Categories
New Zealand

Auckland

Oceania > New Zealand > Auckland

See: Why hire a car in Auckland ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Auckland car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Auckland is in car rental price band: 5/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Auckland? 

Sometimes. Economy rental prices are average by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Auckland between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 4/10

Non car score:2/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Auckland using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Auckland ?


Why not? Visiting Auckland without a car

Why don't you need a car in Auckland ?


Ratings: How does Auckland compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Auckland? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Auckland, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Auckland? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Auckland (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Auckland? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Auckland airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Auckland car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 4

2021 - 6

Average score - 5

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Auckland ?

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and it’s the natural starting point for onward travel around both North and South island, regardless of how you are thinking about getting around. So what is our Auckland car hire advice – do you need to get a rental car here, or can you get around without one?

Auckland car hire advice

 

First and foremost, it’s worth pointing out that the Auckland metropolitan region as a population of well over 1 million people, and that there is perfectly adequate public transport, including extensive commuter rail, for getting in and out of the city on a day-to-day basis. However, we don’t really think Auckland is a sort of city where tourists visit in order to spend all their time within the urban area, and in fact, the most spectacular places to visit in the greater Auckland area are all well outside the city.

 

There are also some amazing islands which are easily reached by ferry from Auckland, including Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands, which are linked to each other by a small bridge (no cars allowed). Nearby Waiheke Island, which includes the Whakanewha Regional Park, can be reached by car ferry, but there are also buses on the island.

North v south?

Another key point to consider is that although Auckland is the main international gateway to New Zealand, much of the  most impressive sightseeing is actually on South Island. Travelling south from Auckland by coach or by train is perfectly possible, but services are relatively infrequent, and a ferry journey is needed to cross between the islands (itself taking around 3-4 hours). To reach a destination like Queenstown, and then to carry on to the spectacular Milford Sound, it’s much easier to take an internal flight first – including the ferry it’s essentially a full day’s (24 hours) worth of driving. Queenstown is also the centre of Peter Jackson’s filming world.

See also our Dunedin car hire advice page for the southern part of South Island.

Auckland car hire verdict

We suggest that there are still more than enough scenic locations which are well worth visiting, both in terms of impressive coastal scenery and lush inland national parks. A hire car is useful for these destinations, but still not essential. If you are basing yourself in Auckland for a few days and don’t particularly feel like getting a rental car, then there are still plenty of options for doing scenic bus tours or heading out by train or of course ferry.

Categories
New Zealand

Dunedin

Oceania > New Zealand > Dunedin

See: Why hire a car in Dunedin ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Dunedin car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Dunedin is in car rental price band: 7/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Dunedin? 

No. Car rental is expensive by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Dunedin between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 5/10

Non car score:5/10

Balance: 7

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Dunedin is a natural gateway to many of the scenic wonders that make up the South Island of New Zealand, although Queenstown might be a better bet for visiting the fjord lands.

Why? Visiting Dunedin using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Dunedin ?


  • For all the reasons you’d rent a car anywhere else – freedom and flexibility, especially in a place where public transport is limited!
  • Despite the railway connections, Dunedin is still in a very remote part of New Zealand, and most journeys will be by road.

Why not? Visiting Dunedin without a car

Why don't you need a car in Dunedin ?


  • Dunedin might also be the terminus of a long railway journey south from Christchurch or even from North Island if using the ferries, and this main line does continue right through to Invercargill. The station itself is a great example of neo-Renaissance railway architecture.
  • It will be impossible to mention Dunedin without also bringing up the fantastic Taeri Gorge railway, which is certainly a great day trip to do from Dunedin, and arguably the finest rail journey in New Zealand.

However the Carornocar.com pendulum still swings very heavily towards getting a car in Dunedin, simply because almost anywhere else worth visiting is going to be best done with a hire car. See also our Queenstown car hire guide for suggestions of South Island road trips, based around New Zealand’s premier outdoor pursuits hub.

