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Driving a Rental Car in New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand guide banner

There is some important information you need to be aware of while you are driving your rental car in New Zealand. For example, certain restrictions may apply as to where you can drive your vehicle, and you may not be permitted to travel on certain roads. There are also different policies regarding extensions and fuel policies. Here is a guide to assist you:

Extending your booking

If you've already picked up your rental car and your plans have changed, you will need to contact the car rental company directly to extend your booking. There are a few important things to be aware of:

  • Extending your booking will affect the price.
  • You may not be able to extend your booking if there are no vehicles available. This is common during peak travel times.

Read more about extending your booking.

Restrictions when driving in New Zealand

There are restrictions to where you are permitted to drive your rental car. Our suppliers require that you stay on sealed roads, and avoid roads such as Skippers Canyon, Ninety Mile Beach and the Tasman Valley Road.

If you are planning to travel past the snow line, you may need to purchase extra cover. Depending on the supplier, you could be liable to pay any damage fees associated with taking the car beyond the snow line. 

Read more about driving restrictions.

Roadside assistance

All of our suppliers include some basic level of roadside assistance. Some offer other packages with increased protection. Whichever option you choose, it is important to understand the exclusions. Often non-mechanical issues such as lost keys, flat battery, and empty fuel tanks are not covered.

Read more about roadside assistance.

Travelling between the North and South Island

Are you planning to take the Interislander Ferry between the North and South Island? If you are picking up a rental car on the other side, you'll find the car rental desks conveniently located inside both terminals. Both Wellington and Picton Ferry Terminals are centrally located, so you'll easily be able to drop off your vehicle at either one. Remember, our suppliers do not allow you to take your rental car on the ferry. You could be charged an expensive relocation fee, as well as any charges for damage incurred.

Read more about the Interislander Ferry.

 Important:
Remember there are important rules and restrictions that apply to your rental car while you are travelling in New Zealand. Make sure you know which roads you are not able to travel on, and keep a copy of your rental agreement with all of the roadside assistance numbers. If you need to extend your booking, you will need to contact the car rental company directly.

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