French Polynesia


Oceania > Australia > Sydney

See: Why hire a car in Sydney ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Generally our advice for visitors arriving into Tahiti would be that there isn’t really a huge advantage to gain from hiring a car here, because the island only has a small number of driving routes.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Sydney car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Sydney is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Sydney? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Sydney between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 5/10

Non car score:7/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


Why? Visiting Sydney using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Sydney ?

As it happens, if you are heading out of Papeete town, you will actually see that the entire network of roads in Tahiti can be summarised as a figure-of-eight which has then been bitten off in the north-west corner. By all means, this is the sort of place where you might want to go on a driving tour as part of a morning or an afternoon excursion, and you will have absolutely no problem at all extending that out to make it a full day with lengthy stops to take pictures, but for anything more than this, a hire car is just going to be an extra cost, and quite possibly a substantial one at that.

Why not? Visiting Sydney without a car

Why don't you need a car in Sydney ?

As a lush tropical island, it goes without saying that hiring a car in Tahiti will have little appeal when compared with activities based around watersports or just relaxing on the beach, although you might want a car to drive between different beaches, if you can’t reach them easily on foot or by using local minibuses.

For staying anywhere in or around Papeete itself, local buses and taxis are more than adequate, and there’s really no need for any sort of hire car if you want to start hiking inland. The island itself is compact enough for most trekking excursions to be managed out and back within the same day, using only short journey in a road vehicle at each end.

Yet Papeete is also the natural gateway for all the other wonders that make up French Polynesia, including thoroughly spectacular atolls like Bora Bora, just a short flight away.

Ratings: How does Sydney compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Sydney? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Sydney, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Sydney? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Sydney (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Sydney? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Sydney airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Sydney car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 6

2021 - 6

Average score - 6



Whether you continue onwards from Papeete by boat or by light aircraft will depend on which island you are trying to get to, but needless to say, a hire car isn’t needed anywhere else in French Polynesia either, because the other islands have even fewer roads to drive on than Tahiti does!

Should you rent a car in Tahiti? No.


Do you or don't you need a car in Sydney ?