Rental Relocations – A Cheap Way to See the Country?

Whether you want to see some of New Zealand on the cheap or you really just need to get home, or maybe you just like driving then there is one method that you may not have considered - car rental relocations.

This is how it works: Rental car and campervan companies often end up with too many vehicles in one place and need to redistribute them to where they’re needed. Many tourists might start their NZ adventure at Auckland Airport but finish in Christchurch or Queenstown and their car/camper needs to get back home. If you’ve ever looked into the cost of moving a car between our two islands you’ll know how expensive it is using a car transport company. Typically for you or it’ll cost somewhere in the vicinity of $1,000 and while a rental car company might get attractive bulk discounts it’s still a big cost.

This is where you come in to benefit from some free stuff. Let’s say you’re in Christchurch needing to get to Auckland and you have a few days to spare. You could fly but this will cost money. You could hitchhike but this is unreliable and you could be murdered. Or you could drive your own car, but, you know, petrol, ferry, it’ll probably be cheaper to fly. Or you could relocate a rental car for free.

It’s “free” but is it worth it to you? It’s supposed to be a win/win situation for both parties so you need to make sure you are winning. We already know the rental company is winning otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it, but what about you? If it’s just a matter of a one-way trip from A-B then you have to consider all the costs. Some relocation deals include partial fuel costs and insurance (an excess will apply) and if it’s between islands they may cover the ferry cost. This leaves you with food and accommodation to take care of. If you are driving between Christchurch and Auckland and you plan on it taking 3 days then it’s probably cheaper to fly.

But what if you decide to use it as a leisurely drive or a bit of a holiday? Well you have to consider that these relocation deals specify the number of free days you’re entitled to, often with the option of paying for extra days. This is a great option for a bit of a holiday. Maybe fly from Auckland to Christchurch, get 5 days free rental and pay for an extra 3 days and enjoy the thrill of driving through the country whilst getting a decent discount.

Ultimately it’s going to depend on your location, destination and what you are trying to achieve. Shop around and remember you are doing them a favour as well. Be sure to check the fine print as some of these deals have way too many caveats and extra charges for what is essentially a service you are providing for them. A good place to start is

Alternatively, if you don't want the hassle of dealing with rental car companies, we have over 2,000 cars ready to buy right now. You could purchase in our Auckland branch, and sell it back to us in our Dunedin or Christchurch branch.

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