Great value rental rates and exclusive special deals
Why book a rental car with us?
We’re here for you when you need us
Thousands of vehicles to choose from worldwide
On most cars up to 72 hours prior to pickup
Car hire Nelson: Gateway to the South Island
You’ll soon find upon picking up your Nelson car hire that this little city at the top of the South Island is a sun-soaked, laid back haven with a unique and creative culture. It combines the best of both worlds: large enough to keep you well entertained, but small enough to feel homely and welcoming. Nelson’s eclectic collection of shops and cafes are a delight to wander through and sample before heading off to enjoy phenomenal nature in every direction.
Car hire Nelson: Everything you need to know
Picking up your Nelson Airport car hire is a straightforward process, with kiosks located onsite or via a quick shuttle ride.
There are three main areas comprising Nelson: Richmond, Stoke and Nelson City. All face the Tasman Sea, and offer their own unique local character. Shops, services and cafes can be found all over, but are most densely available in the city centre.
Keep an eye on the speed limit, as it varies and can change multiple times along the same road. Be prepared for narrow roads and roundabouts in built up areas. Parking is a bit easier to come by than in larger cities, with more free parking opportunities and lower rates. If you’re venturing outside of the city, stick to the main highways and keep your supplies stocked.
What to see in your Nelson car hire
The beachside location, lush landscape and dynamic culture are a winning combination that draws crowds to Nelson all year long. Get amongst it and take your Nelson Airport car hire from the terminal along the coast to Tahunanui Beach, where you will find shimmering gold sands and turquoise blue waters at every turn.
Hire a kayak on a tour or with friends to explore the coastline and find out why this is the number one place in New Zealand for water sports. Nelson also claims the title of one of the best kitesurfing spots in the country, and keen mountain bikers and hikers will love the abundant bush tracks through ruggedly beautiful terrain.
Nelson has long been known for its exquisite wines, but is quickly growing in reputation for its craft beer and culinary scene. Sauvignon Blanc is the leading vine in the region, and you’ll see locally produced bottles for sale on shelves all over the world. Stop your Nelson car hire at any one of the countless artist workshops and galleries in Nelson and surrounds, or simply visit the weekly Saturday markets in Montgomery Square to see a collection of their wares (as well as more fresh produce and tasty morsels).
By the time you drop your car rental back at Nelson Airport you’ll be eager to book a second trip to this gorgeous section of New Zealand.
If you're looking to start your New Zealand adventure in a different location, you could pick up your car rental from Christchurch Airport. Visiting Queenstown with your rental car is also a not to miss itinerary and it can be reached in a few days from Nelson. Alternatively, you can choose to take the ferry to Wellington or start in Auckland and explore the North Island. The choice is yours!
Choosing the right Nelson rental car
Find and compare all available car hire options for Nelson airport in one spot, including rental cars from Omega, Budget, Hertz, Avis, Keddy, and more. Consider comfort, safety and price when browsing through the options, as city-only driving will have very different requirements than road tripping through mountainous terrain and national parks.
Smaller economy sized vehicles are great for fuel mileage and manoeuvring in and out of tight parking spaces, but lack the power and stability of larger vehicles. The number of passengers in your party as well as pieces of luggage will also determine the size of Nelson car hire you will need.
The Tasman and Marlborough Regions are full of winding roads, so a higher-set vehicle like an SUV may be preferred for passenger comfort. Always book well in advance—Nelson is a popular region for travel, particularly during peak periods like summer holidays and long weekends.
What our customers say
How much is it to hire a car at Nelson Airport?
The vehicle rental price depends on several factors like the pick up date, drop off date, rental location, and vehicle availability. Right now, cheap Nelson car hire for economy size vehicles starts at about NZ$41 per day. Compare up-to-the-second prices with our powerful search.
How far is Nelson city centre from Nelson airport?
Nelson city centre is just over 7 kilometres away from the airport, which takes about 12 minutes in your Nelson rental car.
Which car hire companies have updated their vehicle cleaning and safety policies because of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Most of the major Nelson car hire suppliers have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected. These hire car companies include Avis, Europcar, Budget, and Thrifty.
Where can I rent a car in Nelson?
The bulk of car hire companies in Nelson are located at the airport, with the exception of Apex Car Rentals and one or two others in the city. All can easily be compared on GoSee.
What time does Nelson Airport open?
Nelson Airport opens every day at 4:30am, with the exception of Sunday when it opens at 5:50am. It closes after the last flight of the day.
Can I pick up my Nelson rental car after hours from either the Airport or your depot?
Terms on returning rental cars are depot and location dependent. Check the terms on your agreement and contact the destination depot to confirm.
What's the speed limit in Nelson?
Speed limits vary across Nelson with the lower end starting at 20km/h, and most sitting between 40km/hr and 60km/h. Check the Nelson City Council website for the latest information.
Where are the best places to park in Nelson?
Free all-day parking locations include Hathaway Terrace/Trafalgar Park, Grove Street, Collingwood Street, Nile St West, Kerr Street, and Gloucester Street (some restricted parking at Hardy St end). You can also park free for one hour in the city, tracked by Pay-by-Plate metering.