Cheap Melbourne Airport Car Hire: The Best Companies

by Paul Joseph  |  Published July 24, 2017

Melbourne Airport has six rental companies available for visitors to this vibrant coastal city in southeeastern Australia. Among them are some of the most renowned car hire brands around, each coming with a strong reputation for reliability, professionalism and service. The reasons for choosing a hire car company in Melbourne are multiple, but if you’re planning to venture beyond the city during your stay, it is arguably essential. With the nearest city to Melbourne some 600km away, you’ll need your own vehicle if you’re not going to rely on costly coaches or domestic flights.

An exterior shot of Melbourne Airport’s Interntional Terminal (Photo: rotheche via Flickr)

All six car rental companies at Melbourne Airport are located on site, with offices on the ground floor at Terminal 1, 2 and 3 car parks, and with information desks to be found in the domestic terminals. The queues can get rather heavy during peak hours, so you might want to brace yourselves for a long wait. However, you can quicken the process by ensuring you have your passport, driver’s license and a form of ID to hand.

Our car rental company search results

To help visitors to Melbourne select the company that’s best for them and their specific needs, the team at have delved deep and come up with our top recommendations. To reach our verdicts, we conducted several searches across numerous dates and durations of stay and scoured the results for the best deals. We’ve split our findings into three categories – Best value, Best for Families and Best for luxury cars – so all options are covered. After your return, we’d love to hear from to know if our advice was useful!

Best value: Thrifty

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Our tip for best value is Thrifty, which stocks a range of affordable passenger vehicles at Melbourne Airport, such as the Mitsubishi Mirage and Kia Cerato. Fuel-efficient and economical, these smaller cars are great for running around the city. The company also has a number of special offers for Melbourne visitors, including pre-paid fuel at least 10 cents below pump price, free upgrades and 12% off larger passenger vehicles. Thrifty’s desk runs convenient opening hours too, from 6am to 11.30pm daily.

Best for families: Europcar

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Europcar have a good rage of vehicles across the board, but it is their choice of larger family-sized cars that grabbed the attention during our research. A number of their vehicles provide excellent boot space and passenger comfort – both desirable traits for people with kids and extra luggage in tow. Europcar offer a choice of daily, weekly, monthly, short and long term car hire and their office at Melbourne Airport is open from 6am-12am throughout the week.

Best for luxury cars: Hertz

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We must confess, the choice for luxury car hire and sports cars at Melbourne Airport is fairly limited, and so we feel inclined to downplay expectations. However, for high-end cars, Hertz are usually a reliable bet and for their ‘premium’ range they offer the Nissan Dualis and the Toyota Rav in Melbourne. Nothing to get the blood pumping too fast, we grant you, but they at least do come with commendable guest reviews (‘excellent’ for all our searches). As an added bonus, their desk at Melbourne Airport is open virtually round the clock, closed only between 2.30am and 3.30am each day.