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NZ Car Rental in Dunedin & Returning to Queenstown?? Feburary 2007...need advice ASAP

NZ Car Rental in Dunedin & Returning to Queenstown?? Feburary 2007...need advice ASAP

Old Jan 12th, 2007, 01:02 AM
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NZ Car Rental in Dunedin & Returning to Queenstown?? Feburary 2007...need advice ASAP

Anybody have a tip about renting a car from dunedin and returning it to Queenstown? Yes, we have waited until now to rent our car for upcoming February 2007 trip. Got airfare, got accomodations, have a lotta wonderful advice from you guys...but didn't rent the car yet!

We got way-laid by life and had to put the trip-planning aside for a month or so...

We're leaving in early February! Thanks!

We usually like to rent a new car with low mileage, an automatic, big enough for 2 people and luggage...We do have a Platinum MC but nowadays I think NZ may be excluded from coverage (as is Ireland usually).

Favorite rental car companies in dunedin? Rent at airport or in town? (We are staying in Dunedin for our first 3 nights...We spend our last night in NZ in Queenstown...)

Thanks!
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 01:05 AM
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OOps...to clarify the above...when I said NZ may be excluded from coverage, I meant Platinum MC may not cover CDW for New Zealand (and they don't usually for Ireland either)...The language on our credit card info says specifically that car rental companies in New Zealand "may not accept" the coverage our MC would normally offer...

Anyway I was wondering if there are specific rental car companies anybody has good or bad feedback on...Thanks!
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 06:38 AM
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We rented from Avis at the Christchurch airport and dropped the car off at our hote 97 Motel Moray Place in the Octagon. So I know they do one-way rentals and have a downtown Dunedin location. HTH.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Platinum cards should cover NZ. Both my Platinum Visa and MC did. Check with card benefits at MC. I would rent from a city location. The airport is quite a way out of town. I don't know that all companies will do an airport-town transfer. There are not a whole lot of choices. Any of the majors would be fine.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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We rented a new car from National in Greymouth and returned it at the airport in Dunedin, because we were flying out.

At which location would you rather pick it up?

In any case, I suggest that you may get a better price by emailing the co.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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It might be worthwhile to do as Jed said and not rely on websites. For example, National/Europcar lost their city location and was just at the airport when I arrived. Also ask what kind of car you would be likely to get. The websites are not accurate. Toyota Corolla became Mitsubishi Colt.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Thanks everybody! We're working on getting the car rented. Any more replies are welcome.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Hi Melissa5

We used new Zealand rent a car http://www.nzrentacar.co.nz/ picked up in Dunedin dropped off in Queenstown. The office in Queenstown is VERY HARD TO FIND! It is not marked in fact it was a shared office with another car company. Other than that we did not have a problem. The picked us up at our hotel in Dunedin and then returned us to our hotel in Queenstown.

Have Fun
GP


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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Regarding your MC insurance coverage in NZ - read the fine print AND phone the CC company. It's been my experience that coverage only kicks in if you are able to decline ALL insurance offered by a rental car company, and because some insurance is built into most rentals in NZ and OZ ("all inclusive") you can't possibly decline it all.

I researched this subject exhaustively in the past and have determined that my MC (also platinum - Mastercard Assist) doesn't do a bit of good in NZ and OZ except as a credit card.

Suggest you not only look at daily rental rates, but also look at the amount of insurance excess (deductible). If you're willing to accept responsibility for the excess (somtimes as high as NZ $2700), you can avoid paying an additional $16-24 a day for insurance you probably won't need.

Some rental companies offer a lower excess than others. When I research car rentals in NZ and OZ these days, the excess is as important to me as the daily rate. I don't buy rental car insurance unless I absolutely have to - instead I shop around for the lowest excess.

As far as specific rental companies - we've booked online using Nova in the past (cars actually came from National) but on our last visit we got a better deal from Budget.

