Canberra Car Hire: 2023 Guide

If you’re planning on visiting Canberra, hiring a car will definitely make getting around much easier.

Canberra Airport Car Hire

If you’re flying into Canberra the easiest place to pickup a car is at the airport/

Canberra Airport currently has 6 car hire companies:

  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Budget
  • Sixt

Here’s a map of the Car rental pickup and drop off locations at Canberra airport. Because Canberra Airport is small and modern, it’s easy to pick up and drop:

Car hire map at Canberra Airport

Canberra City Car Hire

If you’re arriving into Canberra by bus and looking to hire a car, there are a number of car hire places in the City Centre. Europcar is located at the Jolimont Centre which is where coaches arrive into Canberra. There is an Avis, Budget and Sixt located on Mort Street in Braddon. This is very close to a number of hotels in and around Braddon and is within walking distance of the Light Rail, Jolimont Centre and the City Centre.

Booking a Car Hire in Canberra

To book a Car Rental in Canberra I recommend using Kayak which will compare all the hire companies in Canberra to give you the best deal.

Is it Worth Hiring a Car in Canberra

While the Public Transport has gotten better with the introduction of light rail, it can still be difficult to get around Canberra without a car. Canberra is quite spread out and even though most of Canberra’s attractions are centrally located the distance between some locations is not in easy walking distance.

While it’s entirely possible to travel around via Bus and Light Rail a car will make it easier.

Is Driving in Canberra Hard?

Canberra is a planned city which makes driving around really easy. Canberra doesn’t really get any traffic jams and there are very few one-way roads. The hardest thing you’ll have to contend with is a roundabout. Canberra is known for its roundabouts and some visitors do find them confusing.

There is currently quite a lot of construction work going on in the city. This is due to the construction of light rail. Traffic conditions do change with often. I’ve found that using Apple Maps to be really good at picking up changed road conditions. Google Maps is also reasonably accurate but it hasn’t always shown road closures for me.

Canberra is much easier to navigate around compared to Sydney or Melbourne.

Parking in Canberra

Parking in and around Canberra is relatively cheap and easy.

The main public institutions like The National Gallery, Parliament House, National Museum etc all have their own parking.

If you’re looking to explore Braddon including Lonsdale Street I recommend parking near The Canberra Centre. There are both outdoor and numerous multi-story carparks there and it’s easier than trying to find parking in Braddon. There is construction work on Lonsdale Street at the moment which will make parking harder.

There is plenty of outdoor parking in Kingston if you’re looking to visit The Glassworks and The Kingston Foreshore.

For events like Florida, parking can be a little tricker and it may involve a walk. For many events like Floriade a Free Shuttle Bus is available from the city centre.

Most parking in and around the city is paid parking. I use an app to pay for parking, but for visitors it’s easier just to pay using the machines.

Alternatives to Car Hire in Canberra


Uber is popular in Canberra and you’ll have no trouble booking an Uber. It will cost around $25 (depending on the time of day and demand) to go from the Airport into the City Centre. Canberra Airport has a dedicated Ride Share Lounge where you can book an Uber or other ride share.


Canberra has two electric scooter companies; Neuron (orange) and Beam (purple). You can use the respective apps to hire an e-scooter in and around the city centre. These are a convenient alternative to walking but it will end up being more expensive than an Uber if you’re travelling with multiple people.

Light Rail and Bus

The Light Rail runs along Northbourne Avenue. It’s convenient if you’ve got a hotel anywhere along the line and looking to get into the city. To get attractions like The National Museum, National Gallery and The Arboretum you’ll need to catch a bus. Apple Maps provides live public transit data and directions for Canberra.


I grew up in Canberra and apart from a brief stint overseas I've spent my entire life here. I've watched Canberra grow from a sleepy town into a thriving city. I want to share the best Canberra has to offer through LoveCanberra.

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