Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - carl_a

Many years ago before a trip to Australia I remember finding someone recommended a car hire company in Sydney (Bayswater). It worked out well.

I'm off on a three week trip to NZ in April, starting in Queenstown and ending in Auckland. Can anyone recommend a good car hire companies and generally advice for motoring in NZ?

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - Fishermans Bend

Drivers not the best. Sorry unable to help with hire car. Just

Have a great time - you will!

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - RobJP

I've always found Thrifty to be excellent in Australia, and, based on that recommendation, friends hired using them in NZ.

They were very happy with the car, price, lack of 'upselling, and general service.

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - MGspannerman
I have used Apex in NZ and also Jucy. Both are at the value for money end of the market, which suits me as I prefer to spend my money on the cracking NZ wine. It is a little while since I was last there, but then I was using the Jucy Cheapie vehicles. These are essentially miley Japanese imports, well worn but roadworthy. You may want to think about where you pick up, at the airport or city centre and whether it is one way or return, obviously price and convenience implications.

There are really no problems in driving in NZ, outside the cities the roads are pretty clear, but usually two way and slowish. They have done away with the slightly bonkers law that said cars turning right had right of way, except when they didn't but we won't tell you. If travelling north of Auckland on state highway 1 there is a toll stretch which is very tedious especially with a hire car. I usually follow the now trafficless and scenic old route via the coastal road to avoid any potential complication. Also on the South Island check the route as there can be land slips, as on the Christchurch road north via Kaikoura. Keep your tank topped up in country areas, the roads can be very empty. Usually renters prohibit off road use too. But really no problems at all.

Enjoy everything that wonderful country has to offer. I love the country and everything about it.
Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - retgwte

I had an Avis hire care long term, hired in Auckland from Avis. The discounts available from adverts in the local papers were much greater than the large discounts agreed worldwide betweem my employer and Avis. The biggest pain in the bum was having to return every month to resign the agreement. It was not an unlimited miles agreement, it was limited to a high amount, but I always declared the full amount every month until I handed it back and they found out it had much fewer miles in practise. You cannot really do mega miles anyways as its such a small country.

I did use a few other companies but was never impressed.

Looking back I should have joined the Avis loyalty club.

New Zealand driving is quite different to here, for one they have no concept at all of braking distance and will always drive right up your bum, you have to get used to it, in that regard its pretty unsafe.

A lot of roads out of the towns are not laid with tarmac, just pebbles or whatever, so you need to become better at sort of rally driving technique.

There is a silly rule where sometimes someone turning across you path has right of way, so you need to be careful and know when to brake if some local insists on using this rule.

There are quite good "drive you home" services, where rather than getting a cab home after a night drinking you can get someone to come out and drive you home in your own car (they put a fold up motorcycle in the boot, and use it to get home after they have dropped you off and parked up your car)

Great place

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - Avant

We found Thrifty good value, although it's eight years since we went to NZ. It was easy to drop one car at Wellington, go over as foot passengers to the South Island, and pick another one up at Picton.

Watch out for the police: there is a 100 kph limit on all roads and - maybe because there isn't too much crime in NZ - they are all over the place enforcing it. I got done for going at 105 kph.

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - Fishermans Bend

Second Avant's advice about police. They are very sneaky hiding up where you can't see them, not much for them to do, so they catch marginal speeders to keep themselves from getting bored.

Unsealed roads - beware of losing grip, make sure you have sufficient insurance. Heard abouut a backpacker who didn't take out extra cover, lost control on an unsealed road, cost over $1,000 when a few dollars a day extra would have covered her.

From memory fuel not much cheaper than here, more pricey in rural areas, so top up in cities.

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - Smileyman

I do recall reading once that you cannot take a hired car on the inter-island ferry, it was necessary to leave the car at the port and pick up another car on the other island - it may no longer be the case but worth checking

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - The Gingerous One


Hope I am not too late to reply to this. I've been to NZ 3 times now and each time I have used Apex (also recommened by another poster).

Had a variety cars from them, last time (2010) a Toyota Camry as I wanted something with guts as in 2002 we'd had an imported 1600cc Corolla with 3spd auto. It was gutless and couldn;t overtake uphills.

We couldn't take the car between islands, we went from the N -> S and had to leave the car on the N at the Apex terminal and then got another on the S island.

Also Apex charge in local NZ$, so you aren't at the mercy of someone elses exchange rate being applied (to get their price in GBP)

Hope that helps ??

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - Myfanwy365

Apex were very good, I worked for them for 6 months in the Auckland office in 2014 & didn't see any big issues that customers had. There was the odd rough car, the type that only got brought out when desperately needed but in most cases they were grand, scratches yes but we never cared about them to be honest

Taking the car on the ferry is perfectly fine, generally the car goes free & you pay for the passengers.

Apex sold out to Avis in 2015 I believe, they were in the process of selling when I was there so not sure how that will affect anything

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - skidpan

You cannot really do mega miles anyways as its such a small country.

Always thought it was a bit bigger than the UK and you can do a mega mileage here if you try

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - Nickdm

Queenstown one-way to Auckland in April is the perfect combination for getting a very cheap rental! Most tourists seem to drive one-way in the opposite direction, and at the end of Summer there are hundreds of vehicles that need repatriating and returned to the North.

Check out

But all the large rental companies will be offering 1-way specials on their websites a few weeks beforehand.

Petrol currently NZD2/litre.

Note that following the Kaikoura earthquake last November, the drive north from Christchurch to the ferry used to take under five hours but now takes around 8...!

Car Hire and Motoring in New Zealand - notagoodname
When I lived there I was told the radar on the cops' cars were able to read one's speed even when their car was moving. I found it hard to believe but always slowed if I saw one coming towards me in case..

Also look out for the high number of white crosses and shrines by the side of the road - lots of fatal accidents - their stricter approach to speeding may by now be having an effect.

Their ambulance network isn't anything like ours - it may still be the case that outside the big cities most paramedics are volunteers. Also the time it takes an ambulance to get to the site of a remote accident means that moderate injuries / bleeds can prove fatal.

Again things may have changed but their insurance system used to be different meaning that a 16 or 17 year old could cheaply insure an imprezza - hence the white crosses.

Ask Honest John

Value my car