2018 Car Rental

Posted by Brittany Campbell-Akers March 13th 2019

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Compare rental car companies in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. GO Rentals, Apex, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Jucy and Thrifty were compared on value for money, customer service, availability of vehicle, booking process, transparency of cost and fees and overall satisfaction.

See Our Ratings Methodology

Most Satisfied Customers | GO Rentals

Rental cars can be the best way to see New Zealand

As a land of outstanding natural beauty, and our comparatively small size, New Zealand packs a pocket-sized punch when it comes to the great outdoors.  In fact, our South Island circuit has been named as one of the world’s greatest road trips by the Rough Guides travel series.  So, with nearly 100,000km of open road covering this lovely country of ours, what better way to check out the views and vistas then getting behind the wheel and travelling at your own pace.

Hiring a car allows you to travel at your own pace and visit some amazing spots that are off the beaten track and not necessarily served by public transport.  Online booking facilities and rental offices in all major cities and airports allows for flexibility in pick-up and drop-off locations and, with a large fleet available, most companies can cater to any budget and number of passengers.

While such a rich choice of options can provide opportunities for consumers, it can also be more than a little confusing, making it hard to know if you’re getting a good deal.  That’s where Canstar Blue can help.  We rate rental car companies based on feedback from hundreds of New Zealanders who have hired a car in the last 12 months.  We rate providers on value for money, customer service, availability of vehicle booked, booking process, transparency of costs and fees as well as overall satisfaction.

Our drivers of satisfaction

So, what really ‘drives’ customer satisfaction when it comes to renting a car? In order of importance, we found people rated:

  • Customer service
  • Booking process
  • Value for money
  • Availability of vehicle booked
  • Costs and fee transparency

Unsurprisingly, customer service rates highly and GO Rentals, our Customer Satisfaction Award winner for 2018, was the only company to score a maximum five stars in this category.  In fact, GO Rentals scored a maximum five stars in every category.

For many of us, arranging car hire is something we do remotely, well in advance of our journey.  To make sure you are getting great value and you’re not going to get stung by hidden charges, make sure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up.   Unfortunately, over 60% of people don’t, and this can mean that they are unaware of the responsibilities and liabilities which could ultimately cost them more money.

The brands we rated

GO Rentals

With six offices spread across the major destinations of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, GO Rentals promise ‘the best car rental experience you’ve ever had’.  Rates are inclusive of basic insurance, all taxes, AA roadside assistance and unlimited kilometres for that extra peace of mind.


Apex operates across New Zealand and Australia.  With 14 branches nationwide, their 24-hour rates also include standard motor insurance and Roadside Assistance cover for mechanical breakdowns.  Apex was previously winner of the Canstar Blue Customer Service Satisfaction Award 2014-2017.


Global car hire company Avis operates in 165 countries and has offices located throughout New Zealand.  They offer a number of special offers and one way deals.  Check their website for details.


With over 40 locations across New Zealand, Budget car rentals include unlimited kilometres, free standard insurance, and 24-hour mechanical breakdown service from AA Roadside Assistance.


With offices in over 130 countries, Europcar has 22 branches in New Zealand covering the North and South Islands.  All rental prices include standard cover and goods and services tax.


Hertz offers a wide range of vehicles from a large number of locations across the country.  Check out their website for the latest promotional offers.


Jucy started in Auckland in 2001 and now their distinctive green and purple vehicles are available across New Zealand, Australia and the USA.  Rentals include unlimited kilometres and AA breakdown service.


Thrifty has 28 offices across New Zealand and prides itself on offering affordable car hire despite passenger vehicles averaging only nine months old.  They offer a range of deals, including multi-island.  Check out their website for further information.


Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from New Zealanders who have hired a car within New Zealand in the last 12 months – in this case, 546 New Zealanders.

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.