6 Things You Should Take Note of When Planning a Self-Drive Perth Holiday Trip

1 June, 2016

It is easy to get around Perth city with public transport – for example, there are free buses that loop around different parts of Perth CBD. These buses are called Central Area Transit or better known as CAT buses and they are free and you can get on and off them as often as you like without paying a fare.  There are four free colored CAT services – the Perth Red CAT (East-West loop from Queens Gardens in East Perth to Outram St in West Perth), Blue CAT (North-South loop from the Barrack Street Jetty to Northbridge) and Yellow CAT (loop from East Perth to West Perth) and Green CAT (between Leederville Station and Elizabeth Quay Bus Station via City West, West Perth and St Georges Terrace). So if you are staying and travelling just around these areas, you actually do not need to rent a car.


However, if you are doing the usual Singaporean-holiday Margaret River route or is travelling with family and young children (like us), you might want to consider renting a car to get around Perth and other parts of Western Australia.  We rented our car with Hertz as it offers quite a few perks e.g. you can earn Frequent Flyer Miles with over 70 airlines worldwide for every qualifying rental. Driving in Perth was easy because like in Singapore, they also drive on the right side of the road. There are, however, a few things to note that can help you improve your driving experience in Perth a lot better in terms of time and cost savings. It starts right here in Singapore before you fly to Perth.

  1. Pre-book Your Car Rental for a Smoother Check-out Experience

You should pre-book your car rentals early so that you can secure the type of cars you want, at the place and time that you need it.  There is no upfront payment, deposit or cancellation fees.  You can opt to pay at the counter when you pick up your car.

As we are travelling with 4 big luggage and stroller, we opted for Family Collection in Australia (2015 Kia Carnival) – this car is ideal for trips with young children and large families. With eight seats, there is ample room for all the family to travel in comfort.  We have 4 adults and 1 one-year old toddler with 4 big luggage and one stroller – we found the 2015 Kia Carnival vehicle (with a child seat installed) very comfortable for us all

kia carnival perth rental hertz spacious 8 seater

You can make reservations for your Hertz car rental through 5 convenient ways and all these provide instant confirmation!

  • Book online at www.hertz.com.sg
  • Call Hertz Reservation Centre on 1800 370 3388 (Toll-free)
  • Email to Hertz Reservation Centre at reserve@hertz.com
  • Hertz Mobile App – www.hertz.com/app
  • Your preferred Travel Agent

For more savings, check out Hertz Value Vouchers, featuring offers from Western Australia as well as other destinations like Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand where Hertz customers can enjoy valuable savings. The voucher booklets will be available online free at www.hertz.com/valuevouchers from now until 31 December 2017 (end of next year).

  1. Enroll as a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Member to Enjoy First Class Car Rental Service

We signed up as a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards member at http://www.hertz.com/goldcorp/sg before we rented our car online. A perk of being a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards is that members often receive special members’ only email offers – for example, we received the following Spring offer just in time for our booking where Gold members enjoy fantastic savings of up to 25% for rentals of five to 14 days on bookings made by 2nd May 2016. That’s 5% more savings than everyone else.


When we picked up our car rental at Perth airport, as a Gold member, our rental agreement was already prepared in advance and we picked up our keys within 5 minutes after signing the agreement.


After collecting our car keys, we went to the rental car collection carpark – about a five-minute walk away from the airport. The child seat we ordered as part of the rental was already setup in our rental car. There are Infant Child Seat, Child Seat and Booster Seat options available so make sure you choose the correct one for your child – do note that there is a charge of AUD15 per day on top of your car rental fees.

hertz perth rental car pickup kia carnival

  1. Order a NeverLost® GPS Navigation System so You Will Never Get Lost

We ordered a NeverLost® GPS as part of our car rental booking – there is an additional charge of AUD14 per day. I didn’t like the GPS interface at first as it was rather slow and I even had to download Offline Google Maps for the Perth area. It was when I started using the Google Maps then I realized how useful the NeverLost® GPS was. Let me illustrate with an example, there is an expressway underneath the roads near our Perth apartment. Using Google Maps to navigate back to our apartment led us to a destination in the middle of the tunnel expressway instead. We did not face such issues using the NeverLost® GPS and thus reverted back to it for our navigation purposes for the rest of our trip.


For a better user experience with the GPS, you can preset home locations and routes you use often so that you can access them with just a few taps on the screen. The NeverLost® GPS comes with an anti-shake docking station & bracket you can mount on your windscreen and a charging cable in an all in one carry bag.


