10 Best Car Rentals in New Zealand in 2023 [For all Budgets!]

Bradley Williams
Written By:
Bradley Williams
Last Updated:
November 4, 2023
Here's a look at New Zealand's best car rentals. Discover what makes a great company to rent from and how to save money on your chosen rental firm.
Best Car Rentals in New Zealand

When it comes to some of the world’s most beautiful countries, New Zealand will undoubtedly be at the top of your list.

It teems with unique culture, modern cities, and sprawling roads with the most stunning landscapes, and is made up of the North Island and the South Island.

While renting a campervan in New Zealand is popular among tourists and locals alike, maybe you'd prefer driving a car and staying in hotels and Airbnbs instead.

But there are so many car rentals that picking the right one for you might be overwhelming.

So, we've used our years of experience renting from companies all around the world; as well as in-depth customer testimonials online, to pull together a list of the top rental companies in New Zealand.

As well as explanations of why each one has made the list and who they are best suited to.

Let’s get started!

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How to book your chosen rental

Discover Cars New Zealand car rentals

If you're looking to rent a car in New Zealand then you won't be short of options. There are so many car rental companies to choose from, that it can often feel overwhelming.

That's why we recommend using DiscoverCars which is an online comparison website. It's located in 60,000 locations across the world, and they pride themselves on offering fantastic customer service so you know you're in good hands.

DiscoverCars is really easy to use as well. All you need to do is input your preferred location and travel dates, and they'll bring together all the best deals. You can then filter these out by price, model, transmission etc, making it easier to find the perfect vehicle for you.

Other great reasons to book with DiscoverCars include: 

  • They offer free cancellation
  • DiscoverCars has over 15 years of experience
  • They offer simple and affordable insurance cover

1. Hertz - Overall top pick for car rental in New Zealand

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - 43 locations in NZ, including Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Gisborne, Picton, Queenstown, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington
  • Price range - $$-$$$
  • Best suited for -  Everyone! 
  • Availability - Check here
Hertz New Zealand Car Rentals

Overview:

As one of the largest car rental companies worldwide, Hertz is also the best option for renting a car in New Zealand.

They currently operate in more than 150 countries, while in New Zealand you can pick up from any one of their branches spread across 43 locations.

From budget-friendly vehicles to electric cars and luxury brands, you can expect to find whatever it is you’re looking for!

What’s great about going with a big name like Hertz is that they have tons of promotions all the time.

Examples include 25% off the base rate for advanced bookings, free additional drivers, long-term discounts, complimentary upgrades, and more.

Hertz available cars for rent in New Zealand

Vehicles on Offer:

Hertz has multiple car categories, from sedan and SUVs to EVs, and even commercial vans.

Basically, whatever type of car you need for your New Zealand adventure, you can find them here.

It’s also easy to filter the offers based on your budget, which means Hertz is great for travellers who want to save some money as well as those who would like to splurge.

You can choose from automatic or manual transmission too.

2. Ace Rental Cars - Car rental in New Zealand with the most locations

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Airports in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Queenstown, Greymouth Railway Station, Picton Ferry Terminal, and more
  • Price range - $-$$
  • Best suited for -  All travellers
  • Availability - Check here
Ace Car Rentals New Zealand

Overview:

Ace Rental Cars is a great option if you want an affordable range and an extensive list of car rental locations. In fact, this company offers some of the cheapest car rentals in New Zealand.

Most of their pickup locations are in airports all around the country, but don’t worry because they offer complimentary shuttle service from the terminal straight to their location!

Booking is super easy through your mobile device.

This company is also great in that they uphold the Tiaki promise, which essentially means they are committed to caring for New Zealand in terms of the environment, the people, and more.

Ace Car Rentals available cars for rent in New Zealand

Vehicles on Offer:

One reason why Ace Rental Cars are quite affordable is that they have a simple yet massive fleet, varying in age from new to a few years old.

The Super Saver Mystery Vehicle is a unique offer perfect for those wanting a cheap rental.

The availability and features can range from size and luggage capacity to mileage, but if you’re not fussy about the particulars of your car, this is perfect!

Their other vehicles also include everything from sedans and SUVs to hatchback cars.

3. Budget New Zealand - Best budget car rental in New Zealand

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - 35 locations (Queenstown, Christchurch, Auckland, and more)
  • Price range - $-$$
  • Best suited for -  Budget travellers
  • Availability - Check here
Budget New Zealand cars for hire

Overview:

Another excellent budget car rental, as its name also suggests, is Budget New Zealand.

You'll find them across 35 locations in the country, including Queenstown, Christchurch, Auckland, and more.

