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Car Rental

New Zealand - Car Rental

When you rent a car in New Zealand you must collect the car, with any other drivers that will be using the vehicle, and take with you a valid driver’s licence and a credit card in the name of the person responsible for the hire. You may also be asked for proof of ID and address.

If you should break down or be involved in an accident while driving a hire car the first thing you should do is contact the local police then call the nearest office for your car hire company. You should ensure that you get the contact details and car details of any other driver involved. If you are deemed to be at fault in an accident you will be responsible for the excess on the hire car insurance policy which may be higher than excess on a standard policy. You are able to purchase separate insurance to pay for the excess in this case either arranged before the hire or through the hire company.

Drivers who are considered to be high risk may be screened by the car hire company. The company will ask questions regarding the driver’s history, particularly if there are points on the licence. A driver who is considered to be too high a risk may find that they are not permitted to hire a vehicle. The policies vary from hire company to hire company so if one refuses to hire a car out to you it is not necessarily the case that all the others will take the same line, although you may find it difficult.

A driver will need to be at least 21 years of age to hire a car and must have a full driver’s licence. A learner driver cannot hire a car in New Zealand. Drivers who are aged between 21 and 25 may find that rates are slightly higher for them as they are considered to be a higher risk. Drivers aged 21-24 may be limited on the type of car that they are permitted to rent. Most car hire companies will not allow a young driver to rent a car that falls into the luxury class.

One of the issues when renting a car in New Zealand is that the terms of your hire agreement may limit where you can and cannot take the car. Some companies prefer drivers not to take a hire car on the interisland ferry, preferring that you leave the car at the departure point and simply use another car when you reach the other island. Multi-island hire is a specific hire term and if you intend to travel across the two main islands then you will need to specify that this is the type of hire that you want.

One of the reasons for this is that most hire companies have 2 fleets of cars, one on each island. If you opt for multi-island hire then you will still need to leave the car when you get on the ferry and collect another car at the other side but this is all arranged in advance for you and does not require you to make separate bookings. Car hire insurance will not cover a car on the ferry. The car keys should be left at the car rental counter at the ferry terminal for additional security.

Some car hire companies also allow rental of a GPS navigation unit. This stays with you throughout your hire even if you are visiting both islands and using different cars. This should not be left in the car. Most car hire companies will have a minimum rental term for those who are using multi-island hire. This is often 3 days on each island and if this is met the booking is treated as one rental. Less time on one of the islands may mean higher rental fees.

Many of the rental companies which operate in New Zealand are known around the world and firms such as Budget and Avis have outlets at all major airports and ferry terminals. There are also a number of local firms such as Scotties which are in operation on both islands.

Useful Resources

Budget Car Hire
Private Bag 92144
New Zealand
Tel: 0800 283 438 (in NZ)
Tel: +64 9 529 7784 (other countries)
Email: online enquiry form on website

Avis Car Hire
Tel: 0800 655 111 (in NZ)
Tel: +64 9 526 2847

Scotties Car Hire
Tel: 0800 RENTAL (0800 736 825)

Read more about this country

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