Cheap Car Rental Wellington Airport

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  • Lowest prices
  • Huge choice of brands
  • No booking fees
  • Instant confirmations
  • No credit card fees
  • 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.

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The best deals on up to 25 car rental brands at wellington Airport

Save money on your car rental like thousands of other smart travellers

Just wanted to say thank you. We had a fantastic NZ trip and saved heaps

Customer review - Cheryl Rhodes

Cheryl Rhodes

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

Customer review - Stu Clements

Stu Smith

This made getting around New Zealand so much easier than when I was last here.

Customer review - Jim Cook

Jim Cook

Car Hire Options at Wellington Airport

There's a huge range of car hire companies operating at Wellington 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 Wellington 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.

Wellington Airport

On-Airport Rental Brands

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

When you get off your flight you'll find the rental car counters for on-airport operators conveniently located next to the arrivals area.

On-airport car rental brands we offer:

  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Europcar
  • Keddy
  • Ezi
  • Firefly
  • Hertz
  • Enterprise
  • Thrifty
  • Bliss
  • Alamo
  • HireAce

Off-Airport Rental Brands

"Off-Airport" means that these rental 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.

Whilst off-airport options aren't as fast or convenient as on-airport rentals, they usually are cheaper.

Below are some of the off-airport operators you can find great deal for here:

  • Go
  • Jucy
  • Omega
  • Ezi
  • Ace
  • Apex

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • Depending on the time of the year, you'll find up to 25 different car rental brands here.
  • Instantly compare the best deals from all the car rental companies in one place. 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.

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

Customer review - Phil Dwyer

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.

Customer review - Paula Connor

Paula Connor

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!

Customer review - Tim Brown

Tim Brown

Wellington Airport Car Rental Tips

Location, location...

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.

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

Driving from the airport

It normally only takes around 15 minutes to drive into downtown Wellington from the airport. The quickest route is through the Victoria Tunnel. However, if you're not in a hurry, going via Evans Bay Parade and Oriental Parade is a much more scenic route with truly spectacular views.

If you're staying in central Wellington before travelling further afield, do you really need a rental car immediately? Wellington is a small city and easy to get around either on foot or by public transport. 

So an alternative option to consider is taking the airport bus or taxi into town, then picking up your rental car in Wellington when you're ready to head out of town.

Petrol Stations

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 by the airport, including the following which operate 24 hours.

  • Z Petrol - Cnr Calabar Road & Broadway, Strathmore
  • Z Petrol - 27 Miramar Ave, Miramar
  • Mobil - 1 Bay Rd, Kilbirnie

Attractions Near wellington Airport

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Wellington and surrounding areas, like the Martinborough wine district. Here are a few of the many attractions around Wellington Airport you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the Wellington Tourism website....

Weta Cave

Weta Workshops entrance

Practically synonymous with our very own Sir Peter Jackson, Weta Workshop is perhaps most famous for its work on the Lord of the Rings and Tolkien film franchises. The Weta Cave is the shopfront for Weta Workshop and it’s here that punters can see props, buy collector’s items and even catch an exclusive film screening in the mini theatre here.

Movie buffs should absolutely make it a point to visit the Weta Cave while in Wellington for a glimpse into the creativity that goes on here. Learn about how the iconic displays and characters from your favourite films were brought to life by the talented artistic minds here.

You can take a guided tour and see just how the work gets done! The Weta Cave Workshop Tour will show off models and props created by the brilliant team here and the processes involved. Tours should be booked in advance. And for those super fans for whom money is no object, a small private tour with a Weta technician is a custom option.

Visitors can also watch behind the scenes videos with the founders of Weta - that’s Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk. These are screened every 30 minutes.

Don’t leave without picking up a little something as a keepsake to commemorate your visit with. There’s a wide range of nifty Weta film and TV related merchandise available to buy. A handcrafted sculpture would be a memorable memento, as would a piece of jewellery, clothing, poster or DVD. There are also a variety of broader pop culture items for sale such as graphic novels, art and other collectibles.

The Weta Cave is based in Miramar, an easy drive around the peninsula of Evans Bay. The drive takes just 15-20 minutes.


