New Zealand Four Wheel Drive Rental Vehicle Driving Tips

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Read about 'New Zealand Four Wheel Drive Rental Vehicle Driving Tips' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

Having a four wheel drive rental vehicle certainly gives you extra power and grip on the roads, but it’s not cruise control for good driving. Because many of the situations you use a 4WD vehicle have inherent dangers such as gravel surfaces, snow and ice or steep winding roads, extra caution and care is needed. Going with four wheels gives you extra freedom, but you also need to be responsible and take precaution using some of these driving tips.

1. Use the extra power cautiously. It’s true that you have the ability to overtake cars easier and to get up hills quicker, but faster speeds make for bigger accidents. Only overtake if necessary, and if you can see a wide area of clear road ahead of you. Otherwise it’s safer to just bide your time and go a little bit slower. Similarly hills and curves are where 4WDs notice most of their power, and it’s here that you need to be especially careful.

2. Use the correct tyres. The rental branch will be able to advise you on the kind of tyres you need for the terrain you intend to cover. In particular, snow tyres are extremely important when heading into the mountains, or simply driving around areas such as Queenstown and the Central Plateau during winter.

3. Keep cool and rested. Driving off road requires a lot more concentration than normal driving. To ensure that you stay focused and in command, it’s a good idea to take rest stops as often as possible. Use the AC that all our 4WD vehicles come with to make sure you aren’t getting too hot and bothered during summer, and keep yourself refreshed with the electric windows down.

4. Keep in control. Although most of our 4WD vehicles have an automatic transmission, you can use the gears and overdrive switch to help control your speed around hills. Avoid using the brakes as much as possible (instead using higher gears to reduce speed) as they can boil on hot days.

Four wheel drive vehicles are a great way to see the country and explore some of the back roads of New Zealand, but they also require more focus, control and caution.

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