By | 16th January 2018

Should you hire a car in Dunedin?

Do you need a car in Dunedin > Should you rent a car in Dunedin New Zealand > Dunedin ( DUD )

Do you need a car in Dunedin? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

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 should you rent a car in Dunedin?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Dunedin?

Dunedin Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]



Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]




Free parking score

Total 81 - of which 68 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • 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? Why not? Ratings Comments

Dunedin public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score



Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around 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


Car rental in - Dunedin Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Dunedin?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?

Is it worth hiring a car in Dunedin?

  • Based on value for money?

Should you rent a car in Dunedin?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Dunedin if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Dunedin if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Dunedin if I prefer not to drive?

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?



What is our final score for Dunedin on the Carornocar scale?


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Dunedin?

Have you driven in Dunedin? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Dunedin?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *