Search New Zealand Car Rentals

Pick up from:
Drop off to:
Search now for the best car rental deals

Budget Car Hire

Travelling NZ on a budget?

Car rental in New Zealand is more affordable than ever. As new car prices have reduced, so have car rental rates—and plenty of competition exists in the market. But how do you get the best New Zealand Car Hire deal?  How do you ensure you're not renting a lemon and that the cheap car hire you booked will be there when you arrive? Here are a few tips from some frugal Kiwi travellers:

Tip 1)  It is not necessary to rent from one of the handful of car rental companies that have a booth inside the airport terminal building. 

Courtesy Van

These are generally the larger international rental car companies, and they pay big money to the airport companies just to be there. While their location will be convenient, this can push up their rental car rates. If you're on a budget, you may find it worth hiring from an off-airport location. If you pre-book your rental car, some off-airport rental car companies (Omega Rental Cars being one of them) provide a paid or free pick-up service. They can pick up people from outside the terminal building in their courtesy shuttle van and take them to their nearby location to sign the rental agreement and pick up their car.

Believe it or not, we still have to pay the airport companies to be allowed to pick up customers this way—so you might also want to consider buying some shares in Auckland Airport while you're being all fiscally responsible!

Tip 2) Choose a company that's been around for a while. 

30th Website Small

 Budget car hire companies have earned a reputation for over-booking rental cars during peak periods, keeping people waiting as they sort the situation out. At Omega Rental Cars, we have been in the business for 30 years and won't pretend we have never made a mistake or miscalculated our supply and demand. But after 30 years, we have systems in place to ensure we get it right. Plus, all of our branch managers have many years of car rental experience (which, just for the record, is not the same thing as getting old!).


 Tip 3) Select your vehicle carefully, and look for a 'deal'


At Omega we are one of the largest independent budget rental car companies in New Zealand, so we have a large fleet to draw on with cheap car hire rates to suit every customer's requirements. When you’re ready to rent a car, head to our website and input your pick-up and return dates on our reservations page. The site will display a range of vehicle options, such as compact cars, full-size sedans, vans and SUVs, and their corresponding daily rate.

We often have what we call 'deals cars' so people can save even more. These budget car rentals are older models with high kilometres that have been in our rental fleet for a while. They are regularly serviced and well-maintained, and we offer them at a great price, but it’s important to remember—you get what you pay for. We also have budget compact cars—browse our available options and check the specification, size and age to see if they suit your needs. Our car hire fleet also includes family wagons, elite hatches, Previas and brand-new Subaru Forester SUVs. So, it's a case of horses for courses—rent a car that suits you and your budget. 

Our safety record is second to none. No matter the age of our budget car rentals, the daily rate or specification, we put them all through a rigorous 40-point safety check before people rent a car from us. All of our vehicles are covered by 24-hour AA Roadside Assist. We can't guarantee all other budget rental car companies in New Zealand are as thorough.

Tip 4) Check for Relocation Specials



When we need vehicles relocated to suit seasonal demand, we often post 'relocation specials' on our website. These are a great way to rent a car for a meagre price, some for as little as $1 a day.

Just check the conditions—some relocation deals have a maximum number of kilometres you can travel or a maximum hire period.


Tip 5) Beware of low daily rates with hidden extras

free stuff

As competition in the rental car industry is high, some budget rental car companies advertise low daily rates, and then people find they have to pay extra at the counter. So, check the inclusions in the rental terms before making your reservation. At Omega Rental Cars, we provide lots of free extras that will save you money on your budget car hire and the tourist attractions you may wish to visit. 

Insurance is an area that often confuses people. All our rental rates include standard insurance with a $2,500 excess. You can pay a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) to reduce this excess. The amount varies depending on the driver's age and the type of vehicle—but this all clearly pops up as you make your way through the reservation process. Just make sure that if you compare rates with another rental car company, this is just as clear so you're not 'sold' other extras at the counter that you don't need. 

If you are a New Zealander you are covered by ACC so will not require Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) and if you are an international visitor then you probably have travel insurance that covers you in this scenario.


Tip 6)  Just because you're on a budget do you really want to look like a tourist?



All our budget rental cars are free of rental car company stickers and signwriting, which our customers prefer. Unbranded vehicles offer a greater level of anonymity while driving a rental car.  Be aware that most other off-airport rental car companies love their stickers and brand their cars as their primary marketing method.

Just something to bear in mind.