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terms & conditions | budget fleet guide and rates | branch locations

airport & ferry collection fee
An Airport & Ferry collection fee of NZ$17 + GST is payble on all rental, picked up and dropped off at any commercial New Zealand ariprot and from the inter-island ferry terminals in Wellington and Picton. This is paid direct to Budget Rent a Car at the commencement of each hire. The fee is payable once for each rental.


Every endeavor will be made to provides a specific vehicle make if indicated, however Budget can only guarantee a vehicle category, for example, ICAR, not a specific vehicle make within the group, such as Nissan Pulsar. If for any reason the reserved/booked vehicle is not available, Budget reserves the right to substitute a comparable or superior vehicle at no charge to the customer. Such action by budget does not constitute a breach of the vehicle conditions/contract and does not entitle the renter to any refund.

baby seats
Baby seats are available for infants aged 6 months to 3 years. Cost is NZ$25.00 plus GST of 12.5%. This is paid direct to Budget on collection of the vehicle. Baby seats must be prebooked. Fees for accessories such as baby seats are charged per vehicle initiation ie. Auckland to Wellington one charge applies and Picton to Christchurch is another charge.

Please note Baby Seats are not bolted to the vehicle and are secured with seatbelts. Privately owned baby capsules may be secured by utilising the vehicle's seatbelt.
All New Zealand rentals require a NZD100.00 (inclusive of GST) security bond to be paid at the commencement of the rental. The bond can be paid in cash in New Zealand Dollars, travellers cheques in New Zealand Dollars, or by any major international credit card (American Express, Visa, Bankcard, Mastercard, Diners Club or JCB). Any additional charges over and above what has been included in the prepaid voucher will be collected direct from the customer e.g. petrol, extra protection packages, additional hours etc.

calculating hire periods
All rates are calculated on a 24 hour period. The pick up date of each rental determines the applicable seasonal rate to be charged for the duration of the hire.

child seats
Child Seats in the form of forward facing Booster Seats are available for children aged 3 years and over. The cost is NZ$25.00 plus GST of 12.5% paid direct to Budget on collection of the vehicle. Child Seats must be prebooked. Fees for accessories such as Child Seats are charged per vehicle initiation ie. Auckland to Wellington one charge applies and Picton to Christchurch is another charge.
Please note Child Seats are not bolted to the vehicle and are secured with seatbelts.

drivers licence
All drivers must hold a current non-probationer drivers licence with an English translation show on the licence from their home country. If the country presents an international drivers permit, this must be accompanied with their home country license.
driving in new zealand
For further information on driving in New Zealand including driving distances please refer to the following page: Driving in New Zealand

emergency road side service
Budget offers 24 hour emergency roadside service throughout the country. In the event of a vehicle related emergency customers are requested to contact the nearest Budget branch through a nation-wide toll free phone number. For calls outside regular office hours the phone will be diverted to an on call staff member. With Budget's vast network of locations throughout the country, help is never far away.

free hotel delivery
Budget will deliver to hotels/motels within a 10-kilometre radius of any Budget location (between the hours of 8.30am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday and excluding Public Holidays). Special conditions may apply for deliveries outside these hours. Customers can take advantage of Budget's hotel/motel vehicle pickup service. On completion of the hire your customer is responsible for notifying Budget of time of return. Please note that all deliveries and pickups must be pre-booked.

free touring maps
Budget provides detailed touring maps of New Zealand and the metropolitan areas of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The maps are available free of charge at the time of vehicle pick-up. Budget staff are happy to assist with local information on the best routes to the required travel destination.

fuel prices
Petrol in New Zealand comes in leaded and unleaded grades and is sold by the litre. Petrol is sold between NZ$1.00 and $1.30, diesel NZ$0.75 per litre (estimated April 2003). Petrol stations are plentiful but trading hours vary. Most petrol stations will accept major international credit cards. All Budget cars run on unleaded petrol, while some of the 4WD vehicles and minibuses have a diesel engine.
goods and services taxes
Budget rates offered on the Travel Online website are inclusive of New Zealand's Goods and Services Tax (GST) currently at 12.5%.

hire rate inclusions
Unlimited kilometers
Vehicle insurance (subject to a $1500 + GST excess) refer to Insurance
GST (Goods and Services Tax)

hire rate exclusions
Security Bond (Bond of NZ$100 to be paid at commencement of hire)
Insurance Excess (if incurred)
Optional insurance and accessories - Budget Protection Plan
Airport/Ferry Fee applies to hires commencing at all airport locations and ferry terminals. Charge of N$15.00 (plus GST) paid direct to Budget

Motor Vehicle Insurance is included in the Budget Rent a Car New Zealand's rates. This insurance is subject to an insurance excess of NZ$1500 (plus GST). In case of an accident the hirer is liable for the amount of the insurance excess.
The excess can be reduced by purchasing the Budget Protection Plan. The insurance cover is subject to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. While Budget's insurance policy provides customers with protection against a range of events, some exclusions do apply. For further details please see Insurance.
insurance : protection package
The Budget Protection Plan is complete and easy. For an additional NZ$15.00 (plus GST) per day, the insurance excess can be reduced from NZ$1500 (plus GST) to NZ$150 (plus GST). The Budget Protection Package also includes personal accident insurance, personal effects cover, loss of keys replacement cover and a guaranteed replacement vehicle in the event of an accident (providing the customer does not breach the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.) For more information please see Insurance.

inter-island hires
In the interests of customer convenience and economy (it is costly to ferry vehicles across the Cook Strait), Budget vehicles cannot be taken on the interisland ferry between the North Island and the South Islands. It is therefore required to drop off the vehicle at the Budget office at the Ferry Terminal either in Picton (South Island) or in Wellington (North Island) prior to boarding the Ferry, and to pick up a subsequent vehicle from the Budget office upon arrival at the other Island.

Budget offices at the Inter-island Ferry Terminals are staffed to meet the ferry arrivals.

04 October – 31 October 2022
Ferry Departure Time Arrival Time
Inter Islander
(3 hour sailing)


*peak season only

+currently departs from The Lynx Terminal on Waterloo Quay – customers returning their vehicle to the Interislander Terminal on Aotea Quay must return their vehicles well before 8.00am. The Interislander shuttle bus departs at 8.10am to take passengers from the Interislander Terminal at Aotea Quay to the Lynx Terminal to board “Kaitaki” vessel.


04 October – 31 October 2022
Ferry Departure Time Arrival Time
Inter Islander
(3 hour sailing)


*peak season only    

TopPlease Note: above ferry timetable valid at time of publication and may vary.

Inter Island hires are treated as one, continuous hire, providing the second vehicle is collected within 24 hours. To ensure that the next vehicle is available at the Ferry Terminal Budget needs to be advised of the expected cross over date at the time of reservation. If this information is not available, Budget allocates 40% of the rental duration to the North Island and 60% to the South Island to determine an expected cross over date. Cross over dates are reconfirmed with the customer upon arrival in New Zealand.

If a customer is collecting and returning a vehicle in the same island, but has an intention of travelling inter-island, Budget needs to reserve 3 separate vehicles (A, B, C bookings). It is essential Budget is notified of this intention at the time of reservation, even if the cross over dates are unknown. Failure to do so may result in the customer's vehicle not being available, especially during peak season.
If customers are changing their cross over dates after they have picked up the vehicle, Budget needs to be advised of this amendment no later than 48 hours prior to the date of the ferry crossing (this includes amendments to sailing times).

