Car Rental Queenstown Airport

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Big savings on Queenstown car hire

Looking for a cheap rental car at Queenstown Airport? Instantly compare the lowest prices from over 25 Queenstown car rental brands. Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, Europcar, Omega, Go Rentals, Ezi, Apex Car Rental & many more.

  • No booking fees
  • Low prices
  • Huge choice of brands
  • Instant confirmations
  • Free cancellation on most cars
  • Free amendments on most cars
4WD rental

Best deal we could find after looking at all the rental car websites.

Lorenz G Australia

Quick and easy

Chris W Australia

Better prices and variety than going direct

Heather H New Zealand

Car Hire Options at Queenstown Airport

At Queenstown Airport there are over 20 rental car hire brands. That's a lot of websites to check out...

Don't waste your time trawling the Internet trying to find the best Queenstown car rental deals. 

MatesRates is the answer!

We're not a car rental company - we're a comparison website. We make it quick and easy for you to find the right rental car at the best price. 

With a single search instantly compare the best offers from up to 25 car hire brands at Queenstown Airport. 

Huge choice. Low prices. And no booking fees.

Aside from any deposit that may be required at the time of booking, full payment is normally not necessary until you collect your vehicle. And you pay this directly to the car rental operator.

Our car rental comparison search engine hunts down the very best offers available from 25 car rental suppliers and lists them side-by-side for you. This lets you instantly compare and find the best deals.

Whether you're looking for a small car, people mover or an all wheel drive SUV, we've got you covered. Compare now and save!

Queenstown is a popular year-round tourist destination. During peak periods Queenstown car rental vehicle availability can be limited due to high demand. So if you intend to rent a car, booking early is recommended. 

On-Airport Rental Brands

"On-Airport" means these car rental 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. The fees are higher than off airport rental companies to offset the costs of being at the airport.

At Queenstown Airport you'll find find the check in counters of rental car companies with an airport branch located in the area between the arrivals hall and baggage claim.

Use our price comparison search tool to find the best car rental deals from these on-airport car rental brands:

  • Go Rentals
  • Hertz
  • Keddy
  • National
  • Sixt
  • Thrifty

Off-Airport Rental Brands

"Off-Airport" hire car companies don't have check-in desks within the airport. This means you'll need to make your way to their depot to check in and collect your car.

Most provide a free shuttle service and will collect you from the Queenstown airport terminal. This gets arranged when you make your booking & you'll need to let them know when you've arrived. Pick up and drop off is in front of the terminal.

Some depots are within the airport grounds and so only a few minutes drive. Others are off the airport grounds and so take longer to get to.

Off-airport car hire options aren't as fast or convenient as using on-airport car rentals. But the big advantage is their car hire rates are often substantially cheaper.

Use our price comparison search tool to find the best car rental deals from these off-airport Queenstown car rental brands:

  • Omega
  • Rental 247
  • Snap
  • Thouchdown
  • U save
  • Yes Rentals
  • Yesaway

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • All the best deals in one place from over 20 different Queenstown Airport car rental brands.
  • Instantly compare the best Queenstown car hire deals. No need to waste your time checking out multiple websites.
  • Easily filter results by price, brand, or type of vehicle to find the best car for your needs and budget.
  • 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.

Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.

Ian M New Zealand


Eddie W New Zealand

Thanks for making things easy. Found a 4WD for much less than we had seen on other sites, and booked it — no worries.

Mark W Australia


How much is a rental car at Queenstown Airport?

The cost of renting a car in Queenstown varies through the year. Prices typically start at around $60 a day. There is high demand for rental cars throughout the year in Queenstown and the later you book, the more you’ll pay. So it’s a good idea to book as early as possible to secure the car you want at the best price.

What is the cheapest car hire at Queenstown Airport?

The cheapest deals are offered by off-airport brands, such as Omega, Apex and Snap Rentals. It’s not really meaningful to identify one particular brand as the cheapest. Prices depend on a range of factors including time of the year, how early you book, the age and type of vehicle you’re renting, and the length of hire. This means that at different times of the year the brand with the cheapest price will vary. Use the search widget to find the best deals.

Where do I collect my rental car at Queenstown Airport?

If you’re hiring a rental car from an ‘on-airport’ brand, once you’ve checked in at the rental counter in the terminal, you’ll be directed to the rental vehicles car park. This is just a 2-minute walk from the terminal and well sign-posted. Note that Go Rentals does not have a desk within the terminal because their depot is an easy 50 metre stroll from the terminal.

If you’ve hired from an ‘off-airport’ car rental brand call to let them know when you're ready for pick up. You'll be collected by a courtesy shuttle from outside the terminal and transported to the rental depot to pick up your vehicle. The distance of depots from the airport terminal varies by rental brand. Most are a short 10-minute drive.

