Car rentals and driving

Exploring Sydney and NSW by car is a fantastic way to see the State’s vast and varied landscape and enjoy the many things to do. From coastal road trips to outback adventure, driving in NSW offers the flexibility to discover secluded beaches, scenic national parks and diverse landscapes.  


Driving in Australia

Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. You must have a valid drivers license to drive in Australia and you can drive on a foreign drivers licence for three months, as long as that licence is in English. An International Drivers Permit (IDP) is required if your license is not in English.

Seat belts are compulsory in Australia and the driver of the vehicle has the responsibility to ensure all passengers are wearing them. The blood alcohol limit is 0.05% throughout Australia and is enforced with random breath tests. Using hand-held mobile phones is prohibited and detection cameras and speed cameras are used across Sydney and NSW.


Toll Roads in Sydney

There are tolled roads in and around Sydney, including the Harbour Bridge, Harbour Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel and Eastern Distributor. These are charged via an e-tag system, which you can obtain from the following websites:,,,

Rental cars may come with e-tags – ask upon arrival at the rental car desk. If you don’t have an e-tag and you pass through a toll road, ensure you call the number advertised to pay the toll, otherwise, you may incur a fine.


Parking in Sydney and Regional NSW

Free parking can be found in many regional areas and some parts of Sydney. In Sydney city centre and at popular beaches parking can be limited and expensive. If you park on the street, ensure you park in the direction of traffic and pay attention to signage regarding parking time limits, permits and parking meters. Streets are patrolled by parking rangers and you may incur a fine if you park for longer than the area allows. 

You can pre-book city parking with Secure and Wilson, with rates often cheaper when booked in advance. is also a useful resource when looking for places to park.


Car rentals in NSW

Most car rental companies have desks and vehicles at Sydney Airport, and offices near the city centre, as well as at regional airports across the State. Some car rental companies allow you to return your car to a different office for an additional fee.

Car rental companies in NSW:

Avis Car Rental

Budget Car Rentals


Hertz Car Rental


Thrifty Car Rentals

No Birds


Road Trips and Scenic Drives

In NSW, there are numerous designated tourist drives and road trips. Explore recommended routes and itineraries here.

Live Traffic NSW App

For up-to-the minute news of traffic incidents and road conditions that may affect your journey in Sydney and regional NSW:

Download the Live Traffic NSW App from the App Store

Download the Live Traffic NSW App from Google Play