7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]
7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]

9 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]

© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Which Car Hire to Choose on Rarotonga?

Rarotonga is not just an island to sit in your resort all day (although, have you seen the resorts?! – it’s pretty tempting). It’s an island to get out and explore with amazing beaches, eateries, historical sites, island hikes and more along the road. Make sure you get to all the hotspots, as well as find the hidden gems, by hiring a car on Rarotonga. Don’t know which car hire to choose? Luckily, we’ve made a complete comparison of all of the car rental companies on Rarotonga so you know all your options! First, get a few tips for comparing Rarotonga car rentals…

5 Things to Look For When Comparing Car Rentals on Rarotonga

Before we dive into our comparison of the car hires on Rarotonga, know what to look for with these car rental comparison tips.

1. Location

Contrary to popular belief, not all cars need to be rented from Rarotonga International Airport (which incurs an extra fee in most instances). Most car rental companies on Rarotonga offer free delivery to your accommodation, so it may work out cheaper to get an airport transfer to your chosen accommodation and only rent a vehicle once you’re ready to drive! Check out more ways to shave the cents off your car rental in the 10 Ways to Save Money on Car Rental in the Cook Islands.

2. Prices and Inclusions

Car rental companies on Rarotonga have very similar basic inclusions. There are a few subtle differences in price, however, when it comes to the cost of extra drivers and airport pick-up, while some rental companies don’t even provide basic inclusions like roadside assistance. We make sure to list inclusions in the comparison below. Due to the fluctuating rental rates, these are not listed below, but average rates can be found in The Cost of Renting a Car in Rarotonga: Full Car Rental Cost Breakdown.

3. Vehicles Offered

Rarotonga’s car rental companies tend to have a generous offering of vehicle types. The size of your vehicle will matter depending on how many people are travelling in the vehicle. However, due to the short journeys you’ll be taking on the coastal road, as well as the low speed limits, you don’t have much reason to hire touring vehicles. Just stick to something that complements your budget. Or, you know, you could treat yourself to a convertible, BMW or VW Beetle “just ’cause”. Learn more about what it is like to drive in our guide, How to Drive in Rarotonga + 10 Road Rules.

4. Service

Once you have picked one or two car rental companies to compare, give them an email or a phone call and ask them a few questions. See how helpful they are in their answers. This little test will give you an idea of how helpful the company will be should anything go wrong during your trip.

5. Payment Options

Nowadays, not everyone wants to have a Visa or MasterCard credit card. If that’s the case for you, double-check which car rental companies accept other payment methods. Note that most car rental companies on Rarotonga require a bond payment, which is typically a pre-authorisation (block) for credit cards. Learn more about paying for things in What is the Best Way to Pay in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?.

7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Polynesian Rental Cars & Bikes

Offering one of the most comprehensive fleets of cars, scooters and bicycles on Rarotonga, not to mention having a presence seemingly everywhere, Polynesian Rental Cars & Bikes is simply one of the most convenient car rentals on Rarotonga. Vehicles are kept to a high standard, while free accommodation pick-up/drop-off is a welcome addition. See more scooter rentals in Scooter Hire in Rarotonga: Where to Rent, Cost & More.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

St Joseph Road Avarua, Aroa Beach, Edgewater Resort & Spa, Rarotonga International Airport, Titikaveka & Wash Bay*, Mairie Nui Drive Avarua*, Club Raro Resort* and Muri Beach*.

* Available depending on visitor numbers

One-way rentals are available. They also offer free pick-up and drop-off to accommodations.

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Polynesian Rental Cars include scooters, convertibles, small cars, medium cars, people-movers, SUVs and minivans. Most vehicles are automatic with the exception of minivans.

  • Yamaha Mio 125cc Scooter or similar
  • Yamaha Cygnus-ZR 125cc Scooter or similar
  • Mini Cooper Convertible or similar
  • Mazda Axela or similar
  • Toyota IST or similar
  • Toyota Sienta or similar
  • Toyota Voxy or similar
  • Honda CRV or similar
  • Toyota Hiace or similar
  • Fat-tyre mountain bikes – See Where to Rent Bikes & E-Bikes

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old) – additional drivers are NZ$1 per day
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Basic insurance

Insurance

Insurance is included in car rentals with third-party liability and collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,500. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$0 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$20 a day. For scooters, the third-party liability and collision damage waiver has an excess of NZ$500 and can’t be reduced.

7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Avis

The international car rental giant Avis has a presence on Rarotonga, renting cars out of Muri Beach and Rarotonga International Airport. Their rental vehicles are kept to a high standard, ranging from small hatchbacks to more spacious SUVs. While they offer roadside assistance, they lack a few other services that other car rentals on Rarotonga are offering, such as free accommodation delivery.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Rarotonga International Airport and Pacific Resort Rarotonga (Main Road, Muri).

