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All about rentals (21)
Auckland Airport Rentals (7)
Car Rentals (30)
Driving Holidays in New Zealand (11)
Meet The Fleet (8)
Meet the Team (5)
Minibus Rentals (7)
People Mover (4)
Random Talk (15)
Rental Trucks (7)
Special Deals (9)
Unbelievable! (3)
Van Rentals From James Blond (6)
Gold Economy Car Rental For Budget Travel 14/05/2019
Renting a car for your holiday gives you freedom and flexibility. A trip is just way more fun when you don’t have a rigid itinerary – it’s a holiday after all. And if you’re travelling in places like New Zealand where there are vast landscapes and long distances in between, a rental car is the only feasible way to get around. Plus, car rental lets you pick a hotel outside the city which tend to be cheaper but nonetheless charming.

Worried you might blow off your budget? There are ways to get a good deal and enjoy your trip without burning a hole in your pocket. It’s all about choosing a car that fits your need so you get the most for your money.
 
If you are on a budget but want a good quality car, there’s a Gold Economy budget car rental range just for you at James Blond Ltd.

This range includes reliable Japanese imports with approximately 35,000 kms on the clock. So you’ll be driving a car that’s close to being new for a cheap rate that can go as low as NZD $28 a day. The rate includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard excess insurance – with an option to lower this down to zero.

Let’s go back to the car. What exactly are you getting from this range?

You can choose between a Mazda Demio (Mazda 2) supermini or a Nissan Tiida. The Demio is a 1300cc 5-door hatchback; while Tiida is a 1500cc front-wheel drive hatch that is slightly roomier. The latter also comes in a 4-door sedan version (the Latio) which has a boot for extra space. All vehicles are automatic (CVT) transmission, making them a breeze to drive on New Zealand’s roads.

These cars are perfect for solo travellers as well as for couples and young families. There’s enough space for your luggage and plenty of leg and head room for a most comfortable and convenient ride. More importantly, these cars are touted for their fuel economy – another key feature that suits your budget travel needs.

Here are other features you would love in these cars:

Demio
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) for better stability during braking
  • Electronic brake force distribution (EBD) for a more effective, better balanced braking.
  • Multi-point injection fuel system (gasoline)
  • Fuel economy specs: ~8.6L/100km (city drive); ~5L/100km (highway); 6.3L/100Km (combined)
  • Light-weight on 15-inch wheels
  • Quick steering that respond well in every situation
  • Comfort and performance which is ideal for families with children

Tiida
  • A innovative compact car offering trouble-free motoring
  • Refined aerodynamics and style with a form that’s both geometrical and mechanical
  • Powerful engine (140 kilowatt turbocharged)
  • Fuel economy specs: 6.1-10.1L/100km (city drive); 4.7-6.5L/km (highway); 5.2 -8.1L/km (combined)
  • Premium features: push start ignition, keyless entry, dusk sensing headlights, satellite navigation, dual climate control
  • Superior comfort for young families or a small group

Below are other tips to score cheap car rentals for your trip:

Book well in advance

For obvious reasons, the most cost-effective vehicles are the first to sell out, especially during high season. If you roll the dice on the day of your arrival, you will easily find yourself cornered into the middle-to-high range. Not to mention, during peak season the rates will skyrocket with time and never down.

Some travellers would swear about “hacking the system” by booking at the last minute to get a free upgrade, but that’s a gamble. It’s best to be prepared so you don’t run into unexpected expenses during your trip. Some people have their holiday ruined right at the rental desk. But if you have your car hire ready the moment you step off the plane or train, you’ll be off to your adventures right away. No stress!

Booking ahead of time also allows you to pre-select a vehicle category that you feel most comfortable driving (e.g. manual or automatic, sedan or hatchback) and selecting the features you need.

Know your options

If you simply wish to save money on rental rates and fuel, you’ll want a backpacker offer or the smallest available model. But if you’re travelling with children or want more legroom in the rear for your friends, you may want a roomier yet affordable hatchback.

Calculate your pick-up and return days

If this is your first time hiring a car, you should be aware of how daily rental charges are calculated. A daily charge is typically billed every 24 hours from the date of collection. If a car is collected at 9am on Thursday and returned at 10am the following day, the rental period will count as two days. It’s good to plan this into your itinerary so you can save a little bit more.

Travel in the ‘shoulder’ season

If your travel dates are flexible, try planning your trip in the shoulder season. Understandably, rental rates are seasonal as they follow the demand-supply mechanism.

Many would advise to travel during off season to save on car rental as well as accommodation. And while that may be true, chances are you won’t see what you’re visiting the place for.

In New Zealand, the off season is winter (June to August) which isn’t the best time to see its stunning landscapes and natural beauty. A better time to visit would be the shoulder seasons: Fall (March-May) and Spring (September-November). As well as car rental rates (and all else) being considerably cheaper, nature is vibrant and the weather is perfect for outdoor adventures.