  1. Parking in Perth is Expensive But There Are Ways to Manage Your Parking Expenses

Parking in Perth CBD and Northbridge area is not only expensive but also hard to find sometimes. Perth CBD is where you go for the Hay Street and Murray Street Malls and Northbridge is known for its many restaurants (it is also known as Chinatown). The best way to manage cost is to take public transport – the CAT buses I mentioned above – they are completely free and the blue CAT buses bring you to Northbridge – all the colored CAT buses bring you into Perth CBD.

The challenging part about Perth streetside parking is that there is a time limit to how long you can park there – commonly for a maximum time of 30 minutes and at most for 2 hours. You can find out how long you can park at a spot by looking out for these signs – in the picture below, 1/2P means you can park for a maximum of 30 minutes. At this spot (a 6-minute walk from Murray Street Mall), it will cost you $2.20 per 30 minutes to park here and this is already considered one of the cheapest parking available in town.


Prepare some coins because most of these parking meters are coin-operated only and they do not give you change!


There are some machines that take credit card if you don’t have enough coins – Singapore-issued credit cards are accepted – I tried mine and it worked. For this type of parking machines, you will have to collect the ticket issued by it and display it at your dashboard. If you are thinking about not paying for your parking, I do not recommend it as from my observations, the Perth “Fatimah” is one of the most aggressive parking attendants I have seen – you see their “Parking Enforcement” cars driving around almost everywhere. It is one thing not to pay for your parking; it is another thing to park illegally (where it is explicitly indicated as no parking), I have two cars being towed away for doing this (and I was only in Perth for just 6 days!).


If you need to park for an extended period of time (like 2-3 hours) to do some shopping in Perth CBD, multi-storey carparks are your best bet as you can park there for as long as you need but do note that they are expensive! During my few days in Perth, I have identified City of Perth Parking (CPP) as one of the parking operators with the most value for money parking rates. I recommend that you download the CPP mobile app to find parking spots near you and check out the parking fees.

For downtown shopping at the Murray and Hay Street Malls in Perth, I recommend the Pier Street CPP multi-storey carpark ($3.60 an hour Monday to Sunday and a flat rate of $7.70 per entry for Sunday parking) – the street malls are only a short 8-minute walk away.

city of perth parking app cheap cbd parking

If you are thinking of staying in an apartment in Perth, I strongly recommend selecting one which offers free parking as parking charges especially in the city can add up. The apartment where we stayed was in Northbridge area where streetside parking fees are AUD$4 per hour. Thankfully, parking is free in the underground garage of our apartment.


If you are planning to grab dinner in the Northbridge area – do note that parking charges in some of the multi-storey carparks in the area is very expensive – about $7 an hour so if you just want to grab a bite, you can consider take-away (or as we know it – tabao). You save on service charges at some restaurants when you take-away too! Street-side parking is almost always occupied during weekends in Northbridge so your best bet is to have your driver drive around the block while you make your food orders.

  1. Connect Your Devices to Your Rental Car via Bluetooth to Play Music

This might seem quite a trivial point but if you have young children, this is absolutely a lifesaver.  However this is only applicable to certain vehicle models – the Kia Carnival we rented with Hertz have this Bluetooth function. You will need to turn on the Bluetooth in your device e.g. phone, tablet and pair with the car Bluetooth – once paired, the car stereo will play whatever is playing on your device. Even if you are not travelling with young children, you can use this function to play your favourite songs.


Our Kia Carnival also came with multiple USB ports. So you can use them to either connect a thumbdrive for media files or just to charge your devices. Check out the following video on our car rental experience with Hertz and the many functions available with the rented Kia Carnival.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asv-nTMGWL4?rel=0&w=600&h=338]

  1. Drop Off Your Luggage and Passengers at the Terminal Curbside before Returning Your Rental Car at the Perth Terminal 1 Airport

All international flights depart and arrive at Perth Terminal 1 airport so all guests departing from Australia are advised to return their rental vehicles at the Terminal 1 Car Rental Return carpark. However, there is quite a distance (about a 5-minute walk) from the car rental return carpark to the airport terminal and it can be quite troublesome especially if you have bulky luggage.

My advice to you is to drop off all your luggage and passengers at the terminal before returning your car. On your drive to the airport, you will see signages for the car rental return carpark – don’t worry drive straight to Terminal 1, you will be able to drive back to the carpark later on.


Once you have dropped off your luggage and passengers, continue on the road along Horrie Miller Drive and follow signages to Terminal 1.  There will be signages that says “To Perth city” – do not go there; just follow the signages to the airport. You will reach a roundabout where you will go towards the exit that brings you to the airport and after that exit, follow signages to the rental car return carpark (drive towards the airport control tower).


