What Car Type Should You Pick If You Rent A Car Gold Coast Vacay

girl looking out of car beautiful blue water sea

You’ve set your sights on the Gold Coast—home to Australia’s world-renowned beaches, theme parks, and alluring hinterland areas. You’ve made the right decision.

A car rental service can easily transform your trip into a spontaneous adventure. But with so many places to visit, you might ask yourself: “What car type should I pick for my Gold Coast vacation?” Here’s a handy guide to ensure your getaway rolls along smoothly.

Essential Considerations for Cruising the Coast

Assessing your travel style and deciding on your itinerary can impact your decision to hire a car in the Gold Coast. Are you a solo explorer itching for scenic drives and hidden gems? A sun-seeking family bound for theme park adventures? Answer these crucial questions and the ones below to pick the right vehicle:

Number of Passengers

How many people are you traveling with? Cramped quarters can quickly turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. Opt for a sedan with ample legroom for 2-4 people or a spacious SUV for larger groups or luggage-laden adventurers.


Are you sticking to the Gold Coast strip or venturing further afield? City slickers can get by with a fuel-efficient compact car. However, if you plan on exploring national parks or tackling off-road adventures, a sturdy SUV with good ground clearance is a must.


Rental car costs can vary significantly depending on car class. Compact cars are generally the most affordable, while luxury vehicles and SUVs command a premium.


Will you be spending most of your time driving long distances? If so, prioritize comfort features like cruise control, adjustable seats, and a good sound system.

After taking these and your intended destinations into consideration, it’s best to book your preferred rental car as soon as possible. Additionally, you can arrange to pick up your desired vehicle at the Gold Coast Airport if you’re flying.

The Gold Coast Car Lineup

Now that you’ve considered your travel requirements let’s explore the different car types and how they might suit your Gold Coast getaway:

Compact Cars

Budget-friendly and nimble, compact cars are ideal for solo travelers or couples exploring the Gold Coast’s urban areas. They navigate tight city streets with ease and offer decent fuel efficiency—perfect for those seeking a cost-effective option.

Mid-Size Sedans

Offering a balance between size and comfort, mid-size sedans like the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Accent, or Mazda 6 are popular choices for families or small groups. They provide more legroom and trunk space than compact cars, making them suitable for day trips or short road trips.


The ultimate adventurer’s companion, SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 or Hyundai Tucson offer spacious interiors, high seating positions for better visibility and excellent cargo capacity. Perfect for families with lots of gear or those planning on exploring the Gold Coast’s hinterland and national parks. For off-road adventures, consider a four-wheel drive option.

Luxury Cars

Indulge your inner VIP with a sleek and luxurious car rental. These head-turners like Mercedes-Benz or BMW offer top-of-the-line comfort features, powerful engines, and cutting-edge technology. Perfect for a special occasion or if you want to experience the Gold Coast in style. However, be prepared for a higher price tag.

People Movers & Vans

Traveling with a large group or need serious cargo space? People movers and vans offer maximum passenger and luggage capacity. Ideal for extended road trips with big families or groups of friends.

Rental car availability can vary, especially during peak travel seasons. Booking early ensures you get the type of car you want at the best possible rate. The Gold Coast airport accommodated 5.7 million passengers in 2022 and is estimated to have received as high as seven million in 2023.

family sitting together relaxing in car trunk road trip

Matching Your Gold Coast Itinerary with Your Rental Car

With the right rental car and a little planning, you’re all set to unlock the magic of the Gold Coast. With your trusty rental car by your side, this playground of beaches, rainforests, and theme parks is yours to explore. Here are some ideas to get your itinerary rolling:

Beach Bliss

If your primary goal is to hit the beaches, an economy or compact car might be perfect. They’re easy to park in busy beachside areas like Surfers Paradise and Main Beach and are great for short trips. Just ensure you have enough space for your beach gear.

Hinterland Adventures

Planning to explore the Gold Coast Hinterland and its national parks? An SUV or a 4WD would be ideal. These vehicles offer the power and durability needed for rougher terrains and provide ample space for hiking gear or picnic supplies.

City and Cultural Tours

For those planning to spend more time in the city, visiting attractions like Surfers Paradise, theme parks, or local markets, a mid-size car or compact SUV strikes a good balance between comfort, space, and maneuverability. The same applies to travelers wanting to experience theme park thrills in Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, and Dreamworld.

Foodie Explorations

The Gold Coast is a haven for food lovers. From buzzing beachfront cafes to upscale restaurants, your compact car, a mid-sized sedan, or a luxury car lets you explore hidden culinary gems off the beaten track. Sample fresh seafood, indulge in international cuisine, or discover a local brewery—the choice is yours!

Long-Distance Drives

If your Gold Coast trip includes long drives, perhaps down to Byron Bay or up to the Sunshine Coast, comfort becomes paramount. A mid-size car, SUV, or even a luxury vehicle ensures a smoother ride and a more enjoyable journey.

Download a reliable GPS navigation app or purchase an offline map before your trip. This will ensure you can navigate unfamiliar roads with ease, maximizing your exploration time.

Wrapping Up

Your rental car is your reliable companion in exploring the Gold Coast’s breathtaking destinations. If you need help deciding, refer to the points above. Prioritize your needs, plans, and comfort. Doing so helps you create a memorable experience that matches your interests—making your getaway truly enjoyable. So, book that trip, hire the rental car of your choice, and start packing your bags!

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