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Compare Palmerston North Car Rental Deals

Big savings on car hire at Palmerston North Airport

Compare the best New Plymouth Airport car rental deals from Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, Keddy, Europcar & Ezi Car Rental.

  • Low prices
  • Choice of brands
  • No booking fees
  • No credit card fees*
  • Instant confirmations
  • Free cancellation on most cars
  • Free amendments on most cars
  • 24/7 customer service

* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.

4WD rental

Car Hire Options at Palmerston North Airport

There's a range of car hire companies operating at Palmerston North Airport. You'll find them here and can easily compare their best deals in one place. This means you don't have waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter.

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 Search box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.

On-Airport Rental Brands

At Palmerston North all the car rental companies have check-in counters. So, unlike many airports, there are no "off-airport" rental companies which require you taking shuttle transfers to their depots.

Car rental counters are located in the terminal

On-airport brands we offer:

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • All the best deals in one place from different rental brands at Palmerston North Airport.
  • Instantly compare the best deals. No need to waste your time checking out multiple websites.
  • Easily filter results by price, brand, or type of vehicle.
  • And if you're finding it difficult to decide, check out the customer ratings to hear from those who've been there and done that.

Palmerston North Airport Car Hire Tips

Why it makes sense to rent a car

One of the key reasons for renting a car when you’re visiting Palmerston North is the freedom and flexibility it offers. 

With a rental car you’re free to explore at your own pace and on your schedule - not someone else’s. 

If you're visiting Palmerston North and staying put in town, then a rental car isn't essential. The airport is only 5 km from the centre of town and there are frequent bus services, plus shuttles and taxis.

Massey University, one of the key reasons bringing people into Palmerston North, is on the opposite side of the city to the airport and about 11 km away.

Public transport can be great and a real cost saver. BUT the problem is it severely constrains where you can go. And when. If you’ve got limited time, do you want to waste it standing around waiting for buses? We didn’t think so!

Taxis are another option. They give travel flexibility but relying on them can quickly become painfully expensive as fares add up.  

Low daily rental rates plus unlimited kilometres means that hiring a rental car is usually your most cost effective option and allows you to make the most of your limited time.

We offer some suggestions at the bottom of the page about places around Palmerston North you might want to visit. Having a rental car makes getting to them easy.  

Driving from the airport

Palmerston Airport is just 5 km from the city and a straight forward drive that usually only takes 10 minutes.

Once you've collected your rental car, follow the road from the airport for 0.5 km. At the roundabout take the second exit into Airport Drive for just over 1 km to the next roundabout. Continue straight onto John F Kennedy Drive for 2km and then turn left onto State Highway 3 which goes into the centre of town (just over 1.5 km).

Return with a full tank

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.


Topping up your rental car's tank before you drop it off back at the airport is not a problem. Being so close to town means there are plenty of petrol stations nearby.

The closest petrol station is Gull and this is open 24 hours. 

  • Gull - 999 Tremaine Ave, Roslyn
  • BP - 26 Malden St, Roslyn
  • Caltex - 777 Tremaine Ave, Roslyn

Great value - thanks. Definitely will recommend you to my friends.

Phil Dwyer

I found your site when my mother needed a rental car for her visit. Easy and quick to use, and she was very happy.

Paula Connor

Great to deal with. We got a really good price on a Yaris that was much less than anywhere else. No complaints!

Stuart Smith

Attractions Near palmerston north

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Palmerston North and the surrounding Manawatu region. Here are a few of the many attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the Palmerston North & Manawatu Tourism website....

Mokai Canyon and Rangitikei River

Jump in your rental car and head to the Rangitikei River if you want to go white water rafting. You’ll find one of the top grade 5 rafting trips — not just in New Zealand but in the world. This is some of the best technically challenging water you’ll find anywhere. Day trips, overnight trips and multi-day trips are all options.

The River Valley Lodge in Taihape caters especially for adventure seekers. Awastone in Mangaweka specialises in safe and fun family raft trips, whether you’re up for a full-day trip or just a pleasant hour on the water.

If you’re not up for white water thrills, you can take a canoe or kayak and experience the Rangitikei River and the exceptional scenery of the Mokai Canyon. Stopping at different points you will be able to walk to waterfalls, native bush and even the Rangitikei Boulders — mysterious round rocks peppered among the forest, not unlike the spherical Moeraki Boulders in the South Island. Depending on the length of the trip, departure points are from various locations progressively further down the river.


