Car Rental in the Gold Coast
Do you need to rent a car in the Gold Coast? There are hundreds of real people’s cars of all types listed on Car Next Door. It doesn't matter if you need a small car to visit family or friends out of town, a 7 seater to collect the kids from school, or a large car to take a pet to the vets; Car Next Door has something for you. Borrowing a car from your neighbour can be up to 50% less expensive than a traditional rental car company. In fact, the average price per hour for a rental car in Gold Coast is only $7.82 (plus fuel) with Car Next Door. It’s free to become a member, and because the keys are at the car, you can skip the rental counter!
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Hiring a car in Gold Coast - useful information
Getting around the Gold Coast by car
It’s pretty easy to get to the main beaches, theme parks and shopping centres by bus, train and tram, but to travel further afield it’s easiest to hire a car.
Traffic within the Gold Coast is not as heavy as in other major cities, but it’s at its worst during peak hour: from 7am to 9am and 4.30pm to 6pm. The freeways connecting the Gold Coast to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast can be very busy on the weekends as Queenslanders head to the beach on their time off. Avoid driving during these times if you can, or be prepared to spend a bit longer on the roads.
Road rules to be aware of
If you’re not familiar with driving in the Gold Coast, there are a few road rules you should brush up on before you get behind the wheel:
You can’t touch your mobile phone while driving. You can’t hold you phone while you’re driving (even while stopped in traffic) to operate any function. If you need to make or take calls while driving, you need to have a hands free kit, and to use your phone for anything else you must pull over and park before picking it up.
You can’t turn on a red light, even if the way is clear. Unlike in other countries where you can turn on a red light after stopping, you must wait for the light to go green before turning in the Gold Coast.
You can do a U turn unless there’s a sign prohibiting it. You can do a U turn at intersections without traffic lights, unless there is a ‘No U turn sign’. At intersections with traffic lights you can only do a U if there’s a ‘U turn permitted’ sign.
Pedestrians sometimes have right of way at intersections. Pedestrians will sometimes get a green light at the same time as turning traffic. You must wait for any pedestrians to cross the road before you can turn.
You must park ‘facing the direction of traffic’, which means the car must be parked facing the direction it would be if it were driving down that road. In Australia where we drive on the left side of the road, this means the passenger side of the car needs to be closest to the kerb.
Top destinations to drive to in and around the Gold Coast
- Brisbane. 1 hour from the Gold Coast - It’s just a short drive to Queensland’s capital city where you’ll find plenty of great bars, restaurants and shopping options. Wander along South Bank or take a ferry down the Brisbane River.
- Toowoomba. 2.5 hours from the Gold Coast - This regional centre is well worth the road trip. Take in the views over the Great Dividing Range from Picnic Point Lookout, visit the Cobb&Co Museum or catch a show at the heritage listed Empire Theatre.
- Gold Coast Hinterland. 30 minutes from the Gold Coast - Explore the lush rainforests of Springbrook National Park, home to the Insta famous Natural Bridge, before unwinding with wine tasting and a gourmet picnic at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards.
- Byron Bay. 1.5 hours from the Gold Coast - Byron Bay is best known for its beautiful beaches and hippie culture, but there are plenty of reasons to visit. Watch the sunrise from Byron Bay Lighthouse, located on Australia’s most easterly point, or visit the markets on the first Sunday of every month to pick up some unique gifts.
- Tamborine Mountain. 1 hour from the Gold Coast - Make the easy 1.3 kilometre return walk to Curtis Falls, walk along the rainforest canopy at TreeTop Challenge or the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, or relax at one of the many day spas on the mountain.
Best time to visit the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is a great place to visit any time of the year. Summers are very hot, with an average temperature of 29 degrees celsius (84.2 fahrenheit). In winter, average temperatures sit around 21 degrees (69.8 fahrenheit), so you can enjoy the local beaches and national parks all year round.
There are also plenty of sporting events, festivals and performances to enjoy, whatever time of year you visit the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast calendar highlights
Sand Safari Arts Festival - Surfers Paradise transforms into a beach art gallery, with amazing sand sculptures. If you’re around for a few days, you can watch the artworks take shape as part of the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships.
Australian Surf Life Saving Championships - Watch members from surf life saving clubs across the country compete in over 450 beach and ocean events.
Quiksilver Pro - See some of the world’s best surfers compete at the famous Snapper Rocks in the first stop of the World Surf League Championship Tour.
Bleach* Festival - Gold Coast’s annual festival features a program of arts and cultural experiences and uses the local landscape as venues.
Surfers Paradise LIVE - This four-day music festival features free performances from local Australian artists. The Gold Coast Music Awards are held on the first day of the festival.
Blues on Broadbeach - Enjoy four nights of blues music from some of Australia’s and the world’s best artists perform on outdoor stages across Broadbeach.
SeaFire - Ring in winter with Australia’s only international fireworks competition. Enjoy fireworks displays from some of the world’s leading pyrotechnic designers.
VIVA Surfers Paradise - Australia’s ultimate tribute artist festival features free performances and events celebrating legendary icons from throughout the ages. The festival also hosts the preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, with the winner travelling to Memphis to compete in the semi-final.
SWELL Sculpture Festival - Wander along Currumbin Beach as it transforms into and outdoor gallery. The artworks are lit up at night, and the festival also features artist talks and master classes.
Buskers by the Creek - Australia’s largest busking festival kicks off with Battle of the Buskers, where the country’s best singer-songwriters compete for the ‘Totally Talented’ title.
Australian PGA Championship - Australia’s premier golf tournament sees the top golfers from Australia and overseas fight it out for the Joe Kirkwood Cup.