One Way Car Hire Cairns to Brisbane

Or switch to opposite direction: from Brisbane to Cairns.


Compare Rental Cars Around Queensland

Are you planning a one way trip from Cairns to Brisbane and need a hire car? We’ll find you one from a trusted provider like Avis, Redspot, Budget, Europcar and Hertz – at a low price, with no cancellation or booking fees.

Glasshouse Mountains from Mary Cairncross Park, near Maleny.
Photo: Andrew Sutherland

Tip: rental cars are available at various depots around both Cairns and Brisbane – including at airports. So when you’re using our search tool, pick the location that suits you most or try a couple if you’re after the best price and there’s more than one option that works for you.

One Way Car Hire FAQ

Q: How far is Cairns from Brisbane?
A: It’s quite a long drive, over 1700 kilometres along the Bruce Highway. Plan for at least 19 hours of driving time in your journey. It’s highly recommended to split the trip across at least 2-3 days and to plan plenty of stops along the way.

Q: Are vehicles readily available throughout the year?
A: It’s a good idea to organise your trip as early as possible as availability is limited for one way rentals, especially close to holiday season. As cars get booked out rates on popular routes rise and if you wait too long you might not be able to make a booking for your Cairns to Brisbane trip at all.

Q: Does the price include one way fees?
A: All of the prices shown on our site show the total cost you need to pay, which includes any relocation fees. There are no extra relocation fees outside your quoted price. Age surcharges will apply for drivers under 25 and a minimum driver age of 21 is usually required.

Driving Holiday Ideas

So now that you’ve got your rental car sorted why not think about some of the amazing places along the way you can see. Here are a few suggestions for your road trip:

Fraser Island
Whitsundays & Airlie Beach
Whitehaven Beach
Charters Towers
Mission Beach

Palm Cove, Cairns.
Photo: skyseeker

From tropical rainforests to white sandy beaches dotted with palms – you’ll find it all driving along the Queensland coastline. We’re already feeling a bit jealous!

Car Rental Tips

Booking a vehicle from Cairns to Brisbane or on any other route is easy. There’s a few things that can help you make the most out of your trip though.

Read Your Rental Agreement

Always make sure you understand the rental agreement you’re signing. In general, you’re expected to return the car in the same condition you picked it up in. This includes fuel level, scratches, dents and other damage to the vehicle. Always make sure you check the car for damage before driving off – if there’s anything you’re concerned about make sure it’s marked and initialled by a staff member at the rental car depot. Remember that you’ll be liable for any damage to the car regardless of fault. For peace of mind it’s a good idea to consider excess insurance which will reduce the excess you would pay in case of an accident. Excess insurance can be bought directly from the car rental company, but is usually more expensive than organising excess insurance independently.

While suppliers at many locations offer unlimited kilometres for the duration of your trip, this is not always the case. If there are any limits you’ll always see them prominently during the booking process. Ask if you are unsure.

What Affects Your Price

Availability is a big factor impacting price. The closer you get to busy times of the year or a major event, the less vehicles will be left available and the higher the daily rates will be.

Price also goes up with vehicle size.

On the other hand, renting a car for a longer period will usually reduce your daily rate. For example a different rate is usually charged for 1-2 day hires, 3 day rentals and periods of 4 days or longer. In some cases you can actually end up paying less if you take the car out for longer! Different days of the week can also have different rates – some companies offer lower weekend than weekday rates.

A relocation fee will sometimes be calculated into the total price for one-way rentals. If this fee is charged by the provider it’s always included in the price we provide.

A daily surcharge for young drivers – under 25 years of age – is applicable with all the major car rental companies. The amount may very but is usually in the $15 to $30 per day range.

Other Popular Routes

Other common one way routes around the country:

Thanks for considering us in planning your one way car hire Cairns to Brisbane trip. We hope you have a safe and fun drive through Queensland and wherever else you go!


Photo (top of page): Larry W. Lo