Car Rental in Nelson
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Nelson?
A city of just 51,000 inhabitants, Nelson punches way above its weight when it comes to being a hub for tourism. The oldest settlement on the South Island is home to a lot of historic attractions but also has interesting museums, a special atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and access to some of New Zealand’s most iconic natural wonders.
One-Way Car Rentals in Nelson
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Nelson and drop off in another city include:
- From Nelson to Christchurch - 7 offers from $87.22 per day
- From Nelson to Auckland - 7 offers from $185.57 per day
- From Nelson to Picton - 7 offers from $87.22 per day
- From Nelson to Blenheim - 7 offers from $87.22 per day
Top ways to enter Nelson
- Nelson Airport: Located just a short ride southeast of the city center, Nelson Airport provides connections with the largest cities on both islands of New Zealand, as well as some smaller regional destinations.
- Christchurch Airport: By far the busiest on the South Island, Christchurch Airport has flights to many destinations in New Zealand and Australia, as well as all across South and East Asia. For many foreign visitors who travel straight to the South Island, it serves as the first point of entry. Located about 410 km (255 miles) south of Nelson, the trip between them takes about five hours.
- Wellington Airport: Located right across the Cook Strait, Wellington Airport serves the capital of New Zealand. In addition to domestic flights, there are also a number of connections with Australia and Fiji. It is possible to pick up a car in Wellington and then take a ferry to the South Island, but you should make sure you pick a ship that permits taking a vehicle onboard; also, you should check with your rental car company. The trip between Nelson and Wellington, including the ferry ride, takes about six hours.
Top destinations and activities
- Architecture. Established 180 years ago, Nelson is one of the most interesting destinations for heritage tourism in New Zealand. The city is home to a variety of different architectural styles and notable buildings and areas. These include the Founders Heritage Park dedicated to the first European settlers and their homes; other notable Victorian and colonial buildings like Cabragh, Fairfield, and Amber Houses; and Christ Church Nelson Cathedral. Another fun place to learn about the history of the city and the region is the Nelson Provincial Museum.
- World of Wearable Art. Also known as the WOW, the World of Wearable Art was a design competition that used to take place in Nelson. Although the competition has now relocated to Wellington, it has left behind a very fun museum where visitors can appreciate the boundless creativity of artists and designers put into things that can be worn. The museum shares its space with the Classic Cars Museum and its 140 classy exhibits.
- Tahunanui Beach. Though there are a number of stunning, wild beaches near Nelson, if you’re searching for a more tranquil experience, look no further than Tahunanui. Often named among the nicest urban beaches in all of New Zealand, it is as famous for the shoreline as for its cozy coastal cafe. The beach is situated on a wide peninsula just some 3 km (2 miles) north of the city center.
All of the toll roads in New Zealand are in the northern part of the North Island, meaning there are none in or around Nelson.
The toll roads of New Zealand all serve as short bypasses of congested areas. The tolls are therefore quite low. The toll roads use a license plate capturing system with no physical booths. Payment can be made either by having a setup account, by paying online before or within five days of using a toll road, or with cash in some BP and Caltex petrol stations (though a small fee will be added).
Many rental companies offer some system, with a fee, to pass on toll payments to you without you having to do anything. Of course, it may be better just to pay the toll yourself and save on paying that fee. The toll roads can all be avoided quite easily by avoiding the bypass roads and transiting through the towns (in addition to being able to see more).
Ideas for day trips
- Abel Tasman National Park. Although the smallest in New Zealand, Abel Tasman National Park is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of this part of the country. Situated along the Golden and Tasman Bays, the park is made up of long beaches, scenic coves, wooded hills, and plenty of hiking trails. There are multiple accommodation options in the area, but you can also stay in one of the eight conservation huts inside the park. Located about 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Nelson, the nearest corner of the national park can be reached in about one hour by car.
- Nelson Lakes National Park. Another lovely place to visit, this inland nature preserve is named after the several highland lakes that it contains. The scenery of cragged peaks and forested slopes is inhabited by many local fauna species including the South Island robin and Cupola gecko. The drive from the city of Nelson to the national park takes about an hour and 15 minutes.
- Golden Bay. If you look at a map of Golden Bay, together with Farewell spit, its main attraction, you'll see that its shape starkly resembles the kiwi — New Zealand’s national bird. Wharariki Beach is another must-see spot in the Golden Bay area. It’s a famous white sand beach with many rock formations and seal pups hanging out in the tidal pools.
