By | 16th January 2018

Should you rent a car in Sydney?

Do you need a car in Sydney > Should you rent a car in Sydney Australia > Sydney ( SYD )

On the face of it, Sydney has the most comprehensive public transport network of any Australian city, and this includes a substantial network of commuter rail services (Sydney Trains), train connections at Sydney International airport, and a growing light rail network. A futuristic monorail ran in a loop around the city centre, although this was dismantled in 2013 due to low ridership, and the inability to make the service compatible with the light rail.

Do you need a car in Sydney? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Needless to say, Sydney’s most famous landmarks of the Opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are easy enough to visit on foot, and the bridge itself might carry an 8 lane highway as well as a 4 track railway, but you can also walk across it or indeed over it (as a tourist attraction), and that has to be the best option!

Within the urban area of Sydney, you will find some famous beaches, most notably Bondi beach, which is easy enough to get to by bus, or by taking the train to Bondi junction and then walking the last half mile.

Why should you rent a car in Sydney?

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 Sydney?

Sydney Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




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





Free parking score

Total 592 - of which 185 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • One particular must see excursion is to the Blue Mountains National Park, but this is just one of several scenic areas which can all be visited within a day’s drive of Sydney. These can also be done by bus tour, but you are then confined to their schedules, not yours.
  • Depending on how long you’re planning on staying in Sydney and whether you are also looking travelling onward to other destinations, you might well find that it’s worth looking at Sydney car hire options that involve getting a vehicle for part of your stay, but not for the whole length of it. This might also depend on where you’re staying, because parking charges can be a problem if you’re staying in downtown Sydney.
  • Since Sydney is also the main international gateway to Australia, it’s the obvious place to look for a longer term rental for a road trip.
  • Despite a planned new metro line, Sydney is still very much a car city.

Why not? Visiting Sydney without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Sydney public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score


Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)


  • Public transport is adequate – better than any other city in Australia, and improving rapidly.
  • No car needed within city of Sydney.
  • Sydney’s famous Harbour Bridge can be crossed by bus or train.
  • Better still, walk across Harbour Bridge or cross it by bike.
  • For the best views of all , climb Harbour Bridge –


Car rental in - Sydney Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Sydney?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Sydney?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Sydney?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

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

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Sydney if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

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

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


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

Should you rent a car in Sydney? Yes, it will probably be handy for at least some of the time.

Would you hire a car in Sydney?

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

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