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The Process of Picking Up a Rental Car in New Zealand

Picking up a rental car in NZ guide banner

New Zealand is one of the most popular road-trip destinations in the world. However, there is some important information you need to know before you start planning your driving holiday. VroomVroomVroom has put together a guide to help you successfully pick up a rental car, and avoid any problems or delays. 

You will need to make sure you take all the appropriate documentation with you, and make sure you are protected against paying any damage charges. Different Terms and Conditions may apply for rental agreements that involve both the North and South Island.

Is my rental car insured?

A Loss Damage Waiver protects renters in New Zealand against having to pay for the full cost of the vehicle if it is lost or stolen. While this is generally included in the rates, an excess amount will still apply in case any damage is caused to the vehicle while it is in your possession. Policies differ per supplier, but generally you can purchase excess reduction products to reduce your financial liabilities. 

Read more about the different types of protection products that are available here.

What documents will I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring certain documents with you when you pick up your rental car. If you do not have these with you when you collect the vehicle, you may be unable to proceed with your rental. Here are some of the documents you will need:

  • Driving licence (held for a minimum of 12 months)
  • International Driving Permit (if your licence is not printed in English)
  • Credit card in the name of the lead driver
Read more about  required documents.

Can I take my rental car between islands?

Although you are not permitted to take your rental car on the Inter-Islander Ferry between Wellington and Picton, you are able to book a Multi-Island hire rate, meaning that your North and South Island booking will be under the same rental agreement. To do this you must meet certain requirements.
  • Minimum hire periods will apply for the North and South Island
  • You must pick up your second rental car within five hours 
  • You are responsible for booking the Inter-Islander Ferry as a foot passenger

Read more about Multi-Hire bookings in New Zealand .

Additional charges 

Did you know that there are additional charges that can be added to your car rental? From fines and tolls to kilometre limits and one way fees, it's important to understand any additional costs you may need to pay for. Any issues with the car resulting in the supplier needing to clean, fix or add fuel to the tank will require additional charges. To avoid this issue, always make sure that the vehicle is being returned in the same condition it was in when you picked it up. Keeping this in mind will help you to remember what to do so no extra charges are added.

Read more about  additional charges.

Car model availability

​When you book a rental car, you are booking a certain class of car with specifications, not the exact model. This is the same for all car rental companies. They do this because the can not always guarantee a specific car model due to the amount of cars in their fleet. You will most definitely receive a car from the same class, with the same amount of seats, transmission, doors, fuel type etc.

Read more about car model availability.

 Important:

When you pick up your rental car

Before you pick up your rental car in New Zealand, make sure you have all the appropriate documentation. If you are making a multi-hire booking, you will need to make sure you meet all the terms and conditions. You may be charged an extra fee if you choose to add an additional driver to your rental agreement.