Renting a Car in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide

in this video we are going over the
essential travel tips for renting a car New Zealand as well as five way to save
big money on car rental in New Zealand coming up hey guys we’re Robin and Laura the team
behind backpackerguide.NZ helping you plan an epic backpacking trip in New
Zealand today we are gonna cover everything you need to know about
renting a car in New Zealand we’re gonna cover the best rental companies in New
Zealand the best type of vehicle to rent for road trip in New Zealand we’re gonna
cover the cost as well as the paperwork that you need to fill before renting a car in New Zealand and what you do on pickup and drop off will also be going through a
few Road Trip tips and on top of all that giving you five ways to save big
money on your car rental in New Zealand so let’s get to it but before we begins
we publish video like this one every day so make sure to subscribe below to stay
up to date step one what do you need to rent a car in New Zealand well a driving
licence would be handy but preferably a full valid driving license written in
English is perfect however if your driving license isn’t in
English then it needs to be accompanied by an international driving permit or a
translation that’s been approved by the New Zealand Transport Agency depending
on the car rental company you choose your age may also be a restriction so
company will simply not hire car to people which are under 21 years old and
some companies will apply certain condition and restrictions to people
which are under 25 years old such as restricted vehicle types as well as
mandatory insurance but don’t worry there are plenty of rental companies in
New Zealand they’ll have a minimum driving age of 18 with no strings
attached finally having a credit card may be a
good idea some companies will require you to have a credit card just as a
safety for them if you wreck the car or if you steal it otherwise some companies
will accept a bond which is a big amount of money to be paid before taking the
car and will be refunded to you when you give it back safe and sound step two plan your car rental budget for
the sake of this video we are going to solely focus on the car rental part of
your budget anything to do with food accommodations activities flight is not
going to be included there but we have a video about that coming up with soon and
we link to it in the description below so the first obvious price to look at is
the base price of your rental this is usually presented as a daily rate but of
course you don’t know what is included in that base price until you start going
through the booking process this is because your dates influence heavily the
price of your rental in summer the prices can be almost twice higher than
what it could be in winter so make sure to plan new travel dates accordingly
which brings us on to extra costs once you have filled out your travel dates
and the age of the youngest driver onto the car rental website you’ll then be
able to see the extra fees one of the main extra fee that you will encounter
is the young driver fee a lot of car rental companies would make you pay a fee for
having the driver under 25 years old or simply will make their premium insurance
mandatory another fee is the one-way fee which means picking up the car in one
location and dropping it off in another this can set you back almost $300 with
some companies another fee is the premium location this is usually picking
up the car from an airport this will set you back about 10 to 20 dollars and
finally there is the credit card fees that can be up to four percent with any
booking you will be offered optional extras like snow chains GPS maybe picnic
tables or even premium insurance which can cost an extra ten to twenty dollars
per day we tend to say you don’t really need these optional extras because
insurance should be included already in your car rental base price and also the
other things you can either pick up cheap somewhere else like the warehouse
for instance in New Zealand and also you can just download some maps onto your
phone for GPS yes don’t think that google map is enough just download a
99 cents map another important part in your budget is gonna be your ferry
crossing this is something that everybody has to pay for it usually cost
about 230 New Zealand dollars for one car two people return but the early you book the
cheaper it gets another big one on your budget is going to be fuel costs expect
to pay $2 a liter for petrol and about a dollar 35 a litre for diesel
however remember that you will have to pay a road user charge which is applied
on every kilometers driven in New Zealand with a diesel car that makes
them more expensive to run than petrol cars also we are talking gallons here
not liters so make sure you do the conversion finally there is a small but
unlikely cost of using toll roads in New Zealand now there are only three toll
roads in New Zealand and every one of them is usually under $2 to pass through
which uses an automated service so if you try to go through and not pay then
your rental company will know that’s right and on top of it they will charge
you usually around 40 bucks just to pay the fine for you and that’s on top of
your fine but there is a lot of ways to avoid toll roads which are usually
super scenic and it’s really easy to pay for it online we have a whole article
dedicated to that on backpacker guide . NZ and we link to it in the
description below step 3 choosing the right vehicle for
your road trip the types of car rentals available in New Zealand include
hatchback SUV station wagons people carriers and also camper cars most of
these will be automatic transmission and sometimes you’ll be offered a four-wheel
drive but we don’t really think this is necessary
considering car rental companies tend to not allow you to go off-roading anyway
if you pick a camper car just be aware that you will still have to pay for
campsites or holiday park fees you cannot simply just park your car and
sleep in the back of it we have a lot of restriction in New Zealand for freedom
camping and you need to be aware of those we have a full article on freedom
camping and backpacking and so you may want to read it we link
to it in the description below another factor when picking your car is
the amount of people traveling with you as well as the amount of luggage you
want to make sure that the vehicle you choose is gonna be comfortable for
everybody during your road trip finally you may want to pick a vehicle which is
new enough because the fuel consumption difference between an old vehicle and a
new one can be tremendous the step four of our guide is comparing rental car
companies when it comes to comparing car rental companies in New Zealand you
really need to look at what they offer as a package rather than just their base
price this does mean you will have to type in your details into several
websites booking pages but this is really important because your travel
dates make such an impact on the price here’s what to look for when comparing
car rental companies in New Zealand location is the pickup location
convenient for you is there a shuttle between your accommodation and the
pickup spot is that one way fee between your pick up and drop-off you need to
know all of that before choosing your car rental company prices and inclusions
if you find a price which is too good to be true well it probably is that might
