Located approximately 1.5 hours’ drive to the east of Auckland is the spectacular Coromandel Peninsula. For anyone seeking a perfect short break location within a short distance from Auckland, The Coromandel would be one of our top choices.

To complete a loop of the main towns on the peninsula requires approximately 5hours driving time in your rental car, however this is a place where there is so much to experience, you will need at least 3-4 days to get a taste of what the region offers.

During the main Christmas Holiday and tourism period from December to February, the area is very popular with both locals and tourists and can get very busy. Our recommendation would be to visit in October / November or March / April if you prefer to avoid the main peak season.

Some of the highlights and must see locations include; Hot Water Beach – a beach where you can dig into the sand and have geothermal hot water fill the hole where you have dug, creating your own personal hot pool; Cathedral Cove – with spectacular post card like scenery, access is via a walking track or boat; and New Chum Beach – recently voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world, this remote beach has no roads or buildings and access is via a 30 minute native bush track.

As well as water based activities such as swimming, diving, fishing, surfing, and kayaking, The Coromandel also offers some of the best bush walks, mountain bike tracks, and other outdoor activities including canyoning as you will find anywhere in New Zealand. The area is also well known for Arts and Crafts.

The main locations for Hotel, Motel, and Backpacker accommodation are; Waihi, Whangamata, Pauanui, Tairua, Whitianga, Coromandel Town, and Thames. Commercial Camping Grounds & Holiday Parks are located at Waihi, Tairua, Whitianga, and Coromandel Town. Alternatively there are a number of Department Of Conservation (DOC) camping sites around the region. Accommodation bookings are recommended especially during peak periods.


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For anyone looking for a perfect spot to visit for a long weekend or a short break, Mt Maunganui / Tauranga would be one of our picks.

With flights to Auckland from New Zealand’s main centres significantly lower than direct flights to Tauranga, we would recommend hiring a rental car from Auckland and enjoying the interesting and scenic drive. Along the way you will pass through the spectacular Karangahake Gorge, as well as the historic gold mining town of Waihi, and Paeroa – the home of New Zealand’s most famous soft drink.

Once in Tauranga the is plenty to enjoy including some of New Zealand’s best beaches, restaurants & cafes, hot pools, shopping, and the not to be missed hike to the top of The Mount.

Tauranga offers a range of accommodation options from camping grounds and cabins through the luxury hotel & apartment rooms.


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Air New Zealand has just announced changes to their regional services.

From April 2015 they will no longer fly the following routes:

Kaitaia – Auckland
Whangarei – Wellington
Whakatane – Auckland
Taupo – Wellington
Palmerston North – Nelson
Westport – Wellington

From February 2016 they will stop flying Hamilton – Auckland.

Customers affected by these changes should check out Rental Cars New Zealand’s rental car rates from Auckland and Wellington. We have a range of rental cars to suit most budgets and to accommodate small and large groups of people.

For more information regarding these flight changes refer to Air New Zealand’s website.


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The New Zealand Rental Vehicle Association has recently shared some videos to help promote safe driving in New Zealand.

Rental Cars New Zealand plans to dedicate a page on our website soon promoting road safety for our rental car customers.

In the meantime we would like to share these videos via our blog page.

Rental Car Safety for English speaking rental car customers:
Rental Car Safety for German speaking rental car customers:
Rental Car Safety for French speaking rental car customers:
Rental Car Safety for Chinese speaking rental car customers:

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The New Zealand Government has just announced new laws and limits regarding drinking alcohol and driving in New Zealand.

From the 1st of December 2014 the legal limit for fully licenced drivers over the age of 20 years of age, breath testing limits will reduce from 400 mcg per litre of breath to 250 mcg, while the limit for blood will reduce from 80 mcg per 100ml of blood down to 50 mcg. For drivers aged under 20 years the limit remains at zero.

While the proposed punishments may be less severe for those caught with alcohol levels that fall between the new limit and the old limit, our advice to people hiring rental cars in New Zealand is to not drink and drive at all. From a safety perspective, being impaired in any way while driving a vehicle is never a good idea, especially in an unfamiliar vehicle while driving on unfamiliar and often challenging roads. Financially, an accident in a rental car while under the influence of alcohol could prove to be very expensive. Most New Zealand rental car insurance policies include a list of exclusions which usually mentions drinking and driving and being charged or convicted of a driving offence. Should an accident occur in these circumstances, the driver of the rental car could be liable for all damage caused.