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Avis include small cars, medium cars, people-movers, SUVs and minivans. Most vehicles are automatic with the exception of some minivans.

  • Toyota Yaris or similar
  • Toyota Corolla Hatch or similar
  • Toyota Corolla SW or similar
  • Toyota Rav4 or similar
  • Toyota Noah or similar
  • Toyota Hiace or similar

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (21+ years old)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Basic insurance

Insurance

Insurance is included in car rentals with a collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,000. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$0 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$8.70-$15 a day.

7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Island Car & Bike Hire

Whether you’re looking for the cheapest car on the island or a luxury car that will be the envy of all your friends, Island Car & Bike Hire has the vehicle to suit! Ride around in a photo-worthy VW Beetle, Nissan Micra convertible or Suzuki Scooter or opt for something more practical like a Toyota Passo or Ford Escape. If you’re looking for a family car, baby seats are available to hire for a small fee. They also have a price match guarantee.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Avarua (opposite Punanga Nui Market), Muri Beach (opposite Muri Beachcomber) and Arorangi (opposite Maniua Beach Resort).

They also offer free pick-up and drop-off to accommodations. Airport pick-up and drop-off are available for a “small” fee.

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Island Car & Bike Hire include scooters, motorcycles, small cars, medium to large cars, convertibles, people-movers and minivans. They also have a luxury fleet. Most vehicles are automatic with the exception of minivans.

  • Suzuki AN 125cc Scooter
  • Suzuki GN 125cc Motorcycle
  • Toyota Passo or similar
  • Toyota Vitz or similar
  • Toyota Wish or similar
  • Honda Oydessy or similar
  • Nissan Micra or similar
  • Ford Escape or similar
  • Toyota Hiace or similar
  • Chrysler PT Cruisers
  • BMW Z3
  • BMW 318
  • VW Beetle
  • Toyota Altezza

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old) – additional drivers are NZ$2 per day
  • Child and baby seats (NZ$2 a day)
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Insurance is included in car rentals with third-party liability and collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,500. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$500/$0 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$13/$19 a day. For scooters and motorcycles, the excess rate can be reduced to NZ$1,000/$0 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$5/$19 a day.

7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Pacific Cars

There’s no risk of being overwhelmed with the offering from this small locally owned company. Pacific Cars have all the vehicles most travellers actually need for travelling around Rarotonga: small to medium cars, scooters and e-bikes. The car rentals and insurance are transparent with no hidden costs while boasting competitive prices. The only downside is that they only have one location (or the airport for a fee) and don’t offer free accommodation deliveries.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Muri (opposite the driveway to the Muri Beach Club Hotel).

Airport pick-up and drop-off are available for a fee (around NZ$30).

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Pacific Cars include scooters, small cars, medium cars, people-movers and e-bikes. All vehicles have automatic transmission.

  • Honda Vision 125cc Scooter
  • Nissan March or similar
  • Toyota Ractis or similar
  • Nissan Serena or similar
  • E-bikes – See Where to Rent Bikes & E-Bikes

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (21+ years old) – additional drivers are NZ$10 per day
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Basic insurance

Insurance

Insurance is included in car rentals with third-party liability and collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,000. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$500 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$10 a day.

7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Raro Cars

Among some of the cheapest car rentals on the island, Raro Cars offers a wide range of vehicles for highly competitive prices. In fact, they offer a price match guarantee! Cars are cheaper per day the longer you rent them, with discounted rates taking effect after three days and cheaper again after seven. They also offer further discounts for long-term rentals (30 days). Although cars are, understandably, a little old, they are well-groomed and maintained after each rental. Plus, roadside assistance is included at least. See more car rentals like this in The Cheapest Car Rentals in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Avatiu Avarua (opposite the Avatiu Harbour).

Airport pick-up and drop-off are available. They also offer a free pick-up and drop-off service at accommodations.

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Raro Cars include small cars, medium cars, SUVs, people-movers and minivans. There is a mix of manual and automatic transmissions, so be sure to ask for your preferred option.

  • Toyota Passo, Toyota Vitz or similar
  • Toyota Avensis, Nissan Wingroad, Toyota Fielder, Honda Airwave or similar
  • Toyota Mark X, Toyota Crown, Nissan Teana and Honda Sedan Inspire or similar
  • Nissan Serena, Honda Odyssey, Mazda Premacy, Honda Stream, VW Golf Tourun or similar
  • Jin Bei Haise, Foton, Changan Karavaan or similar
  • Foton Transor, BAW or similar

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (21+ years old)
  • Child and baby seats (NZ$3 a day)
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Insurance is included in car rentals with a collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,000. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$500/$10 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$10/$20 a day.

