Great experience with a New Zealand “cheapie” car rental company
In New Zealand on business but had a relaxing weekend planned, before a very busy week.
I needed to pick up a car at Auckland airport at 4pm on a Thursday, and drop at the same time on the Sunday in Auckland central – so a 3-day rental. It seemed simple enough, but Sundays can be a problem with downtown drop-offs even in major cities. Be warned.
I looked at Thrifty, Hertz, Avis etc – VERY expensive – nearly 3 times the cost of a Sydney/Brisbane/Melbourne rental but that is New Zealand. But the biggest problem was that none of these was able to give me an Auckland downtown drop-off on a Sunday afternoon – not even a key-drop. They all wanted me to take the car back to the airport. Then with lots of luggage, commercial stands etc take a $90 taxi to the city – no way!
Then I found Ace Car Rentals via www.rentalcars.com. They were open downtown 7 days a week in central Auckland till 5pm, and only $90 a day. I chose a Toyota Allion (similar to a Camry).
On arrival at Auckland airport. I rang the courtesy phone, waited 10 mins for a minibus which took us 5 mins to their off- airport depot. There a very helpful guy (Jarrod?) did the paperwork and helped me with a map as to where we were going – out of the way beach location. The tank was half full so he marked that on the paperwork – just return half full. We went outside and checked it over. It had a few scratches but no worse than some I have had from Hertz. The car was perhaps 5 or 6 years old, but spotless and lovely wood grained interior. A/C worked really well.
After 3 days of trouble-free rental, I dropped it Sunday at 4pm at their central Auckland depot at Parnell, where I could see they were very busy with rental returns. A friendly, efficient young lady checked it over and did final paperwork. Then I walked the 300m to my hotel – the Quest Carlaw Park . What more could I ask!
My overall impression – a local NZ company with several depots right throughout both islands, offering great rates on older well-maintained cars. And all depots open 7 days a week till at least 5pm. Look and learn Avis, Hertz, Thrifty etc.
Thanks, Ace – I’ll be back.
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