Cheap Car Rental Christchurch Airport
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If you need to rent a car in Christchurch and don't want to pay any more than necessary, you've come to the right place.
With a couple of clicks instantly compare all the best offers from multiple car hire brands and pick up a bargain.
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Car Hire Options at Christchurch Airport
There's a huge range of car hire companies operating at Christchurch Airport. Big-name international companies like Avis and Hertz are trusted and familiar, but there are also independent local brands, many offering very competitive prices. The good news is that you'll find them all here.
We bring together all the leading rental vehicle brands, as well as many of the independents - meaning you don't have waste time trawling the Internet for options or pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter. Book now and save!
For great deals on car hire at Christchurch Airport it’s hard to beat MatesRates. We have the sharpest prices around. And to maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Quote box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.
On-Airport Rental Brands
"On-Airport" means these companies have check-in desks within the airport terminal.
The big advantage of this for you is convenience and speed. Once you've checked in you can jump in your car and get going. No waiting around for transfer vans.
But it does come at a cost. Invariably the fees are higher than off airport rental companies to offset the costs of being at the airport.
You'll find the counters for on-airport operators located within the International Arrivals Hall, close to the domestic baggage reclaim.
On-airport brands we offer:
Off-Airport Rental Brands
"Off-Airport" means that these companies don't have check-in desks within the airport terminals and so you need to make your way to their depot.
Most provide free shuttle services and will collect you from the terminal. This is arranged when you make your booking & you'll need to let them know when you've arrived.
Some depots are conveniently close, being within the airport grounds and so just a few minutes drive. Others are off the airport grounds and so take longer to get to.
Whilst off-airport options aren't as fast or convenient as on-airport rentals, they usually are cheaper.
Below are some of the many off-airport operators we have available. These shuttle transfers from the airport terminals to their respective depot locations. Rental car transfer courtesy shuttles are located outside the Regional Lounge (exit through Doors 1 or 2).
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Great for backpackers like us on a tight budget. Got to do more of the amazing things NZ offers with the money we saved. Awesome!
Christchurch Airport Car HIRE Tips
Compare prices of on-airport and off-airport brands. If you're not in a big rush, hiring a vehicle from off-airport rental depots can result in substantial savings. It does mean however you will have to take extra time with the shuttle transfer. Transfers are usually complimentary, but limited to opening hours, so check when you book.
Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.
If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.
There are a number of petrol stations close to Christchurch Airport, including some open 24 hours.
- Allied - Orchard Road, Christchurch Airport
- Mobil - 39 W Coast Rd, Yaldhurst
- Z Petrol - 449 Wairakei Rd, Burnside
Driving from the airport
Christchurch Airport is 10 km to the West of the city and about a 20 minute drive. If you're going into central Christchurch, head East on Memorial Ave for 5km and then this joins onto Fendalton Rd. Turn left onto Harper Ave and drive for just under 2km around the edge of Hadley Park which will be on your right. Turn left onto Hereford Street which leads directly into the city centre.
Why Rent a Car
Christchurch is a great place to visit with plenty of things to see and do. Visitors are often surprised at how spread out the city is. Getting around the inner city using public transport (buses and trams) is fairly easy. Walking and cycling are also good options, given how flat Christchurch is.
However if you want to roam further afield, then having a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Christchurch and surrounding areas. We listed some places a rental car makes easy getting to explore further down the page.
Average economy rental price
- Jan $62
- Feb $69
- Mar $58
- Apr $51
- May $46
- Jun $46
- Jul $44
- Aug $43
- Sep $43
- Oct $49
- Nov $49
- Dec $55
Average rental duration
- Jan 6 days
- Feb 6 days
- Mar 6 days
- Apr 6 days
- May 5 days
- Jun 5 days
- Jul 5 days
- Aug 5 days
- Sep 5 days
- Oct 6 days
- Nov 5 days
- Dec 5 days
Attractions Near christchurch
A car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Christchurch and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions around Christchurch you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the official Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism website....
Hop into your rental car and take a scenic drive out to the Banks Peninsula - a beautiful area about an hour and a half from central Christchurch. Once an active volcanic island, the Banks Peninsula is now most famous for the scenic ports of Akaroa and Lyttelton; their sheltered harbours are formed by volcanic craters. The peninsula is named after botanist Joseph Banks, who sailed with Captain Cook on the Endeavour. Drive along the Summit Road on Banks Peninsula for outstanding views over its bays and beaches. There are also lots of walking trails here threading through the native bush.
