Cairns car rentals

Cairns car rentals

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Cairns, QLD, Australia
Sep 27 — Oct 4
Same drop-off
Cairns, QLD, Australia
Mon 9/27
Noon
Mon 10/4
Noon

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Cairns car rental information

Pick-up locationCairns
Car typesCompact, Compact SUV, Economy, Full-size, Full-size SUV, Intermediate, Intermediate SUV, Minivan, Passenger van, Standard, Standard SUV
Rental locations48
Airport locations25
Popular agenciesFirefly, Budget, Enterprise, Avis, Sixt

Cheap car rentals in Cairns

Economy$26/day
Compact$28/day
Intermediate$41/day
Standard$42/day
Full-size$45/day
Minivan$64/day
Full-size SUV$58/day
Passenger van$71/day
Intermediate SUV$30/day
Compact SUV$44/day
Standard SUV$49/day
Best rates found by KAYAK users in the past hours.

Cairns car rental reviews and directory

From $27/dayRated #1
Enterprise
Best rated
9.6 Excellent (8 reviews)
2 locations in Cairns
Enterprise
Locations in Cairns
  • 9.7
  • 9.5
  • 9.5
  • 9.5
  • 9.7
Recent reviews
8.0 ExcellentApr 25 2019
The car was clean and the staff was niceApparently I was too young to drive the car I rented (it wasn’t on the website) and it took very look until they came to an agreement.
10.0 ExcellentNov 22 2017
Great airport, great rentalGreat front desk guy, handy car pickup, no bus to deal with. Upgraded compact suv to overlander, no chargeNo issues, the usual attempt to upsell but no pressure. Just say no to what you don't want. Wish I had added the gps, but they asked. My bad.
10.0 ExcellentMay 24 2017
All goodEasy pick up procedure and drop offNothing - fast, friendly -
10.0 ExcellentMay 18 2017
Satisfied CustomerFast friendly service. Didn't try and sleezy salesmen gimmicks on my family and I that you typically get from rental car places.
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From $38/dayRated #2
Thrifty
9.1 Excellent (4 reviews)
2 locations in Cairns
Thrifty
Locations in Cairns
  • 9.5
  • 9.5
  • 9.5
  • 9.5
  • 6.4
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentDec 11 2016
great serviceI had a small fender bender on my car and Thrifty made it easy dealing with the problem and replacing the car. Very friendly personnel.
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From $41/dayRated #3
Hertz
9.1 Excellent (17 reviews)
3 locations in Cairns
Hertz
Locations in Cairns
  • 9
  • 9.1
  • 9.1
  • 9.5
  • 8.8
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentMay 30 2021
Staff were very helpful, car we booked as not available so they upgraded us FOC.Nothing from us
10.0 ExcellentFeb 24 2019
Friendly staff. Easy pickup and drop off.
10.0 ExcellentDec 23 2018
very friendly employees, easy claim process initiating, flexible return.
8.0 ExcellentNov 19 2018
Easy pick up and return after pickupFound out after pickup, we couldn't take it somewhere we wanted to go.
10.0 ExcellentSep 6 2018
They helped us a lotWe had a problem with the rent, and the women of the airport shop helped us to solve it.
5.6 OkayNov 21 2017
I prepaid for a different drop off location and when I picked up the car I was asked to pay an additional fee for a that service. I was told its similar to adding a GPS or car seat to an existing reservation but I was unable to take the car without paying additional despite my reservation. I called the 800 number and was told this charge would drop off and was covered but just discovered three separate charges for this rental have been processed. I plan on calling customer service again to clear this matter up but the Cairns office was unhelpful and unwilling to listen to me about the reservation I booked.
9.6 ExcellentApr 9 2017
Everything was clean, simple, and very easy pick up and drop off.Just a little small for a family of five. Not what i would call a typical SUV.
9.2 ExcellentJan 4 2017
Pick-up and drop off were convenient. No extra charges. The car type/condition was a good choice for the area and driving conditions.Not sure the additional insurance I purchased when I made the rental reservation was necessary (as I was lead to believe at the time).
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From $26/dayRated #4
East Coast Car Rentals
8.9 Excellent (20 reviews)
1 location in Cairns
East Coast Car Rentals
Locations in Cairns
  • 8.9
  • 8.8
  • 8.9
  • 8.8
  • 9.1
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentOct 10 2018
Excellent staff great rental experience.Good clean car. Airport transfer was efficient and driver was very friendly and well presented. Check in staff and check out staff was nice and professional which made our rental a positive experience. I’ll be using Kayak and east coast rentals again.
10.0 ExcellentJun 14 2018
Generally good valueAppreciated the airport pickup and drop off included. Car was reasonable quality and condition, and was comfortable and reasonably new. Paper work was straightforward, especially on return (ie. none, if no outstanding issues).Tyre pressures weren't checked -- 2 were grossly under inflated, yet not punctured, so had no reason to be.
8.8 ExcellentJun 10 2018
Simple fuss free car rentalPick up from airport was efficient and friendly Picking car up was fast and lovely lady on desk explained everything Car was ready to go Absolutely no fuss at all A very streamlined serviceHappy with service no complaints Would definitely use again
7.6 GoodMay 15 2018
Ease of booking online, pick up/return service from and to airport.Car could've been a little cleaner, but overall it was good.
10.0 ExcellentMay 10 2018
Good cars, very good customer service, no delays in car pickup.Nothing to mention!!
9.2 ExcellentMar 20 2018
Service with smileFast pick up and drop off, excess very,very high, car cleanExcess too high so drivers must take insurance policy. Otherwise everything was OK
10.0 ExcellentJan 15 2018
Airport transfers
8.0 ExcellentJan 13 2018
The car was clean.The car had already done 45k klms and seemed in need of a tune up, at times there was a lag in acceleration and then a sudden lurch forward...could be dangerous for a less experienced driver. Excess on any damage was very high...$5k seemed excessive compared to other companies and was only apparent after confirmation of booking.
8.0 ExcellentJan 7 2018
Misleading when booked it stated airport pick up and drop off. instead a mini bus came and picked us up and took us into town to pick up our car.
From $26/dayRated #5
Budget
8.7 Excellent (23 reviews)
2 locations in Cairns
Budget
Locations in Cairns
  • 8.8
  • 8.9
  • 8.7
  • 8.5
  • 8.2
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentApr 21 2021
The staff were very pleasant. Drop-off very easy
10.0 ExcellentDec 28 2019
Very friendly agent, easy to rent, pick up, and return. Good process to log any known damage to car (we didn't have any).
6.8 GoodJul 1 2019
Clean and new carNo invoice of damadge on windscreen, just took a lot of money from my account without any notice.
9.2 ExcellentJun 18 2019
Friendly staffMore workers to help check-in
8.0 ExcellentJan 10 2019
Cairns To BrisbaneNice car, very comfortable easy to drive. Rental desk at the airport in Cairns.Drop off and office not at the same address. Not clearly mentioned. Missed it the first time had to go around the block once again
10.0 ExcellentJul 21 2017
Near new vehicle. Really good rates
8.0 ExcellentMay 20 2017
Good but that insurance!I booked the car as soon as we landed at the Cairns airport and it was ready in 10 minutes. The car had under 1900km so pretty new. No problems during the week and the return was seem less.By far the insurance that they try to sell you and the scare tactics they use to get you to buy into it...
10.0 ExcellentOct 24 2016
Just rightNothing to add
10.0 ExcellentJul 15 2016
Good rentalSeamless transaction, not a very long wait.They did try to up sell insurance, but that's quite normal of course. Was not worth the $49 per day unless you plan on wrecking.
10.0 ExcellentMay 25 2016
The entire process of checking in, getting our car and returning our rental was extremely fast, courteous and effortless - Great job, would highly recommend Budget for any rental need.
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From $29/dayRated #6
Alamo
8.3 Excellent (10 reviews)
2 locations in Cairns
Alamo
Locations in Cairns
  • 8.9
  • 8.3
  • 8.3
  • 9.1
  • 8.1
Recent reviews
5.9 OkaySep 8 2021
Probably the worst car that I have ever hired. Body was very shabby and the way it ran was dreadful. I wouldn't take it to Port Douglas as I was nervous about it getting there and back. Very high revving and not smooth running at all.
3.9 MediocreSep 7 2021
We were unfortunate to have a collision with a pole in the parking lot of our hotel and were promised that they would get back to us with the costs etc but they haven’t
10.0 ExcellentAug 2 2021
