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Getting Around Christchurch in a Rental Car

Christchurch driving tips

Christchurch and its surrounding areas are best explored on a road trip. To help you hit the ground running and assist you in getting the most out of this wonderful city, let us help you compare prices on rental cars in the area.

Driving in Christchurch

  • There are a lot of one-way streets in Christchurch, and it can feel like a maze to navigate at times; we suggest renting a GPS unit with your car to make navigating the city a little easier.
  • Parking can be difficult to find in the city, with the curbside zones and secure garages often at capacity; you may wish to leave your rental car on the outskirts and catch a tram, bus, or gondola to get around.
  • The speed limit on major highways linking Christchurch to other locations in New Zealand is generally 100km/h unless stated otherwise.
  • Always drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Always look before crossing the railway lines; not all of them have active warnings.

Where to Drive Your Rental Car From Christchurch

  • Hanmer Springs: Whether you are looking for a relaxing holiday or one filled with adventure, the alpine village of Hanmer Springs has the activities you need.
  • Akaroa: Only a 1.5-hour drive from Christchurch, enjoy the picturesque outer bays and immerse yourself in the beauty of Akaroa and the wider South Island.
  • Arthur's Pass: A charming township nestled in the Southern Alps of the South Island, Arthur's Pass is a must-see for hikers and nature lovers alike.
  • Kaikoura: The coastal town of Kaikoura is a great base for close-up wildlife encounters, coastal walks, and delicious seafood.

Toll Roads in Christchurch

Although there are no toll roads in Christchurch, there are three operating toll roads in New Zealand. These are the Northern Gateway Toll Road north of Auckland, the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road, and the Takitimu Drive Toll Road.

Driving Distances


You’ll need to fill your rental car with fuel before you return it to the depot. Here are a few conveniently located petrol stations in and around Christchurch.

  • Allied Petroleum - 14 Mcalpine Street, Wigram
  • PaKnSave Fuel - 297 Moorhouse Avenue, Sydenham
  • Caltex - 74 Carmen Road, Hei Hei
  • Southfuels Limited - 1/1 Edmonton Road, Hornby
  • Mobil Papanui - 23 Main North Road, Papanui

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