Hello all -
I'm planning a 4-week NZ car (not camper) rental in Dec/Jan, traveling from Auckland to Queenstown.
Anyone have any recommendations for or against particular agencies? It's easy enough to see who has competent websites, what they charge, and what kinds of cars are available... just wondering if anyone has any personal good/bad experiences to share. ("It doesn't matter much" would also be useful information if you're of that opinion.)
The only one I have experience with in New Zealand is Ezi-rent. However, the experience was such compared to rentals in Australia and the USA that I'd highly recommend them (and used them a second time myself). The staff is extremely helpful (hostel/airport pickups/dropoffs, and a second time a day later when I discovered that I'd left my mp3-player behind in the car), they are quite cheap (I just calculated a quote for early dec to early jan, and got a range from $35 to $45 a day, depending on car), and they let you leave your old car behind on one island and pick up the next one on the other one so that you save the cost of the ferry crossing. (And I don't think they have a minimal amount of days you need to stay on each island for that; compared to 1-2 weeks for the big name companies.)
Their cars are older models, with lots of minor dents and scratches on all sides (hard to avoid on the New Zealand roads), which they meticulously point out when you first pick up the car - and then they barely give the car a second glance when you return it, only making certain that you haven't been in any major accidents.
Oh, and when you rent (regardless of who you rent with), I'd recommend getting the glass insurance, but skipping on the fee to reduce the excess. (That's only a personal recommendation though.)
What kind of accommodation will you be staying in while you're in Oz?
Not sure if this will help, but my friend and I were in NZ for just over 2 weeks in April this year, and booked a package with YHA (while we were still in Australia - but I think you can book it all online anyway) We got 14 days car hire (decent cars and managed to drop off the car at the ferry terminal and pick up a new one at the other side - it's much cheaper to go as a foot passenger on the ferry!!) and 10 nights accommodation vouchers for YHA hostels (which I have to say, were all very nice) We ended up having to pay for about 6 nights in total, and used the vouchers on the most expensive hostels and paid cash for the cheapest ones! There are different packages for longer periods (for example, 21 days car hire and about 15 nights accomm. - they don't give the same amount of nights as car hire, incase you end up in a place that doesn't have a YHA hostel and miss out on the nights' accommodation)
We paid about NZ$1200 between the 2 of us for the whole lot, and the only thing we had to pay for was petrol.
Hope this helps, it was definately a package that I would recommend to other people, and would do it again if I ever went back.
If you want to ask anything else, just message me.