Akaroa is a truly unique seaside town - it is the only French settlement in New Zealand. Quaint colonial cottages and lyrical French street names live on here today. Cuisine is a strong point in Akaroa - from the French restaurants to fresh local ingredients such as beef, lamb, crayfish and salmon. At award winning Barrys Bay Cheese you can watch the cheese making process through a viewing window. Arts and crafts are another specialty; boutique shops and galleries offer a peek at the works of local creatives. The Akaroa museum is worth a visit, and if you have the time, take a harbour cruise to see seals, dolphins and penguins. This region is home to the Hector’s dolphin, one of the world’s rarest dolphin species, found only in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Lyttelton’s historic township is home to a number of shops, cafes, restaurants and a weekly farmer’s market. The museum has a strong maritime theme, and the Antarctic gallery is worth a look (Lyttelton was once a departure point for expeditions to the South Pole). Harbour cruises also leave from Lyttelton if you have a hankering to go wildlife spotting. The route between Lyttelton and Christchurch is an interesting one, involving a tunnel, and a drive over the Port Hills (a popular area for hiking and biking).
Mt Cook / Aoraki
Aoraki, also known as Mt Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand. A small village bearing its name is nestled at its foot, surrounded by the majestic Southern Alps. It is a remote, rugged and incredible place to visit.
There is so much to do around Mt Cook National Park. Stop and marvel at the shimmering Lake Pukaki. At night, go stargazing from within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.
The region is among the best for climbing in the Southern Hemisphere, with about 23 tall mountains within the park. There are about a dozen alpine walks as well (you may encounter cheeky kea parrots along the way), all starting near the village. The Hooker Valley Track provides amazing views and is one of the most popular short options.
Many glaciers can be accessed here for an icy summer adventure, or skiing in winter. The Tasman Glacier is great for intermediate skiers while the Bonney, Murchison and Darwin glaciers cater for more advanced skiers. Land on icebergs and see one of a kind glacial lakes. Or sail to the Tasman Glacier - the largest in the country - via a rapidly growing lake. You even can take a 4WD tour up through the Tasman Valley.
At nearby Lake Tekapo, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd. Built for early pioneer families to worship at, this church boasts wonderful views of the lake and mountains through its altar window. Hike up to Mount John Observatory in the mountains for stargazing, or a chance to see the Southern Lights.
Mt Cook National Park is about four hours drive from Christchurch and a key component of a South Island road trip itinerary. If you want to make it an overnight excursion, consider staying at the iconic hermitage hotel in Mt Cook and wake up to views of the Southern Alps.
When in Christchurch, the nearby resort town of Hanmer Springs makes for a great day trip or overnight excursion, no matter what the weather or the time of year. The main street is jammed with interesting boutiques and places to dine and drink. The surrounding forests are prime for hiking, horse trekking, and mountain biking. In Hanmer Springs, you can try out bungy jumping or test your capacity on a dizzying jet boat ride. There is a golf course, and in winter, you can make the most of the Hanmer Springs ski area and hit the powdery slopes.
But perhaps the most famous attraction in Hanmer Springs are the soothing thermal pools. The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is a big complex with mineral, sulphur and fresh water pools. A backdrop of native greenery and alpine landscapes also sets the Hanmer Springs resort apart. In need of serious relaxation? Indulge in one of the many spa treatments, from beauty to massage therapies. Private pools, sauna and steam rooms are available on site too, along with a sprawling activity area for kids.
The family fun area is packed with hydro slides as well as the thrilling aquatic Super Bowl. This fairly new addition involves riding in an inflatable tube and begins with a swift drop through a water flume, before launching into a centrifugal ride, then concluding with a descent into another flume and finally ending in a splash pool. This is the only such ride in the whole country.
Hanmer Springs is roughly 90 minutes by car from Christchurch - and the drive north is pleasant, heading along the coast toward the flourishing wine region of Waipara, then inland toward Hanmer.
Orana Wildlife Park
Orana Wildlife Park is the only open range zoo in New Zealand, and the only place where you can see gorillas. It is home to nearly 500 animals - we recommend spending a full morning or afternoon here.
There is no shortage of animal encounters available, from hand feeding to close encounters. Get up close with rhino, see the lion habitat first hand, feed giraffes or lemurs, and marvel at monkeys and meerkats, Tasmanian devils and tigers.
Most of Orana Wildlife Park focuses on the African continent, with captive zebras and cheetahs. The lion encounter is a unique experience - you’ll ride on a specially modified vehicle with the keepers, feeding the cats from within. You will often get to literally see eye to eye with these majestic creatures.
Walk through the native bird aviary - tui, kea, kereru and kakariki can all be found at Orana Wildlife Park - and the nocturnal kiwi house. The impressive reptile area features tuatara, an ancient and native reptile. The park also has a giant collection of geckos on show.
Wind down at the farmyard with friendly domestic creatures and wrap your visit up at the top notch cafe and gift shop on site. There are lots of picnic areas you can make use of as well as BBQs and a kiddie playground. From the flying fox you can watch the animals as you whiz along.
There are several animal feedings and presentations as well as guided tours scheduled throughout the day each day. The free Safari Shuttle circles the park (the route takes about half an hour) and the driver provides expert wildlife commentary. Or you can explore on foot.
Orana Wildlife Park is an easy half hour drive from Christchurch.