Finally, don’t be afraid to talk to the rental company about your travel needs as they might help you save a little more. For instance, if you are planning to have someone else drive the car, James Blond allows you to add another driver for free. You will rarely get this offer elsewhere.

Hiring a car doesn’t have to be a rip-off. Just a little planning goes a long way!
Our Range Of Minivans Are Ready To Roll Out This Winter 09/04/2019
So maybe you want more leg and luggage room than a standard car provides. Well, a minivan rental is the next best thing!

Minivans are great not just for family trips or group outings but also for moving stuff. They are also more versatile than passenger vans or SUVs, as they have easy in and out or configurable seating layouts to suit your seating preference or to make room for bulky cargo.

Here are other advantages of renting a minivan with us:
  • Ample cargo capacity and cabin storage. Most minivan models can carry three large overnight bags or two full-size suitcases. This means you can bring what you need for your trip without sacrificing leg room and comfort.
     
  • Greater comfort. It just cannot be stressed enough that minivans are comfortable people carriers. On top of that, our minivan rentals come with unlimited mileage so you can travel at your own pace and leave your itinerary open for spontaneous stops and detours, too. In New Zealand, the scenery changes at every turn as our roads follow the contours of the landscapes. Since driving times are often longer here, you’d want to allow plenty of time for a smooth drive and really get into our relaxed pace of life.
     
  • Safety. Minivans are considered as some of the safest vehicles on the road, offering great performance and amenities for an enjoyable ride. In addition to that, some of our minivans are fitted with belts on each seat, as well as steering-wheel air bags and ABS brakes.  
   
At James Blond, we have a wide range of minivan options to suit different budgets and needs. Here’s a comparison table for your easy reference: 

Category Description Features Image Cost Link
 
7 Seat Minivan
 
In this range are 2002/3 Mazda MPVs, which seat a maximum of 6 adults due to a small bench seat in the rear. But they would comfortably seat four adults and three children.
 
They also have ample room in the boot for two suitcases and some space between the two middle seats for smaller bags.
 

  • AJ 3.0 L V6 engine
  • 5-speed automatic transmission
  • Power siding side doors
  • 2300cc petrol
 
NZD $46 – $90
 
(includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard insurance)
 
Click here
 
 
8 Seat Minivan
 
 
This range consists of automatic 2000/1/2 Toyota Estimas (also known as the Previa) with twin side sliding doors for easy access and a rear seat that moves to allow for a more leg room or luggage. They can accommodate several overnight bags but there isn’t enough space for more than a couple of suitcases.
 
Great for small groups or families going on a short trips or events.
 
This model gives panoramic view, excluding the pillars behind the front doors. It’s a popular option among freedom campers, and is often referred to as ‘Bucky’ buses.
 
  • 4-speed automatic transmission
  • 2.4L petrol engine
  • Front and rear AC for comfort, and front airbags and ABS brakes for safety.
 
NZD $53 – $110
 
(includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard insurance)
 
Click here
 
10 Seat Minivan
 
These minivans are 2014/16 Toyota HiAce petrol models, factory fitted with air conditioning and individual seat belts.
 
You can choose from either a manual or automatic.
 
The standard configuration has room for a couple of overnight bags, but we have increased the luggage capacity by fitting in tow bars to be used with a luggage trailer.
 

  • Fifth-generation “Grand Cabin” vans with high roof and long wheelbase
  • 5-speed manual or 4-/6-speed automatic
  • 5L-E 3,000cc diesel engine
 
NZD $85 – $145
 
(includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard insurance)
 
Click here
 
12 Seat Minivan
 
In this range you’ll find a mix of Ford Transit, Toyota HiAce Jumbo, Volkswagen Crafter and 2010 or newer LDV models – both manual and automatic.
 
Features include air conditioning, airbags, individual seat belts and a cargo cage in the rear to fit a large amount of luggage.
 
This is the biggest van you can drive on a car licence. With generous onboard capacity, these vans are perfect to take on adventure trips, sporting events and family outings.
 
 
  • Economical 2.0 TDI engine
  • Efficient driving with speedometer, tachometer, odometer and trip meter
  • Anti-skid technology
  • Flat tire indicator
  • Ford Transit (in photo)
  • Same petrol engine as the Ford Ranger
  • 2.2L TDCi engine
 
 
 
 
NZD $139-$195
 
(includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard insurance)
 
Click here
 
14 Seat Minivan
 
Our brand-new 2015 LDV 14 is about the same size as a Transit but with a higher roof and comfortable seats that can be individually adjusted.
 
The seats would occupy most of the onboard capacity, so there’s little luggage space left.
 
