From United States
+1-8007618913
From Canada
+1-2897685366
From United Kingdom
+44-1919179574
From Argentina
+54-2657459025
From Chile
+56-226665927
From Colombia
+57-6017940262
From Malaysia
+60-392125422
From Mexico
+52-7449800692
From New Zealand
+64-99508740
From Peru
+51-17009061
From Switzerland
+41-445514539
From Thailand
+66-25088458
From Singapore
+65-31585008
From Australia
+61-1800-984-975
From Turkey
+90-850-390-7486
From Italy
+39-800729010
From Portugal
+351-304500663
From Brazil
+55-6140426960
From France
+33-970019487
From Israel
+972-23752163
From Germany
+49 6107 6353100
From China
+86-1089171020
From South Korea (Domestic calls only)
00308 491 0209
From other countries or regions
+65-31585008
Live Chat Email Us Service Code: 3790306039

The Complete New Zealand Driving and Rental Guide

With a territory as large as the United Kingdom but with only a population of 4.5 million inhabitants, New Zealand has always been a popular travel destination thanks to its beautiful and diverse natural sceneries. Here is a driving and rental guide we prepare especially for you aiming at helping you have a smooth road trip.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

In New Zealand, driving is on the left with overtaking on the right. New Zealand has the same system of signs and road code as you would find in the United Kingdom. During winter, especially in the mountains or on South Island, driving can be tricky. Therefore snow chains are highly recommended when renting a car at this season.

Speed Limit

There are speed limits of 100 km/h on highways and 50 km/h in urban areas unless signs say otherwise.

Traffic Signs

There are three major types of signs in New Zealand: compulsory, warning and information signs. Here are some of the regulatory signs that you may often see in New Zealand.

New Zealand Traffic Sign StopStop
New Zealand Traffic Sign Give WayGive Way
New Zealand Traffic Sign No U turnNo U-turn
New Zealand Traffic Sign 30 km/h Speed Limit30 km/h Speed Limit
New Zealand Traffic Sign No StoppingNo Stopping

Warning signs are diamond-shaped with yellow or green background.

New Zealand Traffic Sign 60 km/h Speed Limit Ahead60 km/h Speed Limit Ahead
New Zealand Traffic Sign Merging Traffic from RightMerging Traffic from Right 
New Zealand Traffic Sign Road BumpRoad Bump
New Zealand Traffic Sign Watch for Large Animals (Cattle)Watch for Large Animals (Cattle)
New Zealand Traffic Sign Railway CrossbuckRailway Crossbuck

Information signs are in rectangular shape with a white background.

New Zealand Traffic Sign Left Turn at Any Time With CareLeft Turn at Any Time With Care
New Zealand Traffic Sign Cyclists Cross Here With Care (to the Left)Cyclists Cross Here With Care (to the Left)

Further information on signs for driving in New Zealand can be found in this booklet.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

The driver is responsible for ensuring all passengers under 15 years wear seat belts. Passengers aged 15 and over are responsible for putting seat belts on themselves.

Booster Seat Laws

All children under 7 must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. 


You must correctly secure children aged between 7 and 8 in an approved child restraint if one is available in the vehicle. If not, in any child restraint or safety belt that is available. 


For children aged between 8 and 14, a safety belt must be used. If not available, they must travel in the back seat. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

· Forbidden Parking 


You cannot park your car in the following spots: 


- Along the broken yellow lines along the side of the curb, since it means that parking is not permitted


- Near a corner, curve, hill, traffic island or intersection, if it will stop other people from seeing along the road 


- On, or closer than 5 metres to a fire hydrant, unless somebody who can move the vehicle stays with it 


- In front of or closer than 1 metre to a vehicle entrance 


- On or closer than 6 metres to an intersection, unless there are parking spaces or a notice telling you that you can park there 


· Parking Signs 


Parking signs in New Zealand are marked with numbers indicating how long you can park the car and an arrow to indicate directions. Some are specified with the date of the week as well.

