Travelling by car is without a doubt the best way to appreciate the beautiful scenery of New Zealand. However, car rental rates are not within everyone’s budget, so you may be surprised to learn that you can actually get to drive a hire car at a fraction of the normal cost.  This exciting concept is known as car relocation in New Zealand and is an option used by many rental car companies who need to transfer cars from one place to another.

 What is rental car relocation?


The majority of visitors to New Zealand rent cars and camper vans to travel from the north to the south of the country and this means that the rental car companies often end up with a surplus of vehicles in the south. It is cheaper for the rental company to find someone willing to drive the car back to where they want it, rather than shipping it or employing someone to drive it.

Benefits of rental car relocation


Rental car relocation in New Zealand is a really great opportunity to travel at a hugely reduced cost if you bear a few things in mind. First of all, remember that it is the car company who dictates which car needs to be where and when, unlike when you are a fully paying customer. However, if you are flexible about where you start from and where you end up, many rental car companies in New Zealand offer great relocation deals on their websites.

Planning your rental car relocation


If you find a rental car relocation offer that suits you, make sure to check out the attached requirements. There is always a set time allowance-usually ranging between 2 and 5 days. The time allotted by the company for the relocation of the car is sufficient to cover the distance under safe driving conditions. That means that there is time to rest and eat, but often not much extra time for detours or sightseeing.


Some companies also put a kilometre allowance to discourage side trips, and they will charge you for exceeding the agreed limit. Sometimes the first tank of fuel is included, but more often you will be expected to cover the complete cost of the combustible used on the journey. Almost all companies will want to put a security deposit on your credit card, and in most instances you will have to pay the insurance. 

Additional costs


Remember to determine who pays the cost of the ferry if the car needs to be returned to the North Island and is currently in the South (or vice versa, but less likely). Car relocation from Queenstown to Christchurch is a common route to find available, and Auckland and Wellington are other cities frequently found on the list. At different times of year car relocation destinations also change, so if you don’t find the route you want at the moment and you have a flexible time schedule, try again in another season.


Rental car relocation is a great opportunity to enjoy driving and appreciating the beautiful scenery of New Zealand at a fraction of the normal cost of hiring a car. Some companies will even let you extend the delivery time-frame and pay for an extra couple of days at normal rates to allow you more opportunity to explore and enjoy the trip. As with any kind of contract make sure that you are in agreement with the terms and conditions, and can comply with them. With many competitive relocation deals always available, check out New Zealand rental car providers’ websites for great seasonal deals and get on the road!

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