So if you are planning a New Zealand road trip, be aware of the law. Make sure that you enjoy our world class Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Central Otago Pinot Noir wines as well as our great range of craft beers during your trip. When you do, stay safe and don’t drive!

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Great news for our Picton Rental Car Customers! Rental Cars New Zealand has recently confirmed a new agreement with our property owners which means that we are committed to the Picton, Blenheim and wider Marlborough rental car market.

In the last few years we have sadly seen a number of rental car companies close down or pull out of the Picton market including Ezi-Rent Car Hire Picton and Bargain Rental Cars Picton.

As an independent family owned business we are proud to be one of the few true New Zealand owned and operated companies in the Picton & Marlborough region. Our Picton office operates 7 days per week and also provides Blenheim Airport Car Rentals.

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If you need to hire snow chains in Christchurch this winter, give Rental Cars New Zealand a phone call.

We have a large range of snow chains for rent to fit most models of cars. We hire them out to our Rental Car customers as well as customers with their own vehicles.

If you are planning a road trip in the South Island and expect to drive through any of the alpine passes we recommend that you carry snow chains for your own peace of mind and safety.

Rental Cars New Zealand is open 7 days, Telephone +64 3 961 5880 or 0800 888 358


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Depending on where you plan to drive in your rental vehicle during winter will make a difference to whether you need snow chains or not.

If you planning a trip through any high country or alpine pass route in the South Island during winter then we would recommend that you carry snow chains. There are some roads in the South Island e.g. The Milford Road where it is law to carry snow chains in your vehicle during winter months. In other areas including the Queenstown Lakes District, the Council recommend that chains should always be carried during winter, and advise that drivers can be fined for ignoring snow chain fitting signs. Some of the key roads and passes to be aware of are Arthurs Pass, Lewis Pass, Lindis Pass, Porters Pass, and The Crown Range. During winter storms other roads and passes may also be affected.

In the North Island, it is less likely to need snow chains although The Desert Road in the Central North Island experiences snow several times during most winter periods.

While some New Zealand drivers are very familiar with driving on snow or ice, a number of overseas visitors driving rental cars find the conditions very challenging. Heavy braking and acceleration, excessive speed, and sudden changes or direction can all lead to a loss of traction. In snow and ice, snow chains will assist with handling but will not totally eliminate the risk of losing control of your vehicle.

Some other winter driving tips for a safer trip include:
Drive with your head lights on (even during the day)
Allow enough time to comfortably reach your destination. Allow for delays
Be aware of black ice (especially on corners) which is common in shaded frost prone areas
Leave enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front to stop safely
Be ready for the unexpected e.g. animals on the road, slips & rockfalls
Avoid sudden changes of speed and direction
Be aware that New Zealand roads can be more challenging than in other countries
Keep up to date with the road conditions via Transit New Zealand, AA Roadwatch etc.

Our advice to our rental car customers is to always carry chains if planning to drive around the South Island during winter. In the North Island we recommend staying up to date with weather and road conditions and carrying chains when necessary.

Rental Cars New Zealand carries a large stock of snow chains at our Christchurch Depot for both our car hire and snow chain hire customers.

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New Zealand’s largest sporting event for Intermediate and Middle School students takes place in Tauranga in September 2014. From the 7th to the 12th of September more than 6500 competitors from nearly 200 schools will compete against the best of their age in a variety of individual and team sports including; tennis, golf, swimming, squash, multi-sport, rugby, league, netball, hockey, football and more. Continue reading

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What is the most famous thing about Taupo?

If your rental car trip takes you through the central North Island of New Zealand, make sure that you stop and check out McDonald’s Taupo.

Last year this McDonald’s outlet was voted number 1 on the list of world’s coolest McDonald’s out of 35,000 locations worldwide.

So what makes McDonald’s Taupo so cool? Well, it is totally unique in that it includes an old Douglas DC3 Aircraft as part of the restaurant. The plane was built in 1943 and was used commercially in New Zealand up until 1984. It was later purchased by the Mayor of Taupo and was originally destined to become an office for a car company until it was purchased by McDonald’s.

While the plane is possibly not as famous as some other local attractions such as Lake Taupo or The Huka Falls, we think that it is worth stopping to see what put Taupo ahead of rival locations such as New York, London, and Rome!

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