Rental Cars New Zealand - here's all you need to know
If you are planning a self drive holiday in New Zealand, we can help with all of your rental car or motorhome needs.
New Zealand has a wide range of car and motor home rental companies and all major brands are readily available throughout the country such as Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Thrifty, Go Rentals, Apollo, Britz, Kea and Maui.
Some important information
Just click on the links below to move to that section of this page. To return here just click on your browser's "Back" button.
* How to find the best deals
* A warning about your rental vehicle excess
* Search for your car or campervan now
* Remember to buy your travel insurance
* Are there minimum age requirements?
* Video - Driving in New Zealand
* What type of driver's licence do I need?
* Driving distances and times
* Can I take a car between the North and South Islands?
* Driving conditions in New Zealand
* How to book on the Inter Island ferry
How do I find the best deal?
Yes it's messy searching through website after website trying to compare
deals from different hire companies.
Well we can remove all the hassles for you.
Through our partnership with DriveNow we can offer you the largest range of vehicles and the best available rates (with a lowest price guarantee).
Over many years DriveNow have
helped thousands of visitors with their New Zealand rental car and
camper van needs.
And best of all, our easy to use search facility allows you to compare vehicles and rental companies at a glance.
Check availability now
You can find the best deal right now. Just use the search boxes below to select your preferred hire location and you are on your way (when you finish, come back to this page and scroll down for some handy tips on driving in New Zealand):
Search for great Car hire deals
Search for best Campervan hire deals
Are there minimum age requirements to hire a vehicle?
Yes. In New Zealand, the driver must be at least 21 years of age.
However, please note that if you are under 25 years of age, the rental company may, when you collect the vehicle, ask you:
Please refer to the individual suppliers terms and conditions.
What type of licence do I need?
You will need to provide a full unrestricted licence. Probationary licences are not accepted.
Your valid licence must be presented at time of collection of the vehicle along with the licenses of any additional drivers.
All driver's licences must be current, without any restrictions, must be in English or be supported by a certified translation or international driving permit, which must be presented along with your licence.
If the licence is not in English, an International Driving permit is strongly recommended.
Taking rental cars from one island to the other
Some rental car companies do not allow you to take your rental car or campervan from one island to the other, so it is sometimes necessary to make separate bookings for each island. If you are traveling from the North Island to the South Island, you may need to drop your car off in Wellington, and collect another car in Picton (South Island) when you disembark from the Inter Island ferry.
How can I find out more?
More information detailing the policy for each rental car company can be found here.
But please confirm the current policy at the time of your booking.
Inter Island Ferry - forward bookings are essential
It's essential to pre-book your ferry crossings, so once you have your car hire sorted please book your ferry tickets using the links below:
* Ferry from Wellington to Picton - book HERE
* Ferry from Picton to Wellington - book HERE
Insurance Excess - Beware
Insurance excess for your rental vehicle can be substantial, and often $3,000 to $4,000. This means that you have to pay this amount in the event of any damage to the vehicle.
Rental companies will allow you to reduce this excess if you pay an additional daily charge, which may be $20-$30 extra per day.
As an alternative to paying this additional daily fee, check the terms
and conditions of your travel insurance policy. You may find that your
travel insurance covers the excess. If in doubt ask your travel insurer.
Travel Insurance Through World Nomads
We strongly suggest that you do not travel without appropriate travel insurance. The risks are just too high.
We recommend World Nomads (recommended by none other than Lonely Planet).
Check out what's covered and get a quote HERE.
Watch This Short Video About Driving In New Zealand - Rental Cars New Zealand
Rental Cars New Zealand - How Far Will I Have To Drive And How Long Will It Take?
Although New Zealand is a relatively compact country, many areas are mountainous, and weather conditions vary greatly. This sometimes means that driving from one place to another can take longer than you think. And because of the ever changing (and amazing) scenery, you will find yourself stopping regularly to take photos and experience the many stunning spots on your trip.
When planning your trip we suggest that you use our driving distance / time calculators to help you. You can access them here:
* South Island driving times and distances - click HERE
* North Island driving times and distances - click HERE
Rental cars New Zealand-What Are Driving Conditions Like In New Zealand?
The roads in New Zealand are generally very good. Surfaces are usually well maintained, and once out of the major metropolitan areas, traffic volume is relatively low.
Roads between many areas can be winding, so please allow extra travel time where appropriate (your car rental company will be able to advise you).
Please be aware though that road conditions can change without notice, particularly in the alpine regions, where snow and ice are common in the colder months. Snow chains can be a necessity at these times.
Please also note that there are a few roads where travel is prohibited by the car rental companies, so please check with them.
Check current road conditions
For current information on road conditions throughout New Zealand, please visit the New Zealand Transport Agency website HERE.