Pick up and drop off was simple. The upgraded vehicle was a bonus!
10.0 ExcellentMay 4 2018
Positive rental experienceClean car, easy pick up and return, upgrade since they were out of our size
9.6 ExcellentMar 21 2018
Staff were very good and the process was simple.All good.
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From $27/dayRated #7
Sixt
7.9 Good (4 reviews)
1 location in Cairns
Sixt
Locations in Cairns
  • 9
  • 7.5
  • 7
  • 9
  • 7
Recent reviews
5.6 OkayJul 15 2018
FalseThat said no hidden fees but still charge 1000$ or insurance forcefully similar car NO FOR 6 people they give us 2 people car argument over argument rude etc
10.0 ExcellentMar 25 2017
Easy and smooth serviceThe service from Sixt in Cairns was brilliant, from the pick up service at the airport to the swift pick up of the car and drop off. All staff were very friendly and the car itself a dream to drive, making our experience in North Queensland brilliant.
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From $30/dayRated #8
Europcar
Most popular
7.5 Good (4 reviews)
2 locations in Cairns
Europcar
Locations in Cairns
  • 7.5
  • 7.5
  • 7.5
  • 7.5
  • 7.5
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentSep 4 2018
I appreciated the upgrade. The service provided at check in was excellent.
2.0 MediocreJul 25 2017
Don't waste your timeI booked this for a reasonable price months in advance as diving the Great Barrier Reef was a bucket list item. When I landed though, europcar said that they had given my car away and had no other cars they could fulfill my reservation with as it was high tourism season. No offer to help, no sympathy. Of course I had my phone and checked online and found they indeed had multiple cars available immediately, but were asking double what I had booked mine for. How convenient... I got a car from a competitor instead, and will be avoiding Europcar going forward.
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From $31/dayRated #9
Avis
6.9 Good (5 reviews)
2 locations in Cairns
Avis
Locations in Cairns
  • 7.6
  • 8
  • 6.8
  • 6
  • 6.4
Recent reviews
6.8 GoodDec 9 2019
Upgraded car.Drop off
8.4 ExcellentAug 3 2019
Seams like a lot of money
2.0 MediocreMar 25 2019
Cust service rep was miserable, rude, condescending, and short with answers. Should realize that without customer she is without employment. Train these people to understand they are providing a valuable service and not treat the people who pay their salary with obvious disdain
7.6 GoodJan 7 2019
Overall positiveOur car was not ready, we had to wait a bit. Avis discounted our rate a bot for the inconvenience. It was a very comfortable vehicle but front end maintenance needed signal beeped at us quite a bit which was a little unsettlingSee above
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Sunnycars
8 locations in Cairns
Sunnycars
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
From $23/day
Firefly
3 locations in Cairns
Firefly
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
From $69/day
National
3 locations in Cairns
National
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
From $19/day
Atlas Car & Truck Rental
Cheapest deal
2 locations in Cairns
Atlas Car & Truck Rental
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
Bargain Car Rentals
2 locations in Cairns
Bargain Car Rentals
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
From $21/day
JUCY
2 locations in Cairns
JUCY
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
From $32/day
keddy by Europcar
2 locations in Cairns
keddy by Europcar
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
Red Spot
2 locations in Cairns
Red Spot
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
From $26/day
Ace Rental Cars
1 location in Cairns
Ace Rental Cars
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
From $20/day
Apex
1 location in Cairns
Apex
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
Atlas Choice
1 location in Cairns
Atlas Choice
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
Dollar
1 location in Cairns
Dollar
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
Eagle Rent A Car
1 location in Cairns
Eagle Rent A Car
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
Payless
1 location in Cairns
Payless
Locations in Cairns
Recent reviews
95 travelers who rented a car in Cairns gave the car agency they used an average rating of 8.7