Tui Brewery

When you’re in this part of the country it would be remiss to skip visiting the famous Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka. The Tui brand — known for its tongue-in-cheek ‘Yeah Right’ marketing campaigns — is still a major player in the beer market today.

The Tui brewery first opened in Mangatainoka in 1889. As it expanded, a brewing tower was built in 1931 so that gravity could be harnessed to transform malt into beer. While it is no longer used for this specific purpose, the tower remains a registered historic place.

At Tui HQ you will find a veritable shrine to the brand. Take a look around the museum (entry is free). At the gift shop, you can pick up more Tui paraphernalia than you could ever have imagined. There is even a cultivated Tui ‘national park’ surrounding the complex with native flora and fauna.

There is lots to see inside the Tui Brewery and photo opportunities galore. Learn about the Tui brand and how its beers are brewed on a brewery tour. Tours are at 11.30 daily, and bookings are essential. Tours include a beer and a Tui glass to take home. They run for about half an hour and you must wear covered shoes (no jandals, or sandals!). Linger in the bar, which opens out to a garden area complete with native tui birds.

At the end of it all, you may have worked up an appetite! Fortunately, the onsite Kiwiana cafe at Tui HQ offers a varied menu and can cater to large groups as well with a backyard BBQ lunch or dinner.

Mangatainoka is just half an hour from Palmerston North — an easy drive in your rental car.

New Zealand Rugby Museum

Rugby is our national sport and the sole subject of the New Zealand Rugby Museum in central Palmerston North. Here, the heritage and folklore of the game take centre stage, along with the stories of some of the sport’s greatest heroes.

The museum houses more than 40,000 pieces of rugby memorabilia, from coins and whistles to the very first All Black jersey and oldest rugby ball. The treasured First XV represents 15 of the most significant rugby mementoes on earth.

The legendary boot of Don Clarke, still caked with dirt from Lancaster Park, is on display here, dating back to his epic matches against the Springboks. A cap from the early ‘Native’ tour to Great Britain is one of only four in existence, as most were buried with their Maori owners. A ball from the All Blacks’ tour of California is signed by the team which dominated the American side in San Francisco. A stuffed kiwi and its wooden travel case was once the mascot of the ‘Invincibles’ All Blacks team on their tour of France and Great Britain.

There are four different zones inside the rugby museum. Rugby Relics is a decade-by-decade historical record of the sport in New Zealand, outlining how it has shaped the nation and continues to do so. The Discovery Library is a meditative place for researchers to delve into the archives, or view material from individual collections. Rugby Tribes is a dynamic area devoted to the diversity of customs and cultures that surround rugby. And the Have a Go section is an interactive place where you can test your ball skills with game-based challenges — leaping, kicking and tackling, and seeing how you stack up against some of history’s greatest players.

Upgraded for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the museum is a place to experience sporting culture in all its glory — the first national rugby museum in the world and recognised as an important institution and resource.


Te Manawa

Te Manawa is tasked with preserving the heritage of the Manawatu region. It is home to many treasured collections of sacred Maori artefacts, and New Zealand art and history — both natural and social. It is divided into three key sections: Life (the museum), Art (the gallery) and Mind (science). Each displays a host of revolving local and international exhibits; entry to the first two is free. It is the only regional museum in the country to blend art, science and history in this way. The museum, art gallery and science centre were combined in 2000.

Te Manawa’s storehouse encompasses around 55,000 items in total. The ever-expanding science area spans some 300 educational and interactive exhibits, exploring everything from communication and electricity to colour, time and biology. There are wildlife displays with frogs, fish, insects and glow worms too.

The Te Manawa art gallery centres around modern New Zealand art from the second half of the 20th century to today, including painting, photography, prints, sculptures, ceramics and installations. Art from the 1970s  is especially well represented. Te Manawa focuses on supporting and putting the spotlight on emerging artists, especially Maori and Polynesian artists or works that have ties to the Manawatu region.

With so much to keep visitors young and old alike occupied, you could easily while away several hours at Te Manawa. Te Manawa is located in central Palmerston North, between the Globe Theatre and the Palmerston North Convention Centre. Within the Te Manawa courtyard you can also see the dual historic buildings of Totaranui Settlers Cottage and Awahou South Schoolhouse.