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New Zealand Car Rental

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Apr 6th, 2017, 09:04 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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New Zealand Car Rental

Hi All!
We are going to NZ in March of 2018 and need to rent a car for about a month. I am looking to rent in Auckland and drop off in Christchurch, is this possible? Is it better to drop off in Wellington and then pick one up in Picton to drop off in Christchurch?
Thanks for your help!
Tdiddy
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Apr 7th, 2017, 06:12 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Depends on the car rental company - some want to you drop off and pick up a second car when switching islands, others include the cost of ferry in their rentals and let you keep the same car on both islands (I believe APEX does this).

We've rented from APEX many times and it's now our car rental company of choice.
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Apr 7th, 2017, 11:18 AM
  #3
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Thanks Melinq8. Is APEX a NZ company? I don't recognize their name but will look up.
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Apr 7th, 2017, 04:57 PM
  #4
 
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Yes, although they also have an APEX Australia.

The beauty of APEX is that you can rent an older vehicle and save quite a bit of money. Most of these vehicles have already been thoroughly used and abused by first time left side drivers, so a new scratch here and there isn't any drama.

They also rent newer cars if you'd prefer.

Never fear, they maintain all their vehicles very well. We've never had a problem.
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Apr 7th, 2017, 04:57 PM
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Well, I take that back. We once had a problem with our AC, but APEX got it sorted toot sweet.
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Apr 8th, 2017, 06:56 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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We rented an APEX car at Auckland Airport [be prepared for their depot not to have a loo or even to be able to offer you a glass of water, nor will they give you a map] and returned it at Christchurch, where there depot is hidden deep in an industrial estate which we fortunately scouted out the day before our very early flight out as I don't think we'd have found it in the dark.

don't get me wrong, the car was fine, but the customer service we experienced left a little to be desired.

Also, if you are booked on a ferry from NI to SI and there is a delay, the ferry company will only contact you if they have a NZ contact number - they had our mobile number but when asked why they hadn't told us about the 3 hour delay to our ferry, said that they won't contact non-NZ cell numbers. so it might be worth giving them a ring to see if your ferry is running to schedule.
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Apr 8th, 2017, 09:24 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Another forum is very pro-Apex. We've rented twice from them and had two poor experiences. Nothing terrible, but enough to not ever book them again. I'll state the issues below, if you care to read about them.

We've had stellar experiences with Avis and Thrifty - but you'd expect that. We also had a very positive experience with Ace.

Apex Issues:

Our first car was in Nelson and we received a car older than booked. It was scratched and dented on every panel and often would not start on the first try. (To Apex's credit, when I contacted corporate when we returned to the States, we were refunded the difference - they admitted we were given the wrong car). Our confirmation stated we were confirmed on the ferry date/time we requested. Upon arrival at Apex's office, they had no tickets and in fact, the ferry was not booked. Their excuse was that we had booked our car 10 months ahead of time and the ferry on takes bookings 6 months ahead. *So why wasn't it booked when bookings were available? * We breathed a sigh of relief when the date/time was available when they called while we sat there.

Our second car was a pickup at Auckland airport. The shuttle came by in about 10-15 minutes and it was only a couple minutes to drop us off at their depot. Reasonable enough. A family was finishing up at the counter - manned by two women, another couple was in front of us. I've never seen so much walking back and forth to the back room and outside and disappearing by employees! Long story short, it took 50 minutes from the time we arrived at the depot until we were handed the keys to our car. By then the lobby was packed with groups brought in by the shuttle. This was 9am (until after 10am) on a Sunday morning. Our car was clean and fine, thank goodness. But I thought it ridiculous it took almost an hour for them to process 3 cars with 2 people manning the counter. We wondered if they were disappearing to clean the cars as they were being rented.

Sorry if that seemed like a rant. There are loads of people who have had good experiences with Apex. We just weren't one of them.
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Apr 8th, 2017, 09:25 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I forgot to mention that Go Rentals allows their cars on the ferry. And I understand they will pay for the car's fare. Omega allows cars on the ferry, but I think you have to pay for it.
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Apr 8th, 2017, 02:43 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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deSchenke - we too did not have a stellar experience when we picked up our car from Apex at Auckland but trying to be fair to them, we were part of one of those shuttle bus crowds. Even so, the processing took a long time hence my need for the loo and for water, neither of which were forthcoming.

Our ferry was included in the cost of the car hire and we had no trouble booking that through Apex, though we were doing so about 6 months in advance. [not which side of the 6 month line we were booking].
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Apr 8th, 2017, 03:47 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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We used Maui Rentals on our first NZ trip (North Island, doing a loop from and back to Auckland), and Apex on the most recent one (picked up in Queenstown, returned in Christchurch). Both worked well for us, though it was difficult to find the rental office at the Christchurch airport, in part due to road construction in the area.

Lee Ann
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Apr 8th, 2017, 06:50 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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We used Hertz and had zero issues. Maybe you pay a bit more than some of the others (we didn't, we picked it because it had the best price among the "big" companies), but you know what you are getting. They even reimbursed us for a flat tire (tyre) in Wanaka.
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Apr 9th, 2017, 01:09 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: May 2004
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My experience of renting has always been with campervans rather than cars but I imagine some of the same principals apply. Most van companies allow you to take the vehicle on the ferry and all seemed to charge a premium for NI to SI and offer a discount from SI to NI. The latter route being less popular and so the need to relocate vans.

When researching our latest trip, I did consider the options of flying between the two islands and doing separate rentals but when factoring in air fares, ferry fares etc. decided that it wasn't worth the hassle.

I did find https://www.rankers.co.nz very good for reaching companies, reviews and obtaining initial quotes. As the name implies, they rank the providers depending on customer experience, Their map app is also really good for travelling around the country.

Like deSchenke, we have had great experiences with Avis. I use them all around the world and for for long term rentals when back in the U.K. It maybe worth noting that they have a specialist unit in most regions for "long term" rentals i.e. 28 days access by phone rather than online and they always come up with better rates than I can get online.
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