 New Zealand Parking With Specified Time And Arrow New Zealand Parking With Specified Time And Dates And Arrow

· Paid Parking 

All machines accept New Zealand coins, and some of them have been introduced with credit cards and TXT-a-Park payment methods. Currently, you still need to go for Pay-and-Display parking. However, all machines will be upgraded by March 2018 to include Pay By Plate technology, which allows you to enter your vehicle’s registration plate number directly on the machine and pay for it by credit card, debit card, coins or TXT-a-Park. Note that there is a 50-cent fee for credit card or TXT-a-Park transaction.

New Zealand Paid Parking Metre(Image from Stuff.co.nz)

Fuel Prices

The average gasoline price in New Zealand in November 2017 is $2.22 per litre, while it is of $1.47 for diesel.

Toll

There are three toll roads in New Zealand: the Northern Gateway Toll Road north in Auckland, the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and the Takitimu Drive Toll Road in Tauranga.

New Zealand Toll Road(Image from nzta.govt.nz)


How much you should pay depends on your car type. You can pay the tolls by debit or credit cards, POLi, and cash. 


Debit or credit card 

You can use your Visa or Mastercard to buy or pay a Pay & Go toll.


POLi 

If you have Internet banking with ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB Bank, Westpac or Bank Direct, then you can buy or pay a Pay & Go toll (external link) using Payment Online (POLi). 


Note: POLi is not available for business internet banking customers. 


Cash 

If you prefer to pay with cash (or by debit/credit card) you can pay your tolls at selected service stations (a transaction fee of $1.20 per transaction will apply). 


Be aware that as a car renter, not paying for the toll fee will result in the car hire company paying it for you and collecting the toll fee along with an add-on of management fee (note that it can sometimes be costly) from your credit card.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

If you are 20 or over, you must not drive if you have consumed more than the legal alcohol limit, which is 250 micrograms per litre of breath or 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood (0.05%). There is a zero tolerance for alcohol if you are under 20.

Traffic Fines

In New Zealand, exceeding the speed limit results in an infringement fine range from $30 to $630. The amount of the infringement fine will depend on the difference between the actual and legal speed limit. 


As for parking, an infringement notice can be issued if a vehicle is parked illegally on public land, or in breach of what a parking sign says. In some circumstances, the vehicle can also be towed away if it is obstructing traffic. 


Normally, there will be a website or hotline number on the front or back of the ticket as well as the reason for the violation fine and the relevant voucher number. Please be aware that you can log onto the website or call the hotline and follow the guidelines to pay the ticket. 


Failure to pay tickets will result in the car hire company paying them on the renter’s behalf, and debit the renter credit card for the fine amount plus an administration fee. Please note that you can always contact QEEQ’ 24/7 customer service team for help if you have questions concerning this matter. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

At the time of rental in New Zealand, all drivers must present a full and valid driving licence from the renters country of residence and the licence should be held for at least 1 or 2 years ( policies may vary depending on car hire companies). An International Driving Permit is highly recommended for international drivers. If your domestic driving licence is not printed in English (Arabic, Japanese, Cyrillic etc), an International Driving Permit (IDP/IDL) or an official translation in English is required when you drive in New Zealand.


Minimum age in New Zealand is 21 years (age may vary depending on car category) and the maximum is 80 years of age. If you're 21-25, you are likely to have to pay a young driver fee. If you're 65 or older, you may have to pay a senior driver fee.


*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
Tammy Hunley Cote

February 7, 2023

Destination: Auckland

9Great experience. Very smooth.

Things went very smoothly for vehicle pickup and drop off. Very easy. The girl at pick up was very helpful. They could provide better instructions to find the shuttle pickup area is the only suggestion.

View more

February 7, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

9.3Excellent

The car was as expected - clean and in good condition. The wait time for the shuttle varied and depending on how busy the counter staff are, it would affect the time taken to pick up and drop off the car.

View more

January 31, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

10Excellent

Guys were fantastic and easy going. Will definitely use again

View more
L.Dale

January 30, 2023

Destination: Auckland

8.3Brilliant place to hire a car from and would hire from them again

The car was great, I only needed a small car as I was by myself, it drove well and great fuel economy picking up was easy as was the drop off

View more
Mark C

January 23, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

9.7good!

