By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Melbourne?

Do you need a car in Melbourne > Should you rent a car in Melbourne Australia > Melbourne ( MEL )

For the first time visitor, Melbourne represents something of an irony. The city sprawls far and wide around the Geelong Bay, making it one of the largest city administrations on earth, despite a relatively low population (for a global city), and an extremely low population density. Yet perhaps only after San Francisco or Amsterdam, one of the most enduring icons of Melbourne is the trams.

Do you need a car in Melbourne? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

The city also has a reasonable network of urban bike paths and green corridors, but this is only “reasonable” by Australian or British standards, not by Continental European standards!

Why should you rent a car in Melbourne?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Melbourne?

Melbourne Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]



Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]




Free parking score

Total 832 - of which 381 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




So our general advice has to be that Melbourne is the sort of city that is much easier to get around by car, and that the car is also going to be extremely useful for visiting one of the many natural parks and other scenic areas that are easy enough to access just beyond the city.


Why not? Visiting Melbourne without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Melbourne public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score



Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Melbourne. 


However, the world-famous Puffing Billy steam railway is also situated just outside Melbourne. True rail cranks will probably want to take the train there from Flinders Street station, but it’s a slow suburban line, so if you’re going to get a rental car anyway, it’s easy enough just to park at the start of the line.

Melbourne car hire verdict

Melbourne has enough of an urban rail network to make it perfectly easy to visit without getting a hire car, but there’s a great deal to see just beyond the city, and with an easy day’s drive from Melbourne, and for this, would recommend getting one.

Verdict – yes


Car rental in - Melbourne Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Melbourne?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?

Is it worth hiring a car in Melbourne?

  • Based on value for money?

Should you rent a car in Melbourne?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Melbourne if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Melbourne if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Melbourne if I prefer not to drive?

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?



What is our final score for Melbourne on the Carornocar scale?


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Melbourne?

Have you driven in Melbourne? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Melbourne?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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