additional information
Operated by: InterIslander (TranzRail)
Rates: are shown in Australian Dollars and include GST
Children: infants under 2 years travel free of charge. Children 2-14 years inclusive pay the child rate. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Click here for further information and bookings for interislander ferry

in-terminal desks (airport and ferry terminals)
Budget is represented at all New Zealand airports serviced by New Zealand's major airlines with an in-terminal desk. There is no shuttle bussing with Budget in New Zealand. The internal desks are staffed to meet all scheduled incoming and departing flights. So whatever time your flight arrives, Budget will be there to meet you. Budget also operates rental counters inside the Interislander ferry terminals in Wellington and Picton.
minimum driver's age
All drivers must be 21 years old or over and to prove this drivers must hold a current non-probationary drivers license with an English translation shown on the license. There is no maximum age for hiring a car in New Zealand.

minimum rental
The minimum rental for any Budget vehicle is three consecutive days. The 24 hour period from the time the vehicle is collected is considered one day.

multi-hire rentals
Customers renting from several locations within one itinerary can accumulate the total number of rental days provided the subsequent vehicle is picked up within 5 hours. This means that the applicable daily rate is based on the total number of rental days.

For multi-island hires minimum of 3 consecutive days per island is required.
For multi-hires that cross-over seasonal validity dates the rate is based on the pick up date of the first hire.

The 3-day minimum for One Way Rentals still applies.

one way rentals
Budget offers a complete one way rental service between all Budget offices in New Zealand. A one way rental fee does not apply provided the rental extends for a minimum of 3 consecutive days on any given island. Separate one way rental conditions apply to specialty vehicles.

No refund is given for any unused rental days.
rental extensions
Should the renter wish to extend the rental, it is recommended that such a request be made at the renting Budget office as soon as possible so that every effort can be made to accommodate the request. This will be dependent upon the rebooking of that particular vehicle. Any extension of rental must be paid direct to the nearest Budget depot prior to the extended rental period commencing.

return of vehicle
The return of a vehicle prior to the nominated date does not entitle the renter to any refund on the unused portion of the originally agreed rental cost.

For charges due to a late drop off, please refer to the table below:

Returned Time after Scheduled Drop-off 0 - 59 minutes 1 - 1:59 hours 2 - 2:59 hours 3 - 3:59 hours
Proportion of Daily Rate Charged Free 1/3 2/3 3/3

If a vehicle is dropped off more than 5 hours after the prescribed time, a further full day's charge will be made. In the case of pre-paid voucher hires, the relevant amount will be collected on a gross basis direct from the client.

road rules
New Zealander's drive on the left-hand side of the road. Maximum speed limits in towns and cities are 50 km/h (30mph) and 100 km/h (60mph) on the open road, unless signs indicate alternative speeds. Speed cameras are operating throughout New Zealand.

Strict drink-driving laws apply, with random breath testing carried out at any time. Please note that all insurance is invalid if the driver of the vehicle exceeds the legal alcohol limit (currently 0.8gm alcohol per litre of blood).

Seatbelts must be worn by ALL occupants of the vehicle at all times. By law all children under five years of age must use an infant or child car seat. Car seats are available for hire from Budget Rent a Car.

Budget Rent a Car reserves the right to charge the renter for any traffic infringement notices (e.g. parking or speeding fines, etc.) that may be sent to Budget by the New Zealand Police.
safe driving information
Budget offers its overseas guests a guide to safe driving in New Zealand. This material is published in English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese and covers road rules and signs, city and rural driving conditions, accident assistance and driving hints and suggestions. Available from all Budget New Zealand locations.

ski racks
Ski Racks are available for hire form all South Island locations except Blenheim. The cost is NZ$10.00 plus GST of 12.5% per day paid direct to Budget on collection of vehicle. Maximum charge for hire of Ski Racks is NZ$60.00 plus GST of 12.5%. Ski Racks must be prebooked as availability is limited. Ski Racks are unable to fitted on ECMR, PVAR, LVMN and Sports and luxury vehicles. Ski Racks holds five sets of skis.

snow chains
Snow Chains are available for hire from all South Island locations and can be fitted to vehicle types ECMR to FWAR. Cost is NZ$10.00 plus GST of 12.5% per day to a maximum charge of NZ$60.00 plus GST per hire. Chains are not available for 4WD vehicles and Sports/Luxury Vehicles.


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