How to Compare Car and Campervan Rental Companies in New Zealand
Picking a car or campervan rental company for your road trip in New Zealand is a pretty big deal! This will not only determine your spare budget for fun activities but also the outcome of your trip of a lifetime. That’s why we recommend that you take the time to thoroughly compare car and campervan rentals in New Zealand. This guide to compare car and campervan hire in New Zealand will show you how!
Comparing vehicle rental companies in New Zealand is more than just comparing the base price. With inclusions and exclusions, quality of vehicle and fuel efficiency, there is often more than meets the eye when it comes to car and campervan rentals. With a bit of comparison research, you can avoid the vehicles that are often prone to breaking down or find a rental company that has more suitable pick-up and drop-off locations for you.
Follow our New Zealand car and campervan comparison tips below to start planning a stress-free road trip in beautiful New Zealand.
Should You Use a Comparative Website for Comparing Car and Campervan Hire in New Zealand?
Comparative websites are a great tool to check the average prices of car and campervan rentals in New Zealand. However, you can usually get a better deal by booking directly with a company. Comparative websites also focus on prices over other factors and rarely include all the companies available. Be aware that when a comparative site boasts 42,000 companies worldwide, this might well mean that it only includes seven New Zealand-based companies over the 90+ that exist.
We suggest using Compare and Choose to get an idea of average prices in New Zealand, but do not stop there; do a bit more research using our tips below.
Compare Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations
When booking a car or campervan rental for your road trip in New Zealand you are likely to already have a plan of where you want to start and where you want to finish. Following some of our 21 Ways To Save Money on Car Rental in New Zealand, you already know that keeping your options open presents many advantages. Nonetheless, you will still need to pick up a car where it is convenient for you. So first up, pick a company that serves the locations that you are looking for.
It would also be wise to book your rental from a company that has a couple of extra locations countrywide. Should something happen to your vehicle, you would still have to make your way to the nearest depot to pick up another one.
Another location aspect you might want to consider is the price of your chosen rental companies’ one-way fee. If you are planning on dropping your vehicle off at a different depot than where you picked it up, you will be charged a fee. There are a few rare companies that don’t charge a one-way fee at all, which are outlined in the links below.
Compare Car Rentals by Location
You can also compare locations with our following guides:
- The Best Car Rental Companies in Auckland
- The Best Car Rental Companies in Wellington
- The Best Car Rental Companies in Christchurch
- The Best Car Rental Companies in Queenstown
Compare Campervan Rentals by Location
And for campervans per location, check out these:
Compare Prices and Inclusions
Price is likely to be the main factor in your decision making, however, remember that a deal too good to be true is probably well… too good to be true.
The main thing to remember when comparing the price of car or campervan hire in New Zealand is to do so including all the extras that you are considering: administration/booking fee, insurance, one-way fee, extra driver, young driver fee, cleaning fee, etc. Some companies may include some of those costs into their upfront prices, some will simply add extra charges throughout the booking process resulting in a price much higher than expected.
It is also worth considering other extras such as airport pick up (NZ$40 saved on a taxi), a free extra driver (NZ$10 saved per day), and no RUC diesel tax charges (NZ$70 saves per 1,000 km), etc. Those little costs add up and can result in big savings at the end of a trip.
Many of these inclusions we compare in The Best Car Rental Companies in New Zealand and The Best Motorhome & Campervan Rentals in New Zealand, so be sure to check them out!
What is Usually Included in New Zealand Car and Campervan Rentals?
What should be included in your car or campervan rental? The standard bear minimum is that unlimited kilometres, basic insurance and roadside assistance are included in your daily rental rate. If it is not, then you should probably consider an alternative rental company.
For more information on all costs involved in renting a vehicle, check out How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car or Campervan in New Zealand? And as a power tip, see the 20 Ways to Save Money on Car & Campervan Rental in New Zealand!
Compare the Vehicles Offered
Surprisingly enough, this is the main item on the list that travellers overlook. Blinded by their quest to find the best price, many people forget to look at the year and make of a vehicle. This will have a huge impact on the overall cost of your trip as gas prices are high in New Zealand and the difference could be up to 40% for vehicles with a 5 to 7 years age difference.
We also recommend you to sit down and evaluate your needs when renting a car or campervan, as the smaller you go, the cheapest it will be and the more fuel-efficient your vehicle will be.
[Update: Now available in New Zealand are electric vehicle rentals! Check out our NZ EV Guide for more information.]
We cannot stress enough that your choice of vehicle when renting a car or campervan in New Zealand is critical. Read Should You Rent a Campervan or Car in New Zealand? if you’re considering the two, or simply choose the best car from What is the Best Type of Car to Rent in New Zealand?
Service does not usually strike most people as important when looking for a bargain online. However, it would be a big mistake to overlook it. Should something happen to your car or campervan while road tripping in New Zealand, you will want a solution to be found quickly and efficiently. More than money, your time matters. You are taking the trip of a lifetime and will probably not have the chance to come back all the way to New Zealand again. You’ve got to make every day count and cannot waste a couple of them waiting to solve car issues.
The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of a car or campervan rental team is to send them a bunch of questions by email prior to your booking. First, it will help you clear out a few details that you may need confirmation about. Second, it will help you evaluate their response, speed and thoroughness. This is a great way to know if their customer care really cares.
Compare Reviews and Ratings
Every car and campervan company boast customer service awards and great customer satisfaction on their website. Honestly, most of them are actually great. But it would pay off to double-check real users’ ratings and reviews online. A simple online search of a company name should pop up a few ratings and review websites with insights from verified customers.
When doing so, take too good reviews and too bad reviews with a grain of salt, it is important to focus on reading reviews that appear genuine to get a real picture of a company.
Another great way to check up on a company is to ask on a New Zealand travel Facebook group for feedback from people that have used such-and-such a company before. It’s a great way to start a discussion with people that have been in your shoes.
More on How to Compare Car and Campervan Hire in New Zealand
That’s it for our guide on how to compare car and campervan hire in New Zealand but is by no means the end of our advice! Check out the following guides for more tips:
- How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car or Campervan in New Zealand?
- 10 Things We Love About Renting a Car in New Zealand
- The Guide to Renting a Car 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.