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Car rental locations in Queenstown
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Car Rental in Queenstown: New Zealand's "Adventure Capital"
As the adventure tourism capital of Oceania, if not the world, Queenstown attracts lovers of the outdoors all year round. Nestled on the coast of Lake Wakatipu and facing the Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown offers visitors a boatload of adventures, both fast-paced and relaxing. Make the most of your visit to Queenstown by getting off the beaten path and exploring South Island at your leisure. Book your rental car today!
Queenstown witnesses four distinct seasons. Summer temperatures typically linger around or just below room temperature. The hottest months are typically January and February. Winter lows linger around freezing, particularly June through August.
The three official languages of New Zealand are English, Te Reo Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language. English, Te Reo Māori and French are the primarily spoken languages of Queenstown’s residents.
Queenstown is located in the New Zealand Time Zone, UTC+12.
The currency is the New Zealand dollar and the vast majority of transactions takes place via credit or debit card throughout the country.
Car hire is available in 2 locations throughout Queenstown: the Queenstown Airport (ZQN) and downtown.
Plan some road trips to thoroughly explore the Queenstown area and beyond during your stay. For instance, if you’re adventuring on a budget, head to Lake Wanaka about 70 km north of Queenstown, where many of the activities available in and near Queenstown are offered at lower prices. For a longer road trip, head east to Dunedin for a taste of South Island’s excellent city architecture and its nearby penguin and albatross retreats at the Royal Albatross Centre. You can reach Dunedin in a little under 4 hours from Queenstown, but if you have the time, consider meandering along the Southern Scenic Route!
Australians can visit New Zealand indefinitely, and citizens of the United Kingdom can stay for up to 6 months. Citizens of many other nations can visit New Zealand as tourists for up to 3 months visa-free. Check visa regulations for your nationality before you make travel plans, as you may need to apply for a visa at a New Zealand diplomatic post or British embassy before you depart for the country.
Expect to undergo strict inspection at all ports of entry to ensure you do not mistakenly transport any infected or noxious foods, plants, or animals to New Zealand’s very well protected and isolated ecosystem.
Driving in Queenstown
Queenstown is a very car friendly town. It’s also quite small, so renting a car is highly recommended to be sure you make the most of your adventure vacation in the area.
- Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road throughout New Zealand.
- In town: 40 to 50 km/h
- On rural roads: typically 100 km/h, though sometimes 60 to 80 km/h, particularly at busy intersections near Queenstown.
- Particularly in the busiest tourist months, save time by avoiding the roads during morning and evening rush hours.
- Parking is regulated by time and fee throughout Queenstown. Downtown, prices to park on the street or in city lots range from $1 to $4 an hour. However, you can park for free just outside of town near the Queenstown Ice Arena just off of Park Street.
- If your domestic driver’s license has not been issued in English, you will be required to carry an additional international driver’s permit to rent and drive in New Zealand.
- There are no toll roads on New Zealand’s South Island.
- The minimum driving age in New Zealand is 18, but you will have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car, and you can expect to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Queenstown
Car hire in Queenstown typically starts at around $20 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Queenstown:
- Mazda Demio (economy class) - $21 per day
- Hyundai Accent (compact class) - $24 per day
- Toyota Corolla (intermediate class) - $25 per day
- Mitsubishi Outlander (standard class) - $28 per day
- Mahindra Xuv 500 (fullsize class) - $29 per day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Queenstown
There is not much seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Queenstown. If you find that the prices for cars at the Queenstown Airport have gone up, be sure to check prices in downtown Queenstown, as you’ll likely find that those prices have stayed cheap.
A wide range of local and international car rental agencies compete to offer visitors the cheapest price on car hire at Queenstown Airport. Discount Car Rentals and Ace Rental Cars typically offer the cheapest prices at the airport. From time to time, Ace Rental Cars can beat these prices at their downtown location.
For even cheaper car hire in Queenstown, keep an eye out for occasional discounts of around 17%. You can also often save at least $1 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.