Booking a Rental Car in New Zealand: Tip #4

Fine print is always something to be aware of.

You know how no one reads the terms and conditions of things? We just tick the box and hope for the best.

Well with renting a car, that might not always be the most sensible idea – but we at Cloud Travel have done the hard work here so you don’t have to.

We’ve compiled a list of extras, add-ons and those pesky costs you didn’t know you were going to have to pay for. 

Additional add-ons

Additional Drivers: Renting a car includes 1 driver, to take the load off and have more than one driver on the contract you will need to pay either a one off fee for the whole hire or a set fee per driver per day of the hire

GPS: This is also an extra fee, either one off or per day of the hire

Baby Seat: these are normally charged out at one off costs.

Pre-Paid Fuel Service: This is so you can return the car empty and not have to pay the surcharge price.

The prices are advertised as better than pump rate, but in our experience it is debateable and probably easier to just remember to fill up the car before returning it.

You can print off our return car checklist below to help you remember.

Extra Costs

One Way Fee: When the pickup and drop off points of the vehicle are different, you can try to plan your journey so you are doing round trips to avoid this fee, easy when you have more lengthy holidays.

Pick Up/Drop Off After Hours: Larger companies do not have extra

Airport Office/Premium Location: These office locations incur the rental company additional costs which they kindly share.

Late Returns: Majority of companies will have a 1 hour grace period for returning the vehicle later than the agreed contract time.

But we recommend not to push them on this, as after the grace period there can be hefty hourly fees for up to 4 hours, after 5 hours it is another day.

Cleaning Fee: Now this fee is given for the interior being dirty, that is stains and unpleasant odours from any source deemed disgusting.

It is $250. So, if you feel some oncoming car sickness from Dad’s presumed rally car driving, make sure to speak up and pull over.

Road Toll: Majority do not include, but it pays to ask as on the odd occasion the rental company will cover it.

Multi Island Bookings

As New Zealand has two Islands, North and South, there is the question of changing islands during your tour.

Majority of rental car companies manage their fleets separately, so North Island cars are always in the north, while South Island cars always stay south.

Meaning you will have to change cars between islands.

Don’t worry, you can still get the lower long term rental rates for multi island bookings, you just get a nice fresh car in the middle, which actually turns out as a bonus.

This is different for campervans or motorhomes, contact a Cloud Travel advisor to know the difference.

This is the fourth in a series of five blogs about the best tips for renting a car for your New Zealand holiday. Keep an eye out next week for Tip #5! You can also click here for Tip #3 from last week.

Feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with us here.


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