7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Rarotonga Rentals

One of the rare car rental companies on Rarotonga offering hybrid vehicles, Rarotonga Rentals is a good choice for those wishing to travel a little greener. They also offer scooter, motorcycle, car and van hire, while their depot opposite Rarotonga International Airport means that they offer airport rentals at no extra cost! Rarotonga Rentals is also a good go-to for younger drivers with a limited driving age of 18 years old. Note that they charge a small administration fee for car bookings online (under NZ$10).

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Rarotonga International Airport (located across the road) and Tapere (between Muri Beach and Titikaveka).

Free airport pick-up and drop-off are available. They also offer a free pick-up and drop-off service at accommodations.

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Rarotonga Rentals include scooters, motorcycles, hybrids, small cars, medium cars, SUVs, convertibles, people-movers and minivans. Most vehicles are automatic with the exception of minivans.

  • Suzuki AN 125cc Scooter
  • Suzuki GN 125cc Motorcycle
  • Toyota Auris Hybrid or similar
  • Toyota Passo or similar
  • Toyota Vitz or similar
  • Toyota Wish or similar
  • Honda Oydessy or similar
  • Nissan Micra or similar
  • Ford Escape or similar
  • Toyota Hiace or similar

Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old) – additional drivers are NZ$2 per day
  • Child and baby seats (NZ$2 a day)
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Insurance is included in car rentals with third-party liability and collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,500. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$500/$10 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$13/$19 a day. For scooters and motorcycles, the excess rate can be reduced to NZ$1,000/$0 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$5/$19 a day.

7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Sweet As Car Rentals

While offering a decent range of recent-model cars and jeeps, Sweet As Car Rentals has a few hidden costs that you need to be aware of, such as a mandatory NZ$10 insurance fee that isn’t included in their advertised rates. But once you get through the obscurities, you’ll be behind the wheel of one of their sweet Suzuki Swifts or Jeep Renegades.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Ngatangiia (north of Muri Beach).

Airport pick-up and drop-off are available for approximately NZ$25-$50 fee each.

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Sweet As Car Rentals include small cars, medium cars and jeeps. Vehicles have automatic transmission.

  • Suzuki Swift
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Honda Jazz
  • Jeep Renegade

Inclusions

  • Multiple drivers (18+ years old)
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Basic insurance (mandatory NZ$10 on top of daily rate)
  • Roadside assistance

Insurance

Insurance is included in car rentals with third-party liability and collision damage waiver excess of NZ$3,000. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$1,000-$2,500 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$12-$25 a day.

8 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Go Cook Islands

Offering affordable yet late-model car and scooter hire on Rarotonga, Go Cook Islands is another option for renting a car. Go to them for a price match if you find a similar car cheaper elsewhere on Raro. They are a popular option for airport pick-ups and drop-offs and also offer 24-hour temporary licenses should you want to drive your rental to the police station to pick up a local license – see if you need to with our guide, Can You Drive in the Cook Islands With an Overseas License?

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Muri Beach.

Airport pick-up and drop-off are available for a fee.

Vehicles Available

Vehicles offered by Go Cook Islands include small cars, medium cars, large cars, SUVs, people-movers and minivans. Vehicles have automatic transmission.

  • Toyota Vitz
  • Toyota Ractis
  • Nissan Sylphy
  • Toyota Wish
  • Nissan Serena
  • Toyota Hiace
7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Magic Reef Beachfront Bungalows

Guests at Magic Reef Beachfront Bungalows get exclusive rental of the resort’s late-model Nissan Leaf fully electric cars.

At approximately NZ$65 per day (price is subject to change), the price is competitive with the other luxury vehicle rentals on the island. Better yet, you don’t have to pay for fuel while using these vehicles, as the staff at Magic Reef will charge your rental vehicle when you park up at the resort using solar power.

E-bikes are also available to hire at Magic Reef – see the Cycle Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: Where to Rent Bikes & E-Bikes.

Find out more about staying at the resort in the 20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga, as well as more of their eco-initiatives in the 8 Best Eco Resorts in the Cook Islands. Plus, see other ways to travel around Rarotonga that are greener in the 5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Renting a Car in Rarotonga.

Oh, and check out the limited few accommodations that also offer car rental in the 6 Accommodations in the Cook Islands with Car or Scooter Hire.

More About Car Rentals on Rarotonga

That’s it for our complete comparison of the car rental companies on Rarotonga. Learn more about renting a car using the following guides:

Finally, compare car rentals with other ways to travel around Rarotonga in the Rarotonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Rarotonga.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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