 
LDV
  • 2.5L DOHC engine
  • 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic
  • Tinted windows
  • Additional front fog lights
 
 
NZD $139-$195
 
(includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard insurance)
 
Click here
 
17 Seat Minivan
 
2017 Ford Transit model that offers spacious comfort inside to make your journey as smooth as possible.
 
Easily seats 17 adults and is a great choice for group tours  and family excursions.
 
  • Aircraft style interior with an overhead luggage area
·          
 
 
 
 
 
NZD $175 - $260
 
(includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard insurance)
 
Click here
 
19 Seat Minibus
 
Looking to take away a large group all in one vehicle?
 
The 19-seat Toyota Coaster is the latest addition to our fleet.
 
This single-decker minibus is a great alternative to the 21 seaters that are usually priced at a premium.
 
There’s only one of this in our minivan range, so it’s good to book one well ahead of your trip to ensure availability.
 
 
  • 2.0 L Toyota R engine
  • 4 cylinder in-line, 16-valve OHV, Gear Drive
  • 5-speed manual transmission
  • Automatic gliding door
  • Power lock doors
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Warning indicator when doors are left open
  • Emergency exits
  • Reversing camera
  • Entertainment features
 
 
 
 
 
NZD $170 - $260
 
(includes unlimited mileage, GST and standard insurance)
 
 
Click here



More about our Minivans
The Mazda MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) in our range is a front-wheel drive that’s popular among families on vacation as well as business groups attending events.

If you’re looking for a mid-sized van, the HiAce might be worth checking out. It’s generally a reliable vehicle both for transporting passenger and cargo. The Volkswagen Crafter is another great option for this category, plus its highly efficient engine will take you to long distances without boring a hole in your pocket. 

Ford Transit has the capacity of a cargo van but the style of a passenger van. You can definitely rent it to use either way.

The LDV Maxus excels in versatility. It can be used as a minibus (passenger van) carrying up to 15 passengers, or as a multi-purpose vehicle, mixing seats and space for transport of goods. In the same way, the Volkswagen Crafter stands out with generous amount of space for comfortable passenger transport as well as commercial use. You can rent it to shuttle a group to and from your destination, to transport work equipment, or as a vehicle for freight only.

The Toyota Coaster is a luxury minibus perfect for long haul trips. It has plenty of leg and headroom that will allow everyone to stretch and relax while in transit. Passengers will get a good view of the scenery without the world looking in, thanks to the large side windows with privacy glass. It also has the creature comforts we all want - large, comfortable seats and air conditioning throughout the cabin. An integrated luggage rack lets you stow away bags neatly and free up space for superior comfort.

All our vehicles are well-kept and serviced regularly to ensure reliable performance. But it’s reassuring to know we offer 24/7 breakdown service in the unlikely event that your car breaks down.  

Things to know before hiring a minivan

Here are a few rules and exemptions that are worth knowing before renting a minivan:
  • Driving licence and code. You’ll need a valid and current car licence that is equivalent to a Class 1 full licence, with English translation if necessary. Alternatively, you may secure an International Driving Permit (IDP).
  • Age requirement. The minimum legal age to rent a car in NZ is 21.
  • Deposit. A minimum deposit of $200 is payable on all bookings.
  • Insurance and excess. Standard insurance is part of the hire package for all our minivans. For the excess, James Blond offers options to reduce this down to zero.
  • Fuel. Our rentals have a full-to-full policy. The vehicle will be delivered to you with a full tank, and it needs to be returned with a full tank as well. Otherwise, applicable charges apply such as the cost of fuel per litre and refuelling service charge.
  • Area restrictions. Our rentals can be taken to the South Island, but there are areas there that are off limits or are not covered by the insurance should anything happen. Please ask our friendly staff upon booking to ensure your safety and convenience.
Rent with us!

James Blond is known for offering the best value Auckland van hire. This is because we make an effort to help our clients have the best experience on the road.

We try our best to accommodate individual needs by offering a number of useful add-ons at little extra cost. Add a child seat so you won’t go through the trouble of bringing your own. Get a GPS for only $5 a day if you plan to explore around New Zealand. With a GPS onboard, you have no worries getting lost or wasting time being stuck in traffic.

Rent a luggage trailer at only $25 or a larger single axle furniture trailer at $40 a day if you need to move a lot of stuff. It’s a good deal when you’re moving a studio or a small apartment, or if you are sorting out the garden.

Planning to visit the South Island? Take advantage of our wholesale agreement with the Interislander ferry service so you can conveniently purchase discounted ferry tickets through us.

Should you want to share the wheel with a travel companion, you may do so. We don’t charge for additional drivers as long as they can present a current and valid driving licence.

