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Click this link to view our latest Summary Terms of Hire


Drivers and Hire

  • All drivers must be between 25 and 80 years of age
  • Full driving licence valid for New Zealand, held for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Use on unsealed roads, time trials, illegal activities etc is not permitted and voids insurance
  • No smoking or animals in the vehicles
  • All drivers are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the latest New Zealand Road Code before hire at We reserve the right to postpone or refuse hire if we have any reason to believe you are unfit to drive safely, e.g. undertaken a long haul flight within the last 24 hours.


All cars come with the following included in the price

  • Unlimited kilometres
  • GST (Goods and services tax)
  • Comprehensive insurance covering the South and North Islands. See below for excess reduction options:
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance Package
  • A personal familiarisation session and documentation, (pick ups outside of normal operating hours will be unattended)
  • A full tank of petrol – please return full with correct grade fuel


Bookings and Availability

  • A 20% deposit is required as soon as possible to secure your chosen dates and car.
  • The full amount of the hire charge must be paid normally 1 month prior to collection
  • Cancellation / no show charges apply, unless re-booked within 1 month of the original hire date:
   Date cancelled prior to hire commencement date % of the full hire fee due for payment
   Over 31 days prior 20%
   10-31 days prior 50%
   Less than 10 days 80%
  • No shows will be charged 100%, unless exceptional extenuating circumstances at our discretion.
  • Because we hire ‘one off’ vehicles it is possible that your chosen car may become unavailable for your selected dates at very short notice, e.g. due to essential repairs or parts delay. Should this happen, we will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible and offer an alternative if available, or a full refund.
  • All hire cars are subject to potential mechanical failure, and being older classics our cars may have a higher risk. Whilst covered by a comprehensive Roadside Assistance Package you may not be able to proceed to your original plans if issues arise. Signing our rental agreement waives RentAClassic and its officers from all claims, losses, damages or expenses for any adverse outcomes resulting from hire, accidents or mechanical issues by all in the hire party e.g. missed flights or accommodation, holiday curtailment, including if not a resident of New Zealand, waiving the right to commence any legal proceedings outside of New Zealand.
  • If your car does ‘fail to proceed’ solely due to its own fault, and cannot safely or legally be made roadworthy within 72 hours of recovery after breakdown, then the following will apply:
    • If you’re within 100km of one of our bases, RentAClassic will endeavour but make no guarantees to provide a suitable replacement vehicle from our fleet, if available for the remainder of your hire.
    • If not possible or not wanted, you have the option to:
      1. wait until roadworthy & continue the hire – we will refund you every 24 hour period out of action
      2. cancel the hire – we will refund you the balance of days remaining from the point of breakdown, and you will need to make your own onward journey arrangements.


 Please bring with you

  1. Photo ID driving licences of all parties intending to drive, in English. If not in English, an approved international driving licence translation must be shown along with your licence from your home country.
  1. Credit/debit card required to potentially cover insurance excess bond below, which can be reduced down to a minimum of $1000, ($1500 for those not on a New Zealand/Australian driving licence), and traffic infringement fines, (which carry an extra $100 administration charge). The bond is to ensure the car is returned in the condition it was hired, no deductions will be made without consultation.
  1. Minimal soft luggage! Storage space is limited, even a single ‘hard’ suitcase may not fit in some cars. Please enquire on exact dimensions – we can provide a luggage loan service if required.


Privacy Policy Statement

We collect personal information from you, including information about your:

  • name
  • contact information
  • location 
  • self assessment of how used to driving in New Zealand
  • computer or network
  • interactions with us
  • billing or purchase information*
  • Driving Licence Number*


We collect your personal information in order to:

  • communicate with you
  • charge for hire related matters*
  • ensure you are legally insured to drive*


Besides our staff, we share this information with:

    • our insurer in order to process a claim should the need arise*

* for our customers only

Providing some information is optional. If you choose not to supply driving licence details, we’ll be unable to hire out vehicles to you. 

You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong.

If you’d like to ask for a copy of your information, or to have it corrected, please contact us at [email protected], or 0210747105.

