generally, pedestrians have the right of way unless they are crossing a road with no sidewalk or at traffic lights.

But, that being said, these laws aren’t well-followed in WA.

My advice to you, is if you are a pedestrian, assume every car wants to run you over, and if you are a driver, assume that other drivers won’t know the rules and may rear-end you if you try to give way to pedestrians.

11.Fuel types

Australia has a variety of different fuel types available to drivers. Unleaded petrol (ULP), diesel and LPG are the three main fuels used here, but there is also E10 (a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded petrol), and Autogas (LPG mixed with other hydrocarbons).

Choose the most suitable fuel for your vehicle as this will give you better performance, economy and lower emissions. Unleaded petrol is typically used in cars with small engines and low compression ratios, whereas diesel is more commonly used for larger cars with higher compression ratios. LPG tends to be a cheaper fuel choice than petrol or diesel.

If your hire car requires diesel, some petrol stations will have regular diesel and premium diesel. Check with the hire car company which they prefer if you’re not sure.

Make sure you check what fuel you are meant to be putting in your hire car, and if you’ve checked once, make sure you check again because putting the wrong fuel in can prove dangerous and costly!

12.Service stations

When you’re out on the road in Western Australia, service stations are a great place to fill up your car with fuel and grab some snacks. Most of these places also have convenience stores where you can find food items like sandwiches and chips.

Service stations can come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from large truck stops that offer full-service facilities, to smaller ones with just a few pumps. Look out for signs on the way to guide you to the closest service station as they can be quite tricky to spot from the highway.

Some service stations also offer car repairs, tyre services and basic maintenance such as oil changes. Service stations in WA also provide amenities such as toilets, playgrounds, picnic areas and wifi access – so they’re a great spot to take a break and relax as you travel around the state.

Always remember to be courteous while at service stations, follow any speed limits and obey the signs to keep everyone safe.

Locals Tip: If you’re traveling remote, (and I don’t mean anywhere in the south west!) and I mean really remote, I always recommend filling up when you come to a petrol station if there’s any chance it may be difficult to find the next petrol station. One time I ran out of petrol because I didn’t follow my own advice, and this involved a 12km walk to the nearest petrol station!

Sunrise, near Rosa Brook in WA’s south-west, cheap rent a car Perth

13.Always travel with a map

This one is self-explanatory, but if you’re not a local to Western Australia, and you’re traveling somewhat remotely, it doesn’t hurt to travel with a physical map, just in case your phone goes flat, or out of range and you get lost.

There’s plenty of roads around WA where hardly any traffic goes down, so I think it’s smart to be prepared for the worst just in case and save yourself a bunch of petrol and time if you get lost.

14.Road tolls

We don’t have any road tolls in Western Australia. Other states in Australia do, but not us. So you don’t have to worry about that!

15.Aussie wave

As a Western Australian through and through, the old Aussie wave is both endearing and a little annoying. On any trips regionally or remotely, don’t be weirded out by every single car coming in the opposite direction waving at you. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with your car (like one of our international visitors thought!) it’s just our way of saying “hello” and “how ya doin?” to everyone we meet on the road.

rent a car Perth, crazy ocean near Margaret River at winter
Taken near the Margaret River Mouth, one woolly winter! Car rental Perth cheap

16.Slow down at dawn and dusk for wildlife

Personally, I have a couple of thoughts here. If you’re not familiar with country driving and you’re coming from overseas, I would highly recommend planning your travel so as not to be driving at all during dusk or dawn.

If it can’t be avoided, drop your speed limit by 10km-20km an hour on regional roads at dusk, dawn, and at night. I drive about 500km a week on country roads, and have done for at least the last 18 years, and I ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL drive slower at dusk, dawn and at night.

There are kangaroos, emus and livestock that will run out on the road when you least expect it, and trust me when I say a small kangaroo can do a lot of damage.

In my driving life I have written-off one car from hitting a kangaroo, and nearly destroyed another from hitting a cow, and I’ve had hundreds of near misses.

To reiterate, avoid driving on regional roads at dusk, dawn or night if possible, and if you can’t, drive slower.

17.Pull over if you’re driving slower to let traffic pass you

Following on from the above comment, if you are driving below the speed limit for your own safety, make sure you pull over, if safe to do so, to let traffic behind you pass. You may be on holidays and have no time restrictions, but other people live in Australia and have places to be, so do the polite thing and let them pass you safely if you’re driving slowly for whatever reason.