Some of the locations are major airports like that of Auckland and Christchurch, which is great if you want to sort out your rental the moment you land in New Zealand.

If you’re renting for long-term, you can secure discounted rates and avoid contract lock-ins too.

Vehicles on Offer:

Despite its more budget-friendly concept, you don’t have to worry about being out of options.

Budget New Zealand offers cars from compact and economy models to full-size and SUV cars.

Not to mention trucks, vans, 4WDs, and buses, if that’s what you’re looking for.

In addition to your chosen car or vehicle, you can rent some ski accessories too if you’re travelling during the winter!

Definitely a great option to consider before you embark on one of the world’s best road trips

4. Ezi Car Rental - Largest locally owned car rental in New Zealand

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Auckland, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, Gisborne, Greymouth, Hamilton, and many more
  • Price range - $-$$
  • Best suited for - Businessmen & travellers
  • Availability - Check here
Ezi car rentals New Zealand

Overview:

Ezi Car Rental is a 100% locally owned company that has been operating since 1998.

With the aim to provide great value and service that they can be proud of, you can be sure that your experience renting with them will be a fantastic one.

What’s great about Ezi Car Rental is that their staff are also passionate and knowledgeable about travelling New Zealand, which means you can get insider tips from them!

In terms of pick-up and drop-off locations, there are tons of options, including airports and train stations of major cities.

They offer free cancellations, free booking changes, 24/7 breakdown cover, a low collision damage waiver, unlimited kilometres, and more!

Available cars for rent in  Ezi Car Rentals New Zealand

Vehicles on Offer:

Whether you’re in New Zealand for business, a family getaway, or a couple's trip, you’ll be able to find the perfect car to rent…

Ezi Car Rental’s fleet includes everything from compact cars and hybrid models to SUVs and even group vehicles.

Everything is new and highly rated.

5. SIXT - Best one-year car rental solution in New Zealand

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington
  • Price range - $$-$$$
  • Best suited for - Long-term renters
  • Availability - Check here
Sixt New Zealand cars for hire

Overview:

SIXT car hire is one of the best options if you’re looking to rent for long-term, including up to a year!

They’re known for their flexible one day to one year vehicle solutions.

In addition to the standard ‘Rent A Car’, SIXT also has a unique subscription program such as the ‘Subscribe New’, which is a new car subscription that goes for either 6, 9, or 12 months!

SIXT also offers one-way rental, though this depends on your chosen car and location, so it’s best to check with the branch.

If you're planning to visit the 'land down under' as well while you're in this part of the world, then Sixt is also a great option for car rentals in Melbourne!

Sixt available cars for rent in New Zealand

Vehicles on Offer:

SIXT’s fleet is impressively large, including premium and luxury sport cars, as well as European and electric models.

However, you can still find economy options like a standard compact car, sedan, and SUV.

One example is the VW Touran for those of you travelling as a group, which starts at £61.72 per day and includes unlimited kilometres, third-party insurance, and loss damage waiver.

6. Snap Rentals - Most sustainable car hire in New Zealand

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Auckland Airport, Auckland CBD, Christchurch Airport, Queenstown Airport
  • Price range - $$
  • Best suited for -  Everyone
  • Availability - Check here
Snap Rentals New Zealand cars for hire

Overview:

Who says that renting a car and driving has to be bad for the environment?

Snap Rentals is committed to making car rental a sustainable and eco-friendly business, which is definitely something we admire!

Even their airport shuttles are 100% electric…

Plus, they have collected more than 6,000 5-star reviews.

Snap Rentals New Zealand cars for rent

Vehicles on Offer:

The company started in 2013 but since 2017, they have been making a move to transform their fleet into 100% EV/HEV by 2025.

Their car range is reliable, clean, and ready to go.

You can rent for a day or a few months’ at a time, and the offering ranges from budget cars to 4WD, 7-seaters, and fully electric vehicles.

7. Yes Rentals - Best car rental in New Zealand with friendly service

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown airports
  • Price range - $-$$
  • Best suited for -  Everyone! 
  • Availability - Check here
Yes Rentals New Zealand Cars for Rent

Overview:

Yes Rentals is a fast-growing car rental with branches in Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown airports.

They’re known for their fantastic staff who are not only friendly but also love travel, which reflects in their service.

They offer 100% refundable bookings if you book directly on their website and free cancellation any time before the pick-up date.

Furthermore, they offer complimentary airport shuttle services and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Yes Rentals available cars for Rent

Vehicles on Offer:

Yes Rentals has recently added the Toyota Aqua Hybrid to the fleet, which lets you save up to 60% in fuel costs per trip and reduce carbon emissions by up to 70%!