Planning the essentials...

Abso-blinkin’-lutely! Most car rental companies show you a swish generic photo and then qualify it with “or similar” alongside, and it turns out what you actually get is whatever they have in the yard at the time which may well not be the same spec, colour, model or even make. And you imagine they’re new, but you have no idea of, or say in, how old they are.


With RentAClassic we give you the exact car you see in our photos and a detailed description of it, so you know exactly what fun you’re getting into…

Some cars are 24 hours but for most it’s 48 hours. You can take the cars for less than those periods but you’ll still pay the minimum hire charge. Note in the December to March peak period we reserve the right to set the minimum period to 48 hours for all vehicles, but do discuss your specific requirements with us as it depends on a number of factors.

Cars are in four different price bands – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, with some price differences within those bands. Charging is for 24 hour periods and the price shown on the website is at the standard insurance excess. This can be reduced to a minimum excess for an extra daily fee. The price shown in the ‘days boxes’ is the daily rate you pay for within that specific period, not the overall daily rate if you hire for that number of days. So if you hire for 6 days, you’d pay the daily rate in the 1-2 days box for the first 2 days, plus the daily rate in the days 3-5 box for the next 3 days, plus the daily rate in the days 6-9 box for the 6th day. Rates are a lot cheaper in the Low Season (normally May – October) than the High (normally November to April).

Yes and yes! Hires over ten 24 hour periods and those taken in the off peak season, (normally May – October), get very tasty discounts.

The price shown on the website is the daily charge for that specific hire period at the standard insurance excess/deductible, ($3000 – $5000 depending on the car). This is under most circumstances, the maximum amount you would be liable for if the car was not returned in the condition it went out in, but it could be more if there was significantly negligent, irresponsible or illegal behaviour involved. This can optionally be reduced to a minimum excess, ($1000 for NZ/Australian driving licence holders, $1500 for all others), for an extra daily fee, ($25 – $45 depending on the car), so it’s all about your attitude to risk. We don’t provide a zero excess option for any of our specialist cars, but check your travel insurance / credit card policies as some may cover hire car excess up to certain amounts.

All our hires are by appointment only and we need an absolute minimum of 24 – 48 hours notice. Both our Christchurch and Nelson bases are no more than 10 minute taxi rides from their respective airports, Auckland is 20 minutes, and you can find the addresses here.  Please note none of them are drop in offices.

Once arranged, if you find yourself running more than 15 minutes late from the stated collection time, please give us a call on 0210747105, as we may have other hires to attend to. You’ll need to allow around 10-15 minutes for paperwork & your personal familiarisation session with your car.

Licences of all those wanting to drive must be presented for sighting at or prior to car collection.

The fact our cars are one offs mean they each have a specific home base. And that means for some situations we may have the right car in the wrong location for you. Again just ask as we may well be able to oblige if the hire is over 5 days, though you’ll incur a relocation fee as Christchurch and Nelson are 5 hours drive apart. Still that’s better than hiring the wrong car in the right location now isn’t it? Note we very rarely relocate South Island based cars to Auckland and vice versa though. 

Sometimes yes but mainly only for hires of at least 6 days, and less likely in the high season (Dec-Mar) or if they’re not places where we have bases (Auckland, Nelson & Christchurch). We can potentially accommodate drop off to Queenstown for hires over 10 days though. As per most rental companies, you will incur a one way hire charge.

(Almost) anywhere in New Zealand! All our cars are insured for both the North and South Islands, with unlimited km included in the price, so you don’t have to worry about keeping half an eye on the odometer and racking up extra costs on long trips. And that includes the older cars – the 1970s Alfa Spider & MG BGT have both done mega trips round the South Island for customers travelling thousands of trouble free km. The only place you can’t take them is on unsealed / gravel roads, beaches or race tracks. Short gravel car parks or driveways to accommodation, wineries etc are fine though.

Oh yes – we do escorted ‘Swap & Go’ Day, Half Day or Multi Day Trips where we go out in small groups on preset dates and routes from Nelson around the Top of the South Island, and drivers can potentially drive up to 5 different cars on amazing roads – how cool is that? See for more details – we can do custom dates too.