We can have your rental minivan waiting at the Auckland airport no matter what time of the day you are arriving. You can just simply present your licence and drive off – no need to queue at a rental counter and sign forms after an exhausting flight. Alternatively, we can have it sent to your hotel.

You can customise your minivan rental through online booking or over the phone. Just dial 0800 5 25663 (0800 J BLOND).

Driving in comfort and style at an affordable rate is also possible. Make sure to check out our premium SUV range to learn more about it.
Maybe find a cool Youtube video for one of the brands to show in the blog.
Compare Truck Prices in Auckland 12/02/2019
Whether you are moving houses, relocating your office or transporting heavy loads, we have the right truck rental solution available when and where you need them!
 
We have trucks that are perfect for smaller moves such as for a minor renovation, a landscaping project or moving a studio apartment. On the other hand, we also have bigger cargo vans that would easily fit a fridge or wardrobe and fitted to transport heavy loads and bulky furniture safely and securely. We also have rentals that you can take on the Interislander Ferry if you’re going to the South Island.
 
For bulky and heavy cargo, we have box trucks with hydraulic power tail lifts and some have a “Z track” in the rear for easier loading and unloading. Strops and trollers are available to rent for a small one-off cost.
 
All our vehicles are subject to a regular preventative maintenance program and a thorough inspection before they are rented out. This is part of our commitment to ensure your safety and comfort on the road. Nevertheless, roadside assistance is available 24/7 for your convenience.
 
Our rates include GST and standard insurance with excess reduction options available. We offer competitive pricing for long-term rentals as well. We also offer 3-day unlimited kilometre rate which is perfect when you’re travelling a long distance.
 
Whatever your needs, there is a perfect solution for you. You can choose to rent for as quickly as 4 hours, daily, weekly or monthly. We operate from 8AM to 5PM year-round.
 
Our truck rentals can also help you save on fleet costs. With competitive pricing, you can use any of our rental vehicles as an alternative or supplement to buying or leasing your own fleet.
 
Compare prices for our truck rental range to see which one suits your requirements:

Truck Name Description Size Image Cost Link
2 Tonne  Box Truck (9m3) Perfect size for moving a 1-bedroom apartment or a small house. This manual drive can be used for moving across to the South Island on the Interislander Ferry
 
3.1m x 1.6m x 1.8m
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $75 – 115
 
$510 (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
 
2 Tonne Box Truck (12m3)
 
This automatic sub-premium truck offers more space than a standard 2-tonner. Trucks in this category are Isuzu with a 3.0L diesel engine. 3.1m x 1.77m x 2.07m
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $85 – 125
 
$570 (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
2 Tonne Box Truck w/ Tail Lift (9m3) Best for moving furniture or heavy loads. This manual-drive truck has a hydraulic power lift that makes loading and unloading a breeze.
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $85 – 125
 
$540 (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
2 Tonne Box Truck w/ Tail Lift (12m3) This truck falls in between standard truck and larger premium truck ranges.
It easily fits a tall fridge.
The trucks in this category are automatic 2012/13 Toyota Dyna models.
3.1m x 1.8m x 2m
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $90-130 Click here
2 Tonne Box  Truck (16m3) Manual-drive trucks with ABS, air conditioning and stereo for that comfortable, breezy haul.
 
It can take a decent load, great for moving a 2-bedroom house.
It’s fully battened so there’s plenty of space and clearance for a fridge or a wardrobe.
4m x 2m x 2m
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $90 - $130
 
$600  (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
3 Tonne Box Truck (18m3) This manual-drive truck is twice the size of a standard 2-tonne truck but can still be driven on a full Class 1 Licence.
 
It’s fitted with interior tie-hooks or “Z track” to secure your load.
4.5m x 2.07m x 1.97m (clear loading area)
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $95 - $135
 
$630  (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
3 Tonne Box Truck w/ Tail Lift (18m3) An automatic-drive truck with 600kg hydraulic tail lift. It’s the largest that can be driven on a Class 1 car licence.
 
It’s rear-loading area has a “Z Track” so your load stays stable during transport.
 
Has ample room for a fridge or other bulky items.
4.4m x 2.1m x2.06m
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $110 - $140
 
$660  (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
3 Tonne Box Truck w/ Tail Lift (19m3) A class 2 (HT) licence is required to drive this truck.
 
It is fully automatic with a 600kg hydraulic lift and 3000kg load capacity.
 
Rear loading area has Z track. Door opening is 1990W.
 
4.4m x 2.07m x 2.06m
Click here
NZD $100 - $140
 
$660  (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
4 Tonne Box Truck (25m3) A 4600cc-engine automatic truck that’s a pleasure to drive.
 
Fully battened inside and has enough power to haul heavy loads.
 
Class 2 (HT) licence is required.
 
