New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world. It is so diverse and so beautiful that there’s no wonder why it plants itself on the top of many travelers to-do lists. This place is amazing and there’s a little something for everyone, from the great walks to the forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and fiords, to the mammoth national parks, the hobbits, dynamic Māori culture, hot springs, or the world-class surfing and skiing. New Zealand can be mellow or action-packed, but it’s always epic. There’re more than enough reasons to visit one of the best destinations on the planet.
How you plan to see all the beauty of this place? This country simply begs to be discovered and the most simple and common way to explore it is renting a car. Every trip to New Zealand practically starts behind the wheel of your own rental car because this place it’s made for road trips. Definitely, you must have a driver’s license and rent a car you can drive easily all over.
We talk about a small country, but one with a huge range of jaw-dropping scenery. New Zealand has few large towns. The three biggest cities from here are Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. These offer public transport, but if you plan to go anywhere else, with a rental car you’ll have the most flexibility throughout your trip and can create an itinerary that allows you to see all of your must see places.
Deciding to rent a car in New Zealand is an extraordinary service you will do to yourself because this is a way which will make your trip really unforgettable. I have listed below some of the most important things about renting a car or campervan in New Zealand to help you understand better why is the best suitable way of getting around for your journey.
1. Freedom and flexibility
Car Rental in New Zealand is not too expensive. You can extend your mobility past city boundaries where you have accommodation for example. You will have all the freedom you need to see the rest of New Zealand at your own pace and on your own time. Unfortunately, most remote and sumptuous parts of New Zealand are not on the routes of trains and buses that run between cities. Also, there are some areas where you will not found such intercity transport. Besides, having a car gives you the flexibility to go wherever you want and stop whenever you feel like it. Also, you can choose the right type of vehicle depending on where you are planning to go – a car or a campervan If you seek to explore the country beyond the main highways, take into consideration getting an SUV. A self-contained campervan will be ideal if you are travelling in a group of people and you don’t mind staying in the middle of the New Zealand wilderness overnight.
2. Car’s maintenance is not your concern
Renting a car in New Zealand is an easy process. All you need to have is a valid full driver’s license and a credit card to be able to rent a car. Like any other rented thing, and a car must be in perfect working order. This is a huge advantage of renting a car: won’t need to worry about the car’s maintenance. You will have plenty of choices for all budgets, and whatever you choose, it has all been done prior to your trip by the campervan travel company. So, just take your car and drive anyway in New Zealand.
3. Get a new vehicle model and drive on the left
Renting a car in New Zealand is a big opportunity for you to start your trip with something totally new. You can have a much newer vehicle model because car rental companies rarely have vehicles that are 10 years or older. This may be your chance to go on a trip with a campervan if you have not done it before. Also, driving on the left side it can be a great experience for anyone from a country where you drive on the right side of the road. Don’t worry, most tourists pick this up very fast, there are signs to keep you reminded as to which side to drive on. The roads in New Zealand are great and safe, so it will be a real pleasure to drive here.
4. A way to save money
If you haven’t already figured out how this can help you save some money, here are some ideas. First, if you book your car in advance you will likely pay 30-50% less. Also, it is probably not having this trip alone, so you can share the costs of renting the car with your friends. If you won’t need to worry about the transportation you can pick a hotel outside the city that would suit your budget.
For a long trip, sometimes car rentals give a big discount for booking longer than a couple of days. Keep an eye on everything and you might find something cheaper!
5. Don’t worry about gas consumption
Most of the tourist think that if New Zealand is so far away, the transportation costs for getting gasoline there are huge. Yes, I can say gasoline is quite pricey. But when you decide to rent a car you are likely to get behind the wheel of a fairly new car or campervan. This means that your rental vehicle is big fuel savings as the gas consumption of newer models is much lower.
6. Rent a car only when you need it
If you choose to spend part of your holiday in a city like Auckland for example, you can use public transport such as buses and trains. Then, when you are going somewhere else consider renting a car or campervan. Or, let’s presume that you’re coming to New Zealand on working holiday visa for about six months. Consider renting a car only for when you decide to travel. The thing is that you can rent and pay for a car even a few days at a time, not for all the period.
7. Guaranteed safety
All rental companies offer great insurance packages even if you choose a car or a campervan. Third party insurance is not compulsory in New Zealand. So, there are a significant number of uninsured drivers on the road. If you’re in an accident with one of them, even if not at fault, you’d still be responsible for the damages to the rental car. Fortunately, rental companies make sure the insurance packages are covering almost everything that can happen to your car.
8. You’ve got a lot of options for car renting
In New Zealand, you’ll find a huge amount of car and campervan rental companies. You will be quite spoiled with options, both international and local. All depending on your budget, preferences, models, areas you want to explore or the number of persons on the trip. It’s necessary to find the perfect ride, that’s why there are so many choices, even if you do have specific requirements.
9. Options for drivers as 18 years old
The driving age begins at 18 in New Zealand, so that means young drivers can rent a car here. Of course, individual companies can impose their own rules. It is possible some of them have restrictions from anywhere between 18 to 25. Others instead have options for drivers as young as 18 years old: maybe car model restrictions, mandatory insurance. All the options are clearly explained. Just be sure your driving license is translated in English.
10. Save precious time
Let’s be honest: no one wants to stay at the station waiting for the train or the bus when it’s on vacation. For most people who are coming to New Zealand as tourists, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. That’s way car rental is a very convenient way to maximise their time. On the other side, if you go somewhere and want to stay there more, transportation is not a problem. You may want to see the sky in a night out of a wild area or spend a long time near a tourist attraction.
Whether you rent a car or not in New Zealand is really up to you. As for me, I say is probably the best option to discover the country and the most common one, too. I have mentioned some important things you should consider when renting a car in New Zealand and hope that was useful! Whether it is a car or a campervan you decide to get, you need to look at how much freedom of movement you want and whether you can afford the costs and responsibilities that go along with renting a car.
In New Zealand, all is about the journey, so be sure to do so and enjoy the beauty of the moment! I hope you will have a wonderful trip to New Zealand!