How to Find the Best Alice Springs Car Hire Deal for 2021 and 2022

Many visitors to Uluru plan to rent a hire car in Alice Springs to enable them to more easily get around and explore the Alice Springs and Uluru attractions. This is a great cost effective option, particularly if you are travelling as a group. If you are aged under 25 years old, ensure you carefully check the rental terms and conditions as you may have to pay extra fees to rent a car.

This article will help you better understand the Alice Springs rental car options and specific limitations and to make your booking.

Note that there is currently an Australia wide shortage of rental vehicles due to COVID19, so do not expect to arrive at Alice Springs Airport and be able to rent a car at the airport. You need to pre-book your rental at the same time that you book your flights and accommodation, to ensure that you will have everything you need for a successful visit.

Note that Uluru currently has reduced tourism capacity – flights, hotel accommodation, rental cars etc due to COVID19. This capacity is planned to progressively increase over the next 6-12 months, but ensure you check availability for each item before booking.

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Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Uluru Travel Planning Resources

Check out our other articles below to help you plan your visit to Uluru, Alice Springs and Kings Canyon

Alice Springs Airport

Many visitors to Uluru book flights to Alice Springs, and then drive to Uluru. You can also take advantage of the opportunity to explore Alice Springs and surrounds.

The road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) on the fully sealed Stuart and Lasseter Highways consists of a direct drive of 445km, 276 mi, 4:30 hrs each way in a standard vehicle.

Note that you do not need a 4WD vehicle to visit Uluru – there are sealed roads to all of the major tourist attractions.

Flights to Alice Springs

A great option to check out and book Alice Springs flights is through Kiwi.com – they do great flight comparisons across all airlines to help you find the right flight option.

Click here to check out and book flights to Alice Springs through Kiwi.com

Welcome to Alice Springs
Welcome to Alice Springs

Hire Car Alice Springs

Alice Springs car hire options are readily available with multiple providers and you can choose either one way to Uluru or return rental options. Note that there are no campervan or 4WD hire options in Uluru/Yulara, the only option is to rent them in Alice Springs.

At Uluru Airport there are only three major car hire companies – Thrifty, Hertz, Avis so if you want to do a one way car hire you will need to select one of these providers.

Check out the below car hire search block which compares options to get the best deal through DriveNow.com.au. You can cancel the Drivenow.com.au car hire anytime you like, and you do not need to pay until after your hire car period is finished. You can also choose to purchase a liability reduction policy.

Note that you do not need a 4WD vehicle to visit Uluru – there are sealed roads to all of the major tourist attractions.


On the Road to Uluru, NT
On the Road to Uluru, NT

Alice Springs and Uluru Car Hire Limitations

Special additional car hire conditions which apply when you are travelling in the Alice Springs and Uluru region. Ensure you carefully check your rental car hire agreement to understand the limitations when you collect your pre-booked hire car. Below are typical restrictions to hire cars to travel around the Uluru area which may change from time to time.

  • 2WD and AWD vehicles must stay on sealed roads.
  • In the Northern Territory (which includes Uluru and Alice Springs), you cannot drive outside any town or city limits between dawn and dusk.
  • If your vehicle has an encounter with the local wildlife outside of town between dawn and dusk – and gets damaged – then this is not covered by your insurance.
  • 4WD vehicles may have specific limitations for roads where they are not allowed to travel.
On the Road to Uluru, NT
On the Road to Uluru, NT

Alice Springs Hire Car Inclusions and Add ons

When booking your Alice Springs rental car through RentalCars.com, the standard hire package includes the following:

  • When you pick up your car you will need to provide your passport or national ID card, drivers licence and credit card. You must be at least 21 years old to drive a rental car.
  • Fuel Policy is like for like – when you collect your car the fuel tank will be either full or partly full. To avoid paying for a refuelling charge when you return your vehicle you need to top the fuel tank up to the same level as when you collected it. Fuel is available in Alice Springs, Yulara and roadside fuel stations so it should be easy to refuel your vehicle prior to returning it.
  • Mileage varies depending on the rental car provider. Options range from a fixed number of kilometers per total booking, to 100km per day. You will pay additional costs if you go over your mileage/kilometer limit. The one way distance from Alice Springs to Yulara is 445km, so you will use up your mileage limit quickly.
  • Once in Yulara, the distance from Yulara to the Uluru Sunrise Viewing area is is 25km each way and the distance from Yulara to Kata-Tjuta is 54km each way. The distance from Yulara to Kings Canyon is 300km each way. The distance from Yulara to Alice Springs direct is 468km.
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours prior to collection
  • At car pick up you will leave a refundable security deposit of $500 on your credit card. Cash and debit cards are not accepted. Prepaid, recharge or virtual credit cards are also not accepted.
  • Unlimited amendments
  • Theft Protection – if your car is stolen all you will pay is the theft excess of $A5500, not the full value of the vehicle
  • Collision Damage Waiver – if the car bodywork is damaged, all you will pay is the damage excess of $A5500.
  • Third Party Liability (TPL). This covers the drivers liability for injuries and property damage which are covered by the policy. It does not cover injuries to the driver or to the rental car. This coverage is only valid if you comply with the terms of the rental agreement.
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • A single driver is included (some companies do include additional drivers, check this detail when finalising your booking)
  • Damage to windows, mirrors, wheels and tyres are not covered.
  • Some companies off free one way rentals.

Full Protection is available through RentalCars.com when you are completing your booking which includes the following:

  • Reduces all car excesses to zero
  • Covers damage to windows, mirrors, wheels and tyres
  • Covers administration and breakdown charges.

Other available addons are all payable on vehicle collection:

  • To add additional drivers is a fee of $A5.50 per driver per day.
  • Baby Seats, Child Booster Seats and Child Seats are an additional $A22 per day
  • GPS / Satnav is $A20.90 per day

If you choose to book direct with the hire car company, ensure you carefully review the inclusions, exclusions and terms and conditions before booking.

Kata-Tjuta Dunes Viewing Area
Kata-Tjuta Dunes Viewing Area

Campervan Hire Alice Springs

You can also hire a campervan in Alice Springs (otherwise known as a motorhome or RV).

Check out the below campervan hire search block which compares options to get the best deal through DriveNow.com.au.

Options include both standard and 4WD camper rentals. You need to make the full payment to confirm your campervan booking, and also check out how much deposit you will need to pay upon collection of your vehicle.

Each provider also has specific cancellation options – ensure you check them out before finalising your booking. You can also choose between different levels of deposit reduction and liability reduction, and there also options to hire camping equipment and child seats.

4WD Hire Alice Springs

Many people are keen to book an Alice Springs 4WD rental to explore the area around Alice Springs and Uluru. The unsealed road option to travel between both areas is the Red Centre Way which takes a more direct (but slower!) route to Kings Canyon, and then there is a sealed road from Kings Canyon to Uluru.

There are several 4WD hire options in Alice Springs, but be very careful before deciding to choose one of these options, and ensure you read the terms and conditions very carefully. You are usually required to pay a large deposit, and are at risk that you do not meet their ‘fair wear and tear’ requirements and may be charged large additional fees after you return your vehicle.

Most 4WD hire options in Australia also have GPS tracking in your vehicle, which tracks where you travel and also the speed at which you travel – if you travel at all over the speed limit you may incur large additional fees.

Check out this article for an example of what could happen if you do not do adequate research before committing to rent a 4WD. It would be a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle to just book a 4WD package tour – you can see both private and shared tours in our Uluru holiday package article!

Australia Car Hire FAQs

Renting a car in Australia is very similar to other international destinations. Below is our summary of FAQs for renting a hire car in Australia.

Join the Uluru Travel Planning Facebook Group!

You are welcome to join the Uluru Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Uluru!

Join the Uluru Travel Planning Facebook Group

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.