Should you hire a car in Dunedin? Verdict – yes

Ratings: How does Dunedin compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Dunedin? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Dunedin, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Dunedin? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Dunedin (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Dunedin? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Dunedin airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Dunedin car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 8

2019 - 8

2021 - 7

Average score - 8

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Dunedin ?

Categories
New Zealand

Queenstown

Oceania > New Zealand > Queenstown

See: Why hire a car in Queenstown ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Queenstown really prides itself as being the outdoor activity capital of the world. This is, after all, the place where bungee-jumping was invented. Yet the town of Queenstown itself is a relatively small place, with a population of around 30,000 people. The airport in Queenstown is right on the edge of the centre, so it’s easy enough to pick up a hire car here, but buses and taxis are also widely available, and nowhere within the town itself is particularly out of reach by any means.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Queenstown car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Queenstown is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Queenstown? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Queenstown between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 10/10

Non car score:6/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

If you are coming here for outdoor activities, then you might well be taking part in the sort of sports where transport is provided. This will always be the case if this involves vans or towing trailers with kayaks, mountain bikes and other specialist equipment. That too should be reasonably straightforward enough. If that was the only focus then the advice would lean heavily against getting a hire car.

Why? Visiting Queenstown using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Queenstown ?



Yet the reason why Queenstown is so popular for outdoor activities also explains why it attracts so many visitors seeking a much more genteel sort of holiday. This is of course because Queenstown sits right in the middle of so much outstanding scenery.
In particular, this is the gateway to New Zealand’s fjord land, the most famous part of which is the spectacular Milford Sound. Driving from Queenstown to Milford Sound without stopping might take 2 to 3 hours. Some visitors also choose to take scenic flights, either from Queenstown or from the small airport that is in Milford Sound itself. In some cases these flights are simply provided on a one-way basis between the two points.
There are buses shuffling up and down around this area and you can take organised tours which will show the scenic areas around Queenstown at their pace rather than yours.

These organised tours can also include a specialist itinerary focusing on places used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy or in the Hobbit.

So there’s certainly no need to look for Queenstown car hire deals if you’ll be happy enough relying on local public transport and organised trips. This is easy enough to do here, but it’s far from ideal.

Compared to many great European outdoor destinations, for example such as Interlaken in Switzerland, public transport around Queenstown really is not that good at all. This is hardly surprising given that no railways were built here to start with.

Why not? Visiting Queenstown without a car

Why don't you need a car in Queenstown ?


Therefore, on balance, our Queenstown car hire advice has to swing towards saying that unless your focus really is just on outdoor activities where transport is provided, getting a rental car here is going to be a lot easier than not having one.

  • Superb scenery – best explored at leisure, on your own terms.
  • Famous film locations – although some Tolkein fans might prefer a tour with the knowledge of a professional guide.
  • No rail services in or near Queenstown.
  • Other than local services within Queenstown, buses are slow, and they typically only operate once per day.
  • You could start a longer New Zealand road trip in Queenstown. Generally we would suggest starting in Auckland instead, as it has a wider choice of inward flights and car rental options. However, Queenstown would work fine for a South Island road trip.
  • Queenstown outdoor paradise – often these activities will include transport.
  • No car needed for access to hiking trails – walk direct from Queenstown or use local buses.
  • Fly to Milford Sound for the ultimate scenic experience.
  • Take a cycling tour – hire a bike in Queenstown instead.
  • Walk, cycle or runthe Queenstown trail.
  • Queenstown Airport is a short walk from Frankton, a suburb of Queenstown. There are regular buses between the airport, Frankton and Queenstown, and the whole Queenstown built up area is less than 5km long.

Ratings: How does Queenstown compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Queenstown? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Queenstown, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Queenstown? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Queenstown (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Queenstown? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Queenstown airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Queenstown car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 6

2021 - 6

Average score - 6

Notes:

More emph on acitivities & walking etc

 

Should you rent a car in Queenstown? Ultimately, you should rent a car in Queenstown if you want to see or do anything on your own terms. For any kind of organised activity, including sight seeing flights or bus tours of film locations, then there’s really little need.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Queenstown ?