Car Hire In New Zealand

Many travelers ask the question – Is it a good idea to hire a car in New Zealand? The short answer is ‘Yes’. Even though a relatively small country, many of New Zealand’s best attractions and adventure activities are spread well throughout its borders.

Getting around outside of the main cities can be time consuming, restrictive and expensive at times if having to rely on public transport or guided tours, and in some parts of New Zealand, particularly in the smaller more remote townships, there are no forms of public transport.

Rental car hire is an easy affordable alternative that lifts these restrictions, allowing travellers the freedom to move at their own pace, when and where they wish to go at any time of the day. Car rental in New Zealand is perfect for those impromptu day trips, late night romantic adventures, rainy day boredom busters, great New Zealand road trips or just for getting safely from A to B in your own time.    

Car Rental In New Zealand – What You Need To Know

New Zealand’s three largest cities are Auckland and Wellington (both in the North Island) and Christchurch (in the South Island). Travel between these cities is very common with tourists and locals, there are many attractions and activities operating within easy driving distance from the city centres.

When comparing dollar for dollar taking the bus might seem like a viable option, however fixed routes, timetables and total travel times can majorly eat into the most precious of things when on holiday – Time.

When travelling from Auckland to Wellington for example, bus departure times may be restricted to 7.30 am, 9 am and 7 pm, with travel only following the main arterial route with regulated stops along the way – usually confined to 30 minutes at most. The entire trip may take twelve hours or more.

When hiring a car in New Zealand travellers are able to set off whenever they like, plan to take side trips to various attractions of interest along the way, stay overnight wherever it suits and stop for toilet/rest breaks whenever the need arises. Travelling by car from Auckland to Wellington takes roughly 8 hours.

Travelling by car in New Zealand is very much an integral part of the journey as a whole, an addition to the holiday adventure – so much more than just a reliable method of travel.

Things To Consider When Hiring A Rental Vehicle In NZ

When selecting a vehicle for hire, it is necessary to think about a few things first. To make the trip a success the vehicle must be large enough to contain all passengers, luggage and any extras you might accumulate along the way. Some other things you might want to think about before hiring a rental vehicle in New Zealand are:

  • The Length Of The Hire Period. Look out for extra day bonuses and long term hire specials. Sometimes even if travelling between the North and South Island’s it may be cheaper to hold on to your rental car if it means the hire period falls within longer term rates.
  • Crossing The Cook Straight In A Rental Car. Depending on who you rent a car from, there may be restrictions on travel between the North and South Island’s. Look for car hire companies who have depots in both Islands for easy returns and permit their vehicles to travel on the inter-island ferry.
  • Returning The Rental Vehicle. Smaller car hire companies may require you to return the vehicle to the pickup location. This can be tricky if intending to drive between cities and then fly out, leaving the rental car behind. Look for car hire companies that have car rental depots around the country giving you the option of different pick up and drop off points.
  • Group Numbers. New Zealand rental cars are suitable for a wide range of uses, vehicles available for hire range from thrifty little hatchbacks, family sized and luxury sedans, 4WD vehicles and sporty little SUV’s, through to larger sized people movers and minivans.
  • Driver Restrictions. Not all roads in New Zealand are permitted to be driven on in a rental car. Some roads, the Ninety Mile Beach Road for example, are considered to be too dangerous both for the driver and the rental vehicle. Be sure to read and understand these restrictions when hiring your rental car.
  • Rental Car Insurance. As part of your rental car agreement, any involvement in any accidents whether they are your fault or not will require you to pay an insurance excess amount. The details of this amount will be clearly set out in the agreement, some rental companies offer the option to reduce the excess amounts for a further daily fee.
  • Driving Safely In NZ. Driving an unfamiliar vehicle can be a challenge at the best of times, but add in the complications of driving in a foreign country, driving on the left side of the road and some difficult road conditions and it can become a bit of a challenge. Take a look at our guide to Safe Driving In New Zealand and ensure you are well prepared for New Zealand road rules, the basics of driving in New Zealand, driver licencing requirements and the sorts of driving conditions you might encounter.
  • Age Restrictions. In most cases to rent a car in New Zealand you will need to be aged 21 or over. A valid, full drivers licence is important and sometimes the length of time you have had your licence will also be an important factor.

Short Term Car Hire In New Zealand

Only in town for a day or two, just need a rental car for a quick day trip, or to travel between two cities in a hurry? Short term car hire is an easy transport option no matter what the reason. Book your car rental online, easily choose the type of vehicle, amount of time required and instantly see costs and potential add-ons or specials.

Wherever you are based in New Zealand whether it be Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Dunedin or elsewhere, there are always plenty of local attractions and activities within short driving distances. Short term car hire is a great way to gain the freedom to explore without having to make any longer term commitments.

Things To Do In New Zealand With Short Term Car Hire

Long Term Car Hire In New Zealand

The longer your car hire period, generally the cheaper the hire costs per day. Significant amounts of money can be saved by renting the vehicle for longer periods, plus that means more time to see so much more of New Zealand. 

With so much to see and do in both the North Island and the South Island long term car rental in New Zealand is certainly worth considering. Get out of the city, explore the very heart of this fabulous country and meet the friendly locals along the way.

Places To Visit In New Zealand With Long Term Car Hire

Take a look at some more of the exciting places you can visit in a New Zealand rental car and plan a new road trip adventure today.

For affordable short or long term car hire in New Zealand check out the great range of vehicles for hire from USAVE Car Rentals. Five handy locations at Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin make car hire across New Zealand easy and hassle free.

Get a great deal on long term car hire in New Zealand from USAVE and see more of our amazing country.