Car rental Whanganui


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Prior to our rebrand from Airport Rentals and Motorhome Republic
Thrifty New Zealand

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Check out the West Coast with a Whanganui car rental

Built around the mighty Whanganui River, this small yet vibrant city is located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Approximately 2 hours’ drive from New Plymouth and 2 and a half hours’ drive from Wellington, picking up a Whanganui Airport car rental is ideal if you want to explore this part of the country.

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Car rental Whanganui: All you need to know

Whanganui was previously known as Wanganui, until an official change was made to the name of the district in 2015. Because of this, you may sometimes see the name of the city as Wanganui on some signs and websites.

Whanganui Airport

Whanganui Airport is located south of the river, right by the coast. There are two roads leading to and from the Airport, Airport Road and Landguard Road. At the airport, you’ll find a Hertz car rental desk, with the counter located in the terminal. It is about a 10-minute drive to Victoria Avenue, Whanganui’s main street for shopping and eating. This city is also within reach of an affordable car for rent at Wellington Ferry Terminal.

Whanganui River kayaks

A guide to driving in and around Whanganui

Whanganui has a relatively small population, so don’t expect a lot of traffic. However, State Highways 3 and 4 do pass through the city, so be aware that there may be travellers using this road in tourist season. In addition to this, we’ve put together a few tips for driving your car hire Whanganui:

  • If you’re an international visitor picking up a rental car in Whanganui, remember to keep left.
  • New Zealand roads can be steep and windy, so if you’re heading out of Whanganui in your hire car, make sure to drive safely and take your time, especially in the winter months.
  • There is plenty of parking in Whanganui, including paid kerbside parking, free time-restricted parking and off-street parking with pay-and-display machines.
  • Speed limits in New Zealand are posted in kilometres per hour (kph), and distances in kilometres. Generally, the speed limit is 50kph in urban and built-up areas and 100kpm on open roads. There are exceptions to this, so make sure to keep an eye out for any road signs.

Whanganui beach

Rental cars Whanganui: What to see and do

Hiring a car in Whanganui means you can not only explore the unique attractions of the city itself like the New Zealand Opera School and Sarjeant Gallery in Queens Park, but you can also get out and see mountains, beaches and of course other parts of the Whanganui River. We’ve put together a few ideas for you to get started.

The Durrie Hill Elevator

What exactly is a ‘hill elevator’? Well, you can find out at New Zealand’s only public transport elevator, which travels 66 metres from Anzac Parade to the top of Durie Hill. Once at the top, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Whanganui River and the city beyond. The Durrie Hill Elevator is $2 each way for adults and $1 for children.

Whanganui River Road

Take your rental car on a 64-kilometre drive on Whanganui River Road and experience the small communities and stunning views of the river it has to offer.

Whanganui National Park

The scenic drive on Whanganui River Road leads to the Whanganui National Park. Full of lush forest and native birds, including the brown kiwi and whio (blue duck), the park covers an area of 742 km² bordering the Whanganui River. There are a number of tracks that visitors can take through the park, including the 3-5 day Matemateaonga Track through the wild lowland forests.

Whanganui Regional Museum

Famed for its Taonga Māori Collection, the Whanganui Regional Museum offers visitors a look into Whanganui’s rich history. The collection encompasses transport and technology, textiles and clothing, art, Pasifika cultures and much more. While the museum has free admission, there are also guided tours, which last for one hour and cost $10 per person. 

What our customers say

The booking process is easy and the filtering is well detailed and allows one to only look at cars one is interested in.
Sean William Cummins
Very helpful and knowledgeable
no waiting person very good and new her job
Michael Carr
Couldn't get through on Web site. Rang & Amy helped me with booking my rental car in Cairns Australia. The phone dropped out at the last minute & Amy rang me back with the final information. Great service!
Glenn Fabar
Very clear communication and professional team.
Prompt service in a different time zone.
Majella Finn
It was just straight forward and easy. The only thing, which I may have missed, is how the payment works. Do you just hold my card, or do you take the full payment straight away?


Jason Campbell
Easy to change my booking and find a cheaper price.
Dezlee Masters
Your staff are super calm and friendly and sorted problems for me. I love the way the double check everything!
It made it easy to pay by afterpay love it
bronwyn Simon

Whanganui car rental: Frequently asked questions

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How much does it cost to rent a car in Whanganui?

The price of rental cars in Whanganui varies depending on the rental provider, the type of car and the season you are travelling. Perform a search to see up to date prices for your selected dates. Find great car hire deals when you book with GoSee.

What types of cars can I rent in Whanganui?

There is a range of vehicles available to rent in Whanganui. Economy chevrolet spark is a popular choice, as well as similar economy cars such as a Suzuki Swift, SUVs, like a Mitsubishi ASX and people carriers, like the Kia Carnival.  

Use our easy search to see what vehicles are available on your travel dates. You can filter by vehicle type once you reach the search results page.

What is the cheapest car rental in Whanganui? 

When you search on our website for cheap car rental Whanganui Airport offers, you can sort your results by lowest price to see the best deal available. This is the best way to find the cheapest car hire on the dates you want to travel.

How old do you have to be to rent a car in Whanganui?

The minimum age to hire a car in New Zealand is 21 years old, though some rental companies will not hire to those under 25, or may have a young driver surcharge for drivers under 25 years of age.

What do I need to bring with me when I pick up my rental vehicle?

It is best to bring your confirmation details, a credit card and a valid driver’s licence for everyone who will be driving the car hire. If you have a foreign drivers’ licence that isn’t in English, NZ law requires it to be accompanied by an English translation or an International Drivers Permit.

Can I drop-off or pick-up a vehicle after office hours?

This depends on the Whanganui car rentals partner you hire from. Generally, you can drop off your rental vehicle after office hours, as they will have a secure drop-box to collect your keys. If you want to pick up your hire car after office hours, it is best to check with your supplier directly as to whether or not this is possible. Note that the pick up and drop off Whanganui add. / location is one and the same, unless there are options as stated in your rental agreement.

Is there an additional charge for extra drivers?

Generally, there is an additional driver fee, which is charged on a per day basis. Rental cars Wanganui supplier such as Hertz allows for as many additional drivers as there are seats in the vehicles, however there is an additional fee for each driver.

Can I travel one-way in my car rental?

If the supplier has car rental locations or depots in your planned pick-up and drop-off locations, then you may be able to travel one-way. You may start your adventure in Whanganui and end your car hire trip in Napier, Palmerston North, or New Plymouth. The choice is yours! Please note that there may be an additional fee for this. When searching car hire deals, select Whanganui pick up and choose a different drop-off location to see if this option is available to you.