New Zealand travel information Tourleader New Zealand

Car rental tips for New Zealand

Driving your own car brings you much closer to nature which is the unrivalled main attraction of New Zealand. Due to the small population, public transport is rather restricted to bus services in and between the main centres and only a few train connections.


New Zealand has very affordable rates for rental cars - if you are 2 or more passengers there’s a chance that you will find a rental car deal that’s better value than public transport.

Offroad driving is generally not allowed with a rental car and driving restrictions on certain roads may apply. Additional drivers may be allowed free of charge but they have to be listed on the rental agreement.

To drive in New Zealand bring your overseas driver's licence with you If it is not written in English also bring an accurate translation like an international driving permit (contact your local authorities).


More New Zealand car rental tips:
  • New Zealand covers an area bigger than the United Kingdom, the distance from Cape Reinga in the north to Invercargill in the south is 2,100 kms or over 30 hrs driving time! See our map with approximate New Zealand distances and driving times.
  • You can often pick up your rental car in one location and drop it off somewhere else.
  • If you’re here for less than 2 weeks consider domestic flights with breaks in 3-4 places (Northland, Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown, etc.) - rental cars are available in most New Zealand towns.
  • Make sure you understand all the conditions in a rental contract (see our detailed rental tips in Getting around).
  • Consider the expected cost of petrol (see under Money, cost and prices).
  • Make sure you know about the special rules for driving in New Zealand.
 
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