Your guide to scoring cheap car hire in New Zealand

Explore New Zealand on four wheels from just $20 a day.


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New Zealand measures 1,593km from top-to-toe, is penned in by 15,000km of scenic coastline and home to acres of picturesque national parks. To see as much of it as possible, you'll need to hire a car.

Before you put the pedal to the metal, though, there are a few things you need to know, including where to find the best rental deals and the top driving routes around the country.

Compare rental cars and prices in New Zealand

We've sussed out how much you can expect to pay for car hire. Our figures are based on a quote from our engine for a rental car from Christchurch for 7 days, booked a month in advance for a driver aged 30+.

Toyota Aqua Hybrid.

Small, economy car

  • Car: Toyota Aqua Hybrid
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: One large bag, one small bag
  • Rental company: Snap Rentals
  • Cost: $141.59 for a 7-day hire or $20.23 per day

Medium car

  • Car: Toyota Corolla Hatch
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: One large bag, one small bag
  • Rental company: GO Rentals
  • Cost: $189.33 for a 7-day hire or $27.05 per day

Toyota Camry.

Large car

  • Car: Toyota Camry
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: Two large bags, one small bag
  • Rental company: GO Rentals
  • Cost: $309.82 for a 7-day hire or $44.26 per day

Holden Trax


  • Car: Holden Trax
  • Seats: 5
  • Luggage: One large bag, one small bag
  • Rental company: Jucy
  • Cost: $239.26 for a 7-day hire or $34.18 per day

Prices mentioned above were retrieved on 24 September 2019 and change constantly. Get the latest prices for your car hire today.

Car hire locations in New Zealand

Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty all have a share of the rental car market in New Zealand. Popular pick-up spots include:
  • Wellington Airport
  • Christchurch Airport
  • Auckland Airport
  • Queenstown Airport
  • Gisborne Airport

Tips for driving in New Zealand

  • Approach railway crossings with caution. Only half of the railway crossings in New Zealand have automatic alarms to alert drivers of oncoming trains. The rest have "give way" or "stop" signs. It's up to you to check for trains before you cross the tracks.
  • Traffic lights can flash yellow. If you see a traffic light with a flashing amber light it means that the signals are out of order. Unless there's a traffic controller to direct you, you may proceed with caution.
  • Allow extra time for your journey. There are comparatively few motorways in New Zealand than Australia. Many of the country's roads have single-file traffic flows and away from the big cities these can be narrow and windy. Therefore a 60 kilometre journey can take 2 hours instead of 1.
  • Be prepared to use chains. In winter and spring, ice, snow and hail can make driving challenging. Most car hire companies provide you with chains at these times of year.
  • Drive on the left. Like Aussies, Kiwis drive on the left side of the road.

Car hire in New Zealand FAQs

  • Do Australians need an International Driving Permit to drive in New Zealand? No. You can legally drive in New Zealand if you hold an up-to-date Australian driver's licence.
  • Can I drive in New Zealand if I only have a provisional licence (P-plate)? Yes, however, many car hire companies only rent to full licence holders.
  • How does car insurance work? Hire cars come with basic insurance but the excess on the policies tends to be high. You can take out extra cover packages to lower it either with the car hire company or through an external insurer.

Car hire deals in New Zealand


Campervan hire from $5/day

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

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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.

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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.

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Motorhome RepublicMotorhome Republic

5% off New Zealand campervan rentals

Available on rentals until 31 March 2021 with Apollo Motorhomes. T&Cs apply.

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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.

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Earn 1,000 bonus Velocity points

Available on pick ups until 31 January 2021 across Australia and New Zealand. Minimum 4 days rental required. T&Cs apply.

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