Yes indeed we do do chauffeur private driver services including South Island Tours, based out of Nelson, and you’ll be able to chose any of our cars to be driven around in. Please find out more here if you’re interested.


Yes potentially subject to availability, time of year and providing not within the minimum 24 hour hire period, but it will likely be more expensive than if you had the same price band car for the whole period. If you’re doing a South Island loop for instance, you may be able pick one car up in Nelson, drop off in Christchurch, pick another up there and drop off back in Nelson if over a certain minimum period, but you are likely to incur one way hire charges.

Yes we do! They can be for any amount making a fantastic ‘something different’ present for anniversaries, birthdays, extra special thank you’s, and can be used on any car in any location, subject to availability, valid for 12 months. Also great for when you’re not sure of the dates the lucky recipient wants to enjoy their treat or which car they might prefer. Sure beats getting socks or soaps!

Reticent partner needs convincing? Help reassure all their objections....

If you want an ordinary holiday, sure…but if you want a special one, choose one of our cars for the same reasons you’d choose say a boutique luxury hotel by the beach over an anonymous cookie cutter motel in the ‘burbs, or take a slow luxuriant outdoor bath under the stars when you could have a quick power shower indoors.

For the experience, the adventure, the pampering, the memories, because you want to live a little and it’s different.

In our convertibles you can see, hear, smell, feel more at one with the landscape, not just to travel through the place cocooned away in a tin box, you’ll experience views and sensations others can’t. And we hear many times of how our unique cars sparked admiring conversations with the locals, and how our clients found out a little bit more of what it is to be a kiwi than they might have otherwise. 

Are you sure about that, as sometimes they can be, but most of the time they’re actually very well used indeed.

And the picture on their website might be all swanky and glossy, but they don’t give you that car – you almost certainly won’t get that colour or spec and you’ll most likely actually get a completely different model and car, in fact it’s a complete lottery.

With RentAClassic, the car you chose from our website is the exact one you get. And we describe all it’s features, quirks and irks up front, so you know what you’re getting…the exact car you want, not that not so new one the normal rental companies want you to have…

Premium quality and exclusivity always is, but hey you’re worth it. Classic sports cars and convertibles like these are rarely available for hire worldwide, let alone in New Zealand, and consider this:

One meal at a nice restaurant for two = $100 to $200, all over in 90 minutes and now you feel sleepy

One night at nice accommodation for two = $150 to $800+, over in 12 hours and hey you slept through most of it

One day in our seriously nice sports / convertible cars for two (or three or four) = $90 to $400,  all yours for 24 hours and wow, did you feel alive and special….

You’ll spend so many more waking hours holidaying in your rental car – so choose it wisely!

Sssh, don’t say that, they’ll go all prima donna on us….but seriously, we can’t deny the risk of mechanical issues is greater than that of a nearly new rental car. However the older cars actually have far less complicated electronics to go wrong and all our cars are maintained to a high standard, (we drive our own family and friends around in them too). A comprehensive roadside assistance package is all inclusive and in over ten years of operation and 1350+ hire days, on only six occasions have our cars failed to proceed. For instance, our 1975 Alfa Spider has done a 23 day South Island tour with no issues, and the MG BGT has done a 9 day tour from Nelson down to Queenstown and back quite happily, and “didn’t miss a beat” appears quite a few times in its testimonials. Unlike any other rental company we actually state the number of failures to proceed openly on our stats banner.

Should our cars have problems though, you can call NZRA on 0508 69 7623. Their roadside assistance service is available 24/7 but note in remoter parts they may take several hours to reach you. If the car cannot be fixed at the roadside you will be towed to the nearest garage en route. You then have the option to wait for repairs or cancel the hire. We will assist you in finding an alternative hire car and refund all remaining hire days if our car is at fault.