18.Oncoming traffic flashing hi-beams at you

If a car coming in the other direction flashes their high beams at you, it’s important that you immediately slow down because they will be trying to warn you of an upcoming hazard. I have flashed my lights at people, and been flashed by people, to warn of livestock (ie. cows, sheep and horses) on the road, or of car accidents where the emergency services may or may not be yet, but that you will need to slow down for.

People will usually only do this within a 10-20km radius or so of whatever the hazard is, so if you’ve been flashed and travelled that far and not seen a hazard, then its probably safe to speed back up to the speed limit again.

View of farmland from the road near Margaret River, hire car Perth airport domestic

19.Don’t attempt river or creek crossings

I hope this is obvious, but I wanted to say it anyway because one of my customers died when he attempted to cross a creek that had come across the road after some heavy rains.

So, just don’t do it. There is no circumstance whereby it is ever a good idea to try and attempt a river or creek crossing with your hire car.

Obviously, if you’re up north, or 4WDing and you are experienced, then of course you know what you’re doing, but if you are a visitor to our state, and you’re driving on our regular roads and highways, and there’s a tonne of water over the road because of heavy rain or flooding, I would NOT recommend trying to cross it.

Best case scenario, you live, albeit with a soggy car that could be potentially damaged from the water, worst case scenario, the water washes you and your hire car away and you die.

20.Stay on the main roads

I’m all for people having an adventure, but if you’re not a Western Australian with extensive off-road experience, just stay on the main roads. If you go down some dodgy looking road or track your vehicle might get bogged or you might break down, and some of those roads don’t see much traffic at all, so you could potentially be broken down somewhere with no phone reception, and a long wait between passing cars. Just be sensible with your adventuring!

🚗Looking to get around via car? Find the cheapest car rentals here!

21.Make sure you carry emergency supplies like a tyre, tyre jack, water and food

The hire car company should provide you with a spare tyre and a tyre jack, just check when you’re picking up your car where it is located. As for food and water, this is something I personally have always done.

I always make sure we have at least 2-3L water and also a few snacks. I’ve never had to use the water or snacks myself, but we have seen other people broken down on remote stretches of road and are waiting for a tow truck, who have always been very grateful when we’ve given them some bottled water and food.

Car parked near the beach in Gracetown, WA, Perth domestic airport car hire

22.Check your tyres every morning

I recommend checking your tyres every morning so you can quickly identify if you have any punctures or slow leaks with your tyres. Seems excessive, I know, but if you are travelling remotely, and you suddenly have a flat tyre, you could potentially be stuck on the side of the road for 3-4 hours, if not longer. Much easier to keep on top of any maintenance style things BEFORE they become an issue, don’t you think?

23.What are roundabouts?

A bone of contention for many Western Australians, roundabouts are a circular intersection of roads, where drivers travel in a counter-clockwise direction around the roundabout and then exit off on their desired exit/road. In Australia, you must give way to any other car that is already in the roundabout, as well as indicate when you are exiting off.

This makes perfect sense, right? Well, don’t be shocked if you see people in Australia not know how to use a roundabout correctly. Just approach all of them with caution and assume the other drivers don’t know what they’re doing.

Car parked at the Margaret River Mouth, Perth hire car airport

Wrapping Up: Rent A Car Perth

Renting a car in Perth is the perfect way to explore this beautiful part of the world. Whether you’re driving around the city, driving from Perth to Margaret River, making a daytrip to the Pinnacles, or spending the day at the beach, you’ll be able to get around with ease and freedom. Just remember to adhere to all of the tips listed above to maximize your safety and enjoyment.

Also, if you need to know the most trustworthy and best place to rent a car in Perth, I recommend and I always use Discover Cars, because of their massive, searchable directory of over 500 vehicle rental agencies across Australia, including Perth, so you can find the perfect car for your needs at the most competitive price.

Related Posts:

Australia Travel Planning Guide

🚑Should I buy Australian travel insurance?

100% YES! — Australia has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens and permanent residents. Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I like SafetyWing – their Nomad Insurance starts at just $1.50 USD a day!

🚗Should I rent a car in Australia?

Yes — Renting a car is a necessity in most of Australia! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, and even if you’re staying in a major city, you’ll want to rent a car. If you are visiting Margaret River, it will be even more important that you hire a car, you’ll need it to be able to get around and see all the great attractions and wineries!

🏨What’s the best way to book my Australian accommodation?

My go-to for Australian hotels is Pretty much all registered accommodation use (but not necessarily any of the other major booking platforms), and even most of the holiday homes and caravan parks use too!

If you’re planning a trip to Australia where you will stay at multiple locations, it’s super handy to have all your accommodation listed in one place, and accommodation owners like because it’s easy to contact the guests using the messaging platform if the guest has an international phone number.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to Margaret River!