4.8m x 2.1m x 2.1m
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $95 - $140
 
$750  (3-day unlimited km rate)
Click here
2 Tonne Tipper (2m3) Compact as a car but still big enough to take a lot of load. Useful for landscaping projects and minor renovations.
 
Makes waste removal easy and convenient.
3.1m x 1.6m
 
Click here for more info
 
NZD $75 - $115
 
Competitive pricing for long-term rent
Click here
How to Score Luxury Car Rentals in Auckland 05/01/2019
Whether you like to travel in style or you simply want more tech in your rental car, a luxury vehicle simply makes sense.

The general assumption is that a fancy car will cost a premium, which is why many travellers rule it out when choosing their rental car. But what if we told you opting for that little extra luxury can actually be cost effective?

Depending on the date and location of your rental, you might just find that a premium car is just a few dollars away from your standard option.

Remember the rule of supply and demand? Well, it might just work in your favour. Say, maybe you’re travelling during peak season when the majority of renters are travelling with a group or with children. That would mean they’ll be after the more spacious hatchbacks or mini-vans or other economy options. This may result in a surplus of luxury vehicles on hand, so the prices may drop a little lower than usual. The same goes for when you’re travelling during the off season.

It happens more often than you think. In fact, many seasoned travellers use this lesser known but extremely rewarding car rental strategy.

But even if it wasn’t exactly the case during your own trip, you can always think of it as an opportunity to treat yourself to a little extra luxury. Of course, the premium you pay comes with extra features that will make your trip a pleasure.

The secret here is to know your options. If the thought of getting a shiny sports car in a fender-bender makes you nervous (because it can happen even to the best drivers), it’s worth looking at SUVs and other premium vehicles. We’ve selected a handful of premium vehicles in Auckland you can book for your next trip:

Want to drive the 2018 model of the popular rental car in New Zealand? We’ve got you covered! The upgraded 2018 Toyota Corolla features standard cruise control, traction control and a 7-speed CVT transmission that can be driven in tiptronic mode. Being one of the first to get behind these wheels is a luxury in itself! And it’s perfect for attending meetings in between your leisure activities.
Luxury can mean different things to different people. It could mean generous seating or state-of-the-art technology. When it comes to adventures, a reliable all-wheel-drive equipped with inbuilt GPS, cruise control, Lane Assist and other handy functions adds to your pleasure driving the car.

The RAV4 will climb the mountains or cruise the sandy beaches effortlessly, providing you ultimate driving pleasure and comfort. It’s a crossover SUV that combines technology and practicality.

A sleek and stylish SUV that’s well spec’d and packs a punch with a 3.5L V6 engine is a dream to drive. This 7-seater beauty ensures comfort and reliability anywhere you go.

If you want to explore all your options, you can check out our car rental page.
Our Gold Economy Car Rental Range 17/12/2018
Travelling can be extremely rewarding and refreshing. But the costs can quickly add up and can make your trip seem daunting rather than exciting. We know this really well so we came up with a range that offers excellent comfort and economy on a budget.

Our Gold Economy car rentals range is designed specifically for travellers who want to drive newer cars on the cheap. We are talking here about newly imported Mazda Demio and Nissan Tilda models – both hatch and sedan – with about 35,000 kms on the clock. Some aren’t even run in yet!
And best part of it all is you get to drive these impeccable cars for as low as NZD $28 a day! 

Here are some key information about the cars in this range:

Mazda Demio
A subcompact/supermini that shatters all preconceived notions about its class, Mazda Demio or Mazda2 provides driving pleasure and minimal environmental impact. The third-generation Demio employs lightweight materials and comes in both a sedan and hatch, although we only have the hatch because it’s been more popular. This model won the 2008 World Car of the Year title and was awarded a “Good” rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Demio features a four-speed automatic or shiftless transmission (CVT). Standard features include a digital fuel gauge and stability control, while the updated Japanese models, which are featured in our range, feature:
  • Premium seat upholstery,
  • Black meter panel,
  • Silver instrument panel garnish,
  • Expanded exterior body colours, and
  • Standard trip computer.
Meanwhile, the breakthrough Mazda Demio 1.3-SKYACTIV which was launched in 2011 won the 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan ‘Special Award’. This model delivers outstanding fuel economy (up to 30.0km/L), a unique i-stop idling stop system and a shiftless transmission (CVT).
Check out this video by Consumer Reports to see how the 2011 Mazda2 performs in an actual road test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glqayR8t240

Nissan Tiida
Travelling with a group or a family? We recommend the Tiida for you. It’s not as stylish as the Demio but its boxy body makes for a spacious interior, with almost as much space in the front seat as a six-cylinder family car and still lots of legroom in the back seats. Both the sedan and hatch models also offer a rather large boot, and still more headroom and shoulder room for everyone.

