4WD hire in Australia can be tricky. Some 4WD hire companies do not allow their 4WD vehicles to be driven on popular trails though there is more leniency if your vehicle is a full size 4WD. SUV's and mid sized 4WD's will not be allowed onto unsealed roads. Driving restrictions apply on Kangaroo Island, Bruny Island, Fraser Island, desert roads in central Australia, border roads into the NT, WA roads north of Carnarvon, Queensland roads north of Cooktown and Cape Tribulation and above the Victorian, Tasmanian and NSW snow line during Winter.
For more detail on NT road conditions and 4WD hire information see our NT 4WD overview. Read on for more info about offroad $WDs or if you are looking to keep your vehicles on sealed roads, compare 4WD prices and get any special offers using this form:
If you are going seriously off-road (i.e. +3 days, camping, isolated) we recommend a chat with our 4WD specialists from GetaboutOZ. GetaboutOZ includes a wider range of 4WDs to choose from with more equipment including for camping, emergencies and off road terrain.
One of the 4WD's available from 4WD rental specialist, GetaboutOZ.
Drivers are responsible for all damage by animals whilst driving at night. 4WD's from Tasmania cannot be taken outside of Tasmania. The following roads are prohibited from use:
4WDs are not allowed into Jim Jim or Twin Falls. Palm Valley is accessible only by 4WD vehicles. Areas without restrictions:
WA 4WD driving restrictions for Kununurra and Broome:
You and any Authorised Driver must only use the Vehicle on a road which is properly formed and constructed as a sealed, metalled or gravel road. You and any Authorised Driver are not permitted, unless authorised in writing by Avis, to:
Highway No.27 beyond Chillagoe in a westerly direction. Highway No. 1 beyond Normanton in a southerly direction and no further North than Karumba. If the vehicle is a passenger vehicle or truck, driving is banned beyond Cooktown to the North or Lakeland to the West and no further north than Cape Tribulation on the coast road. On the coast road from Helenvale to Cape Tribulation, or from Laura to Lakeland, unless the Vehicle is Group W 4WD Other restricted areas include above the snow line in winter in Tasmania, New South Wales andVictoria (being Jindabyne in New South Wales and Bright in Victoria) and on beaches or through streams, dams, rivers or flood waters.
Queensland 4WD restrictions
WA 4WDs restrictions
NT 4WD restrictions
Prior written approval by Thrifty WA must be granted if vehicles are travelling interstate. Consideration must be given by the driver for their own safety and contactibility in the event of an accident or incident. Travelling into some areas of Western Australia require National Park Passes, these are available for sale from the Perth Tourist Centre. One-way rentals out of WA are not permitted; all vehicles hired from a location in WA must be returned to a location in WA.
Travelling into some areas of the South Australia outback may involve the need for a National Park Permit. These are available for sale from the Adelaide Tourist Centre. All vehicles are permitted to travel to Kangaroo Island if collected from a Corporate location only and must be advised at time of booking and collection.
Car classes ECMR - FCAR (passenger vehicles) are only allowed on sealed roads, PFAR vehicles are allowed on government gazetted roads. Mechanical failure on the island - there is one breakdown service and location on the island therefore response times are not guaranteed. Customers will be required to sign a disclaimer when they collect the car.
Tropical North Queensland
Travel is permitted as far as Cooktown only via the inland road (Peninsula Development Road/ Cooktown Development Road). Travel to Cooktown via the coastal road (Cape Tribulation Road) is not permitted; customers can only travel as far as Cape Tribulation.
Thrifty allows selected 4WD’s to be driven on Fraser Island but only when hired from Thrifty Hervey Bay. An additional $550 security bond is collected at the start of the rental and will be refunded on completion of the rental, subject to the vehicle being returned without damage. A $100 cleaning fee will apply to all rentals taken to Fraser Island. Exclusions: Undercarriage damage, roll over damage, submersion damage, reversing damage, tyre (including rim) and windscreen damage.
Vehicles cannot be taken onto the Spirit of Tasmania ferry and into or out of Tasmania.
NT, Broome and Kununurra
There are many areas and sites that Thrifty NT will not allow access to and where different damage liability conditions apply. Listed below are the areas where these vehicle types MUST NOT be driven at any time without Thrifty NT’s written permission and agreement. Should you decide to enter these areas Thrifty NT WILL NOT provide any damage liability coverage. Any damage to the vehicle, either mechanical or panel, sustained in these areas or as a result of being in these areas will be at the HIRER’S EXPENSE as will any costs relating to vehicle recovery.
Thrifty reserves the right to deny access to some areas due to road conditions without notice. Access is denied as per above to the areas listed within the following regions:
Kakadu Region Jim Jim and Twin Falls – all year.
Arnhem Land - Access to Arnhem Land including Gurig/Cobourg National Park is denied subject to Thrifty’s approval and on presentation of permits obtained from the relevant authority for entry to Aboriginal Land.
Katherine Region - Central Arnhem Road to Gove beyond Bulman.
Kimberley Region - Mitchell Plateau and Kalumburu. Gibb River Road travel between November and April is subject to seasonal road conditions and access limited to Large Manual 4WD’s only (LRMR and IFMR)
Broome - Cable Beach
Central Australia - Tanami Track, Gunbarrell Highway, Plenty/Donahue Highway, Canning Stock Route, Oodnadatta Track, Strzlecki Track, Birdsville Track only when travelling with another vehicle and with Thrifty’s consent and knowledge.
Other Areas The Gulf Track, Cape York Peninsula, Fraser Island (for a vehicle rented from NT)
Larapinta and Namatjira Drive (Mereenie Loop Road & & Gibb River Road) - Any damage sustained to the vehicle whilst on these roads is subject to the standard damage liabilities of $5,500 for multi vehicle accident and $7,700 for a single vehicle accident. Any additional liability reducer purchased does not apply for travel on these roads.
Aboriginal Permit Land – any entry to Aboriginal Land without a permit is illegal. Access to any land requiring a permit for entry is denied without Thrifty’s approval and entry permit must be provided to Thrifty prior to entry to such lands. Collision Damage Cover is not valid in the event of an unauthorised entry into Aboriginal Land or breach of permit regulations.
You are not permitted to take your vehicles: