Driving in New Zealand is easy. New Zealander are polite drivers.
Thus, we need to make sure that we keep their roads safe as a responsible tourist and driver.
Driver Licence Requirements
If your overseas licence or permit is not in English, you must carry an English translation.
Plan your Trip
First, plan your route and decide if you would like to rent a car. Or camper van maybe?
Our trip as an example,
We travelled as a couple so we rented a car instead of a camper van as it is much cost effective. You may opt for camper van if you’re traveling in a group.
We took a flight to Christchurch and back from Queenstown. We wanted to join the TranzAlpine Scenic Train Journey thus we picked up our rental our car at Greymouth Railway Station and returned it at Queenstown Airport. There are a lot of car rental operators that provide multi-location hire.
There are a lot of car rental operators available in New Zealand. E.g. Thrifty, Jucy, Hertz, Avis…
In our case, we booked our car online before we travel. We chose AVIS and we are very satisfy with their service.
We booked a Toyota Corolla Hatchback or Similar and they gave us a Cruze. It’s new, clean and no awful smell. No breakdown.
A 6 days rental costed us approx. NZD 650 (included some Protections & Coverage). No extra charges for additional driver.
** Remember to fill up the fuel before return it, they will charge you fuel service if you don’t.
** GPS rental is not needed. We bought a Skinny Mobile Trio Sim Card (NZD 4.00) and top-up (NZD 30.00), it’s more than enough for our 1 week trip. Their 3G coverage are very good. The only time we didn’t get coverage was when we’re on the road to/from Wanaka to/from Tekapo. Not a big deal though, just follow the main road.
What You Need to Know
Drive on the left side of the road.
Drive slowly. In rural areas, speed limit is 100km/h unless a sign says a different speed. In urban areas, speed limit is 50km/h unless a sign says a different speed. I believe this is the hardest part driving in New Zealand especially when there are no other vehicles on the road but as a responsible tourist please follow the rule. Remember: Safety first!