We can understand the concern with older cars, and let’s face it, for older Italian cars in particular, does everything electrical work OK?!
Whilst we can’t promise you absolutely everything works perfectly as the factory intended, be assured we do take particular care and pride in our cars whatever the age. On our pre 1990 vehicles we often upgrade them beyond what the factory provided, with such things as inertia reel seat belts, improved starting and cooling, and high level brake lights. Obviously they all have to pass a 6 monthly Certificate of Fitness safety check as any modern rental vehicle has to. And given our families use them too, we strive that all the safety and comfort essentials, plus most of the non essentials, are kept in good working order, with reliability paramount.
So that means where fitted, you should find the aircon blowing nice and cool, all the electric windows going down and up, all the dials working, and the CD multi-changer blasting out your favourite tunes….though if they’re not from this list, you’ve clearly got the wrong tunes….

Well, you definitely will be in summer! But seriously, all our modern classics have aircon with very effective heating and insulation from the elements. The Saab, Chrysler, BMW and VW convertibles all have double layer mohair roof, climate control and heated leather front seats for nice toasty buns. And aircon in a convertible isn’t so daft, as some summer days can get a bit too toasty to always have the roof down.

The 70’s classics obviously aren’t going to be up to the same standard, but you won’t exactly be roughing it. The seats are supportive rather than saggy, and whilst the heating is somewhat parsimonious in some, you’ll always be snug and dry, although the odd drop of water might get in from some angles if particularly heavy rain is encountered.  Their ride will definitely be bouncier and the wind and engine noise a fair bit more intrusive than modern cars, which along with no power steering might be factors to consider on longer trips if comfort is at a premium for you. However they’re maintained and presented to a very high standard both inside and out, and are very nice places to spend many hours cruising in, we’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at their levels of comfort and usability.

“My wife was nervous about the convertibles being noisy and cold – but neither were the case. And every time the sun came out, she was saying ‘let’s put the top down!” Chris NZ

Yes, no and yes. That’s all part of the glorious experience, although some of them do have wind deflectors that significantly reduce the buffeting, some do have heated front seats that significantly toast your buns, and all do have heaters….

Or you could wear a hat or scarf.

Or just keep the roof up.

But that would be missing the point….and the blue sky and warm sun and stunning scenery…..

“My wife was nervous about the convertibles being noisy and cold – but neither were the case. And every time the sun came out, she was saying ‘let’s put the top down!” Chris NZ

Remember they’re all still entertaining sports cars with the roof up or down.

But as for your chances of getting sunny warm weather here – are they good? No…..they’re great! Especially at the top of the South Island with Nelsons enviable Mediterranean sunny climate, averaging just 7 rainy days per month. Spring there, (Sep-Nov) can be a bit variable but has plenty of mild blue sky days. Summer (Dec-Feb) it’s normally blue skies daily and peachy warm, with average high temps around 75F, when obviously our convertibles are in highest demand. Autumn (Mar-May) takes a long time before the sunny days aren’t the norm and you can still get the odd one even in Winter, although you’ll want to be wearing the beanie! But that’s the thing, all our convertibles have heaters, you can get their roofs up or down in max 25 seconds on any car, and with the exception of our pre 90’s cars, they all have ice cold air con for the odd occasion when it really is too hot to go roof down. 

But if you’re questioning whether you’ll get value for money roof down time from your convertible hire, well chances are between November & April you almost certainly will – just remember to wear the sun hats and sun block though!  


Hey come on dude, get a bit more secure in your manhood, why should the ladies get all the fun? If you need some more reasoned justification, read this article. Of course, if you’re really struggling, you can always keep the roof up and your shades on until you’re sure you’re well out of civilisation….but we quite understand if you take either MG BGT coupe, or the JCW Mini sir…..if that’s not too girly for you….

Alternatively you could take the Lexus SC430, which is a very classy coupe…..with the added capability to go roof down when you’re sure no one is looking…..trouble is with our cars, that’s unlikely….


