Booking a Rental Car in New Zealand: Tip #5

Now our last tip is a bit of a what-not-to-do guide.

But to cover all your bases, we’ve also got a handy hint sheet to help you out if what we’ve said not to do should happen.

Let’s start with a little disclaimer and remind you that New Zealand isn’t a city based country.

Once you’re outside of Auckland, you’re really not going to see many booming metropolis’s and that’s not why you’re here – you want to see some natural wonders.

So you have to be weary of what kind of road you drive your car on, it’s as simple as that.

We don’t want you to be hit with a huge clean-up bill or have to cover the cost of any scratches and dents from rocks.

Here are a few places you definitely should not take your rental car:

Any off-road terrain or driven on roads other than tar-sealed and metal roads.

That includes unsealed shingle and dirt roads, which you can quite easily encounter in any back part of New Zealand.

One minute you’re driving on immaculate tar-sealed road and the next you’ve hit gravel – so keep that in mind.

If you’re heading to Queenstown there are a few roads that way you should pay attention to.

Skippers Canyon Rd – a road built during the Otago gold rush.

It’s one of only two roads in the country where rental car insurance will not be honoured if you drive along it.

One way, narrow and with sheer drops of hundreds of metres, have we scared you enough yet?

To put it simply, if you encounter a car coming the other way, one of you will have to reverse until you find space enough to pull over so have fun choosing which one of you that will be.

Also if you’re on your way to Queenstown, make sure to avoid the road into Macetown.

Another one to watch out for is the Valley Road  near Mt Cook – but only a rare few companies include this road in the T&C’s these days as it has now been sealed.

And finally any beach whatsoever.

It might seem obvious but even 90 mile beach is off limits in the rental car.

You have been warned. 

This is the final blog in a series of five blogs about the best tips for renting a car for your New Zealand holiday. You can also click here for Tip #4 from last week.

Feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with us here.

So what to do when things go pear shaped? Because we know sometimes these things just happen. 

First, check if anyone is injured.

If emergency assistance is required, dial 111 for an ambulance – but to be honest most international emergency numbers work just the same.

Now that the people are safe, it’s time to check over the car.

If you're not comfortable driving the vehicle, call Roadside Assistance provided by the rental car company and then notify the company.

Do not leave the vehicle without making sure it is safe and write down names and addresses of all people involved (including any witnesses).

Never admit liability. You may be in shock, and there is a huge range of factors that can contribute to an accident. 


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