Queenstown Airport Car Hire Tips

Ways to save money on Queenstown car rental

Compare prices of on-airport and off-airport brands. If you're not in a big rush, hiring a vehicle from off-airport car rental company can result in big savings. But you will have to take extra time with the shuttle transfer pick up and drop off. Transfers are usually free, but limited to opening hours, so check when you book.

Don't hire a bigger vehicle than you require and consider if you really need all the extras you'll be offered, such as a GPS. Google Maps on your phone will normally do the trick, provided phone data charges aren't an issue.

Fuel is very expensive in New Zealand and prices can vary significantly at different petrol stations. Shop around to find the best prices using a free app on your phone like GASPY. Also, if you're buying groceries, most supermarkets provide fuel vouchers with their receipts. So don't throw them away - they can provide worthwhile discounts at the pump.

Driving in Queenstown

Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of the World, thanks to its numerous opportunities for extreme activities like skiing, skydiving, bungy jumping, jet boating and whitewater rafting.

Even if you’re not an adrenaline junkie, Queenstown is a tourism paradise with its picture perfect scenery, pulsing nightlife and superb restaurants. Having a rental car in Queenstown gives you the freedom to explore this gorgeous part of the world, plus go further afield to magic places like Milford Sound.

When you're driving in  New Zealand you need to be particularly vigilant. The roads are steeper, narrower and more winding than you probably expect... plus you might encounter sheep or cattle on roads in rural areas.

Many people come to Queenstown for the winter sports. But being an alpine region, you need to be prepared for driving in snow and on icy roads in the winter months. Before your journey always plan ahead and check the weather and road conditions. If you’re hiring a car during winter, consider renting a 4WD vehicle as they are best suited to alpine conditions.

Be aware that restrictions apply to where you can drive your rental car in New Zealand. These vary depending on which rental provider you go with, so be sure to check with them to find out what their rules are. The key thing to remember is that you must not drive off-road or on any excluded roads, otherwise your car insurance will be voided and you'll be required to pay any damage caused to the vehicle. Here are some specific restrictions that apply in the Queenstown area (click here for more details on rental car restrictions)

Skippers Canyon, Queenstown

The Skippers Canyon road is a narrow gravel road that sits on the edge of a steep cliff. This road can be dangerous to drive on so rental car providers prohibit their vehicles from being driven here.

Tasman Valley Road, Mount Cook

Parts of the Tasman Valley Road are off limits to rental cars. The road up to the glacier view car park at Mount Cook is safe and sealed. Beyond this point the road is unsealed and can be dangerous. If you drive on this section of road your rental car insurance will not cover any damage.

Alpine Areas

If you're renting a car in an area with snow, be sure to check your rental provider's specific terms and conditions. In some cases, renters are not permitted to drive their rental vehicle past the snow line without first purchasing additional cover. Also don't forget to hire ski racks and snow chains. Get the rental company to show you how to properly fit them when you collect the car. Damage from ill-fitted snow chains is normally excluded from insurance cover.

Return with a full tank

Most rental companies require you to return the car with the same amount of fuel it had when you collected it, which is usually full. So ensure you 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 your hire 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 already high fuel costs in NZ. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.

Conveniently, there are a number of petrol stations in Frankton, close to Queenstown Airport. These include:

Mobil - 1 McBride St, Frankton
BP - 1094 Frankton Rd, Frankton
Z Petrol - 846 Frankton Rd, Frankton

Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.

Ian M New Zealand

Best site to compare car rental prices and get the best offers

Devansh New Zealand

Glad I found your site – we left things to the last minute and couldn’t get a car at a price that made sense. Problem solved!

Greg H New Zealand

Attractions Near queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown sits on the edge of spectacular Lake Wakatipu with the Remarkables providing a stunning mountain backdrop. No wonder its international reputation as a must-visit tourist destination. Queenstown is the undisputed Adventure Capital of New Zealand and famous for numerous thrill-seeking activities, like bungy jumping, jet boating and snow sports. A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Queenstown and surrounding areas. And if you've got more time, it's a fantastic starting point for a South Island road trip. 

Here are a just a few of the many attractions around Queenstown. For more ideas, check out the Queenstown Tourism website....

Skiing and snowboarding

View from the Remarkables Skifield, Queenstown

Queenstown is a top visitor destination all year round, but there’s something magical about this alpine town in winter. It is internationally known for great snowboarding and skiing. All levels of experience are well catered for, and the season is one of the longest around, running from June all the way through to October.

Winter kicks off with a bang during the Queenstown Winter Festival, complete with dog derby and drag races. There’s live music, fireworks and a lively party atmosphere as people come out to celebrate.

A total of four ski fields are within easy reach of Queenstown, none more than an hour and a half away, each with its own unique character.

