One of the greatest ways to travel around in New Zealand is with a rental car. New Zealand is a small nation. But it manages to pack the incredible geographic diversity of a large continent into its small frame. There are subtropical beaches, volcanic mountains with ski slopes, boiling mud pools and ancient forests. As well as some of the unspoilt trout fishing rivers, and top-notch golf courses. These all are within three to four hours’ drive of Auckland. It is also the largest city in New Zealand. You have the freedom and flexibility to go wherever you want and whenever you want when you have a rental car. In this post we have covered some tips while renting a car in New Zealand
Driving In New Zealand
Driving in New Zealand is usually a breeze for visitors from other countries. This is because of the relatively little traffic compared to what they are used to. For instance, New Zealand is roughly the size of the UK. Yet it only has 4 million people, whereas the UK has over 60 million.
The restricted availability of freeways and motorways is another distinction. Due to the constantly shifting topography, roads are typically just two lanes wide and usually winding. As in the UK, we drive on the left in New Zealand. You might be nervous about driving on the “wrong side of the road” if you’re from America or another nation where cars are driven on the right. Don’t be intimidated; it’s simple to accomplish and thousands of international tourists do it successfully every year.
Car Rental Companies in New Zealand
Small local car rental businesses can be found alongside well-known multi-national major companies in New Zealand. The benefit of using the well-known rental companies is that they have locations all throughout New Zealand. They also have the broadest and most modern selection of rental cars. The drawback is that they are typically the most expensive and frequently have many additional hidden costs.
The small local companies at the other end of the spectrum usually have older rental vehicles. The benefit is that the smaller car rental companies can often be significantly less expensive. This leaves you with more money to spend on the numerous exciting attractions New Zealand has to offer. You might not get to drive this year’s newest model, but that’s not the disadvantage. Numerous NZ car rental companies that cater to various needs and price ranges can be found between these two extremes.
What Kind of Driving Licenses Are Necessary In New Zealand?
If you possess a valid driver’s license from your home country or an international driving permit, you are permitted to drive for up to 12 months in New Zealand.
Most car rental businesses demand that drivers be at least 25 years old. Also the driver should have had full driving privileges for at least three years. Younger drivers can rent cars from some companies. For instance, A2B Car Rentals only lends cars to people with complete driver’s licenses who are at least 20 years old. A license holder with less than three years’ experience may be accepted at the manager’s discretion. However there may be a higher insurance excess.
Verify the validity of your international driver’s license. If your driver’s license is not in English, you should either get an international driving permit or bring an English translation with you. For more information on obtaining a translation or an international driving permit, get in touch with your neighborhood car club.
All drivers in New Zealand, including foreign tourists, are required by law to have their license or permit with them at all times. Naturally, you will be limited to only operating the cars for which you have a valid license in your home country.
What are the driving laws in New Zealand?
Here is a quick summary of the driving laws you should follow while renting a car in New Zealand.
You may find out additional information on the New Zealand Government Land Transport Authority website.
- All vehicles in New Zealand drive on the left side of the road, same like in the UK.
- Give way (or yield) to traffic crossing or coming from your right when making a left turn.
- You must stop when the traffic signal is red.
- Police use radar, speed cameras, unmarked patrol cars, and other methods to strictly enforce speed limits. The cost of speeding fines can be high.
- On open roads, the posted limit is 100 km/h (approx. 60 mph)
- The speed limit in built-up areas is 50 km/h. (about 30 mph)
- Both drivers and passengers must always buckle their seatbelts.
Some Important Tips While Renting a Car in New Zealand
Always Get Car Insurance When Renting a Car
When renting a car, especially when doing so abroad, you must have car insurance. You may rest easy knowing you’re fully insured in case something happens because many car rental companies offer a standard collision damage waiver included in all rentals in addition to the choice for full coverage.
The full coverage option is reasonably priced, includes towing costs, and offers a complete refund if you change your mind about your trip. For individuals who want to have peace of mind while on vacation, full coverage is a fantastic alternative. It costs less than insurance offered by a supplier, and filing a claim is simple.
Advisable to Use Offline Maps
Download maps of the locations you’ll be travelling. This is to avoid worrying about cell reception or using up all of your data. Make sure you have Wi-Fi before using Google Maps to accomplish this. Then, start the programme, select “offline maps” from the search menu, and download a local or custom map.
Of course, you can always buy a paper map for your trip instead; they also make great gifts!
Look Out for Relocations Deals While Renting a Car In New Zealand
When a rental car firm wants to shift cars from one place to another, relocation deals for rental cars are made available. Discover all the information you require about this below. If you can make it work, it can be a fantastic, affordable choice.
Bridges With One Way Signs
In New Zealand, there are certain single-lane bridges where traffic moving in one direction must surrender to traffic moving in the opposite way. A yellow diamond-shaped warning sign informing you of the situation will be posted on every bridge with one-lane roads, along with a sign informing you of whether you have the right of way or not.
In contrast, if you see a blue square sign with white and red arrows pointing forward and backward, it means you have the right of way. If you see a circular sign with a red border and the words “give way” beneath it, it implies the other vehicles have the right of way.
Animals On The Road: Be Alert
Because so much of New Zealand is wild, untamed land, there is a good potential that you will run into possums, sheep, birds, rabbits, and cows while driving. Furthermore, they frequently drive without stopping.
Keep an eye out for animals, especially the bigger ones, and drive at a speed that makes you feel in control and comfortable in case one of them darts out.
The Weather Can Quickly Change
Since New Zealand’s weather is notoriously changeable, being able to drive in various conditions will be very helpful to you on your road trip. On the road, be prepared for any weather, especially in southern New Zealand where the weather can change suddenly.
Additionally, before you start driving, make sure you download a weather app to your phone so you can check the forecast.
In conclusion, renting a car is one of the finest options if you’re thinking of visiting New Zealand, especially for independent tourists who want to take in all that the country has to offer. With a rental automobile, you have the freedom and flexibility to explore this magnificent nation whenever and whenever you wish.
You can get some great discounts on car rentals on “Economy Bookings.” as well