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Hiring a Rental Car in New Zealand

Of all the ways to explore and experience New Zealand, making your own way around this spectacular country in a Rental Car offers the most flexibilty and opportunity to see and experience all the amazing sights and attractions.

Arriving in New Zealand

When travelling to New Zealand you will probably arrive and depart from one of New Zealand’s main international airports; Christchurch International Airport in the South Island; or Auckland International Airport in the North Island.

Key Rental Car Locations

Both Christchurch and Auckland are well serviced by rental car companies conveniently located within a few kilometres of the airport, with most offering a shuttle bus service to their car hire depot.

Rental Car Costs

The cost of rental cars varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle required, and the time of year. Rental Cars New Zealand offers over 20 different classes of vehicles from small Hatchbacks through 4 Wheel Drives, People Movers, Minibuses and Vans. They have a vehicle available to suit most vehicle requirements and budgets.

Rental Car Availability

During New Zealand’s peak tourism months from November until March, and during the winter ski season of July and August it is advisable to pre-book your rental car as rental car companies are often fully booked during these periods. Rental Cars New Zealand offers a very user friendly car hire quoting and reservation system on their website  You can use the website to check vehicle availability, pricing options, and generate rental car quotes.

Car Hire Process

The first step of hiring a rental car usually involves completing a rental agreement which outlines all the details of your car hire, including dates, pricing, insurance options, and any other conditions of your car hire. Payment is usually made when your vehicle is collected. Most rental car companies require a credit card which will be used as security or as a bond on your rental vehicle. Prior to your hire the rental will be checked and possibly photographed so that there is an accurate record of the condition of the vehicle when the hire commenced.

Rental Vehicle Fees and Insurance

Apart from the daily hire rate of your rental car, you may be offered other optional accessories and services. Typically the standard insurance excess or deductible for your rental vehicle will range between $1500 and $3000. Most rental car companies offer you the option of reducing your insurance excess by purchasing additional insurance. Other fees may include; one way fees for picking up and dropping off your vehicle at different locations; the cost of various accessories including GPS units, baby seats, roof racks, snow chains; afterhours service fees; or other fees outlined in the rental car companies terms and conditions. It is advisable to check what fees are included with your car rental prior hiring your vehicle.

Car Hire Accessories

Rental car companies offer a range of accessories including some the following; baby seats; child booster seats; GPS navigational devices; roof racks; luggage boxes; ski racks; snow chains; cooler boxes; cell phones; and luggage trailers.

Rental Car Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

Depending on which rental car company you choose, you may be able to pick up and drop off your vehicle in most major towns and cities throughout New Zealand. While some rental car companies will not allow you to take your rental car on the ferry between the North and South Islands, Rental Cars New Zealand does offer this option.

New Zealand Driving Tips

Some of the key things to remember when driving in New Zealand include; always drive on the left side of the road; our maximum speed limit on motorways and main rural roads is generally 100km per hour, and usually 50 km per hour in most urban areas; everyone in the vehicle is required to wear a seatbelt or a child restraint; hand-held mobile phones cannot be used while driving; you may drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months on a valid overseas licence or international licence permit. If your licence is not in English, then you must carry an English translation. One final piece of advice is to allow plenty of time for your trip. New Zealand may appear small on road maps however some of the roads can be quite steep and can wind through mountains and along coastlines making travel times a lot longer than originally planned.

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