Car Rental Prices in Nelson
- Large cars - from $47 per day
- Medium cars - from $44 per day
- Vans - from $304 per day
- Premium cars - from $79 per day
- Small cars - from $43 per day
- SUVs - from $52 per day
Top 20 Cities near Nelson
Blenheim Car Rentals from $56.74 per day58.6 km / 36.4 miles away
Picton Car Rentals from $63.41 per day65.2 km / 40.5 miles away
Wellington Car Rentals from $23.54 per day132.2 km / 82.1 miles away
Whanganui Car Rentals from $133.40 per day212.7 km / 132.2 miles away
Palmerston North Car Rentals from $56.84 per day228.8 km / 142.2 miles away
Christchurch Car Rentals from $22.93 per day249.6 km / 155.1 miles away
New Plymouth Car Rentals from $49.31 per day267.2 km / 166.0 miles away
Napier Car Rentals from $56.74 per day370.1 km / 230.0 miles away
Taupo Car Rentals from $35.30 per day374.5 km / 232.7 miles away
Rotorua Car Rentals from $34.74 per day442.5 km / 275.0 miles away
Tauranga Car Rentals from $82.33 per day477.3 km / 296.6 miles away
Whakatane Car Rentals from $93.16 per day492.2 km / 305.8 miles away
Auckland Car Rentals from $21.61 per day495.8 km / 308.1 miles away
Gisborne Car Rentals from $48.44 per day500.2 km / 310.8 miles away
Waiheke Island Car Rentals from $51.57 per day525.2 km / 326.3 miles away
Queenstown Car Rentals from $28.66 per day550.8 km / 342.3 miles away
Dunedin Car Rentals from $47.52 per day568.9 km / 353.5 miles away
Whangarei Car Rentals from $48.44 per day623.1 km / 387.2 miles away
Kerikeri Car Rentals from $48.44 per day673.9 km / 418.7 miles away
Invercargill Car Rentals from $62.27 per day691.2 km / 429.5 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Nelson
Nelson Airport Car Rentals from $42.92 per day
Downtown Car Rentals from $23.54 per day130.0 km / 80.8 miles away
Wellington Inter Island Ferry Terminal Car Rentals from $77.22 per day130.6 km / 81.2 miles away
Wellington Airport Car Rentals from $23.63 per day132.2 km / 82.1 miles away
Palmerston North Airport Car Rentals from $56.84 per day228.8 km / 142.2 miles away
Christchurch Airport Car Rentals from $25.40 per day249.6 km / 155.1 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $22.93 per day253.0 km / 157.2 miles away
New Plymouth Airport Car Rentals from $49.31 per day267.2 km / 166.0 miles away
Napier Airport Car Rentals from $56.74 per day370.1 km / 230.0 miles away
Rotorua Airport Car Rentals from $34.74 per day442.5 km / 275.0 miles away
Tauranga Airport Car Rentals from $88.69 per day477.3 km / 296.6 miles away
Auckland Airport Car Rentals from $22.00 per day495.8 km / 308.1 miles away
Auckland Onehunga Car Rentals from $21.61 per day505.0 km / 313.8 miles away
Auckland East Tamaki Car Rentals from $21.61 per day505.6 km / 314.2 miles away
Auckland Penrose Car Rentals from $64.53 per day506.1 km / 314.5 miles away
Auckland Henderson Car Rentals from $21.61 per day506.8 km / 314.9 miles away
Auckland Mount Wellington Car Rentals from $21.61 per day508.0 km / 315.7 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $21.61 per day512.7 km / 318.6 miles away
Auckland Glenfield Car Rentals from $21.61 per day518.8 km / 322.4 miles away
Waiheke Island Port Car Rentals from $51.57 per day525.2 km / 326.3 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Nelson?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Nelson?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Nelson?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||1|
|Popular suppliers||RightCars, Hertz, Go Rentals, Ezi Car Rental, Europcar|
|Popular car categories||SUVs, Medium cars, Small cars, Large cars|
|Lowest price||$43 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Hertz||Hyundai i30||5||2||Medium cars|
|Go Rentals||Toyota Corolla Sedan||4||2||Large cars|
|RightCars||Nissan Wingroad||5||3||Station wagons|
|RightCars||Mazda Demio||4||1||Small cars|
|Go Rentals||Toyota Corolla||5||1||Medium cars|
|RightCars||Toyota Passo||4||2||Small cars|
|RightCars||Nissan Tiida||4||3||Medium cars|
|Ezi Car Rental||Toyota Yaris Cross||4||2||Small cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.