Car Rental In NZ

Driving your rental car in New Zealand

Australians tell us they find touring New Zealand remarkably stress-free. Traffic volumes are low, the roads are well maintained and car rental in NZ is inexpensive. Below are a few tips about driving your rental car in NZ to ensure you stay safe and within the law.

Driving on the Left Hand Side of the Road

New Zealanders, like Australians, drive on the left hand side of the road.

Turning Right

In New Zealand when you are turning right at traffic lights and intersections you must give way to vehicles turning left.

Driving in the City

The speed limit in urban areas is 50kph (around 30mph), with some zones of 70kph. Most New Zealanders are still learning some of the courtesies of road sharing due to decades of light traffic. Some visitors report they find lane changing in NZ can be more difficult when compared to other countries and a lack of courteous driving behavior is evident. Fortunately, this is not the case in social situations, where Kiwis are genuine and hospitable to visitors.

Driving in the Country

Most of New Zealand’s roads pass through farmland, and this is generally considered the open road. The maximum safe speed you can travel on the open road is 100kph. This is indicated by a white circular sign with a black diagonal stripe. When driving your rental car in New Zealand townships, you must reduce your speed to 50kph.

New Zealand roads are well sign posted the main highways are numbered with single or double digit numbers. These are indicated by roadside shields and on all reputable road maps. When exiting a township or city large green signs display the distances to the upcoming towns, cities or points of interest.

Licence Requirements

All New Zealand road users require a valid Ministry of Transport approved licence. Current International licenses are welcome, but these must be in English or be accompanied with a certified English translation to be valid.

Legal Matters

The New Zealand police force takes the task of traffic enforcement seriously. They use several methods to enforce speed control with patrol cars, unmarked police vehicles and speed cameras. Mobile speed cameras operate at the rear of parked vans or hatch back vehicles; an orange flash means that you have been caught and will they send NZ Rent a Car a fine. We will process the fine (with a fee) and send you the bill.

Parking in towns and cities is controlled through its council system and wardens issue parking notices for minor offences.

Blood alcohol limits in New Zealand are set at 80mg/100ml, although having any alcohol in your blood after an accident may affect the insurance cover on your car rental in NZ.

Certificate of Fitness Certification for Car Rental in NZ

Any vehicle that is used on the road in New Zealand must be registered and comply with a Warrant of Fitness (WOF). The Warrant of Fitness procedure involves a mechanical inspection and vehicle registration that can be from 3 to 12 months in duration.

All car rentals in NZ undergo a more compressive series of safety tests called a Certificate of Fitness.

The proof documentation must be displayed clearly on the front windscreen.

The Land Transport Safety Authority has more information on road safety in New Zealand at:

New Zealand Rent a Car Insurance Policy

All NZ Rent A Car rentals require a compulsory insurance policy and must be paid before commencing your car rental with us. All accidents are subject to an excess (deductible). Some policies can reduce the excess by the payment of an extra premium.

Find out more about car rental in NZ

  • Check out our great range of high quality NZ rental cars
  • Find out more about our New Zealand wide car rental locations
  • Get a quote and book now for a great deal on your holiday car rental in NZ
  • Call us on our Australian free phone number: 1800 771 302

“Quality car rental in NZ – New Zealand Rent a Car have got the whole country covered.”