A Guide to Car Relocation in New Zealand
The concept is simple: relocate rental cars and drive them for free! Some car rental companies in New Zealand need cars moved from one branch to another. It’s cheaper for these companies to get travellers to do the job of relocating rentals for them, while the traveller saves a bit of money. Sounds like a win-win! Although you can’t rely on this transportation method for an entire holiday, car relocations are ideal for a quick one-way trip. This guide will tell you how car relocation works in New Zealand, along with the pros and cons of using this system.
Before you hit the road, make sure you have a legal driver’s license. Find out more in How to Drive in New Zealand and Why You Need an International Driving Permit for New Zealand.
What is Car Relocation?
Simply, car relocation is helping car rental companies transfer rental cars from one of their depots to another. Car relocations work almost the same as a normal rental booking, except that the rental rate is free or just a few dollars. However, there are extra conditions attached to your car relocation, which we’ll explore in this guide to New Zealand car relocations.
How Does Car Relocation Work in New Zealand?
The idea is pretty easy. Just remember your trip is determined by the pick-up and drop-off points decided by the rental company; not you.
Step 1: Check for the availability of car relocations on car rental websites and book online.
Step 2: Pick up the car from the specified pick-up point. You will likely have to pay a bond (security deposit) for the rental. Some rental companies will only accept credit card. Otherwise, your car rental is free or at least very cheap!
Step 3: Drive to the specified drop-off location sticking to the requirements outlined in the terms and conditions. Basically, stick to the number of free days given to drive the car.
Find Car Relocations in New Zealand with EasyCarRelo
The easiest way to browse available car relocations in New Zealand is on vehicle relocation aggregator websites like EasyCarRelo. Free, easy to use and Kiwi-owned, EasyCarRelo allows you to browse car relocations from your desired pick-up location or via vehicle type, number of seats, fuel options and more! What’s more, car relocation listings clearly state the number of days the car rental is for free, as well as how much it would cost to add more days to the rental.
The Advantages of Car Relocation in New Zealand
A normal car rental is not the most budget-friendly way to travel around New Zealand, but many travellers dream of road tripping in New Zealand. Car rental offers freedom and flexibility that other means of transport cannot offer. Car relocations offer a solution to save money by offering free rentals, or cheaper rentals some are as little as NZ$1 a day!
What Do Car Rental Relocations Include?
Car relocations sometimes (but not always) have free inclusions, which are usually:
- One tank of fuel
- Unlimited kilometres
- The cost of the ferry crossing between Wellington and Picton
- Expenses – usually of a capped amount. GST receipts must be provided.
Although there are a limited number of days you can hire the car through car relocation, you may be able to hire the vehicle for some extra days at normal rates giving you more time to explore.
The Disadvantages of Car Relocation in New Zealand
This too-good-to-be-true deal comes with some limitations. Of course, rental companies aren’t just going to give free rental cars to people without a few conditions. What’s included in car relocation differs from company to company, so it’s best to always compare companies and read the terms and conditions.
Common Conditions of Car Relocations in New Zealand:
- Limited days – With all car relocations, there are a limited number of days you can drive the car for free. It is generally from 24 hours to six days! That’s usually not much time for sightseeing but it may be worth paying for an extra couple of days if the company allows it
- Fuel cost – In many cases, car rental companies will pay for one tank of your fuel but you may have to pay for extra fuel for long-distance trips. In other cases, no fuel is included at all so you will have to factor that into your budget
- Kilometre allowance – Very few rentals have a limited distance you can drive, meaning you can take fewer detours on your road trip. Extra charges may incur per kilometre
- Car rental companies don’t provide return or onward transport (unless you pay to rent from them) – You will need to organise your own transport after the car relocation is over
- There are more offers from south to north – Most tourists tend to rent their vehicles to drive down south
- Car relocation is mostly limited to the locations of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown
- Insurance – This is usually at an extra cost if you want full cover (no excess to pay in case of an accident), but basic insurance is always included
- The availability of cars to relocate differs between seasons.
Which New Zealand Rental Companies Offer Car Relocations?
So how do you get started on car relocation in New Zealand? Some car rental companies post relocation opportunities directly on their website, while others can be found on car relocation aggregator websites like EasyCarRelo.
Car rental companies that offer relocations include:
- Bargain Rental Cars
- Ace Rental Cars
- GO Rentals
- Ezi Car Rental
- Snap Rentals
- Jucy Rentals
- Apex Rental Cars
- RaD Car Hire
- NZ Rent a Car.
For more information about these car rental companies, see how they compare in The Best Car Rental Companies in New Zealand. Plus, check out campervan rental companies that offer campervan relocations in our guide, New Zealand Campervan Relocations: How to Get a Free Campervan Hire.
More About Car Relocations in New Zealand
That’s it for our guide to car relocations in New Zealand! For more advice on renting a car, take a look at the following:
- The Guide to Renting a Car in New Zealand
- 21 Ways to Save Money on Car Rental in New Zealand
- How to Compare Car Rental Companies in New Zealand
Finally, if there’s anything that we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in Travel By Car in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide.