Businesses are being warned against price gouging during the Lions Tour, with one vehicle rental company hiking prices by up to 200 per cent.
Mangere-based company Wendekreisen has introduced what it calls a Lions Tour surcharge. In one case, a vehicle that would normally cost $350 for 10 days had an added surcharge of $700 - bringing the total cost to more than $1400.
In another case, a vehicle that would normally cost $750 for 10 days has a surcharge of $1240.
Accommodation providers have also come under fire.
A Weekend Herald investigation revealed Wellington motel, Fernhill Motor Lodge, is charging $1000 a night at the time the city hosts the second test, compared with a regular rate of $135.
The Quadrant in Auckland CBD is seeking $1125 on the night of the first test, more than three times its room rate the following week.
Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin said the increases were morally questionable.
"It's not a very good look for New Zealand when we are exploiting people that are coming out here, who want to enjoy the country, who want to enjoy some good rugby and we're trying to rip them off in terms of their mobile accommodation."
One English tourist heading to New Zealand for the Lions Tour said Wendekreisen charged him almost a 170 per cent surcharge.
The man, who did not want to be named, said he booked a camper for 12 days.
"Our camper is $780 for 12 days. A Lions surcharge of $1320 is added, taking the cost to $2100.
"I can appreciate increases during busy periods, but to actually call it a surcharge based on an event is unusual for me."
Wendekreisen managing director Sascha Warnken said the Lions tour was "an extraordinary season with an expected higher-than-usual demand for campervan hire".
Warnken said the company had been transparent about the surcharge and advertised its prices well in advance.
She said the added surcharge could "create the impression of price gouging" but that was because the Lions tour falls within the industry's low season. Even with the surcharge the company's rental vehicles were still only priced at around 80 per cent of high-season rates during the tour.
However Wendekreisen has renamed its surcharge a "seasonal adjustment" and will revise its prices "to ensure they remain balanced", she said.
Jucy Rentals chief executive Tim Alpe expected rates to increase during the tour, but not by a large margin.
"If the demand increases significantly, our prices will go up - I wouldn't expect they'll be going up 200 per cent - but it is based on supply and demand."
He said big increases could leave tourists angry.
"We want these people coming here and having an incredible experience.
"We need to be careful we don't price gouge and put people off."