If your driving licence is not printed in English, you will need an International Driving Permit to rent a car in New Zealand. Licences from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada are all generally accepted, however, there may be some exclusions.
If you have an International Driving Permit, there are still some important things you need to know before you pick up your car:
If a police officer catches you without an acceptable English translation of your licence or an IDP, you may be prosecuted for driving without a valid licence. You will need to pay an infringement fee of at least NZ$400, or up to NZ$1,000 if you have been convicted in court. Note that the New Zealand police can restrict you from driving until you have an appropriate licence. If you drive again after being fined, your rental vehicle can be impounded for 28 days. You may also risk not being covered by your insurance if you are involved in a crash.
If you want to rent a car in New Zealand but your driver's licence is not in English, you will still need to carry your original driver licence along with an accurate English translation. You can use an accredited translation service approved by the NZ Transport Agency. Note that for car rentals in Australia, the driver's licence translations will only be accepted if they are translated and approved by a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and signed by the translator.
Note also that sometimes this may depend on the supplier or at the depot you will be hiring from, so it might be best to contact our expert Customer Care Team to confirm if your driver's licence or translation will be accepted in New Zealand.
Click here to learn more about other licence requirements when renting a car.