Airport desk was a little understaffed on pickup. Upgrade to SUV verry much appreciated! Booster seats were not so clean and material a bit frayed etc.

View more
J.Fritzlaff

January 23, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

8.7Great Service

SNAP were great. We phoned them from the airport and they were there within minutes to pick us up and take us to collect our vehicle. Staff were very friendly and the service was fast.

View more
Dorina Tes

January 21, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

9.3Road tripping in NZ

Counter staff were very friendly and helpful.

View more
W.Tan

January 19, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

8.3Smooth after problem !

EZU Duplicate charge my rental fee, after call to QEEQ customer service and EZU, got refund. But give me a bad experience and waste my time during travel.

View more
A.Peterson

January 18, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

8.7Wow, better experience than I was expecting!!!

Counter staff were fantastic, friendly and helpful, and although the Nissan Tiida was in very poor bodily condition (held together with tape in a particular place), it actually went well enough, but I honestly do feel it is time this car was pensioned off!!!

View more
M.Redden

January 18, 2023

Destination: Picton

9Excellent

Struggled to find drop off point at queenstown airport, should have been told to drop off at Hertz counter

View more
W.Madden

January 17, 2023

Destination: Auckland

9.7Excellent

Older car but price was right

View more
E.James-Reeder

January 17, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

9.7Excellent

They tried to charge me another full day because I picked the car up half an hour early. What rubbish!! I didn't get a refund when I returned it 1.5 hours early.

View more
Christchurch Taxi To

January 16, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

10Excellent all round

Generally good experience with Europcar

View more
Christchurch Taxi To

January 16, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

9Europcar still one of the better rental companies

Be great go have Key-Drop in the carpark.

View more
P.Hancock

January 15, 2023

Destination: Auckland

9Excellent experience

The car was excellent, the pick up from Auckland was seamless but the drop off at Wellington Airport was difficult as the rental drop off area wasn’t signposted, the Hertz staff eventually resolved it but it took a lot longer than it should.

View more
M.Twanju

January 15, 2023

Destination: Auckland

10Excellent place to rent a car. Qeeq is a great website to find best deals for car rentals.

The staffs in Yes Rental were very friendly, helpful and very professional. Absolutely, appreciated the courtesy pick-up and drop-off to the airport.

View more
J.N.

January 13, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

8Very Good

All good

View more
S.Rattakham

January 12, 2023

Destination: Auckland

7.3Good

We have not got the car we booked for. I was told that the car we booked is not available due to Christmas holiday. And they offered me to take Suzuki swift instead at the same cost. We explained to them of many luggage problem. They told me to rent another Suzuki swift and pay additional cost. Firstly we wanted to take this offer but another driver forgot to bring original driving license. So we have only one driver. This driving two cars offer is not possible. We checked with other car rental companies but they have no car available as well We were upset and looking for other option such as flying from Auckland to Wellington directly on that day and cancelled all other booking we made such as hotels and touring programs which we booked and paid. After spending more than an hour to find solution at nearby car rental booth there was another customer who heard of our situation, he kindly told us that he was offered Susuki swift option as well which he took it but he returned to change the bigger car after he went to the garage and he found that there were some big cars in parking garage. So we have a hope, we returned to the booth and asked the front officers in begging manner to check the available car, luckily they offered us the Mitsubishi Triton with cab and fiber back covered trunk. This car is suitable to carry three people and all luggages. We took this offer which charged at the same price we original booked. We delayed three hours in car rental situation so we have to skipped some program to catch up the rest. It was shock and upset situation for us which are foreigner tourist. we would like you to find the proper solving problem in future Regards,, Sannpat Rattakham

View more

January 12, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

6.7Didn't realize I was renting such an old vehicle

The vehicle was a Toyota yards hybrid. They claim it was a 2013 but it seemed even older than that. Headlight lenses were "fogged over" from age so they weren't very bright at night. The car had numerous scratches & dents.

View more
Micael A

January 11, 2023

Destination: Auckland

10Great experience over all!