You might be pleasantly surprised, especially if you use multiple soft bags. It’s true road tests on sports cars rarely rave about their copious amounts of luggage space, but if you must bring most of your wardrobe with room for a case of Pinot Noir, then it’s the Alfa Brera you probably want. Surprisingly the 1970s classics are pretty accommodating too, as are all the 4 seater convertibles if there are just 2 of you, but for all the cars we recommend you bring multiple soft luggage anyway, as many have odd shaped spaces that mean hard suitcases rarely work. Look on their individual pages for exact dimensions, but we can send you sample pics to help see if you can fit everything in.

Taller drivers, i.e. those much over 6 foot, may struggle to get comfortable in some cars, especially the older Alfa Spiders, MG and surprisingly the Jaguar XK8 convertible. With the 1975 Spider S2, legroom is the issue due to a large un-adjustable steering wheel and forward angled pedals. With the Jaguar XK8 convertible it’s not overly generous on either headroom or legroom, mainly due to limited seat travel. The Saab 9-3, Chrysler PT Cruiser, VW Beetle and BMW 650 convertibles can all comfortably seat 4 adults, so long as those in the back aren’t over 6 foot. The Mini convertible is probably more realistically a 3 seater although it can take 4, but no convertible can accommodate 5. Please discuss prior to booking if you have any concerns.

We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised again. Obviously if you’re not used to stick shift you won’t want the manual variety. The 1970s cars don’t have assisted steering or braking but the clutches aren’t unduly heavy and they’re fine at keeping up with modern traffic. You might need a bit of time to get smooth at those gear changes and remember to operate the choke from cold, but any initial anxieties fade away pretty quickly with use. Plus we tell you all about their little idiosyncrasies and leave you with comprehensive documentation.

The cars at the other end of the performance scale are also quite happy with docile town driving and won’t bite your foot off when you go anywhere near the right pedal….but they can make some very appealing noises when revved though.

Our cars from the 90’s onwards have most of the modern safety features we now take for granted e.g. ABS, driver and passenger air bags, side impact bars, and more. Cars from the 70’s will have more basic safety features, though most do come with inertia reel safety belts plus high level brake lights. We list all the safety features of each car on its website page. The main driver safety aid is always you the driver though, and as part of your familiarisation session on the older cars we will advise on such essentials as allowing extra time and distance for braking, and switching on headlights early before twilight so you can be more easily seen. Note all our cars have to pass the 6 monthly Certificate of Fitness (CoF) test just like any other New Zealand rental car, to ensure their road worthiness for hire.

If you’re touring the South Island, we’d question whether you need GPS/Sat Nav as there are basically 3 main routes up and down – the East Coast, the West Coast and down the middle! However we do have one you can hire for meandering and finding your way around the odd city, along with a Bluetooth Portable Speaker that can play your SmartPhone music or podcast collection….or better still, ours….we could say something about the rasping engine note being melodious enough, but we agree, great music is a road trip essential!

Neither had I until late 2012 when I started the business, but I suspect what you’re really asking is can you trust us. RentAClassic is a small but growing family owned registered limited company No. 5970874. Our Transport Service Licence No. 246497 means we’re officially registered with the New Zealand Transport Agency to provide rental car services, and jolly good ones at that.

Our ethos is to responsibly share the joys of sports and convertible motoring in this fabulous country. We love hearing the squeals of delight on first sight of the surprise present, or seeing the very large grins when we ask ‘ so how was your trip then?’. We take care to ensure the cars are maintained and presented in great mechanical and cosmetic condition as we use them ourselves too. We have a very personal approach in all we do. For instance we don’t just chuck the keys at you and point in the general direction of the car park, we show you all the cars features, help you get comfy and provide you with documentation on all that we’ve shown you and more. And we want to ensure you come back more than satisfied.

The best way to judge us though is from what our customers say – they speak volumes here

And we’re pretty proud of our TripAdvisor ratings for Auckland, Nelson and Christchurch too.

Heck so are we, no just joking! We want our cars are shared to be enjoyed and if we couldn’t cope with the risk of them getting damaged we wouldn’t hire them out. Of course that means responsible enjoyment and we ask you take all reasonable care of them, but we realise mistakes by you and others can happen. So all our cars come with a standard insurance excess, that you can elect to reduce your liability for by paying an extra daily charge.