be in an older vehicle that’s gonna cost you a lot you run on gas as well as have
a high risk of breakdown ruining your trip you also want to check what are the
inclusions in your insurance a lot of insurance don’t cover windscreen damage
which are really common in New Zealand Vehicles offered don’t compromise on that
you need a vehicle that will fit all your party very comfortably do not
settle for a smaller vehicle just because it’s slightly bit cheaper
service a great way to check the service of different car rental companies is to email them and check their response time this would really help you see which one
stands above the rest and finally reviews we love checking out reviews on
Facebook groups we link in the description below to a few of the one
that we really like you can also check reviews on several website but be aware
a lot of them have a monetary incentive on bumping the score of some of the car
rental companies step 5 is booking and picking up your vehicle
when it comes to booking your car rental in New Zealand you will either have to
pay a deposit or the price of the rental in full either way you will pay
for your car rental before the rental and not afterwards also the company may
require for you to have a credit card so that they can take your details on
pickup if you don’t have a credit card then you’ll need to look for a car rental company in that either takes another type of payment method or maybe accepts
a bond which is a refundable sum of money that will be given back to you
once you return the car rental vehicle in the condition that you took it all
this information is usually found in the FAQ section of the car rental company’s
website once you’re in New Zealand from the airport you usually going to get a
free shuttle to the Car Rental Depot there it’s about the pickup process you
will have to give them your credit cards or pay the bond you would also have to
give them your driver license and you international driving permit if you have
one and then it’s off to the car inspection you want to walk all around the
vehicle and check for scratches and dents and make sure that all of them are
written on the report because you will have to pay for any damages done to the
car during your rental you also want to check the fuel level because you suppose
to receive the car with a full tank of fuel and give it back with a full gas
tank as well step 6 how to plan an awesome travel itinerary
if you decide to rent a car in New Zealand that probably means that you
have a very limited time in the country and want to make the most of it so pick
up a map of New Zealand and make some massive crosses on your must do then add
extra crosses along the way to make sure that you do not have more than two hour
drive a day you don’t want to be driving all the time if possible try to make it
a loop around New Zealand so you avoid a hefty one way fee another tip is about
making bookings now this depends on what season you are traveling in New Zealand
that determines how far in advance you should make some accommodation bookings
New Zealand summer is between December and February and
during this time you will want to make quite a few bookings for accommodation
and no matter what time of year you travel you always want to book your ferry
crossing between the North Island and the South Island as soon as possible so
that you can get a best deal otherwise you can be pretty flexible when
traveling around aside from lake tekapo and milford sound
where you want to always have booked at least amount in advance step 7
what to expect from the New Zealand roads before you hit the road you need
to know what the New Zealand Road rules are obviously in New Zealand we drive on
the left-hand side of the road but also there’s a few things you’re probably
unaware of or just not used to for instance there are a lot of one-way
bridges in New Zealand and you need to be aware of who has priority when
crossing these bridges also most of the state highways in New Zealand are just
one lane so you need to be comfortable in passing other cars when it is safe
pulling over to let other vehicles pass you when it is safe and also using
passing lanes all this information and more is on our 12 golden rules to
driving in New Zealand which we have a the link will be in
the description below another thing to be aware of when driving in New Zealand is
the travelling time expect them to be much longer than what your GPS says
because the roads in New Zealand are often winding and very often beautiful
so you want to stop for pictures you also don’t want to rely on GPS too much
because Laura and I have been on tricky situation often when the GPS has chosen
the fastest route versus the safest one step 8 returning the car the best time
to return your car is during the opening hours of the rental Depot so you’ll be
able to go through the whole car inspection with the staff first up
they’re going to be checking that the gas tank is full then they will do a
visual inspection of the car making sure that there is nothing broken you can do
the whole process with them making sure that they do a
good job then it will be up to the outstanding fees that can be road user
charge if your car was diesel for example finally you will be able to tell
them if you did get a fine during your trip if you don’t tell them and you
did get a fine that we charge you an extra fee on top of your fine so try to
avoid that fines can include fines for freedom camping unpaid toll roads and
also parking tickets if you want to give you a car after opening hours usually
there would be a call-out fee of about 30 dollars also companies will give you
some specific instructions on where to park the car and where to leave the
keys also when you leave your car make sure you take some pictures as you park
it up just for your own records from planning your car rental to returning
your rental car we hope this video has given you loads of helpful tips for
renting a car in New Zealand but wait as promised here are 5 tips for making a
huge saving on your car rental in New Zealand
number 1 check if your credit card company includes a car rental option
this will save you over 20 bucks a day number 2 do not buy any optional extra
who would pay 10 bucks a day for 30 bucks chair just buy it here and then
give it back to another backpacker number 3 consider traveling in the
shoulder season avoid December through February because the prices are sky high
at this time of the year if traveling for a short period of time consider
car relocation you can even get a car for free we have an article about that
and backpackerguide.NZ and the link is below and number five if dropping off
the car in the airport try to avoid the fuelling of the car near the airport
because that’s where the price our super super high and that’s it if you’ve got
this far you’re going to kill it on a road trip in New Zealand and if you do
have any more questions about renting a car in New Zealand
be sure to stick in the comments below also if you want
some inspiration for your bucket list make sure to check out New Zealand’s
biggest gap year where we challenge ourselves to tackle 365 activities in
New Zealand in only 365 days it’s absolutely epic we also want you to
comment below for the subject of our next video also give us a subscribe and
be part of the team until next time thanks for watching

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