Very nice treatment when we picked up the car, we were upgraded to a Toyota RAV which is a little bigger than the one we booked.

View more

January 10, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

10Great experience. Would recommend to friends.

Great car and very convenient airport shuttle.

View more
J.Felmingham

January 9, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

7.3Good

Arrived at 1:30 so they said we had to bring the car back at 1:30pm instead of our initial 2pm booking time. Great customer service would have left it at 2pm drop off!

View more
R.Shah

January 8, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

10Excellent

It was a very spacious car and we enjoyed our trip as there was a good spacious car

View more
LucyP

January 8, 2023

Destination: Wellington

9.7Great value for money.

No problems at all with the rental and the service received. I think the tyres on the vehicle need to be checked. When refuelling, I noticed they were a little bald.

View more
Sai

January 8, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

9.3Excellent value for the 3 weeks hire.

Pick up counter closing at 4.00 pm too early .our flight was delayed so had to ask counter staff to stay open for a bit longer.Saff was very unhappy about it and rushed though the pick up.

View more
T.Lasso

January 4, 2023

Destination: Queenstown

10Excellent

Everything was perfect

View more
P.O'Driscoll

January 4, 2023

Destination: Auckland

9.7A good value vehicle.

The car suited our purpose very well. However there were some technical issues regarding the satnav, the radio and bluetooth.

View more

January 4, 2023

Destination: Christchurch

9.3Have rented cars many times before and generally experience goes smoothly and hassle free

Everything went smoothly. A staff member picked us up at the airport to rental car location

View more
Dave Lim

December 27, 2022

Destination: Christchurch

9.3Fuss free and convenient

Car is relatively new and in good condition. Tyres were in good condition too, which is important due to the long drive.

View more

December 27, 2022

Destination: Wellington

8.7Very Good

Car was fine. Location was fine. Staff were polite enough but almost too relaxed. No sense of urgency. I just wanted to hurry them up a bit.

View more
Timothy Ross

December 26, 2022

Destination: Auckland

8Very Good

Car and booking process was fine; counter staff was amongst the least helpful of any retail employee I have encountered in the last 12 months anywhere

View more
G.Daigneau

December 22, 2022

Destination: Napier

9.7Excellent.

Everything went as smooth as possible.

View more

December 21, 2022

Destination: Christchurch

5.7Will not use Snap again

Nice and friendly staff at Snap offices but out of hours pickup staff was very unhelpful. Unfortunately, no car seat was provided despite ringing to confirm the day before - a real pain when you arrive at 10pm. Drop off location in Queenstown was not updated either so chasing our tails before getting to the airport was also frustrating. Impossible to reach them on the phone without having to wait minimum 30 min. Probably wouldn't use them again.

View more
G.Benson

December 20, 2022

Destination: Queenstown

8Good service. Good value. Nice car.

Everything was great.

View more
Roz Brooks

December 20, 2022

Destination: Greymouth

10Mainly good cars from QEEQ with one exception in Auckland.

Superb service, staff, information and great little car.

View more
JTinNZ

December 20, 2022

Destination: Dunedin

9.3Without a glitch!

The GO counter staff at pickup in Dunedin was professional, knowledgeable, and courteous.

View more
J.Sethi

December 16, 2022

Destination: Queenstown

6First time used Qeeq, experience was nice, it can be better if the Qeeq talk to Yes & get compensate

I booked Toyota Prius or similar but was offered Toyota Aqua.. which is much smaller & definitely not similar . I mentioned staff, but staff was adamant & said to me that he can give me a refund & nothing else he can do. This was around 9 at night I had no choice but pickup the car which is much smaller than what I booked. Customer service was poor & will not use their services in future. I should be refunded the difference of rental between the two cars

View more
D.Auld

December 15, 2022

Destination: Auckland

9.7Excellent

Great car for the price

View more
P.Gordon62

December 15, 2022

Destination: Wellington

8Very Good

Professional And helpful at both ends. Only issue was sign posting at drop off as too easy to turn into wrong entrance and have to try and then round when you're in the way!