Karori Sanctuary

Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience is a unique and visionary eco-attraction, a sanctuary away from the city! (You may also hear it referred to as Te Māra a Tāne: The garden of Tāne.) Here you can delve into the history of conservation in New Zealand; a groundbreaking exhibition covers 80 million years of our natural history, complete with film and interactive features. So Zealandia plays an educational role; there’s a community of hundreds of keen volunteers and it’s run by a charitable trust.

Zealandia has actively helped endangered wildlife thrive in a world-first way, as in the past people had to travel out to islands in order to see the likes of tuatara and kiwi. Now you can view them in a natural reserve on the mainland, practically next door to the city (10 minutes’ drive in your rental car). Rare native species you may get to see while at Zealandia include birds (40 different species), insects and reptiles. Among them are the saddleback, kaka, bellbird, fantail, takahe, brown teal, kereru and gecko.

The key to this is maintaining a pest free zone, achieved successfully by an innovative fence design. In this sense, Zealandia has managed to create an environment reminiscent of the days predating the earliest human settlement! Hundreds of plant species are flourishing here as the habitat for these creatures.

The sanctuary grounds themselves span 225 hectares. It’s a paradise for nature lovers. Opt for a guided tour, help feed the wildlife, or roam around on your own steam through the valley. You don’t need to be an intrepid tramper, the paths are even wheelchair friendly. Zealandia also offers night tours, which offer a totally new perspective and the chance to see nocturnal residents like the little spotted kiwi.

Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo lions

Award-winning Wellington Zoo is unique in a number of different ways. It was the first zoo to open in New Zealand, and is the first Carbon Zero certified zoo to boot. It’s home to the only bears in the country, along with hundreds of other animals!

Enjoy the daily keeper talks and regular feeding times, or a close encounter with a lion, giraffe, meerkat or even a cheetah. There are plenty of fascinating Australian animals represented, including emu, dingos, wallabies and kangaroos. And along with the international contingent, there are of course native species like kea, kiwi and tuatara.

How does spending a night at the zoo sound? Overnight tours are a unique offering at Wellington Zoo. Once everyone has gone home, you can see what happens after hours, then tuck in for an unforgettable sleepover alongside your favourite animals.

The newest experience at Wellington Zoo is called Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha, a tribute to the native creatures that set New Zealand apart. It’s a special precinct that takes you on a journey from marine creatures like penguins through to farm animals such as sheep, pigs and bees, as well as lesser known fauna like skinks and frogs. Plus you can explore the worm tunnel, veggie gardens and even build a fort.

Conservation is a huge focus of Wellington Zoo too, with the staff vets also involved in research work. There is an onsite wildlife hospital that cares for wild animals as well as well as treating its own residents.

Wellington Zoo is close to car rental depots, being just a few minutes from the heart of the city.

Red Rocks

Red Rocks walk sealion

The Red Rocks walkway is just a 20 minute trip south of central Wellington, a quick drive in your rental car. This rugged part of the coast is rich in Maori folklore; it was once a popular fishing spot and legend has it that the rocks were stained by blood. The Red Rocks (known as Pariwhero in Maori) were formed millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions, and iron oxide is in fact responsible for their outstanding colour. A reserve was formed in the 1970s following concern about quarrying in the area.

An easy coastal walk runs from Owhiro Bay to the Red Rocks and takes about half an hour. The walkway continues on to Sinclair Head, where there is a colony of New Zealand fur seals. If you visit in winter you may see seals between about May to October, but do keep your distance to avoid disturbing them. We recommend planning to spend half a day on the walk, which leaves plenty of time for picnicking and sightseeing along the way. Just past Red Rocks lies a different track that heads up towards the nearby Te Kopahau Reserve. This enormous reserve houses a network of walking and biking tracks, as well as diving and surfcasting areas.

There are a number of historic sites around Red Rocks, from lookouts to gun emplacements. There are four historic baches (holiday beach houses) close by, which have been designated by the New Zealand Historic Place Trust and retained in their original condition by their owners. Meanwhile, the visitor centre and entry to the reserve was named the supreme winner at the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects’ awards in 2015.