We hired the 1993 S4 Alfa for a grand tour of the South Island, starting in Nelson and finishing in Queenstown, including a trip out to Milford Sound and back. Before we started we had the usual concerns. Although the car is a modern classic, it’s still more than 25 years old. And it is an Alfa. During the selection process, we narrowed our focus to the S4 and the Saab 9-3. The Alfa appealed to the heart; the Saab appealed to the head. In the end, the heart won, and we were glad it did. Although the Saab 9-3 is surely a wonderful tourer, it doesn’t have the soul of the Alfa. Roof down, on some of the best roads in the country, there is little to match it in relaxed style, if not speed. 

Speaking of which, in the Alfa, allowing that little extra time is worth it. Think of it as wearing your favourite dress shoes. Sure, you might walk quicker in sportswear, but the experience won’t be the same. The Alfa isn’t slow, just classy. 

The driving position is adequate, which, for an Alfa, is actually a compliment. I’m 6’2″ and my wife is 5’8″, and we were both able to get comfortable in the car. Sure, it was a bit of a squeeze for me, and the pedals are offset in the classic Italian way, but in over 1,000 miles of driving we didn’t stop because we were uncomfortable in the car.

Of course, there were testing moments; in particular when facing historic rain whilst driving over the Milford Pass to Milford Sound. But the little Alfa was plucky and never skipped a beat. That said, for the very wettest moments it was helpful to have a towel to hand, to catch the stray droplets that forced their way in. But remember, we were facing historic rain in one of the wettest places on earth, so cut the S4 some slack okay. Uh oh, I’m getting defensive and am starting to sound like Jeremy Clarkson or James May. 

But seriously, if you are thinking about the S4, then you’re already half way there. It’s a fabulous little car and I whole-heartedly recommend it. Sure, it has its quirks but these are characterful, rather than characterless. Most importantly, we never felt any concern about the engine or handling. In that, it puts some modern cars to shame. So, if, like us, you are deciding between a “safe” and “fun” choice, go with fun every day of the week. (If you’re still not convinced, you should probably go with “safe”; it’s probably for the best.)

Finally, a word about the hiring experience. Pick up was extremely easy and, even though it was effectively in a back yard of a house, was appropriately professional. Our host ran through the car’s systems and the contract was just like one you might find at a large rental outfit. Drop off was similarly easy; we dropped off the car at a different location from where we started but the process was smooth and trouble-free. 

All in all, a great experience!

Pete and Amy

“My wife was nervous about the convertibles being noisy and cold – but neither were the case. And every time the sun came out, she was saying ‘let’s put the top down!” Chris NZ

Read more of our genuine customer testimonials here.

OK we've booked - what next?

NZ police strictly enforce speed limits, (and we mean strictly), but of course you can have a lot of fun getting up to them. Use of alcohol, drugs or mobile phones whilst driving are all complete no nos. Any traffic offences issued directly to RentAClassic will incur severe raised eyebrows plus a $100 admin charge in addition to the penalty, as an incentive to play responsibly. If you return the vehicle damaged by someone else where you weren’t at fault, your excess may not recovered from the insurance company for many months. If you’re involved in a single vehicle accident i.e. no other parties involved, or were found to be breaching any terms of hire, you may face costs substantially more than your excess. We will advise prior to deducting any money from your excess bond though.

  • New Zealand roads are different so….
  • Please read our Safe Driving Tips
  • Rest for 24 hours before collecting your car if you’ve just stepped off a long haul flight
  • Don’t try and cram in too much – driving distances between cities can be deceptively long….
  • You can get the classic New Zealand 4 seasons weather in the same day, so drive appropriately to the conditions e.g. if it’s sunny, jolly well get the roof down….and wear hats and sun block!

Insurance Excess and Liability Options

1972 MG BGT1999 Saab 9-3 Convertible1996 Jaguar XK81975 Alfa Spider S21993 Alfa Spider S42005 Lexus SC4302009 Alfa Spider 3.2
Standard Excess$5000$4000$5000$5000$4500$5000$5000
Reduce to $1000
($ per 24 hours)
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