5 great ideas on how to collect an affordable car rental in Wellington

wellington cable car
Gareth Meade
12 Aug, 2022
8 minutes to read

Let us help you get the best deal on a Wellington car rental

For those in the know, Wellington is not just the capital city of New Zealand. It’s also the culture capital, a food lovers dream and a great place to explore, with hidden gems dotted all over the city. What better way to enjoy all those aspects of this eclectic metropolis than by getting a great deal on car hire from GoSee? Whether you land at the airport, collect your car and go, or need to get into the city to pick-up your vehicle, we’ve put together some ideas to make sure you get an affordable car rental and have an amazing time in the capital.

The best way to get cheap Wellington car hire

We know you’ve heard this one before, so on the count of three, say it with me, 1, 2, 3… BOOK EARLY! Guess what drives up the cost of hiring a car? Demand and availability. You want to make sure that there are enough vehicles available to rent, because as fewer vehicles become available, the price can go up. What ‘early’ means depends on when you want to travel to Wellington. If there are major events on, like the culinary extravaganza Wellington On A Plate, or every New Zealand sports fan’s dream, an All Blacks game, make sure you’ve planned well in advance, as demand will be high. If you’re heading to the city for another reason and it’s not peak season (Nov – March), then 3 months should be ideal to book something at a great price.

A pair on hands typing on a laptop computer.
A view of Wellington city and harbour in summer.

Think about when you want to travel to Wellington

Speaking of seasons, it’s good to understand what they are and what they mean. Peak season is when demand is likely to be highest, and we’re sure it’ll come as no surprise when we say that peak season is usually in summer. There’s a well known saying that “you can’t beat Wellington on a good day” and that’s why people flock there during the warmer months. If you’re not wedded to a specific time to travel, then consider shoulder or off-peak seasons. Shoulder seasons are just before and just after peak season when the rush hasn’t quite hit or is waning. Off-peak is, you guessed it, all other times of the year, which is typically winter in Wellington. These are the best times to look at Wellington car rentals if you’re looking for something affordable.

Compare your car rental Wellington options

There are lots of options when it comes to hiring a car in Wellington. And we’re not just talking about the types of vehicles you can hire, but the suppliers you can hire them from as well. That’s where GoSee comes in. We let you compare prices on vehicles, whether it be something compact like a Nissan Tiida, or something for the whole family like a Kia Sportage. Rather than going to each rental supplier’s website to see who has the best deal, with GoSee you can see all of the options in one place. So you’ll know if Ezi Car Rental has the best price, or if it’s Avis. Or maybe it’s one of our rental partners that you hadn’t heard of before that has the most affordable option. The beauty is you get to choose what works best for you, including whether you hire from the airport or another location in Wellington city centre.

Cars driving on a road down a hill.
Looking out of a plane window at Wellington Airport.

Car hire Wellington Airport: What you need to know

Is it more expensive to rent a car from the airport? It’s a question a lot of people ask. The truth is, it can be, due to surcharges and taxes associated with operating at the airport. But there are benefits to booking at the airport as well. Firstly, the convenience. If you’re enjoying a long weekend in Wellington and you want to make the most of every minute, there’s no better way to get on the road quicker than with a hire car from the airport. The other options are expensive taxis, or a bus with limited stops in the city. Secondly, the choice. There’s a huge number of rental car suppliers operating at or near Wellington International Airport, including Budget, Avis, Thrifty, Europcar, Big Value, Bargain Rental Cars, Alamo and Enterprise.

Wondering how much an intermediate car rental cost? With GoSee, you can compare the prices of all these brands and explore exclusive deals that we have to offer so you can score a cheap car rental.

It’s good to know what’s on in Wellington at the time you want to book, so that you can understand if your trip coincides with higher Wellington car hire demand.

What type of Wellington car rentals do you need?

As well as the other factors that we’ve discussed, the answer to how much it costs to hire a car in Wellington will also depend on the type of vehicle you need. It’s fair to say that generally the bigger the car, the higher the cost. So, if you are travelling solo or as a couple and don’t have much luggage, there’s no need to get an SUV or people mover. In fact, smaller cars are the most popular rental car in Wellington, due to the narrow streets and tight parking. Yes, it is a very hilly city, but there are no roads that even the smallest car can’t handle. We’re not talking about Baldwin Street in Dunedin (the world’s steepest street). Also, the speed limit in the central city is now 30 km/h, so there’s no need for anything with a lot of grunt. If you’re looking to do some more extensive driving, and maybe even get out of the city, then you might be more comfortable in something bigger, but be aware that these can become less affordable than compact and economy options.

Houses on a hillside in Wellington.
A sign saying Cuba on Cuba Street in Wellington.

Things on in Wellington

It’s good to know what’s on in Wellington at the time you want to book, so that you can understand if your trip coincides with higher Wellington car hire demand. Here are some annual events to keep in mind:

  • Wellington On A Plate – August
  • Beervana – August
  • Cuba Dupa – March
  • Wellington Fringe Festival – February-March
  • Semi Permanent Wellington – October
  • Wellington Armageddon Expo – December

There are lots of other events that take place in New Zealand's capital city, so make sure to check websites like WellingtonNZ.com or EventFinda.co.nz for what’s happening during your stay.

Now that you know how to get cheap car hire in Wellington

To wrap up, the key things to remember when looking for a Wellington rental car are:

  • Book early to avoid higher costs.
  • Understand the season you’re travelling during and plan accordingly.
  • Compare your vehicle and supplier options with GoSee.
  • Weigh up the extra cost of booking at the airport vs. getting to another rental supplier location.
  • Get a vehicle that’s appropriate for driving around Wellington and suits your travel plans.

By following these tips, you should be able to find a car that’s perfect for your budget.

More than a popular beach, Oriental Bay also serves as luxury centre of Wellington city.
GoSee Car Rental Motorhome Hire

The GoSee advantage

Aside from what we’ve already mentioned (great choice, the ability to compare), there are more reasons to book with GoSee. We offer Free Cancellation on most vehicles up to 72 hours before pick-up, so you’re covered if your plans change or you find a cheaper option on our site after you’ve already booked. We also have Instant Confirmation on most of our cars, meaning you are guaranteed a vehicle as soon as you book. Pair all of this with our award-winning customer support, excellent Trustpilot rating, and simple to use website and you have everything you need to get the best deal on cheap rental cars Wellington.

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Heading elsewhere in New Zealand?    

If you’re just starting your trip in Wellington, it’s a great jumping off point for seeing some of the best sights New Zealand has to offer. Heading north gives you option of a road trip to Taupo, home to the country’s largest lake and any number of activities for those seeking adventure. Carry on and you’ll get to Auckland in your hire car. New Zealand’s biggest city is very different to Wellington, with spread out suburbs and more traffic, but there’s still plenty to see and do. Speaking of things to see and do, you could consider taking you car on the ferry to the South Island and making the journey to Queenstown in your car rental. There you’ll find out why it’s called the Adventure Capital of New Zealand, with skiing, bungees, jetboating and so much more. There’s so much to explore, but with a car hire from GoSee, it will all be within your reach. 

Stunning view of the 328-meter Sky Tower.