Thrifty answers your frequently asked questions

How do I obtain a quote?

Use our website to check rates – all prices quoted here are guaranteed. Click here to obtain a quote.

How do I book online?

Show more

What Driver's Licence do I need to rent a vehicle?

We require a full driver’s licence. We recognise current overseas licences. The licence must be in English with a photo, and produced at rental commencement. Please note the NZTA do not allow the use of temporary replacement full licences when driving in New Zealand. If the licence is in another language (or doesn’t have a photo) then you’ll also need an International Driving Permit (in English) or a translation from an approved authority – click here for details. A Chinese version can also be downloaded. For more information on licences go here.

Show more

What is the minimum rental period?

It’s 24 hours. Or one full day. Whichever you’d prefer.

Can I book more than one vehicle at a time?

Yes you can. Simply complete each booking and you will receive a separate confirmation number for each booking.

How old do I have to be to rent a vehicle?

There’s a minimum age of 21 years to rent a vehicle. For 21 to 24 years a surcharge of $17.25 per day applies. Provided you have a licence, there is no maximum age for rental.

Why do rates change so often?

Good question. Car rental pricing is a bit like airline pricing in that you will pay higher prices if you purchase in peak periods. Pricing can also vary according to location, and after upgrades to our fleet. It’s best to book in advance so you’ll get the cheapest rate possible for your rental. Do your research and don’t forget to check out our specials.

Can I hire snow chains & ski or board racks?

Yes. They are available to hire from $13.80 per day or $69 for 5 or more days from selected South Island locations. For North Island skiing we recommend hiring from a trusted supplier at the base of the mountain. Requests for chains and racks need to be made at time of reservation.

Couple of quick points: The Toyota Yaris cannot be fitted with chains, and vehicles are required to carry chains on Milford Rd between May & November.

Show more

Can I tow using a Thrifty Vehicle?

Yes. Our Toyota Hilux vehicles are available to tow up to 2,500kgs.

Can anyone other than myself drive the car?

Only those named on the Rental Agreement are covered by insurance to drive a Thrifty vehicle. When collecting the vehicle each driver must be listed on the Rental Agreement. Each must present their drivers licence at time of collection. An additional surcharge of $11.50 per driver per rental applies.

What is a Thrifty Corporate Discount (CD) number?

It’s a magic(ish) password – a special number you can give us for specific rates and discounts. A CD number is often provided to our Business Renters, who use car rental on a frequent basis. For more information on becoming a Corporate Account holder, please click here.

Are GPS units built into your vehicles?

Some of our late model vehicles do have GPS built in. If you require GPS functionality, please speak to a friendly Customer Service Representative when you collect your vehicle from the Thrifty counter to find out whether you will need to hire one. Units are available for $11.50 per day. Find out more here.

Is there an additional charge if there will be more than one driver?

Yes, it’s $11.50 per driver per rental. All drivers must be present at the rental counter at the time of collection with their drivers licence.

Why is my flight number and terminal required when making a booking?

To ensure we have your rental car waiting for you it’s important to let us know your flight number upon completion of the booking. If you are unsure of your flight number then indicate the terminal and we’ll make sure we’re ready to greet you. NZ provincial airport locations are not staffed outside of flight times.

What does 'Premium Location Surcharge' mean?

The premium location surcharge (also known as an ‘airport service fee’) applies to all rentals collected from any of our airport locations and the Wellington and Picton Ferry Terminals. These locations incur additional operational costs for us.

We choose to recover this cost on a ‘user pays’ basis rather than spreading this cost across all our rental sites in New Zealand. This is a worldwide industry standard charge. In some countries the fee aligns with a percentage of revenue charged by the airport companies. In New Zealand we charge a flat fee of $51.75 per rental at our Auckland Airport, Wellington Airport, Christchurch Airport and Queenstown Airport locations. All other airport locations are $46 per rental. This is a one-off charge regardless of how long the rental is.

Show more

Is Damage Cover included in the rate quoted?

Your rental fee includes basic cover, which includes third party insurance. We have options available to reduce your liability.

Can I reduce my liability?

