best car rentals queenstown
best car rentals queenstown

The Best Car Rental Companies in Queenstown

© JUCY Group

What is the Best Car Rental in Queenstown?

Starting your trip from Queenstown puts you right in the heart of the South Island beauty, but which car rental company in Queenstown is the right one for you? Use our comparison of the best car rentals in Queenstown to make the decision that will lead to an awesome road trip starting from Queenstown.

Before we get started with our comparison of the best car rental companies in Queenstown, be sure to make the most of Queenstown before you hit the road by checking out The Complete Travel Guide to Queenstown and the 20 Best Things to Do in Queenstown.

5 Things to Look at When Comparing Car Rental Companies in Queenstown

Our comparison of the best car rentals in Queenstown includes the most important details about each company with the exception of rental rates, as these change from season to season. Below is an overview of why each feature is important in your car rental comparison. Alternatively, head to How to Compare Car and Campervan Rental Companies in New Zealand.

Location: In Queenstown, most car rental companies are based close to Queenstown Airport with a few exceptions in the centre of Queenstown. Are they convenient for you? Are there any extra fees you will need to pay for the premium location? Also, consider where you are ending your trip and whether the drop-off locations are convenient for you too.

Prices and inclusions: The price of car rental in Queenstown changes largely depending on the season. Read our 20 Ways To Save Money on Car Rental in New Zealand to see when the best time to rent a car usually is. Plus, when comparing prices of car hire in Queenstown, compare what’s included in that price to understand the true value of the car rental. We have added the inclusions in the comparison below. Additionally, be aware that no two insurance policies are the same, so compare what the insurance offered actually covers.

Vehicles offered: Most car rental companies in Queenstown will maintain even their oldest cars to the highest standards, however, a more modern vehicle is less likely to give you any problems. You also need to find a car type that meets your needs. See What is the Best Type of Vehicle to Rent in New Zealand? for more advice.

Service: Once you have picked a few car rental companies in Queenstown from this comparison, send some questions to the companies and see how helpful they are with their answers. Service will become very important should anything go wrong during your trip.

Reviews: It’s worth checking multiple review websites to compare customers experiences. Why not ask the question in a New Zealand travel Facebook Group or check out reviews on RentalCars.com?

The Best Car Rental Companies in Queenstown© GO Rentals

GO Rentals – The Best All-Rounder Queenstown Car Rental

GO Rentals has a large fleet of rental cars in all the major arrival cities in New Zealand. Their modern fleet means less chance of a breakdown, however, should it happen, roadside assistance is included in every rental. The Queenstown car rental company also offers hundreds of discounts on activities around the country.

What’s more, GO Rentals is one of the first car rental companies in New Zealand to offer EV rentals – find out more about How to Travel Around New Zealand in an Electric Car. Note that there is a premium location fee for airport depots but this is minimal.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

A courtesy shuttle is available for airport branches offering airport pick-up and drop-offs.

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown Aiport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland City Centre, Auckland Airport, Wellington Airport, Christchurch Airport and Dunedin Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, station wagons, 4WD, van/people carriers, and camper trailers.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 4 years old.

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (21+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • GO Play discount card (discounts on 200+ activities, restaurants and accommodations)

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$2500 excess and NZ$2500 bond. Or insurance add-ons for NZ$22-$29 per day with less excess and bond to pay.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

Snap Rentals© Snap Rentals

Snap Rentals – The Best Cheap Queenstown Car Rental

Snap Rentals is extremely budget-friendly, especially for young drivers with insurance costs being the same for drivers of any age – they feature in The Best New Zealand Car & Campervan Rentals for Ages 18 to 25. Snap Rentals are also one of the limited car rentals in Queenstown that hire to drivers with a restricted license.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

A courtesy shuttle is available for airport branches offering airport pick-up and drop-offs. They also do accommodation shuttle pick-up and drop-offs for airport locations.

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown Airport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland City (Parnell), Auckland Airport and Christchurch Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, station wagons, 4WD/ute and people carriers.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 14 years old.

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Free insurance included in the rental with NZ$2000 excess and NZ$2000 bond (cash or credit card) or get an insurance add-on for NZ$16-$24 per day for NZ$0 to $200 excess and bond to pay. There is also insurance available for restricted or P Plate licenses.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

ace rental cars© ace rental cars

Ace Rental Cars – The Best Queenstown Car Rental for Families

With a fleet of new and late-model vehicles, Ace Rentals has cars that are more likely to be reliable and be fuel-efficient. With plenty of drop-off locations, this allows you to be more flexible. There is a premium location fee for airport depots but this is minimal.

Note also that Ace Rental Cars’ do not permit their vehicles to cross between the North Island and South Island, so separate bookings will need to be made to/from their Picton or Wellington branches if travelling on both islands. We also list Ace Rental Cars as one of The Best Family Car Rentals in New Zealand.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

Courtesy shuttle available to and from Queenstown Airport between 8am and 8.30pm.

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown Airport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland City, Auckland Airport, Wellington Airport, Picton, Greymouth, Christchurch Airport and Dunedin Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, station wagons, 4WD, people carriers and campervans.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 8 years old.

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Free insurance with up to NZ$2500 excess depending on the vehicle and NZ$750 bond to pay or insurance add-ons for NZ$20-$27 per day with less excess and no bond to pay.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

OMEGA© OMEGA

Omega Rental Cars – The Best Queenstown Car Rental for Inclusions

With so many pick-up and drop-off locations with no one-way charges, Omega is well worth considering if you plan to start and end your trip on different islands. What’s more, the possibility of changing rental vehicles in Wellington and Picton to reduce ferry costs is appealing. You’ll also find Omega Rental Cars listed in The Best Car Rental Companies in New Zealand.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

A courtesy shuttle is available for airport branches offering airport pick-up and drop-offs.

