how to find the cheapest car rentals

How to Find the Cheapest Car Rentals

Drive for Less

Cruising down the Great Ocean Road in Australia or exploring the picturesque landscapes of New Zealand's South Island demands the freedom and flexibility that only a rental car can provide. This comprehensive guide will show you how to find the cheapest car rentals in Australia and New Zealand and walk you through license requirements, rates, perks and what to consider when choosing a car rental company.

Cheapest Car Rentals In Australia and New Zealand

1. Ace Rental Cars

One of the most affordable options in both countries, Ace Rental Cars offers competitive prices that are often hard to beat. With a presence in major airports and city locations, Ace Rental Cars provides free shuttle service, unlimited kilometres on most deals and a range of vehicles to suit your needs. Rates start surprisingly low, sometimes at $25 per day, making it an excellent option for budget travelers.

2. Ezi Car Rental

Ezi Car Rental, predominantly found in New Zealand, is renowned for its commendable customer service and a variety of modern vehicles. Operating since 1998, Ezi Car Rental frequently offers web-only deals and seasonal discounts, making it an attractive choice for travellers. Rates vary, but you can snag a deal from about $30 per day, coupled with the benefits of free additional drivers and no hidden costs.

3. Budget Rent a Car

Synonymous with reliability, Budget Rent a Car operates extensively in both Australia and New Zealand. They offer competitive pricing and often have special offers for weekend and long-term rentals. Prices fluctuate based on location and season, but you can expect standard daily rates to begin at around $40.

4. Snap Rentals

Snap Rentals is a budget-friendly option found in New Zealand, renowned for offering some of the most affordable rates in the market. Aimed at the price-conscious traveler, you can find deals as low as around $20 per day. Snap Rentals might not offer the newest fleet, but the value is exceptional for those willing to drive older models.

5. Hertz

A trusted global brand, Hertz operates in numerous locations across Australia and New Zealand. While not always the cheapest option, Hertz delivers quality and a wide choice of vehicles, with rates starting around $45 per day. They often run promotions and offer a rewards program where points can be redeemed for rental days.

6. Sixt

Sixt has a growing presence in Australia, known for its wide selection of vehicles, including luxury options. While prices are higher, starting from approximately $35 per day, Sixt offers regular promotions, excellent customer service and a rewards program for frequent renters.

7. Avis

Another globally recognized brand, Avis provides a premium service with a higher price tag but often includes unlimited kilometres and vehicle options ranging from economical to luxury. Daily rates generally begin at around $45 and Avis has a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers with benefits such as vehicle upgrades.

8. Europcar

With a reputation for well-maintained, new-model vehicles, Europcar has a footprint across both countries. They offer competitive rates starting near $40 per day, including roadside assistance and have an attractive loyalty program that can lead to discounts and benefits.

Understanding License Requirements

When it comes to hiring a car in Australia and New Zealand, understanding the license requirements is pivotal. For residents renting cars in their home country, you must have a current and valid driver’s license.

In New Zealand, you can legally drive for up to 12 months if you have either a valid driver's license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). Either option must be in English or have an English translation.

In Australia, the requirements can vary slightly from state to state, but generally, if you hold a temporary visa, you're allowed to drive if you hold a valid overseas driver's license for the same class of vehicle you wish to rent. It must be in English or accompanied by an English translation or International Driving Permit. Always check specific state regulations before your trip.

What to Look for in a Car Rental Company

While securing the cheapest deal is often a priority, it's important to look beyond the price when choosing a car rental company. Here are a few points to consider.

  • Insurance and excess: Evaluate the insurance options provided and understand how much excess you'd be liable for in case of an incident.
  • Mileage policy: Unlimited mileage deals are ideal, but some companies set a daily limit. Scrutinize the mileage policy to save on potential extra charges.
  • Car condition and age: A cheaper rental might mean an older model. Ensure you're comfortable with the vehicle's condition and remember reliability is crucial.
  • Rental location: Airport rentals are convenient but sometimes more expensive due to additional fees. Compare downtown rental options as well.
  • Hidden costs: Look out for extra fees such as for additional drivers, one-way rentals or premium location pick-ups.
  • Reviews and reputation: Customer service can make or break a rental experience, so check reviews and consider the company's reputation.

Wheels on a Budget

By carefully comparing rates, assessing the perks offered, thoroughly understanding insurance and license requirements and considering the factors that contribute to a reliable rental experience, you can confidently select a car rental company in Australia or New Zealand that provides a quality service at a wallet-friendly price. With the open road ahead of you and a great deal secured, your journey down under is bound to be memorable.

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