NZ Car Rental – New Zealand Holiday Tips
Our holiday tips show you what to expect when you arrive in New Zealand. See what our amazing country has to offer with an affordable NZ car rental from USAVE, and embark on a new adventure.
Getting to New Zealand
Rock climbing, Auckland quarry
Whakapapa ski area, Mount Ruapehu
Plastic hay bales
New Zealand is a three and a half hour flight from Eastern Australia, a non-stop overnight flight from the United States, and around 10 hours flight from most places on the Pacific Rim, like Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Flights from the UK take approximately 30 hours with a short stop in the US or Asia.
Passports and Visas
All visitors require a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after their intended departure. A Visa is not required for most visitors travelling to New Zealand for a stay of less than 3 months. You should check with your local New Zealand embassy or consulate for the latest information.
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day. It is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In summer New Zealand has daylight saving, when clocks are put forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the third Sunday of the following March, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.
Climate and Seasons
New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer is from December to February whilst winter is from June to August. The average summer temperature is 22° Celsius (72° Fahrenheit), and the average winter temperature is 9° Celsius (48° Fahrenheit).
Banking and Business Hours
Many businesses and banks operate only Monday to Friday. Banking hours are usually 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and are closed on public holidays. Many stores in major cities are open on Saturday and Sunday and those catering largely to visitors are open every day, often with extended hours. Most petrol stations and dairy stores (convenience stores) are open every day.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
All goods and services purchased in New Zealand are subject to 12.5% Goods and Services tax. This is usually included in the price, although some hotels and restaurants quote prices excluding GST. Some restaurants, cafes and fast food chains add a 15-20% surcharge on public holidays.
NZ Car Rental – Driving Information
International Driving Licences and Permits
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver’s licence from your home country, or an International Driving Permit (IDP).
All drivers, including overseas visitors, must carry their licence or permit when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. The common legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 years or older.
If your licence is not in English, you should bring an English translation with you or obtain an International Driving Permit. Contact your local automobile club for further details about obtaining a translation or an IDP.
New Zealand Road Safety
If you’re planning on driving an NZ car rental, please note the following important points:
- All motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road
- In urban areas the speed limit is 50kmph (approx 30mph) unless otherwise indicated
- The speed limit on the open road is 100kmph (approx 60mph) unless otherwise indicated
- Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times
Read more about safely driving NZ rental cars including basic road rules.