Queenstown pick-up locations: Queenstown (Beach Street) and Queenstown Aiport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland City, Auckland Aiport, Wellington (Pipitea), Wellington Airport, Picton, Nelson, Blenheim and Christchurch Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, station wagons, SUV, 4WD and people carriers.

Vehicle age range: 3 to 11 years old.

Inclusions

  • Multiple drivers (18+ years old)
  • One way hire available
  • Option to leave a vehicle at Wellington/Picton and pick up another vehicle after the ferry crossing to reduce the cost of the ferry
  • Basic insurance
  • Maps and guide book with activity discounts
  • Free seats for children
  • Postcard and pen

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$2500 excess and a NZ$2000 bond for 21+-year-old drivers. Different conditions apply to 18-20-year-old drivers or drivers with a restricted license. Insurance add-ons for drivers over 21 years old of NZ$25-$28 per day with either no excess or  NZ$400 excess.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained! Plus, learn more about age restrictions in Age Restrictions When Renting a Vehicle in New Zealand.

Ezi Car Rentals© Ezi Car Rentals

Ezi Car Rental – The Best Queenstown Car Rental for New Vehicles

With a fleet of 1800 vehicles, there are plenty of options with Ezi Car Rental. Most of the models are late models, with the exception of a few, so if you are looking for reliability then Ezi is for you! As a good all-rounder, Ezi easily makes it into our comparison of the best car rentals in Queenstown.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

The Ezi Car Rental kiosk is located inside the airport.

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown Airport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland Airport, Auckland, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport and Dunedin Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, station wagons, 4WD, utes, and people carriers.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 3 years old.

Inclusions

  • 2 drivers (21+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$3000 excess or insurance add-ons for NZ$26-$28 per day with less or no excess.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

Apex© Apex

Apex Car Rentals – The Best Queenstown Car Rental for One-Way Trips

For ultimate flexibility, Apex Car Rentals has a huge number of depots around the country with no extra costs for one-way trips. Their fleet is large and modern for a more premium experience on a budget. It’s also possible to hire vehicles without a credit card but with a debit card if you prefer.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

A courtesy shuttle is available for airport branches offering airport pick-up and drop-offs.

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown (Shotover Street) and Queenstown Airport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland City Centre (Victoria Street West), Auckland Airport, Blenheim Airport, Christchurch Airport, Christchurch City (Kilmore Street), Greymouth, Napier Airport, Nelson Airport, Nelson City, Picton Ferry Terminal, Wellington (Victoria Street) and Wellington Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, station wagons and 4WD and van/people carriers.

Vehicle age range: 3 to 7 years old.

Inclusions

  • Multiple drivers (21+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Free one-way rental available

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$2000 excess or insurance add-ons for NZ$17-$27 per day to reduce the excess.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

Hitch© Hitch

Hitch – The Best Budget Queenstown Car Rental

Given the right season, Hitch offers some extremely affordable cars, which is why we consider them as some of the best car rentals in Queenstown. Their budget range might have some older vehicles, as expected, but they are low mileage making for a more reliable journey.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

A courtesy shuttle is available for airport branches offering airport pick-up and drop-offs.

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown Airport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland Airport, Auckland City (Parnell) and Christchurch Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, SUVs and van/people carriers.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 10 years old.

Inclusions

  • Multiple drivers (21+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$2000 excess and NZ$1000 bond by way of credit card or insurance add-ons for NZ$10-$17.50 per day with less excess.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

Alamo© Alamo

Alamo (Redspot Car Rentals) – The Best Queenstown Airport Car Rental

The Australian-based company, Alamo, has a fleet of Kia, Toyota and Mitsubishi cars available to rent from Queenstown Airport. They have a convenient rental depot within walking distance of the airport. However, there are a number of restrictions to renting a car with Alamo that’s worth knowing about:

  • There is a young driver surcharge that applies at NZ$13 per day for drivers between 21-24 years old and you must have held your license for at least one year
  • They charge an airport surcharge of around NZ$45, which is much higher than the usual
  • You are not permitted to take rental cars above the snow line in winter, so their vehicles are not suitable for driving to the Queenstown ski fields.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown Airport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport and Wellington Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, station wagons and people carriers.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 6 years old.

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (21+ years old)
  • Basic insurance

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$4600 excess or insurance add-ons for NZ$40-$48 per day with less excess and bond to pay (the excess can only be reduced to NZ$340 for drivers aged 21-24 years old). Roadside assistance and tire/windshield cover are an additional daily rate.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

Jucy© Jucy

Jucy – The Best Queenstown Car Rental for Small Cars and People Carriers

With a low minimum age and a great range of budget options, Jucy Rentals are worth considering for a budget trip around New Zealand. Be aware that they do charge a “premium location fee” for the Queenstown Airport. However, this fee is minimal.

Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

A courtesy shuttle is available for airport branches offering airport pick-up and drop-offs.

Queenstown pick-up location: Queenstown Airport.
Drop-off locations: Queenstown, Auckland Airport and Christchurch Airport.

Vehicles Available

Small cars, large cars, 4WD, van/people carriers, and campercars, campervans and motorhomes.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 10 years old.

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Basic insurance
  • Activity discounts

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$2500 excess and NZ$2500 bond. Or insurance add-ons for NZ$20-$25 per day with less excess and less bond to pay.

Need an explanation for how rental car insurance works? Check our guide, New Zealand Rental Car Insurance: Explained!

More About the Best Car Rentals in Queenstown

That’s it for the best car rentals in Queenstown. For even more car rental tips, check out the following guides:

Now that you’ve found the best car rental companies in Queenstown, do you need some road trip ideas? Check out the following itineraries for the best road trip routes:

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

Was this article useful?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on twitter
Twitter

Recommended For You