Car hire Queenstown: Compare prices & get discounts | Finder

Car hire in Queenstown: Adventure starts at $50 a day

Put your suitcase in the boot and set off to explore New Zealand's South Island by road.


Fact checked

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Hire a car from Queenstown and you can run rings around the region's great lakes, drive to the banks of fiords for activities like kayaking and pull up beside some of New Zealand's top adrenaline sites.

Here's everything you need to know about hiring a car before you put the pedal to the metal.

Search and compare cheap car rental in Queenstown:

Compare hire cars and prices in Queenstown

To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for your wheels, we sussed out quotes through our search engine for various types of vehicles.

We based our prices on the cheapest seven-day hires from Queenstown Airport for small, medium and large vehicles and SUVs. Prices were retrieved on 12 August 2019 and are based on a driver aged between 30 and 60 years old.

Small, economy car

  • Car: Toyota Yaris
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: 1 large bag, 1 small bag
  • Rental company: Budget
  • Cost: $345.13 for 7 days or $49.30 per day

Holden Barina

Medium car

  • Car: Holden Barina
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: 1 large bag, 1 small bag
  • Rental company: Firefly
  • Cost: $429.02 for 7 days or $61.29 per day

Toyota Corolla

Large car

  • Car: Toyota Corolla
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: 1 large bag, 1 small bag
  • Rental company: Ezi Car Rental
  • Cost: $482.47 for 7 days or $68.92 per day

Holden Trax

Estate car

  • Car: Holden Trax
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: 1 large bag, 1 small bag
  • Rental company: Firefly
  • Cost: $474.72 or $67.81 per day

Prices mentioned above were retrieved on 12 August 2019 and change constantly. Get the latest prices for your car hire today.

Who offers car hire from Queenstown Airport

Tips for driving in the Queenstown

  • The default speed limit on open roads is 100km/h. In urban areas, it is 50km/h.
  • Approach railway crossings with caution. Only around half of the railway crossings in the country have automatic alarms to alert drivers of oncoming trains. The rest have give way or stop signs so be wary before you cross.
  • Be prepared to use chains. Ice, snow and hail, primarily in winter, can make driving challenging. Most car hire companies provide you with chains when required and if you're headed up to the snow it is mandatory to put them on.
  • Adjust your driving to suit the conditions. New Zealand experiences extreme weather and the roads often feature sharp turns and steep slopes. Be aware of the conditions you will be driving in and take appropriate safety measures.
  • Drive on the left. Throughout New Zealand, you must drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Car hire FAQ

  • Do I need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in New Zealand? Australians can drive in New Zealand with a current Australian driver's licence.
  • Can provisional licence holders hire a car in New Zealand? Yes. It's legal to drive on your provisional licence in New Zealand. However, many car hire companies may require you to hold a full licence.
  • Do I need car insurance? Your hire car comes with basic insurance and cover but the excess on policies is typically quite high. Before you sign off on the car hire company's own insurance policy, compare car hire excess insurance online to see if you can score a better and more suitable deal for your driving needs.

3 popular driving routes in Queenstown

Queenstown to Milford Sound

  • How long is the drive? 575km, round trip
  • How long do I need? 1–2 days
  • Must-sees along the way: Kingston, Te Anau and Te Anau Downs.

Often used as a springboard to the captivating fiords of Milford Sound, this trip is peppered with winding roads, waterfalls, lakes and bridges. While it can be completed in a day (approximately seven hours return) if you wish to enjoy the hiking routes and cruise through the fiords we recommend spending a night in Te Anau or Milford Sound to drink it all up.

Queenstown to Kingston

  • How long is the drive? 50km each way
  • How long do I need? 1 day with stops
  • Must-sees along the way: Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables ski field, Kingstown

This scenic drive skirts the edge of Lake Wakatipu and features lots of curves and winding sections. It's a well-maintained route, though, so the driving is easy despite the twists and turns. Pack a picnic and stop for a lakeside lunch.

Queenstown to Christchurch

  • How long is the drive? 483km
  • How long do I need? 3–5 days
  • Must-sees along the way: Arrowtown, the Southern Alps, Lake Tekapo

This wriggling alpine and lakes route tends to stick to state highways, making the driving a breeze. Devise a schedule that gives you time in the historical gold mining town of Arrowtown. Borrow a pan from the Lake District Museum and have a go at panning for gold yourself.

Car hire deals in Queenstown


Campervan hire from $5/day

Available on select routes, dates and locations in Australia, including Darwin, Alice Springs, Cairns and Brisbane, and New Zealand.

Last verified


Up to 15% off 5+ day car hires

Available on select rental dates until 11 December across Australia and New Zealand. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Motorhome RepublicMotorhome Republic

5% off Apollo international campervan rentals

Available on rentals from 1 April 2021 - 31 March 2022 across New Zealand and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends


Up to 20% off 2+ days rentals

Available on select rental dates until 11 December 2021 across Australia and New Zealand. Must book 21 days in advance. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends


Up to 15% off prestige car rentals

Available on rentals until 11 December 2021 across Australia and New Zealand including Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Auckland and more. Minimum of 5 days rental required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Compare over 800 car hire companies worldwide can help you compare major car hire company rates for the best price. Companies it compares include Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty, Alamo, Dollar and Budget. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Canada and more.

Last verified

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site