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Important Information to Understand Before You Book a Rental Car

Before booking a rental car in NZ guide banner

There is a lot to understand when it comes to renting a car in New Zealand. Before you make your booking, make sure you are familiar with the following:

What is included in the listed price?

Inclusions and exclusions in your car rental rate differ based on which supplier you are hiring with. Generally, GST, premium location fees and airport taxes are all included in your rate, as is any relevant one-way fees. Although basic insurance cover is included in the rate, renters will still be liable to pay an excess amount for any damage.

Any optional extras you wish to purchase such as child seats and GPS devices will not be included in the rate. The price of excess reduction products is also not reflected in the rate.

Read more about price inclusions.

What car rental companies rent under 25? 

The usual minimum age requirement to rent and drive a car hire in New Zealand is 25 years old. However, there are some car rental agencies that allow drivers below 25 as long as they pay for the underage surcharge fee.  Click here to find out.

Will I need an International Driving Permit?

If your driving licence is not in English, you will need to apply for an International Driving Permit before you can rent a car in New Zealand. The permit functions as a translation only, so you will need to present it along with your original driving licence when you arrive at the depot to collect your car.

Read more about the International Driving Permit.

What type of car should I hire in New Zealand?

Before you decide which sort of vehicle to hire in New Zealand, you need to first consider where you will be travelling. New Zealand is a diverse country with all kinds of terrain. You will also need to determine how many people will be travelling with you and how much storage space you will require.

  • For areas such as Queenstown and Wanaka, you may prefer a compact car which can more easily navigate the small, winding alpine passes and the narrow town streets.
  • Four wheel drives may be easier to drive if you are travelling in winter, and dealing with icy conditions.
  • If you are new to driving on the left-hand side of the road, an automatic vehicle may allow you to better focus on the road.

Read more about the best types of vehicles to drive in New Zealand.

Other useful information

If you would like to learn more about how car rental insurance works in New Zealand, you can read our guide.

Need a few more reasons to book a car in New Zealand? Here are some of the benefits of exploring New Zealand by car.

Important

Before you book a rental car in New Zealand . . . 

Make sure you understand what is included in the rental rate. If you are adding extras these will all incur local charges. If your driving licence is not in English, you will need an International Driving Permit to drive in New Zealand. If it's your first time driving here, you may prefer to hire an automatic vehicle that will allow you to better focus on the road. 
 
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