The closest ski field to Queenstown itself is Coronet Peak, only 20 minutes away. Coronet Peak is the only place where you can ski at night (on weekends). It has lots of diverse terrains and a robust snowmaking system. Then there’s the Remarkables, boasting sunny slopes and outstanding facilities for beginners along with chutes, bowls and a few different terrain parks. The views from the Remarkables are truly something to admire, too.

A little further afield, Cardrona is an hour from Queenstown and Treble Cone slightly beyond that.

Keen to up the ante? Why not give heli-skiing a go and head up into the most pristine and untouched peaks you’ll ever see. You could also try snowshoeing or take a snowmobile for a blast.

Pick from single-day passes to unlimited season access, which can be obtained from ski shops in town. Ski stores also handle the booking of equipment, transfers and lessons and are open until 9am. If you’re driving up the mountains yourselves, ensure you know how to fit snow chains onto your rental car.

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka enjoys a beautiful setting below majestic mountains and is a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The lake itself covers nearly 200 square km — there’s plenty to go around among sailors, kayakers, windsurfers, paddle boarders and jet boaters and it’s never too crowded. Unsurprisingly, the fishing is superb — the lakes, rivers and streams in the area are fertile and there’s plenty of rainbow and brown trout for fly fishers.

Off the water, there are great opportunities for hiking, climbing and canyoning. Nearby Mt Aspiring National Park is full of amazing landscapes and sights, hiking trails and glaciers, lakes and valleys.

Aviation is also a bit of a speciality in Wanaka. The Warbirds and Wheels museum is devoted to aircraft and automobiles, and every other year the Warbirds over Wanaka air show puts on a visual spectacle. Skydiving over Wanaka is always stunning, while a number of operators offer flightseeing tours over the surrounding regions — Mt Aspiring, Milford Sound, etc.

Wanaka swells in wintertime as visitors flock to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding. The snow at Cardrona and Treble Cone is second to none. You can also go heli-skiing or cross-country skiing in the backcountry of Wanaka.

The local theatre, Cinema Paradiso, is very cosy and embodies the epitome of southern hospitality. Or simply sit at a lakefront cafe and gaze out over the still, crystal clear waters.

Wanaka is about a one-hour drive from Queenstown. If you want to stay longer, Wanaka is a great place to linger. Accommodation options range from holiday parks and B&Bs to luxury lodges.



When in Queenstown don’t miss a trip over to the charming settlement of Arrowtown — approximately a 20-minute drive from Queenstown. This one time gold mining town is full of history; it sprung up during the heady heights of the Otago gold rush in the mid-19th century.

Over 60 original buildings remain — hotels, chapels, shops and houses. The Chinese settlement on the banks of the Arrow River is a highlight, with many restored buildings harking back to the gold ages.

After the gold era petered out, Arrowtown’s fortunes started to fade. It then gained popularity again as a holiday destination and today tourism is the main draw of Arrowtown. There are quaint shops and cafes, along with the Lakes District Museum on Buckingham Street, which offers an insight into the early pioneering days and life in the Southern Lakes area.

But you can still pan for gold in Arrowtown if you wish! Try your luck in the Arrow River. Several outlets hire out gold pans and take you through the process — one even has a panning trough so you don’t need to get your feet wet.

Otherwise, there are lots of lovely walks and hikes to tackle, and it’s easy to cycle around nearby. The local golf course is highly rated.

Arrowtown is located in the Arrow basin, which was once carved by enormous glaciers. The area enjoys four distinct seasons and this is evident as the colours of the tranquil tree-lined streets change. The scenery in autumn is rather stunning. At the end of April, a festival is held to mark the seasonal change.

Over the Top Golf

Queenstown golfing

Queenstown is known for a great many things, and increasingly, golf is one of them. Tucked away in the basin of Lake Wakatipu surrounded by picture-perfect alps, Queenstown’s golf courses provide a stupendously scenic experience for visiting golfers. Little surprise then that Queenstown is the home of the New Zealand Open, an annual golfing tournament held every March.

If you’re coming from out of town, you might not realise that there are half a dozen individual golf courses all within half an hour from central Queenstown. Ranging from nine holes through to 18 hole championship courses, there is something to cater for everyone.

One of the most picturesque golf courses of all is at Over the Top, a par 3 course at an altitude of 1.5 km. It’s a truly unique and extreme experience. It’s surrounded by a backdrop of tussocked hills and towering mountains and, as you breathe in the pure fresh air, you’ll be hard pressed to match it.

Now instead of simply hitting balls off the mountain, players can attempt a hole in one, off one of four tee boxes. Eco balls are used to preserve the environment.

Access is by helicopter only. Golfers are flown in, and after playing their hole, are flown back out again. The flights are a scenic experience in themselves — whether taking an exclusive ride or sharing with others, be sure to savour every moment.

Pair a trip to Over the Top with a package visit to one of Queenstown’s other renowned golf courses — Millbrook, The Hills or Jack’s Point — for a golfing holiday that you will always remember.

Last Updated on June 8, 2024