You certainly can. We have cost-effective excess reduction options that will markedly reduce your liability.

Can I Rent a Baby or Child Seat?

You certainly can. We have baby seats and booster seats we can provide at an additional cost. Just make sure you select the appropriate seat at the time of booking and we’ll ensure that it’s waiting for you, pre-installed for a hassle-free pick up. Whilst are staff have been trained to install baby seats correctly, it is up to the accompanying adult to check its fit prior to travel.

Show more

Does Thrifty offer one-way rentals?

Yes, however certain fees may apply and this service varies from each location. We also offer free relocation deals. This is a fantastic way to see New Zealand on a budget. Click here to see how you can get free car rental.

Can you guarantee the make, model and colour of the vehicle I prefer?

Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Regrettably all our rental vehicles are subject to availability. We can’t guarantee the make or model of the vehicle as we often have varying models within the same category.

Colour? No, unfortunately not. We simply cannot guarantee the colour of your vehicle. But we’ll certainly try our hardest to accommodate any requests. So if (for example) you only drive black cars because of some odd Knight Rider obsession, we’ll do what we can to get what you want.

Be sure to ask our friendly counter staff at the time of collection and we’ll see what we can do for you.

Show more

Are there any additional charges to the rental?

Any additional charges such as underage surcharge, premium location surcharge (also known as an ‘airport service fee’) and optional extras are all included in your quote at the time of booking. Other extras such as refuelling or our pre-paid fuel service may be applicable at the completion of your rental. A surcharge of 2% +GST will apply when paying by credit card or overseas debit card.

How will I know if my booking is confirmed?

When you make an online booking we will send you a booking confirmation by email. This includes your booking number, details of your pickup and return location, as well as the price and other useful information. We advise that you print it out and take it with you when picking up your car to speed up the process.

Once I have made a booking, can I change the details of my booking?

You can modify your booking prior to the pickup date, altering your dates, times, vehicle type and additional extras. Just like airline sites, the daily rate may increase, so it’s best to ensure you get it right first time. If possible, please ensure any changes are at least 12 hours prior to your vehicle collection. Please note that if you’ve already collected the rental car and want to make a change, its best to contact the pick-up location. Refer to the contact details provided on your Rental Agreement.

Show more

Can I cancel my booking free of charge?

You can cancel your booking at anytime free of charge.  Please let us know about any cancellation as soon as possible, that way we can make the vehicle available for other customers.

Will a deposit bond be required upon collecting my vehicle?

Full payment is required upon pick up. We take a credit card or debit card for security purposes upon pick up. If you choose to pay by cash or EFTPOS, then we also take a $250 pre-authorisation on your credit card or debit card.

You must have an internationally recognised credit card – cash deposits are not accepted.  The credit card must be in the name of the authorised renter, and the credit card holder must be present at the time of collection. If you don’t have a credit card, click the following links to download a standard fleet authorisation form, a specialty fleet authorisation form or a Relocation authorisation form.

Show more

What credit card can I use?

You can use all the major credit cards and debit cards, providing they have the Visa/MasterCard emblem/logo on them. Please remember that the credit card holder must be present at the time of collection. The 2%+GST fee is calculated on the amount debited to your credit card or overseas debit card. Don’t have a credit card? Please use the following links to download an authorisation:
Standard fleet authorisation form
Specialty fleet authorisation
Relocation authorisation form.

Show more

Do I need to check the condition of the vehicle prior to leaving the keys at the counter?

Yes, but rest assured our trained staff will have already inspected the vehicle to the best of their ability prior to pick up. If you find a new apparent defect (not listed on the inspection sheet), then we encourage you to inform a Thrifty employee. A joint examination of the vehicle can then occur.

Renter's current responsibility

Ok, that’s a pretty big question. So, first you have a responsibility to your passengers and other vehicles on the road. Don’t be a dummy – obey the road rules and drive to the conditions. You’re also responsible for any infringements (yes, that includes speeding tickets) and toll charges. Then there are the insurance responsibilities that you have.

Show more

If I lock my keys in the vehicle am I covered by Road Side Assistance?

