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How to get a cooler rental car in NZ than Top Gear did….

In case you haven’t seen TV show Top Gear’s latest New Zealand challenge, the official trailer reveals it wasn’t a pretty sight…..for car rental companies that is. Presenter Jeremy Clarkson races an Americas Cup yacht through what he describes as “the prettiest country in the world”, but he does spend a bit of time filling out accident forms. And his car for the race isn’t the normal Italian stallion or British bulldog supercar you’d expect, but rather some “little blue hatchback” definitely not cooler rental car…. Come on New Zealand, surely we can do better than this? Now, if they’d have opted for the top of the South Island to do their challenge where RentAClassic is based….

You cannot always get what you want….

Ideally the rental car we’d all really, really want probably would be an exotic like a Ferrari, Aston, Lamborghini but hiring one might bring some challenges of its own. Firstly the insurance excess would probably pay the deposit on a small flat in the city you hired it from, you’d likely be deported for the number of speeding tickets you’d rack up before you even made it into third gear, and where exactly are you going to put a case of Marlborough’s finest Sauvignon Blanc, let alone all that holiday luggage? Plus you’d probably be sleeping in the thing and avoiding parking within five kilometres of any other cars, half terrified of your uberchariot picking up any dings or scratches that don’t trouble Mr Clarkson much but would mean bang goes your deposit on that small flat – not exactly relaxing. Back in the real world, the little blue hatchback is starting to make some sense.

Emotional Rescue…

However you’re having a holiday, not doing an accountancy exam. Surely an extraordinary country, a country the same Mr Clarkson, who’s been around the world a bit, describes as “absolutely stunning, bite-the-back-of-your-hand-to-stop-yourself-from-crying-out-lovely”, deserves a cut above hire car? Surely you want something different, stimulating, fun to drive, not the same experience as your weekly commute to work, something that makes you feel special, without breaking the bank? Why not treat yourself to a pristine original 1972 MGB GT sports car, or an effortlessly cool, velvet glove like 1999 Saab 9-3 full four seater convertible for instance?

After all, on holiday, you take care to chose which specific accommodation you want to stay in, which individual restaurant you want to eat in – why let the rental company decide the lottery of which ‘group C or similar’ rental car you’ll get? With RentAClassic you chose the exact cool rental car you want, and get it.

And what about some musical accompaniment? You’re on your dream touring holiday or road trip, the scenery and feeling of escapism is stirring your soul, you know just the music to make the perfect backing soundtrack but…..what a shame, your CD collection wouldn’t fit in the baggage allowance…..or more annoyingly, it did, but the rental car has a tape player……or even more annoyingly, it does have a CD player but it’s broken. Assuming the radio does work, it’s practically Crowded House or nothing then……(Top Gear joke….actually Bic Runga, The Black Seeds and Minuit do come highly recommended too).

Start me up…

RentAClassic might have older cars but we bring them bang up to date with our Bring Your Own SoundTracks system. It’s a clever lead that let’s you plug in any digital media player with a standard headphone socket like a SmartPhone or iPod, and play your entire music library be it Sibelious or Stones, (you may have spotted our preference), through our cars stereos – even the original 1970s radio in our MG BGT! How Daddy Cool is that? We even recommend the best tracks to complement the cars, though of course you can choose your own, if you must.

And then there’s the choice of alternative ‘normal’ rental cars, of which the vast majority here will be Toyotas or Nissans or Toyotas or fridges or Toy……sorry I can’t always tell the difference. Mr Clarkson didn’t seem to know what his “little red hatchback, whatever you are” rental car was either, (yes it did change colour). And whilst most are eminently reliable they’re not exactly known for well, their individual character or driving pleasure. So why not drive something different, live a little and choose a sports or convertible cooler rental car instead? New Zealand has a serious amount of sunshine and loads of fantastic scenic, driving roads – this video takes you on a three minute ‘hyperdrive’ sample round the islands so you can see for yourself – pretty uncrowded eh? RentAClassic is one of a select few small independent specialist businesses hiring out characterful cars that can go all over New Zealand. Yes one way hires are unlikely and you do have to get to Nelson but at most that’s one and a half hours flight from any of New Zealands international airports, and an incredibly inviting destination in itself. And if you’re concerned about reliability, all our cars are looked after to the standard we’d want for our family, because that’s who gets the fun of driving around in them when you’re not. Plus a full roadside recovery is included in our hire charge along with unlimited kilometres, for a truly relaxing package. And finally we give you a personal familiarisation session with your car along with documentation to take away, in case you got distracted by the amazing scenery instead.


Yes you can rent cheaper, newer and dare I say, more convieniently located cars than ours, even though we’re surprisingly affordable. But given you’re likely to spend as much time on holiday in your rental car as in your accommodation, why shouldn’t it make you feel it’s just as much a treat and as special as the rest of your glorious New Zealand getaway? It did for these happy customers:

“A wonderful weekend in a fantastic car…..would highly recommend”  MH, Wellington

“That’s one dream ticked off the bucket list! A car that needs to, (and deserves to), be driven….” CA, Nelson

So really, Top Gear could have done better with their car of choice – with RentAClassic, you can. And yes our cars do even have room for several cases of wine, sorry, luggage as well…..

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