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Ayers rock on a sunny day, Australia 

Compare the best Australia car hire

Australia is a great holiday destination because of its famous cities, beautiful landscapes and laidback lifestyle. Car hire in Australia allows you to get out and explore the cities and scenery. You can drive to the many beaches, into the outback, or explore the wine-producing areas.

Why go?

If a country was made for driving then Australia fits the bill. With stunning drives and a great road network, it's waiting to be discovered.

Most visitors land in a major airport such as Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD) or Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL). If you want to explore the scenery on offer in Australia, the Sydney to Melbourne coastal route is very popular and Australia car hire makes trips such as these easy to arrange.

Australia's iconic natural image is Uluru, or Ayers Rock. This is located in the Red Centre and is a must-see, as is Australia's most central town of Alice Springs. It is also possible to fly to the Ayers Rock Airport (AYQ). Other inland wonders are the Blue Mountains - an easy drive from Sydney. Most of Australia's sights, however, are found on the coast.

One of the best beach areas is the Gold Coast. Visitors can opt to fly into Gold Coast Airport (OOL) or Brisbane (BNE). This is the place for beach life, golf and relaxation. In Victoria, a drive along the Great Ocean Road is an ideal road trip. This takes in the Apostles, a stunning rock formation of twelve stones.

The Red Centre is in the Northern Territories, as is Darwin with its easy access to the Kakuda National Park. There are numerous flights to Darwin (DRW). All of Australia's cities have their attractions. Perth (PER) gives access to the east coast, while Cairns (CNS) is close to the Great Barrier Reef. Adelaide (ADL) is in the south and Hobart (HBA) takes you into Tasmania. If you want to visit the capital, you need to head to Canberra (CBR).

Top tips for driving in Australia

Ensure you get it right when you drive in Australia. Read our tips for an easy car rental getaway.

Renting a car in Australia is easy. Driving is on the left, just as it is in the UK, making it a very familiar experience for many. Certainly in towns and cities and on all major roads you will find driving easy.

However, once you exit the city and get into the outback or less populated areas, you may well find that roads are no longer tarmac and instead are dirt roads. Ensure you know where you are turning off all main roads and that you have sufficient fuel and food in case the next stop is a long way off. Also, if you are planning to go 'off road', ensure you have hired a car suitable for this task and you have agreed with your rental company that you will stray from the tarmac roads. 

Don't underestimate the distance in Australia. What may look like a short hop on the map can in fact be hundreds of miles. Whilst the road quality is excellent, many of the long distance roads are straight and long and it's easy to lose concentration, so plan these drives carefully to allow for rest breaks.

Fuel is sold in litres and is available as both unleaded and leaded as appropriate. Most gas stations will take both credit and debit cards, as well as cash.

You will also need to be aware of the road signs warning of everything from kangaroos to cattle on the roads. Look out for road trains too. These are huge lorries, far bigger than those we see in the UK, and require plenty of space for overtaking. Always leave sufficient room behind them in case of sudden braking.

Seat belts are compulsory, as in the UK, and drink driving is strictly forbidden. In fact, you may often see an entire flow of traffic stopped while police select cars for random breathalysing with their famous 'Booze Buses'.