Rental companies may charge extra for drivers aged under 25, normally payable when you pick up your car. Age restrictions may apply in certain locations. Check the rental company's website before booking.

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Car rental in Palmerston North

Driving around Palmerston North is an easy way to see the best sights of the city. It’s also an easy way to explore the North Island on your own schedule. Head to Whanganui and wonder at the South Taranaki Bight, drive down to the capital, or head north-east to Napier and see all the beauty in-between.

Where to hire a car in Palmerston North

The first place you’ll find to pick up a vehicle is through the car rental at Palmerston North Airport. Here, you’ll find 6 companies offering rental cars: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Rad Car Hire and Thrifty. These are found just inside the terminal building.

If you’re only looking for a rental car for a couple of days and prefer not to get it from the airport, you can find more car hire offices on the outskirts of Palmerston North CBD and further out along Rangitikei Street.

What to expect when driving in Palmerston North

Because of the grid pattern of Palmy, it’s easy to navigate around the city. Should you become lost, it’s easy to correct your route and get to your intended destination.

Palmerston North has easy access to State Highways 1, 2 and 3 (as well as a few in the 50s), which connect most of the major cities in the North Island.

Popular road trips from Palmerston North

Palmerston North to Wellington

Wellington is one of New Zealand’s most popular spots, and with good reason. From Palmerston North, it’s a 2-hour drive south along Highways 56, 57 and 1. This drive takes you along forests for most of the trip, as well as a stretch alongside the water of Cook Strait. Because there’s so much to see and do in the capital, it’s recommended that you book a hotel in Wellington and stay for a few days.

Palmerston North to Whanganui

Whanganui, which means ‘big bay’ in Maori, is an hour north of Palmy, situated on the South Taranaki Bight. The drive follows State Highway 3 the whole way, which you can get onto in the heart of Palmerston North. As well as the water views, there are plenty of national parks near Whanganui if you want to pack your hiking boots.

Palmerston North to Napier

Napier is more than 2 hours from Palmerston North, and for most drivers the start of a road trip rather than a day trip. Located in Hawke’s Bay, Napier combines beautiful views with close proximity to the area’s much-loved vineyards.

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Please note: all information is correct as of December 2018.

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