In terms of engine performance, it provides more than reasonable transport from one point to another. It has a EPS (Electric Power Steering) system for competent handling. Not to mention, it features impressive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) suppression. Perfect for when you’re travelling with kids, right?

Other notable features include a 4-speed automatic unit (CVT), and a 1.5L engine.
Both our Demios and Tiidas in the Gold Class are imported from Japan. We have 30 of them in our range, so the chances of booking one for your trip are good. However, we recommend that you book as early as possible since these are a popular option among travellers.

Book your rental car today and get the best price!
 
How to Get the Cheapest Car Rental in Auckland 23/11/2018

Car rentals can be a major life-saver for travellers. It provides exceptionally good value by allowing travellers unlimited use of some of the best and latest vehicles on the market for NZD $30 or less a day!

On car rental rates

Everything in the travel industry is influenced by supply and demand which changes according to season. Prices for the same car could go through the roof during peak season and drop dramatically in the off-season. So where possible you should make your bookings well before you arrive at your destination. Often its a case of whoever books first will most likely snag the best deals.

Some companies deliberately offer the lowest daily rates but then add hidden costs and unwanted features, such as  extra fees for additional drivers or unfair fuel policies. So even if you use those handy price comparison sites, you really don’t know what exactly you’re getting.

One trick to avoid these traps is read a little about car rental companies in your destination site and pick up the phone. You will want to book with an independent car rental company with a good track record for a couple of reasons. First, it cuts the middlemen, i.e. online travel agencies (OTAs) and web comparison sites, which both collect a margin. Companies prefer direct bookings for this reason because it’s a win-win solution for them and the travellers. Second, having a proper conversation with someone from the rental company helps iron out your expectations and resolve problems faster.

If you’re looking for cheapest car rental Auckland, you’ll most probably come across James Blond Rentals Thats because we offer a wide selection of cars from backpackers through to some of the latest cars at the most reasonable rates without those unexpected hidden extras. 

The benefits don’t end there. As an independent car rental company, we can make our rates as flexible as our customers’ needs. We will try to price match any offer you will get elsewhere. Our service is flexible as well. We care about repeat business, so we make sure our clients get the best experience with us. We do this by offering services that cater to each client’s personal requirements. We have an efficient airport pick-up and dropoff service, and make sure our vehicles are regularly cleaned and maintained according to schedule.

Smart travel tip #1: Ask what’s included in the price

Many OTAs and big rentals charge surcharges and hidden fees on top of their advertised prices. And you’ll often realise it upon receiving or returning the car. So it really pays to ask before booking or signing the contract.

In our case, all of our rental car rates include unlimited mileage, standard insurance excess, 24/7 roadside assistance and include GST. We even allow a second driver for free as long as they satisfy our terms and conditions, e.g. they have the appropriate driving licence, are over 21 years old, their name is included in the contract, etc. That’s something you don’t usually get from big outfits and OTAs.

GPS and child seats are available for very reasonable rates. Some companies deliberately lower their upfront costs and overcharge you for these extras.

Smart travel tip #2: Check their car rental range

Online travel agents don’t usually go through the trouble of finding the right car for your travel; they just get one from affiliated firms at the agreed price point. With independent car rental firms, you can have a look at every car on their range, and decide for yourself which one offers the best driving comfort and suitability to your trip.

For instance, if you are going to be touring around your destination, you’ll want a car with good mileage and lots of boot space. If you are attending important meetings or events in between tours, you might want a more polished and sophisticated car. Booking with an independent rental companies allows you to customise your rental arrangements.  

At James Blond, we make sure there’s something for everybody. For the budget conscious travellers, we have a backpacker car rental range which includes cars from our other ranges that are older and have higher mileage, but all are well-serviced and reliable. Depending on availability, you could get a Mazda Demio, Nissan Note or sometimes even a Nissan Bluebird or Wingroad. 



We also have a Standard Economy car rental range that consists of cars with outstanding fuel economy, making it perfect for city and open road driving. For enhanced comfort at a budget price, we have a Standard Midsized car rental range that features ABS, air conditioning, twin air bags and lots of legroom for adults.


 

Smart travel #3: Check the reviews

Here are some key things to look for in customer testimonials and reviews:

What is the Average Star Rating ? While you cant please all the people all the time the average rating is a key indicator to look for

Did other travellers find the company’s rates reasonable? While their price isn’t the lowest rate you’ll find, it may be worth it for the experience you get. Of course, it’s always better if you pay the cheapest price and get stellar service at the same time.

Did other travellers find the company’s terms and conditions fair? Did they deliver on their promises? Were they courteous and accommodating? These are the things that aren’t reflected on the price but nonetheless important.

Checking reviews may take up some of your time, but it will definitely save you a lot in terms of money and stress.     

