• Customer ratings 8.9 / 10
  • Over 1 million successful rentals

Car Hire Canterbury

Save time and money. We compare the offers of car rental companies in Canterbury on your behalf.

Enter city or airport code
- days
Why book with us?
  • Free cancellation Up to 48 hours prior to the scheduled pick up time
  • Best price guarantee Have you found a better price? Let us know and we will make you a better offer.
  • Already 500,000+ bookings More than half a million people preceded you 24000+ pick-up locations Locations around the world
  • 24000+ pick-up locations Locations around the world
We compare all of the well known car hire firms - and many others!

Compare Car Hire

Carrentals.co.uk offers simple and straightforward car hire comparison services. We don't add a penny to your quotes!

Canterbury Guide

Car Hire

Named after the English town made famous by Chaucer, Canterbury is the most populated province on New Zealand's South Island and home to the exciting city of Christchurch. Its natural scenery, which includes the country's highest mountain, and a plethora of outdoor activities, are its main draws, while the towns and cities within its confines are also used as bases for those looking to explore the more remote places of interest elsewhere on the South Island.

Who to Book With
Unsurprisingly, the majority of Canterbury car hire companies are based in the region's main city, Christchurch – home to GO Rentals, Omega, Euro Car, MX5 Rentals and Renny Rent-a-Car. Most of these companies are unique to the region or New Zealand, but reservations can be made online.

Best Time to go
Deciding on the best time to visit Canterbury depends on what you want to do. December to February is when New Zealand experiences its summer. At this time it can get rather hot, despite some spots of wetness. In winter, the South Island is drier than other parts of the country and there is still more than enough sunshine to enjoy outdoor activities. The best time for self-drive holidays is considered to be between December and February.

Need to Know Essentials
Those that are about to collect a rental car should have the following documents:

- Valid UK driving license or an International Driving Permit
- Secondary photo ID
- The credit card used to complete the reservation
- Printed confirmation of the rental reservation

For more info, read our FAQ's.

Given how curvy the roads are in this part of the country, drivers should exercise patience and expect some trips to take longer to complete than the map suggests. As a result of the earthquakes that occurred in 2010 and 2011, some areas of Christchurch’s CBD are still cordoned off, so the local tourism board should be contacted for exact details about access. Generally speaking, the city's roads are flat and easy to navigate due to the grid system, however. Trips out of the city and around Canterbury require a hire vehicle.

See our guide to New Zealand for more information on driving in this country.


Given that the public transport network, which includes buses and trains, is limited to merely the main routes between the major cities in Canterbury, car hire is required if you want to go farther afield. For travelling around Christchurch, trams and buses can be relied upon in addition to taxis. Some tourists also like to rent bicycles.

The tram is used for navigating Christchurch, running from 09:00 to 21:00 in the summer and 09:00 to 18:00 in the winter. The west coast and east coast of the South Island are also linked by the TranzAlpine.

As with car rental companies, the majority of taxi companies in Canterbury are based in Christchurch. The best-known companies are Christchurch Radio Cabs and Christchurch Taxis Chritax Ltd. While fixed fares can be agreed for considerable distances around the province, the meter will be turned on for journeys around the CBD or the suburbs of Christchurch.

Canterbury Regional Council supplies bus transportation around the province, including in Christchurch. At the moment, there is a temporary station located on Tuam Street. A typical fare is around £1.60 per person, but Metrocards may also be purchased for savings.


It goes without saying that the majority of museums, galleries and tourist attractions in Canterbury are found in Christchurch. There are also many other points of interest around the region; visitors can divide their time between the Southern Alps, including the iconic Mount Cook, former colonial towns such as Akora, and coastal haunts like Otago.

Recommended Drives

Route 72 - This is arguably one of New Zealand's most scenic roads, boasting stunning landscapes and many areas of unspoiled countryside. This road leads to Arthur's Pass and eventually the Southern Alps, the Tasman Sea and destinations scattered along the South Island's west coast.

Otago to Christchurch - This journey will forever be engrained in any driver's memory, mainly because of the seemingly endless amount of rugged coastline on show between the two destinations. Naturally, there are plenty of other towns to stop-off at along the way.

Akaroa - This is worth the effort it takes to get there, as visitors won't be disappointed by this former French colonial town. Stunning scenery and unique eateries abound, while swimming with dolphins in the nearby sea is also an option.

Practical information

  • Currency
    New Zealand dollar
  • Driving direction
  • City speed limit
    50 km/h
  • Freeway speed limit
    100 km/h
  • Language
    English, Māori

What most people want to know

The following questions and answers are a selection of the most popular questions. If you do not find the answer to your question, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us.

Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest?

Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.

What do I need to do when picking up a car?

To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.

Are there any additional costs?

In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance).

What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental?

In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.

What is a worry-free label?

Only rental companies with a high level of customer satisfaction are eligible to be included in our Worry-Free selection. This rate includes excess cover and unlimited kilometres. Your vehicle will be provided and must be returned with a full tank of fuel. With a vehicle from our Worry-Free selection, you can travel with peace of mind and no hidden costs.

How can I change or cancel my reservation?

You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).

When will I get a confirmation of my booking?

Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).

  1. Home
  2. Oceania
  3. New Zealand
  4. Canterbury