One way rentals have never been a problem for us in NZ, regardless of company.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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For my Visa, all I was required to do was decline the extra CDW premium, put the rental on the right credit card (including using it for the reservation), and not rent for more than 31 days. NZ isn't in the same category as Israel, Ireland or Jamaica, thankfully. I also spoke to the Visa benefits representative. I printed out a copy of the Visa agreement to bring with me, in case there was a hard sell or a claim, but there wasn't. PS, the majors have a much higher "excess" than the locals such as Apex, Ace, Pegasus or Ezy. I would not rent from EZY unless you want decals screaming "this is a rental car" plastered all over your vehicle. The other three locals should be okay, if you can find a city office in Dunedin. Be sure to get the street addresses and look them up on wises.co.nz. As mentioned, sometimes the city offices are shared, difficult to find, and have limited evening and weekend hours. If money isn't a concern, I would go with Avis.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Melnq8 and Mlgb, appreciate your response as you have been helpful all along and I have benefited from your experience.

Mlgb, part of the fun is driving around in a car plastered with decals that scream "I am a DUMB LOST tourist." 8-) Also along with this advice I would like to add the benefit of my vast travel experience around the world:

--Always stand on a city street waving a map about

--Wear white Nikes to make locals think you are a local disguised as an American tourist

--Speak loudly in public places to make locals think you are a local practicing to be in a movie about loud Americans.

Anyway we will be renting the car this weekend hopefully! (If there are any left...)
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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I just got back from NZ and used Pegasus. It was NZ$50 a day for a Nissan Pulsar that was about 10 years old. It ran much better than it looked and we were happy to have a car that blended in with the locals.

That said, Pegasus like many other discount rental cars in New Zealand doesn't offer any guarantees on their cars. If you break down and they don't have a replacement car to give you, you're on your own. And you pay for your car up front so there's no refunds. Something to keep in mind.
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 11:08 PM
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MC does not cover NZ nor OZ. It is on the fine print of my Citi AA Platinum and my City Dividend Platinum cards.
AMEX does not cover either.

VISA, on the other hand, at least the Signature Visa, covers the "excess". I called the Visa benefit administrator and was told VISA is a secondary in NZ, i.e. covers the deductible (the excess).

Be ware of Ace. A friend told me Ace has an excess of $3000 and their cars are less than clean inside. I found it was not much cheaper than the first tiers, such as Maui who rents new cars like the majors do. Maui has 1800 excess and Hertz has 2500 - both LESS than what Ace has.

I am leaning to rent from Maui as we rented from them on both of our previous trips and were happy with their cars and services.
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Old Jan 20th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Our Costco Amex does cover NZ. I know for sure, because we started processing a claim for a cracked windshield/windscreen and they were willing to pay. We ended up not filing a claim because it only cost $150 out of pocket.
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Old Jan 20th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Quoting directly from Acerentals.co.nz

Vehicle insurance is included in the daily rate, and is subject to an excess of NZ$1,000 including local taxes for drivers aged 25 and over (windscreen insurance is not included.

Not sure where nho's "friend" got that quote on insurance, but there is more than one agency advertising using "Ace" in their name, so perhaps it's a different company.
Anyone considering Ace Rentals should also be aware that there are two:
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Old Jan 20th, 2007, 11:32 PM
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Thanks everyone. As usual, confusion on insurance coverage for rental cars, CDW waivers, etc. rages on. (It was the same for Ireland.) I think it depends on which card you used, which bank issued your car, AND it depends on whether the car rental agency will accept the insurance waiver which your card offers. Anyway I have passed all this info on to my husband...that is always his job, to rent the car. I plan the rest, and give him the rental car info. Many thanks! He is always our driver, being more fearless.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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I am also looking for a rental round trip Dunedin inMarch. I found Europcar and Auto Europe to be competitive. Auto Europe actually came through on their "Best Guarantee" and matched Europcar.
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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Europcar wound up being National Rental Car New Zealand. I found a better rate going through the United Airlines link than I did through other sources. They honored the rate quote I got from overseas. The website turned out to be outdated and there was not a Dunedin City office at the time, but they arranged to pickup and deliver the car to my accomodation in town.

The "C" car I got was new, but was a "strippo" model Mitsubishi with smaller trunk, no cruise control, and not the Toyota Corolla advertised on the website. I also rented the same class car for a day with a major (Avis) and got an upgraded model Colt with larger trunk and all the bells and whistles, as well as a better map.

Would I rent with National again? Probably not, mostly because of the car that I wound up with.
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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Yes, my Auto Europe voucher has Europcar noted as the provider.

I find the Auto Europe easier to communicate with- 800 numbers, quick responses on email. Europcar was a bit more convoluted.
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