Get 24/7 Roadside Assistance with James Blond Rentals 10/10/2018
Nothing can ruin a perfectly good trip than your car breaking down and leaving you stranded in a far-flung area. It’s the worst case scenario, but it has happened to the best of us.
 
At James Blond, we want the very best car rental experience for our clients. So we make sure we provide modern, clean and well-maintained vehicles to ensure reliability on the road. Nevertheless, 24x7 Roadside Assist covers unexpected events and gives extra assurance and confidence especially for clients coming from foreign countries and driving on unfamiliar roads in NZ.
 
All James Blond car rentals are covered with 24/7 roadside assistance, to ensure support outside of office hours. We use NZ Roadside Assistance (NZRA) Ltd  to provide a reliable car breakdown service to our clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
 
What does 24/7 Road Assistance include?
  • Basic breakdown services– includes replacing a tyre, jump-starting a flat battery and other common breakdown-related problems.
  • Technical advice– you may call the road assistance hotline for any technical and mechanical information relating to vehicle operation, such as safety warnings, light signals, etc.
  • Battery and parts replacement– in the event that a preferred repairer is unavailable or not within close proximity, we will supply and fit emergency parts.
  • Emergency fuel supply– if your rental car runs out of fuel and you don’t know the nearest fuel station, an emergency supply of fuel will be delivered to you. Alternatively, a towing service will be organised to transport your vehicle to the closest gasoline station. In case the vehicle is incorrectly fuelled, a fuel siphoning service will be organised and the vehicle will be taken to the closest repair centre.
  • Jumpstarting your vehicle - in the event of a flat battery
  • Locksmith services– in the event that your keys are lost, stolen or locked inside the vehicle, a locksmith will immediately be sent to your location
  • Towing – a tow truck will be sent on site if your vehicle becomes immobilised, stuck or unsafe for driving
  • Assistance in the case of an accident, break-in or theft
  • Parts and service locator– for when you need to find a Preferred Repairer, or auto parts suppliers anywhere in New Zealand
Note: If the vehicle cannot be repaired within a reasonable period of time, James Blond Rentals will organise a replacement to minimise your inconvenience.
 
Conditions apply. For example, any repairs deemed to be user-caused, such as a flat battery, lost keys or keys locked in vehicle, incorrect fuel, flat tyre etc will be charged to the driver listed on the rental contract.
 
How to receive 24/7 Roadside Assistance
 
James Blond’s contact number can be found on the windscreen stickers as well as on the keyring tag on your rental vehicle, for easy reference. Should the need for a breakdown service arise at an odd hour, you may call the toll-free NZRA hotline 0508 697 623 for immediate attention and help.
 
Simply dial those numbers and follow the instructions given by the operations coordinator. You will be asked the vehicle registration number and your credit card details, the location of your vehicle, and a description of the emergency or the nature of the help required.
 
Then, all you’ll need to do is wait for the roadside assistance agent to arrive on site.
 
True to our promise of excellent customer service, we will make sure you have the best rental car experience in New Zealand.
 
If you are looking for long term car rentals or van hire,  contact us on 0800 525663 to arrange.
Car Review: 2016 Toyota Highlander – Our Premium SUV 15/09/2018
Are you in the market for the largest rental car you can get? We have just got the perfect solution: a 2016 Toyota Highlander!

We have just taken stock of a number of 2016 Toyota Highlander AWD SUVs which are now part of our car rental range. These SUVs are very well spec'd including air conditioning, have heaps of room with 7 seats, and have plenty of power with the 3.5L V6.

What’s so special about the Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander features a 3.5L V6 petrol engine rated at 270 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive. Fuel economy is rated at 11.7 liters per 100kms combined. It also comes standard with traction and stability control, ABS brakes, front and side airbags, driver knee airbag, front passenger cushion airbag and full length side curtain air bags. A rearview camera is also part of the package.

Coming to the interior, this is where the Highlander really stands out by virtue of its spacious and comfortable cabin. Seats come in SofTex upholstery, second and third-row seating come with three-across bench seating. There are also plenty of tech tools and smartphone-integrated services, operated by means of an 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen display on the dash board.

Additional features include:
  • Automatic headlights
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Cruise control
  • Rearview camera
  • 6-way driver, 4-way passenger manually adjustable front seats
  • Sliding and reclining 60/40-split second-row seat 60/40-split third-row seat
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity
  • Six-speaker audio system with voice control
  • CD player with an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB interface
Some things to consider

The Toyota Highlander is a big car and as such you will need to make considerations when driving in tighter places such as city centres, as it may be difficult to manoeuvre, and parking will need to be accounted for. It will also use more gas than a smaller car, despite the good economy for its size.

