Should you use a COMPARATIVE website for rental companies in New Zealand?
Comparative websites are a great tool to check average prices through a company. However, you can usually get a better deal by booking directly with a company. Comparative websites also focus on prices over other factors of comparison listed below and rarely include all the companies available. Be aware that when a comparative site boars “42,000 companies worldwide” this might well mean that it only includes seven New Zealand-based companies over the 90+ that exists in the country.
We suggest using comparative sites sporadically to get an idea of average prices in the country but do not stop there – do a bit more research using our tips below.
When booking a car or campervan rental for your road trip in New Zealand you are likely to already have a plan of where you want to start and where you want to finish. Following some of our 20 tips to save money of car and campervan rentals in New Zealand, you already know that keeping your options open presents many advantages. Nonetheless, you will still need to pick up a car where it is convenient for you. So first up, pick a company that serves the locations that you are looking for.
It would also be wise to book your rental from a company that has a couple of extra locations countrywide. Should something happen to your vehicle, you would still have to make your way to the nearest depot to pick up another one.
Compare Prices and Inclusions
Price is likely to be the main factor in your decision making, however, remember that a deal too good to be true is probably well… too good to be true. The main thing to remember when comparing prices is to do so including all the extras that you are considering: administration/booking fee, insurance, one way fee, extra driver, young driver premium, cleaning fee, etc. Some companies may include some of those costs into their upfront prices, some will simply add extra charges every step of the way resulting in a price much higher than expected.
It is also worth considering other extras such as airport pick up (NZ$40 saved on a taxi), free basic insurance (NZ$10-$20 saved per day of hire), free extra driver (NZ$5 saved per day), free activities, free road side assistance, etc. Those little costs add up and can result in big savings at the end of a trip.
For more information, check out How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in New Zealand?
Compare Vehicles offered
Surprisingly enough, this is the main item on the list that travellers overlook. Blinded by their quest to find the best price, many people forget to look at the year and make of a vehicle. This will have a huge impact on the overall cost of your trip as gas prices are high in New Zealand and the difference could be up to 40% from vehicle with a 5 to 7 years age difference.
We also recommend you to sit down and evaluate your needs when renting a car or campervan as the smaller you go, the cheapest it will be, and the more fuel efficient your vehicle will be. The two factors are the main cost of a road trip in New Zealand and are well worth been taken seriously.
We cannot stress enough that your choice of vehicle when renting a car or campervan in New Zealand is critical. Read our Should You Rent a Campervan or Car in New Zealand? for more information on the subject.
Service does not usually strike most people as important when looking for a bargain online. However, it would be a big mistake to overlook it. Should something happen to your car or campervan, you will want a solution to be found quickly and efficiently. More than money, your time matters, you are taking the trip of a lifetime and will probably not have the chance to come back all the way to New Zealand again. You’ve got to make every day count and cannot waste a couple of them waiting to solve car issues.
The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of a car or campervan rental team is to send them a bunch of questions by email prior to your booking. First, it will help you clear out a few details that you may need confirmation about. Second, it will help you evaluate their response, speed and thoroughness. This is a great way to know if their customer care really cares.
compare Reviews and Ratings
Every car and campervan company boast customer service awards and great customer satisfaction on their website. Honestly, most of them are actually great. But it would pay off to double check real users’ ratings and reviews online. A Simple online search of a company name should pop up a few ratings and review websites with insights from verified customers.
When doing so, take “too good reviews” and “too bad reviews” with a grain of salt, it is important to focus on reading reviews that appear genuine to get a real picture of a company.
Another great way to check up on a company is to ask on Backpacking New Zealand Facebook group for feedback from people that have used such-and-such a company before. It’s a great way to start a discussion with people that have been in your shoes.
More useful articles about car and campervan rental in New Zealand
I was struggling to get any positive replies from the smaller, individual, Camper Van company’s in NZ, until I came across Rankers. What a truly great result that was. Within 24 hours, I was contacted by a number of companies, some saying they could help and others saying they were full. I received an email from Vicky at Kia Ora Campers, saying that although they could not meet my specific needs, they gave me some options to think about. Vicky could not have been more helpful, talked me through the process, as a virgin camper and they offered me a fantastic deal with a 4 berth camper.
Everything went smoothly and Ross from Kia Ora Campers met us at Auckland Airport and showed us everything we needed to know about the Camper. He understood we were inexperienced and took his time to explain all we needed to know. He is an asset to their team.
We went on our merry way, but within 48 hours disaster struck….we were parked up 30km north of Kiakoura and the Earthquake struck!! We were trapped between two massive landslides, the road was completely torn apart and we had to abandon our Camper Van…..it will be stuck there for at least 3 months. We were helicoptered to safety and taken to Blenheim.
PC Alan Hendrickson called Vicky at Kia Ora Campers for us, to explain the circumstances. I could not believe what happened in the next two hours.
Vicky from Kia Ora Campers called me back, saying that if we wanted, they would arrange for flights from Blenheim back to Christchurch, where they would provide us with an upgraded 6-berth Camper, at no cost at all to ourselves. Steve from Kia Ora Campers then sorted everything for us, booked our flights, arranged for our replacement Camper Van to be delivered to AKL, and after a short break, our Camper Van holiday was back on track.
To say that Vicky and Steve from Kia Ora Campers went beyond the call of duty is nothing short of an understatement.
This is all TRUE.
IF YOU WANT TO DEAL WITH THE BEST CAMPER VAN COMPANY….CALL Kia Ora Campers….end of.
Ben Awcock – UK.