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    Car hire in New Zealand with the lowest prices

    Experience all of the vast natural beauty of this island country with a car hire in New Zealand! We are dedicated to finding the perfect car to suit your travel needs and have an energetic team of reservations agents to help - there is no better place to book your car rental than with Auto Europe! Browse our extremely competitive rates online or call our number to speak to an agent today!

    Make the most of your car rental

    A car hire in New Zealand provides you with the perfect conditions for roaming through both North Island and South Island, and exploring the otherworldly landscapes of this country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Having been isolated for 80 million years, New Zealand developed a truly unique makeup of fauna and flora, making this biodiversity one of the greatest tourist draws of the country.

    Road Rules and Petrol Stations

    Driving in New Zealand is generally a relaxed affair, but to allow you to feel even more confident while exploring, take a look below at some road rules you should keep in mind.

    • Traffic in New Zealand drives on the left side of the road.
    • The blood alcohol content limit is 0.05, and is strictly enforced. Do not drink and drive.
    • Allow enough time for travel when you are driving longer distances within New Zealand, as distances may seem shorter than they in fact are. New Zealand is sparsely populated, with an area larger than the United Kingdom but only 4.5 million inhabitants. Many roads through the mountains or along the coast can be winding, adding to your driving time.
    • Weather can be very unpredictable, particularly on South Island, where it is said that you can experience the weather of four seasons in one day. This can make for difficult driving conditions, so make sure you check the weather forecast before setting out, and be prepared for changing weather.
    • All measurements, including speed limits, are metric. For example, the speed limit on most motorways is 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph).
    • Most roads connecting cities, which would be considered motorways, are called State Highways (SH), and are narrow with a single carriageway in each direction. This means that you will have to engage in a lot of overtaking of slower vehicles, so remember to be vigilant of oncoming traffic. Some larger motorways (referred to as Motorways) have multiple lanes, are reserved for motorised vehicles only, and do not allow stopping on the side of the road except in case of emergency.
    • You are not allowed to drive on bus lanes, which are usually painted green. However, there are some exceptions to this, so check signage carefully.

    Please note that restrictions apply when crossing on the ferry between North and South Island. The ferry port on North Island is in Wellington, and on South Island in Picton. Some suppliers do not allow rental cars to travel on the ferry: the supplier must be informed of the crossover date and time, and the first car must be left at the departure port, while another one will be picked up at the arrival port. Minimum rental days on each island may apply. Other suppliers allow the rental car to be taken on the ferry, but at your own expense. If you intend to cross on the ferry, make sure you read the terms and conditions of your rental for the applicable procedure, or call us for more information.

    You can also have a look at our New Zealand driving information page for more tips.


    There is a toll on the Northern Gateway Toll Road, which connects Auckland with Puhoi, along State Highway 1. The toll is collected electronically using number plate recognition. It is recommended that you ask your car rental supplier how the payment of the toll is arranged, if you will be driving your car rental along this road.

    Age Requirements

    The minimum driver's licensing age is 16 in New Zealand, but many suppliers require that you are 21 years old. Drivers aged 21-24 may also have to pay an additional charge when renting a car.


    The currency used in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Cash can be withdrawn from the myriad ATMs that can be found in almost every town, but you will need a chip and PIN card and may incur a charge. Most shops also have terminals for card payments, but credit cards may not be accepted by smaller shops as the merchant will have to pay a high fee for credit card transactions. Though a chip and PIN enabled card is the most widespread way to pay with a bank or credit card, swiping your card and signing is also available in most places where a shopkeeper is present. Notify your card provider in advance that you are travelling to avoid any unwanted surprises during your travels.

    Time difference

    The main islands of New Zealand are 12 hours ahead of the UK, making them UTC+12. However, the Chatham Islands, about 500 miles from Christchurch, keep Chatham Islands Standard Time, which is 45 minutes ahead of the rest of New Zealand, making the time UTC+12.45. Daylight Savings Time runs from the last Sunday of September to the first Sunday of April.


    The three official languages in New Zealand are English, Maori, and New Zealand Sign Language. English is spoken by 98 percent of the population, making it the most widely spoken language in the country. You can find numerous place names in Maori, however. Below you can find some English words and phrases, used in New Zealand or local slang, that are not used as often in most other English-speaking countries. Some Maori words that you may find useful are also listed.

    New Zealand English
    Dairy - Corner shop
    Kiwi - A flightless bird that is also one of New Zealand's national emblems. "Kiwi" also refers to a New Zealander. The term is used by both New Zealanders and people of other nationalities, and is not derogatory.
    Choice! - Great, cool
    Sweet as! - A good thing, no problem

    Kia Ora - Hello, welcome
    Kai - Food
    Koha - Gifts or donations. You may find admission signs that say "Entry Koha", which means that you should pay however much you want to donate.


    Electricity runs at 230/240 volts and 50 hertz. The sockets in New Zealand are suitable for plugs with three angled pins, same as the ones used in Australia. Appliances from the UK will require an adaptor.

    Visa Embassy Information

    British citizens and those holding a British passport who can prove their right to reside permanently in the UK do not require a visa for a stay of up to six months. If you require their services, the British High Commission is located in the capital Wellington, and the Consulate-General in Auckland. Contact information is listed below.

    British High Commission in Wellington
    44 Hill Street
    Wellington 6011
    New Zealand
    Telephone: +64 (0) 4 924 2888

    British Consulate-General in Auckland
    Level 17
    151 Queen Street 1142
    New Zealand
    Telephone: +64 (0) 9 303 2973

    Campervan hire in New Zealand

    Besides car hire, Auto Europe offers campervan rental in New Zealand as well. Motorhome hire in New Zealand is the ultimate way to experience this wonderful country. We are partners with Apollo, Mighty, Britz and Hippie, who provide high quality campervan rentals and have a modern fleet of motorhomes on offer, available for pick-up in Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown.

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