In summary, if you are looking for a large rental car that seats up to 7 people, you want the performance of a V6 and you don’t mind paying a bit more for petrol, the Toyota Highlander is the choice for you! Book our Large Preimium AWD SUV rental on our website today!
Unbranded Car Rentals for Important Events 30/08/2018

Renting a car is a practical means of transport when you have an important event or business meeting to go to. One thing is it’s convenient. You don’t have to wait long lines for public buses or trains. You can simply have your car delivered to your address or have it waiting for you the moment you alight your plane. It’s also more cost effective than taking a cab to get around in a foreign city. And more importantly, it offers plenty of room for your luggage and many seating options.
 


 

Renting an executive car or a luxury car will help you make a great first impression, which is important if you’re collecting VIPs, travelling for business or taking a special someone out on a date. It’s also a great way to make a dramatic entrance/exit to gala events, proms and other special occasions.

As far as making a great impression goes, James Blond offers a range of modern and clean rental cars which have very discreet branding. These cars let you move in style as they don’t bear a massive company logo that screams “This isn’t my car.” Our logo is discreetly placed so that it’s barely noticeable. Upon your request, we can have this branding removed completely for a very small fee. From roomy hatchbacks to something sleek and corporate, we’ve got the right car at your disposal. You can drive it like it’s your own. So it’s the perfect choice to wow your guests, clients or colleagues.
 


 

Some of the corporate travellers who come through our doors or book online with us also request for unbranded vehicles for added security. It lets them travel under the radar or avoid attracting unwanted attention.

As the main purpose of renting a car is to travel conveniently, we make sure that is exactly what you get.  Our cars are available 24/7 every day of the year. You have the option to pick up the car at our depot during office hours or have it sent to the airport or to your hotel/address. The last thing you want after a long flight is to fight your way through a crowd of fellow travellers in need of a rental car. No matter what time of day or night you arrive, we’ll make sure your car is there waiting for you.

Useful Information for Foreign Drivers

If you’re an expat or a visitor in New Zealand, there are a number of things you need to know before renting a car:

·         The minimum age requirement for driving a rental car from James Blond is 21 years. You must comply with this condition even if the rules are different in your home country.

·         You must present a valid and current driving licence that is the equivalent of a full driver’s licence in NZ. It must be written or translated in English.

·         If you want to have someone else drive the rental car, their name must be included in the car rental agreement and they must have the same criteria above. With James Blond, you can add as many drivers to the contract with no additional fees.

For more information about our unbranded rentals, contact us on 0800 5 25663.
Car Rental Tips for Business Travel 24/08/2018

Business trips are bound by strict schedules, hence the need to travel smarter. When you’re running from one appointment to another, commuting in buses or waiting in line for trains and taxis just won’t do. This is where car rentals enter.

Driving your own rental car ensures convenience. But there’s a learning curve when it comes to renting cars. You need to know where to look and how to deal in order to get the best value for your money. Here are some tips you might find useful:

Stick with one rental company

As a business person, you know the importance of establishing vendor relationships. Not only do you get better service but the entire process is streamlined as well, and sometimes there are even perks thrown into the deal. Ultimately, this reduces traveller friction and stress.

If it is your first time travelling to your destination, do your research to find the best rental company you can stick with. If you’re travelling to New Zealand, James Blond can give you the best deals around. Apart from competitive rates, we stock the most fuel efficient cars in the latest models and makes.
So you can be sure to drive reliable, almost-new
vehicles which are perfect for business use.

Consider unbranded cars

If you want to travel under the radar, try unbranded rentals. It’s a very discreet way to travel, which is why many of business travellers that book with us choose it for security reasons. If you are booking long term, we can remove the car sticker (upon your request) for added security.

Unless you’re trying to wow some clients, driving a lower priced unbranded car is definitely a practical option. Unbranded doesn’t necessarily mean less efficient or bad driving experience. It simply means low-key travel.

Check weekly rates

Even if you only need the car for a few days, renting it for longer may be cheaper. It’s no secret that rates are lower for long-term rentals than for, say, a couple of days. Do the math and you might find that reserving your vehicle for longer may actually save you some cash.

Bring your licence

For obvious reasons, your driver’s licence must be current and valid for the type of vehicle you are renting. It must also be the equivalent of a full driver’s licence in the country you’re visiting. If you are travelling with another driver, be sure they have their licence with them as well.

At James Blond, we don’t charge for additional drivers – you can add as many drivers to the contract given that they have a valid and current licence.

Do an ocular inspection before taking the car

Once the keys are handed to you, the car becomes your responsibility. So it’s good to know the state of the car before signing the rental agreement. While we keep our cars maintained and serviced regularly, we do encourage our clients to inspect the vehicle themselves. We want to establish trust and transparency this way.

Whether you prefer to travel in style or you want unbranded rentals, you can trust us for a fuss-free car hire experience for your future New Zealand visits. For more information, contact us on 0800 5 25663.

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