No. Roadside Assistance does not cover non-mechanical defects such as lost keys (or when you find your keys but they’re locked inside the car). The same goes for when the battery is flat due to the lights being left on, when you’ve got a puncture etc.

The good news is that you’re still eligible to receive assistance. But you’ll need to cover the call-out fee. Call AA on 0800 525 525.

Can I extend the rental duration?

Yes. Extending the rental duration is possible either at the time of check out or during the rental itself. Contact us or come in to the nearest location. Any extension will be subject to vehicle availability and additional payment.

What if I have an accident?

Our first concern if you are involved in an accident is your personal well-being. If you do happen to be involved in an accident, you should do the following:

  • First, check if anyone is injured. If emergency assistance is required, dial 111 for an ambulance.
  • If you’re not comfortable driving the vehicle, call Roadside Assistance on 0800 525 525. In any case, notify your nearest Thrifty branch.
  • Do not leave the vehicle without making sure it is safe.
  • Write down names and addresses of all people involved (including any witnesses).
  • Never admit liability. You may be in shock, and there is a huge range of factors that can contribute to an accident.

All vehicle repairs must be conducted with the formal approval of your nearest Thrifty branch.

Show more

What if I break down or need help on the road?

We provide free 24-hour mechanical Roadside Assistance. In an emergency, breakdown or accident call 0800 525 525.

Thrifty’s Roadside Assistance does not cover non-mechanical defects such as lost keys (or when you find your keys but they’re locked inside the car). The same goes for when the battery is flat due to the lights being left on, when you’ve got a puncture etc.

The good news is that you’re still eligible to receive assistance. But you’ll need to cover the call-out fee.

Show more

What refuelling options do I have?

Option One: Purchase our “Pre-paid Fuel” option. This enables you to pay in advance for a full tank of fuel, so you can bring the vehicle back empty without having to incur any additional cost. You’ll find that our Pre-paid Fuel rates are considerably cheaper per litre than what you’ll get at the pump, so take advantage and save time and money. Once purchased this option is non-refundable.

Option Two: If you don’t have time to stop for petrol and won’t be using a full tank, let us fill it up for you. You’ll be charged the location re-fuelling rate at the time of returning your vehicle, so please ask your counter staff upon collection.

Option Three: Make sure you go to a petrol station before returning your vehicle and bring it back full. This will avoid any additional re-fuelling charges

Show more

Can I return the vehicle outside the location operating hours?

Yes, you may return your vehicle when the Thrifty location is closed, to an alternative location. The vehicle will remain your responsibility until it has been checked by a Thrifty Representative.

What happens if I return the vehicle late?

We understand that even the best-laid plans can fail. So we offer a grace period of 59 minutes. We charge an hourly rate for 1 – 4 hours. Anything above 5 hours is considered a 1 rental day.

Are there any toll roads in New Zealand?

Yes. Travelling north of Auckland on the Northern Gateway requires a payment of $2.40 per car. Travelling on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road will incur a fee of $2.10 per car or Takitimu Drive Toll Road (Tauranga) is $1.90 per vehicle. You can pay online pre or post travel, or go here to find out where you can pay by cash. You will need the car licence plate details. And make sure you pay within 5 days to avoid those administration fees!

What are administration fees?

Thrifty charges an administration fee to cover the cost of the time involved to process the paperwork of an infringement. Infringements include speeding tickets, parking fines and unpaid toll fees. The administration fee is $28.75 per infringement.

If you’d like to avoid paying this fee, Thrifty suggests driving within the speed limit, parking legally and paying tolls in cash or online within 5 days of travel. If you do travel on a toll road and pay after this 5 day period, please scan and email a copy of your receipt so we can add this to your reservation.

Show more

I have feedback about the service I received. Who can I speak to about this?

We’d love to hear from you. Good feedback warms our hearts and bad feedback, well… it helps us correct any mistakes and ensures our service is the very best it can be.

If you’d like to provide feedback the best way is to visit the Contact Us section and complete the form there. One of our friendly team will then be in touch to ensure you’re happy with everything.

Is this the end of the FAQs?

Yes. Yes it is. But if we’ve missed something, we’d love to hear from you!