2016 Hire Cars
Looking to rent a car? Canstar Blue has you covered. Compare New Zealand hire car services using our customer satisfaction ratings.
Apex drives away with third hire car satisfaction award
Any traveller who has been around New Zealand knows that public transport can often be inadequate for getting where you really need to go. That’s why many people turn to the convenient alternative of hire cars. Hire car services allow you to borrow a range of cars to suit a range of needs, whether it’s for an off-road adventure or just an economic solution to get around the city. Renting your own car allows you to travel almost anywhere with ease and security, and affords the opportunity to try a car you’ve always wanted to drive.
Like paying for any service, however, consumers need to be vigilant in securing a good deal. There is a cloud of uncertainty when hiring a car, particularly if it’s not something you do too often. That’s where Canstar Blue can help. We asked hundreds of New Zealanders – who have hired a rental car in the past year – to rate the operator on a number of important factors relating to the booking process, value and the transparency of fees and charges – a common bugbear for consumers when it comes to hiring a set of wheels.
After collating the results, we can report that for the third year in a row, Apex has rated the highest of the compared operators and receives the Canstar Blue award for Most Satisfied Customers – Hire cars.
What to look for in a hire car service
So what really ‘drives’ customer satisfaction when it comes to hiring a car? We found:
- Customer service 36%
- Value for money 22%
- Costs and fees transparency 15%
- Vehicle availability 14%
- Availability of accessories 10%
- Booking process 3%
Interestingly, our research shows that while value for money is important to customers, quality service is what New Zealanders are really looking for. This comes back to the point about the uncertainty of hiring a vehicle, particularly if it’s for the first time. Good service, which clearly details all the fees and charges, and any other requirements on the part of the customer, is hugely important. If you are unsure about anything, make sure you ask!
The brands we rated
Apex operates across Australia and New Zealand, and promises no hidden costs when you hire a vehicle. Like most hire car services, prices will depend on location and availability on requested dates, so enquire with Apex for full pricing information.
Hire car locations: Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Wellington Airport, Wellington City, Picton Ferry Terminal, Picton, Blenheim, Nelson Airport, Nelson, Christchurch Airport, Christchurch, Greymouth, Queenstown Airport, Queenstown.
Go Rentals says it prides itself of its customer services, and offers a range of cars to suit all kinds of needs.
Hire car locations: Auckland city, Auckland airport, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown.
Ace Rental Cars
Ace offers business and personal rental solutions across New Zealand and Australia. It has 13 vehicles on offer, ranging in size and economy to suit anyone’s needs.
Hire car locations: Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Blenheim Airport, Christchurch Airport, Dunedin Airport, Greymouth, Picton, Queenstown Airport, Wellington Airport and Wellington City.
While best known for its iconic green and purple people-movers, Jucy offers customers a wide range of cars, caravans and motor homes to suit any needs.
Hire car locations: Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Wellington Airport, Christchurch Airport, Dunedin Airport and Queenstown Airport.
One of the biggest hire car companies in New Zealand, Budget says it is committed to providing flexible and affordable transport options.
Hire car locations: Budget has more than 40 hire car locations across both islands, so you can expect to find a Budget operator at any major airport or city.
Thrifty’s purpose statement is “A Great Travel Experience, Every Time”. To achieve this, Thrifty says it offers its customers a truly individual and professional service.
Hire car locations: Thrifty has 28 operator locations across both islands, so you can expect to find a Thrifty operator at any major airport or city.
AVIS says its goal is to lead the industry by defining service excellence and building unmatched customer loyalty. On top of its car rentals, AVIS also offers membership services and business programmes among other things.
Hire car locations: Use the AVIS hire car locator for the closest operator. It’s most popular sites include, Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Wellington Airport, Wellington City, Queenstown Airport, Queenstown City, Christchurch Airport, Hamilton City, Dunedin Airport, Rotorua Airport.
Hertz operates in Australia and New Zealand with a wide range of vehicles on offer. At the time of writing, Hertz offers discounts on weekend rentals and rentals that extend more than seven days.
Hire car locations: Hertz has 41 New Zealand locations, so once again, you can expect to find a Hertz operator in most major airports and cities.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to use the ConsumerLink panel to regularly survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have hired a car within New Zealand in the last 12 months – in this case, 651 drivers.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.