We drove towards the Hertz rental car return area and one of the Hertz staff will perform an inspection of the car. After which the Hertz staff had given you the go-ahead, go to the Hertz booth to return your car keys and settle any outstanding charges and then you are free to go. The whole process was quick and easy – we were done with our return within 8 minutes from the point we stopped the engine until we returned our keys. No forms to fill or complicated instructions to follow – I think the expedited return process could be due to the fact that we are Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members – it is definitely worth it to enrol as a member as it is free and makes the whole rental experience hassle-free.



More information on car rental with Hertz

Hertz offers a driving guide which provides practical tips, from pre-trip planning to making car rental reservations to things you should look out for before and while on the road. It is a very useful guide, especially for first-time self-drive holiday makers.

For a free copy, contact Hertz at 1800 370 3388 or email reserve@hertz.com.  (you may download the e-copy at www.hertz.com/auguide). If you need help during your driving trip, you can get help with Hertz 24-Hour Roadside Assistance. Travel with peace of mind knowing that you can get immediate help whenever and wherever you encounter problems with your car.  Simply call Hertz and we will get you going as quickly as possible.

Depending on the duration of your trip, group size and amount of luggage, Hertz offers a large fleet of latest model vehicles to suit any need.  From Economy and Midsize to Fullsize cars, MPVs, SUVs, Convertibles and more! Dream, Prestige, Adrenaline and Family Collections are available in Australia.  Visit www.hertz.com/collections for more information.

Hertz’s vehicles are one year old on the average and undergone the most stringent of quality control checks. With low mileage and reliable performance cars, you can be assured of a smooth and safe journey.

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (15)

  • TohReply

    13 July, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Your information is very informative, especially for me because I wanted to rent a car and go round Perth. I know is expensive to park in Perth and any lobang in cheap parking will be very useful, like parking in a cheaper loacation and walk or take a short bus ride.

  • BlarzReply

    28 September, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Hi, I love your blog. Very informative. Do you mind sharing if there’s any negative feedback on hertz rental? I’ve seen some feedback that they back charge even when the return car is filled with fuel.

    And also is your booking via cc? I’m confuse to book using some cc promo, and payment mode ‘pay later’, but there’s a clause specifying certain charges % with cc.

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      8 October, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      I understand sometimes they have a credit card surcharge of 1.5%. You will have to decide whether the cc promo is more worth it.
      I didnt face any issue with returning car with full tank to Hertz – no negative feedback from me.

  • BeanReply

    10 October, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for the information! Do you have to get the International Driving Permit (IDP) for Perth? I’m bringing my 22 month toddler to Perth in Nov, any other tips on holidaying in Perth?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      10 October, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      no need for IDP. It depends on the temperament of your toddler – some can do long drives and some cannot. Be flexible in your itinerary planning – cater for nap times for the toddler to sleep comfortably so you can have a good night’s sleep.

  • NatReply

    29 May, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    hi there, thanks for the tips! just wanted to ask if hertz charged any additional $ upon returning. i’ve read blogs and have mentioned this on several occasions.

  • Steven LockstoneReply

    18 June, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Zhiqiang & Tingyi, I really like your post? Tourist can be self-drive in Australia right? It looks like your whole journey in Australia are smooth and everything is easy. Traveling with kids seems like hard, since I have 2 years old. My only concern is the convenience of our transportation.

    -Right to Drive

  • ElinaReply

    22 March, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Hai.. Can you share some information with me. I plan to visit Perth this August.

    My email iefelina82@yahoo.com

    Thank you

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      26 March, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      you can ask your question on perth here

  • KhairulReply

    17 April, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Hi. Do we have to get the international driving license to drive in Perth or we can just use our Singapore Driving license?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      19 April, 2018 at 8:19 am

      Singapore driving license is fine

  • MalaysianReply

    19 April, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I and my family will arrive at about 1am on Sunday. So do you think we can pick up the car rental during that time ?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      20 April, 2018 at 12:24 am

      you may want to check with Hertz directly

  • JaneReply

    15 August, 2018 at 3:00 am

    Can a Malaysian license be used in Perth

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      18 August, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      If you are just visiting Australia, you can drive the same type of vehicle as your current licence allows, but you must drive according to any conditions on your overseas licence.

      You will need either one of these:

      a current licence issued in another country that is written in English
      a current licence with an English translation if necessary or an international driver’s licence.

      You must carry your licence documents at all times when driving and produce these and your passport to police on request.

      You must not be disqualified from driving in any country.

      If your overseas licence expires while you are in Australia, you must get an Australian licence.

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