While standard vehicles are allowed on the roads on Kangaroo Island, many people prefer to navigate the island with a four-wheel drive, especially when visiting for the first time. This is because the majority of the roads on the island are unsealed and can be slippery, even when dry. The road surface changes frequently throughout the island, so depending on your itinerary, it’s definitely something worth considering when choosing your hire vehicle for your trip.
On Kangaroo Island they drive on the left-hand side of the road, like the rest of Australia. If you’re travelling at a lower speed than the vehicles behind you, it’s courtesy to pull over on the left side of the road when it’s safe to do so and allow these vehicles to overtake you. Driving after dark is not an offence, but is not recommended on Kangaroo Island as it’s difficult to spot wildlife. Some car hire companies do not permit you to drive your vehicle at night as large animals like kangaroos can cause serious incidents. It’s best to check with your chosen company beforehand, some companies do make exceptions when you request in advance.
There are several petrol stations on Kangaroo Island, one in Penneshaw, two in Kingscote, two in Parndana and one in Vivonne Bay. It’s always best to check with your chosen car hire company what type of petrol your car requires and how you should leave the vehicle. Some companies require you to fill up the car with petrol before returning the vehicle or some ask you to leave the same amount of petrol that was originally given to you. Checking this information can save you unnecessary charges upon returning your vehicle. Make sure you’re always aware of how much petrol you have as the stations are quite far apart and some close early.
FAQs about hiring a car in Kangaroo Island
As public transport is very limited on Kangaroo Island, hiring a car is the best way to enjoy the island. The road network is widely accessible and clearly signposted. It takes around 4h to drive the whole way round the island, but in reality, you’ll need much longer as there’s so much to explore. Easily navigate between Flinders Chase National Park on the west side of the island, to the Seal Bay Conservation Park on the south, to Dudley Wines in the east of the island, followed by the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park in the north. Although you can book individual coach tours to each location, if you’re planning to visit a few different places it can get expensive and it also doesn’t allow you to explore the island at your own pace.
When driving around Kangaroo Island it’s important to be aware of road conditions, it’s always best to be cautious with your speed, as there are unsealed roads on the island. Watch out for warning signs, which will ask you to slow down when the road surface is changing. Another thing to consider is the wildlife, again driving at lower speeds is the best way to prevent any incidents. Native animals like kangaroos are mostly spotted on roads early in the morning and at sunset, so it’s worth being extra careful at these times.
You have to be a minimum of 21 years old in order to hire a car on Kangaroo Island and must have a valid driving licence valid for the full hire period. Most hire companies on the island charge a young driver fee, so it’s worth checking the different prices in advance if you fall into this category. Some companies also have higher age restrictions for more powerful or larger vehicles and premium vehicles, so if you’re not looking to hire a standard vehicle this is something to bear in mind.
On average a car hire in Kangaroo Island costs R1 567 per day.
Economy (Hyundai Accent or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Kangaroo Island.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest car hires were found at Hertz (R1 143/day).