View more

December 15, 2022

Destination: Greymouth

8Very Good

I didn't have to provide half of the information on your checklist. Not an issue for me but makes you wonder if it is up to date. There was a year in the material in the foot well by the brake. Not on the photo list given which seemed odd. I took my own photo but wasn't asked about it. But then on dropping off the car their appeared to be little interest from staff. In fact I could have just dropped key in a box. Again not really an issue for me as there were no issues.

View more
D.Price

December 15, 2022

Destination: Wellington

10Easy and efficient

Came down for a funeral and I mucked up the pick-up time. Staff were helpful and sorted it out for me over the phone. Communication was clear and the whole process from booking to dropping the car back off again was super easy. It made my trip down stress free in that regards.

View more
N.Ab Rashid

December 13, 2022

Destination: Christchurch

9.7Spacious and manageable

1. Spacious 2. Not a saving fuel Car but it is expected 3. Easy to manage

View more
S.Pendl

December 9, 2022

Destination: Queenstown

10Great experience overall

Small but very efficient company

View more

December 8, 2022

Destination: Auckland

5Getting "lost" in Hert'z + Auckland's confusing and understaffed airport is not fun

I arrived in auckland domestic terminal with 4 large luggages and 2 small ones. I went to hertz in domestic terminal. The staff told me, my booking is in the international terminal. I had to brought all the suitcases walking over 15 minutes because I couldn't take the terminal bus. Once in the international terminal, I went all the way to the car rental pick and found there is nobody in the counter. I asked someone inside the parking lot, apparently I had to go back to inside the international terminal because the counter is in there. (Thanks to the confusing signs I walked back again to the internal terminal counter). There was only 1 staff there and she was nice and polite. Got my keys and walked back to parking lot. After I drove off, there was no one to verify if there was spots or defects in the car but fine with me. Few days later, I went back to return the car, again there was no staff in the parking lot. I was confused because I expected I could check out immediately and someone would check if the car is fine and release my deposit. So I just parked the car, brought the key with me. I walked back to the terminal, and found the counter empty. There was a sign saying "be right back in 15 mins". I waited 15 mins, there was still noone. Luckily there is a key drop. So I dropped my key there. This is the most surreal car rental experience I've ever had. There is nobody who received the car back, I just dropped the key. I hope nobody is going to do anything weird with the car while I dropped of the car.

View more
A.Tuckey

December 8, 2022

Destination: Auckland

8.3Friendly and efficient staff and great value for money.

The Jucy staff were friendly and helpful in organising to get the car after hours (due to delay at the airport). Pickup was really efficient. There were 2 downsides: (1) the car itself: it was a bit old and the air-conditioning didn't work. (2) the after hours drop off and keybox location wasn't clear.

View more
K.Casson

December 8, 2022

Destination: Auckland

10Great car great service great staff

It was a great car great service

View more
J.Nathan

December 7, 2022

Destination: Auckland

10Enjoyable

Car was lovely for what I needed

View more
M.Dawson

December 6, 2022

Destination: Auckland

3I will just go with a top class well renowned rental company next time save me the heart ache

The car was 13 years old hail damage on roof poor condiiton paint faded just bad choice I should of not booked worst ive ever had ill never go through BRC again and it wasn't what I was ment to get just so poor the car wasn't even worth the money I paid to rent it you'd sell the thing 500 second hand

View more

December 6, 2022

Destination: Auckland

6.7Painful to pick up vehicle

The pick up area was not located directly at the airport. We had to walk for a good 5-10 minutes with my dad (who is an elderly person), then wait more than 15mins for a shuttle to drop us at the APEX site where we had to queue for 20mins before talking to a very slow and not competent person (for another 20mins before we could get the vehicle)

View more
Sl

December 7, 2022

Destination: Wellington

9.3Excellent

Very efficient

View more

Best car rental deals in New Zealand

Best rates found by QEEQ users in the last 30 days.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

Explore more destinations in New Zealand

Subscribe for Exclusive Offers and Deals

Know our privacy policy - you can easily unsubscribe any time!