Search
Deals
Tips
FAQs
Locations
Agencies
When to book

South Island car hire

Driver's age: 26-65
Thu 20/6
Thu 27/6

Search hundreds of car hire sites at once for car hire deals in South Island

Here is why travellers choose KAYAK

Save up to 42%Compare multiple travel sites with one search.

Free to useThere are no hidden charges or fees.

Filter your dealsFilter by car type, brand and more. Instantly customise your results.

Book with flexibilityUse our "free cancellation" filter for maximum flexibility at no extra cost.

Cheap car hire in South Island

Economy$13/day
Compact$14/day
Intermediate$22/day
Standard$32/day
Full-size$76/day
SUV$27/day
People mover$34/day
Full-size SUV$38/day
Mini$48/day
Passenger van$47/day
Intermediate SUV$26/day
Supplier choice$27/day
Standard SUV$28/day
Compact SUV$34/day
Luxury SUV$43/day
Standard estate car$48/day
Commercial$69/day
Supplier choice van$180/day
Best prices found by KAYAK users in the past 48 hours.

Top tips for hiring a car in South Island

  • When driving in South Island, ensure you keep within the speed limit set by the law. Like other towns in New Zealand, maintain 20 km/h (12 mph) when approaching and passing a school bus, 40 km/h (25 mph) in residential areas, and maintain 80 km/h (50 mph) when driving on limited-access urban arterial roads, winding rural roads, and rural access roads. However, as you hit the motorways and expressways, you can drive as high as 110 km/h (68 mph).
  • As you drive on rural roads in South Island, keep in mind that some of them can be narrow and winding. It is thus not surprising to find bridges or single-track roads only wide enough to allow passage for one car. Therefore, keep an eye on signs indicating winding roads and narrow streets, particularly when overtaking. Also, bear in mind that vehicles closest to the bridge, or those going uphill, have the right of way.
  • The New Zealand seatbelt law requires that every car be equipped with front and back seatbelts. To this end, every car occupant must wear a seatbelt, whether sitting at the front or back. Furthermore, kids aged seven or younger must be strapped in an approved child-restraint device when traveling in vans or cars. Usually, car rental companies provide this child restraint equipment at a small fee.
  • It is critical to consider your needs before setting out to hire Southland Island car rentals. Typically, your budget and the destinations you want to visit are the most likely determinants of the type of car you will rent. A compact car is recommended if you will be confined within the town center where roads are smooth. However, if you plan to venture outdoors in rural areas, consider a pickup truck or a 4X4 SUV.
  • 25% of our users found a car hire in South Island for $41 or less
  • Book your car hire in South Island at least 2 days before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Off-airport car hire locations in South Island are around 1% more expensive than airport locations on average
  • Economy hire cars in South Island are around 54% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about hiring a car in South Island

  • How much does it cost to hire a car in South Island?

    On average a car hire in South Island costs $51 per day.

  • What is the most popular car hire in South Island?

    Standard (Toyota Prius or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in South Island.

  • What is the cheapest car hire company in South Island?

    In the past 72 hours, the cheapest car hires were found at New Zealand Discount Car Rentals ($13/day), EZU Car Rental ($14/day) and Yes Rentals ($14/day).

  • How can I find car hires near me in South Island?

    Take a look at our extensive car hire location map to find the best car hire deals near you.

  • Where should I hire a car in South Island?

    Based on car searches on KAYAK, the most popular cities to hire a car in South Island are Queenstown (62% of total searches of users looking to hire a car in South Island), Christchurch (34%) and Dunedin (1%).

  • How much does it cost to hire a car for a week in South Island?

    On average a car hire in South Island costs $386 per week ($55 per day).

  • How much does it cost to hire a car long term for a month in South Island?

    On average a car hire in South Island costs $1,656 per month ($55 per day).

  • Should I rent a car in South Island?

    You won’t regret renting a car when visiting South Island. Besides the flexibility it offers when exploring the hidden gems on your bucket list, South Island car rentals offer comfort and privacy when touring the area. With fixed routes and specific departure schedules, public transportation in this area is restrictive, as you cannot conveniently move around to experience the beautiful parts of the town. In addition, car rentals have different types of cars in their fleet, and you will have several options based on your needs. If you are here for a few days, you will find South Island car rentals cheaper than taxis. Lastly, car rentals are also cheaper if you are traveling with your friends or family.

  • What is driving like in South Island?

    Traffic laws in South Island are the same as those in other parts of New Zealand. The steering wheel is on the right, and people drive on the left. The roads are narrower, steeper, and more winding than expected. There are few motorways; the roads are mostly two-way, with one lane in each direction. South Island implements strict Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) laws where drivers aged 20 or younger should have 0% BAC. For those aged 21 or older, you must not drive if your BAC is greater than 0.05%, lest you incur heavy fines. Remember, there’s a special category of vehicles that have the right of way, particularly emergency vehicles with flashing lights, and school buses.

  • How old do you have to be to rent a car in South Island?

    You need to be 18 years old to rent a car in South Island. However, the age may vary depending on the company and vehicle category, with some South Island car rentals applying a surcharge policy to renters below 25, and the fees are paid at the counter. You also need a valid driving license from your home country, which you must have held for at least a year. It is important to remember that an International Driving Permit is only permissible when presented with a valid driver’s license. You can pay for your rental via debit, credit cards, or cash (New Zealand Dollars only).

Car hire directory

  • thrifty

    Thrifty car hire locations in South Island

    22 Locations

  • sunnycars

    Sunnycars car hire locations in South Island

    19 Locations

  • hertz

    Hertz car hire locations in South Island

    18 Locations

  • firefly

    Firefly car hire locations in South Island

    17 Locations

  • avis

    Avis car hire locations in South Island

    15 Locations

  • budget

    Budget car hire locations in South Island

    13 Locations

  • acerentalcars

    Ace Rental Cars car hire locations in South Island

    11 Locations

  • ezi

    EZI car hire locations in South Island

    11 Locations

  • dollar

    Dollar car hire locations in South Island

    10 Locations

  • apex

    Apex car hire locations in South Island

    9 Locations

  • motocarrental

    Moto Car Rental car hire locations in South Island

    9 Locations

  • routescartrk

    Routes Car & Truck Rentals car hire locations in South Island

    9 Locations

Good to know

Most popular agency

Mode Car & Camper Rentals

Most popular car type

Economy

Average price

$55/day

Good deal

$41/day

When to book a rental car in South Island

Average daily price per month
Car hire prices as pick-up date approaches