The capital of New Zealand is waiting to be explored and the easiest way to discover everything Wellington offers from north to south is by renting a car. Whether taking a trip to the coast or to the many attractions in the city center, with your own four wheels you are free to create your ideal travel itinerary and see what you want, when you want.
Wellington International Airport is situated in the south of the city, and with a car visitors can be in the center in less than twenty minutes. After landing, head to Level 0 close to the baggage claim area and rent a car directly from the onsite car agencies like Avis, Budget, or Enterprise.
Wellington has many narrow streets and squeezing through them can be a challenge at first, specifically because even very narrow roads are often divided to serve two directions. When passing through such a narrow road and there is an oncoming car, check if there is a spot on your side of the road to pull over and wait until the other car has passed. Despite the hilly nature of the city and no broad roads in most places, local drivers have a reputation of being polite and adhering to street regulations, so driving is mostly a pleasant experience. Keep in mind that you must drive on the left in New Zealand.
Wellington’s morning rush hour can begin as early as 5 am. Between then and 9 am, inbound traffic increases dramatically and waiting times can be up to 40 minutes, so leave well in advance when heading to the airport, for instance. Especially State Highway 1 can get congested during this time and during the evening rush hour from 6 to 8 pm.
25% of our users found rental cars in Wellington for C$ 30 or less
Book your rental car in Wellington at least 2 weeks before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Compact rental cars in Wellington are around 36% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Wellington
On average a hire car in Wellington costs C$ 38 per day.
Yes, automatic cars are available in most car renting companies in Wellington. As cars with manual transmission are more common in many countries, you might have to pay an additional charge for renting an automatic car.
The average gas price in Wellington is C$ 8.93 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between C$ 107 and C$ 143, depending on the car size.
Compact (Hyundai Accent or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Wellington.
A Compact car rental in Wellington costs C$ 25 per day, on average.
A Intermediate car rental in Wellington costs C$ 44 per day, on average.
A Full-size car rental in Wellington costs C$ 36 per day, on average.
In Wellington, cars are most frequently rented at Thrifty Wellington Ap (5 km from city centre ).
On average a rental car in Wellington costs C$ 263 per week (C$ 38 per day).
On average a rental car in Wellington costs C$ 1,128 per month (C$ 38 per day).
With the many narrow lanes and hilly avenues of Wellington, renting a compact car is definitely a good choice, as navigating the city’s streets becomes considerably easier -- as does finding a suitable spot. If planning to leave the city and explore the surrounding nature, a 4-wheel-drive car should also be considered.
Bear in mind that speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour in Wellington rather than miles per hour. The speed limit in residential areas is 50 km/h (31 mph), but there are many areas where it is lowered to 30 km/h (18 mph). Rural roads usually allow up to 80 km/h (50 mph) and 110 km/h (68 mph) is permitted on freeways.
A liter of gas in Wellington costs approximately $2.20 NZD ($1.50 USD, which translates to about $6 USD per gallon). The closest gas station to the airport is situated alongside the State Highway 1 and is about 8 minutes away, so drivers can refuel the car here before handing it back at the airport.
Meters must be used for on-street parking from Monday through Sunday, but time restrictions vary so check the designated sign. There is also the option of parking in the many parking lots dotted around the city, such as the Civic Square on Harris Street or Clifton Car Park on The Terrace, both of which cost about $4.50 NZD per hour ($3 USD).