Car rental locations in or near Cairns

Good to know

Most popular agency

Europcar

Most popular car type

Compact

Average price

$36/day

Good deal

$29/day

When to book a rental car in Cairns

Average daily price per month
Rental car prices as pick-up date approaches

Top tips for renting a car in Cairns

  • A trip to Australia is simply not complete without a road trip, particularly a trip to the northern parts of the country. With a personal vehicle at hand, you can travel all over Queensland with Cairns as your home base. For instance, some of the great locales that are perfect day trips for visitors of Cairns include Port Douglas, Kuranda, and Palm Cove. Even better, all of these destinations are within an hour’s drive of Cairns.
  • Would-be car renters with flights to Cairns Airport will be happy to hear that rental car desks are available in both terminals of the airport. All rental car counters can be found in the respective Arrivals Hall of both Terminals 1 and 2.
  • Worried about rush hour putting a damper on your trip to Cairns? Fortunately for drivers, the congestion in Cairns is only a minor affair that is easily avoided. However, there is still some traffic during the peak hours of rush hour in the morning from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and in the afternoon from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Drivers should especially avoid the A1 during rush hour, as many drivers use it to go to and from work.
  • Make sure to never leave valuables in your car unattended in the summer months -- not because theft is a problem, but because the heat is. Cairns can experience extreme temperatures during the warmer parts of the year and sensitive items like food, electronics, and many other goods will not do well after having been left in a scorching car.
  • 25% of our users found rental cars in Cairns for $29 or less
  • Book your rental car in Cairns at least 2 weeks before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Off-airport rental car locations in Cairns are around 26% cheaper than airport locations on average
  • Compact rental cars in Cairns are around 0% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about renting a car in Cairns

  • Some car rental companies in Cairns which have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected include Europcar, Hertz and Budget

  • On average a rental car in Cairns costs $36 per day.

  • In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at Firefly ($30/day), Budget ($42/day) and Avis ($49/day). In the last 72 hours the cheapest rental car price was found at Firefly Cairns Square, Abbott St 4870 (1 miles from city center).

  • Yes, automatic cars are available in most car renting companies in Cairns. As cars with manual transmission are more common in many countries, you might have to pay an additional charge for renting an automatic car.

  • The average gas price in Cairns is $4.31 per gallon over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between $52 and $69, depending on the car size.

  • Compact (Class Compact SUV or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Cairns.

  • Car rental companies onsite at Cairns airport include Europcar, Hertz, Apex, East Coast Car Rentals, Budget, Avis, Ace Rental Cars, Alamo, Enterprise and Thrifty.

  • Car rental companies that offer shuttle or pick-up services from Cairns airport to off-airport locations include Europcar, Hertz, Budget, Avis, Ace Rental Cars, Alamo, Enterprise, Thrifty, JUCY, and Firefly.

  • Take a look at our extensive car rental location map to find the best rental cars near you.

  • A Compact car rental in Cairns costs $54 per day, on average.

  • A Standard car rental in Cairns costs $55 per day, on average.

  • A Intermediate car rental in Cairns costs $42 per day, on average.

  • In Cairns, cars are most frequently rented at Enterprise Shop 2, 51 Sheridan Street (1 miles from city center).

  • On average a rental car in Cairns costs $249 per week ($36 per day).

  • On average a rental car in Cairns costs $1,068 per month ($36 per day).

  • Cairns is not the biggest of cities, so drivers will find that most vehicles -- even large SUVs -- will be comfortable to drive in Cairns. However, sedans and compacts are certainly the most popular vehicles in both Cairns and Australia in general. So, perhaps it is best to follow common practice and stick to a smaller vehicle. Streetside parking will certainly be more manageable in a smaller vehicle.

  • Speed limits in Cairns, and in the state of Queensland in general, run between 40 km/h (25 mph) and 50 km/h (31 mph) in built-up areas, unless otherwise specified. On rural roads the speed limit is 100 km/h (62 mph) and on highways and motorways it is 110 km/h (68 mph).

  • Drivers will be sad to hear that gas prices in Cairns are slightly higher than the average prices seen in other cities in Australia like Melbourne and Sydney. For the most part, drivers will see an average cost of AU$1.60 ($1.16) per liter, which comes out to about AU$6.05 ($4.39) per gallon. It is also important to note that all prices will be posted in liters, not gallons.

  • Fortunately for visitors to Cairns, parking is widely available and easy to find throughout the city. Streetside parking is abundant, albeit more suited for smaller vehicles rather than large ones. There is also plenty of private parking in garages and lots. Drivers should have no issues finding parking, even in the central business district.

  • Finding the right price, understanding the add-ons and staying up to date with policy changes can be a challenge. That’s why KAYAK has produced the ultimate guide to renting a car to help you cut though the jargon and make the right choice for your rental car. Find tips and insights for how to book your rental, what car rental insurance you’ll need, how to deal with a car rental agency and what extra fees to expect (and avoid!).