The car I ended up with was a hybrid
Economy Rent a Car (ERaC) turns out to be more of a broker and contracts other rental companies to provide cars. I arrive in Queenstown where I'm supposed to pick up my car at the terminal, but there is no counter for ERaC. I call the number, but I've been provided their Auckland number, and they tell me I have to call their Queenstown number. It's cold and rainy and I'm making phone calls instead of getting in my car. ERaC Queenstown inform me my car is provided by Scotty's and I have to call them. Scotty's says they are overbooked but they have arranged for another company, Hitch, to provide a car. A Hitch rep calls me and tells me to wait at the commercial car park. I wait. And wait. Then wait some more. A guy comes over and collects some other travelers. Now feeling quite cold, I message the driver and he asks where I am. After a while the guy who recently collected passengers comes over, he's apparently my driver. Turns out there are two commercial car parks and I'm at the 'wrong' one. Nu-huh, signs say otherwise. Now we ride for 10 mins to their office, a makeshift shack in a dirt parking lot. I wait for 25 minutes while he handles the other customers, talks on the phone and directs his staff. So, he doesn't have the car type I reserved but immediately offers to upsell me to a Prius. At this time I've been wasting my precious time in Queenstown and I want to get going, so I accept his offer. It's an extra USD50, but I figure I'll offset some of that with the Prius' better gas mileage. Turns out it's a six or so years old car with 70,000 miles on it, it's dirty and with plenty of nicks and scuffs and a big stain in the trunk. I can live with that, but asks if he has another compact car which is what I reserved. No, but he can give me a smaller car for the same price...I take the Prius. Later I notice that the tires are worn (unsafe in rain) and there is some smear on the inside of the windshield that causes a glare in the sun and other marks on the windows and windshield, similar to what car dealers do to write the price and year etc. It also has a Japanese language audio unit and the trip meter etc is also in Japanese. That's fine if you speak Japanese, but the majority of people visiting New Zealand don't, including me. It also makes a loud beep every time you start the car. The car lacks cruise control. However, the car didn't break down, it got good gas mileage and despite plenty of wet weather I didn't hydroplane with the worn tires. But I'll never use Economy Rent a Car again.