So you’re thinking about taking a road trip through New Zealand? Great! Aotearoa is one of the prettiest countries in the world to drive through, with both the North and South Island practically swathed in unique, beautiful scenery and world-class tourist attractions.
However, despite the excitement probably building inside you at the opportunity to explore this great nation, you don’t want to blow the budget all on your rental car. So how do you save money on New Zealand car hire?
Plan in advance
Certain times of year are going to be better to drive in than others. For example, if you visit during the school holidays, you shouldn’t be surprised to find extra traffic on the roads. Here in NZ, these major school breaks occur in:
- Mid-December to late-January
- Late-September/early October
Higher or lower rates may also apply depending on whether you are renting during the week or weekend.
Factor in fuel
One other area that is crucial to understand before hiring a rental car is fuel economy, and how much bang you’ll get for your buck with the rental company itself.
In terms of the former, it’s quite quick to research how fuel efficient a car is. Here in NZ, fuel economy is rated by the government on a six-star system, which measures the amount of kilometres you’ll get per 100 litres. So you have a benchmark, 8.3 litres per 100 km equals around four stars – which is pretty great.
Some rental car companies will charge you based on the amount of kilometres you travel each day. This is why you should always check for an unlimited-kilometre car hire provider before booking, so you don’t run up an excessive bill just because you wanted to explore!
Relocations deals are offered when a company requires vehicles to be returned to their original location. Often these come with reduced costs, and in New Zealand specifically, they can even include additional costs such as interisland ferry tickets. Of course, these specials are subject to requirement, which is just another reason it’s important to always book in advance.
If you are trusting in a company to provide you with a service that is crucial to your holiday, you need that company to be well-versed in the country, right? Choosing home grown rental car options often gets you a better experience, if not a better deal, than if you were to select a multinational corporate chain. These friendly locals can also tailor their services to the requirement of New Zealand, including booking your interisland ferry and including all road tolls in your initial payment.