Other than that, they have a large variety of vehicles to choose from.

This includes sedans, SUVs, and even minibuses.

8. Moto Car Rental - Best locally owned company for NZ car hire

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - 24 on-airport branches, including Auckland, Christchurch, Blenheim, and more
  • Price range - $-$$
  • Best suited for -  Every traveller
  • Availability - Check here

Overview:

Another excellent 100% Kiwi owned rental company is Moto Car Rental, which has 24 on-airport locations for fast and easy pick-up and drop-off.

One of the best things about them is that you can pay for your rental on arrival.

With free cancellations, booking amendments, 24/7 breakdown cover, knowledgeable local staff, and affordable insurance, you should totally consider their services!

Oh, and if you join the My Moto newsletter, you can even enjoy 10% off your next booking!

Vehicles on Offer:

Moto Car Rental offers new model vehicles and unlimited kilometres with your booking.

You can find all sorts of cars ranging from standard 2WDs and AWDs to 4WDs.

Essentially, their fleet is geared for every traveller.

9. Mint Rentals - Best no-fuss and quick car rental in Auckland

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Auckland Airport
  • Price range - $-$$
  • Best suited for -  All travellers
  • Availability - Check here

Overview:

Mint Rentals has an easy online booking system and some of the cheapest rates for renting a car in Auckland.

They’re all about simplicity.

This means everything from choosing the right car to booking, payment, and pick up will be a seamless process.

Mint provides first-class service at a competitive price.

There’s even free pick-ups and drop-offs to Auckland Airport, where their branch is located.

Moreover, they offer easy insurance options, 24-hour roadside assistance, unlimited kilometres, and no hidden costs.

Vehicles on Offer:

Mint Rentals offer small, mid-sized, and large cars, so you can fit from your own self to up to 8 people in their rentals.

Their fleet has a complete range for whatever you need.

The most affordable option would be the Toyota Prius, which is perfect if you simply want to explore cities, though it can certainly handle open roads too.

You can even pick up and drop off your car anytime of the day, 24/7!

10. Thrifty - Best quality car rental in New Zealand

  • Pick up/drop off location/s - Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and more
  • Price range - $$
  • Best suited for - All travellers
  • Availability - Check here
Thrifty car rentals in New Zealand

Overview:

Last but not least, we recommend Thrifty as one of the best car rentals in New Zealand.

They pride themselves in providing quality cars at a low price.

You can enjoy unlimited kilometres for certain locations as well as national roadside assistance.

Additionally, you can return the car to a different location, which is great if you’re flying in and out of the country from different cities.

Thrifty New Zealand cars for rent

Vehicles on Offer:

The Thrifty vehicle range includes standard sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs to minivans!

Whatever your budget, whether you want an economic and compact model or hybrid vehicles and premium vans with wheelchair accessibility, you can find them here.

Thrifty also has a whole separate category for trucks, buses, and 4WDs.

New Zealand Car Rental FAQ

How much is it to hire a car in New Zealand?

Renting a car in New Zealand can be expensive, although the specific cost depends on your vehicle, duration, location, and other add-ons.

In general, expect to pay anywhere between $30 to upwards of $100 per day for a car. Remember that renting monthly can also give you lower rates!

If you're looking to travel cheaply, it may be best to rent a small campervan and then your accommodation costs are covered too. However, these do incur higher upfront costs.

How old do you need to be to hire a car in NZ?

You have to be at least 18 years old to legally hire a car in New Zealand. However, most car rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 or even 25 years old. Make sure to check with your chosen company.

Is it worth hiring a car in New Zealand?

Yes! New Zealand is one of the best places to travel in the world. Because of its open roads and rolling landscapes, driving is probably the most recommended way to explore it.

What is required to rent a car in New Zealand?

The specific requirements vary between car rental companies. Generally, all you will need is a current and valid driver’s licence!

However, you may require an International Driving Permit as well (depending on your country of origin) so make sure you do your research.

Which car rental is right for you?

Well, those are our top car rental recommendations in New Zealand.

Hopefully that helped clear through the many companies and offer an idea of who is best for your trip.

Now over to you…

Do you think we missed any companies out?

Or do you now know who you will go for?

Drop a comment below and let us know!

Here are some other guides that you may find helpful:

Disclaimer: Fully research your destination prior to travel, or any products prior to purchase. We can accept no responsibility for anything you experience as a result of the information found on this website. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for some purchases, at no additional expense to you. Read more here
Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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