The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in New Zealand

New Zealand has tons of things to see and do. It is the home of Middle Earth, as this is where Peter Jackson filmed some the most famous films in fantasy history. You can find plenty of wonderful attractions in the country including the Waitomo Caves, the Museum of New Zealand, Milford Sound, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, the Hamilton Gardens, and more.

Renting a vehicle in New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful country, and it is natural that you want to explore as much of it as possible. Having a rental vehicle that you can use will make this much easier. The legal age to drive in the country is 21 years old, and that is how old you will need to be if you want to rent a vehicle in the country.

When you are choosing a vehicle, think about the type of terrain that you will be driving on and choose the appropriate option. You may find that a 4WD is a better option than a standard car. You should also make sure that you get the phone number and contact information of the rental company just in case you need to contact them for an emergency.

Road conditions and safety

For the most part, the roads around New Zealand are in decent condition. The motorways are paved, and the main roads through and around the major towns and cities are paved. However, when it comes to the secondary roads and the rural roads, they are often narrow and they can be unpaved. They can be rough and more difficult to drive on for many drivers. Some of the roads have gravel surfaces as well.

It is important to consider the terrain when you are driving from one city or town to another. Even though they might not look very far apart on the map, it can take a long time to reach a destination because of the hills, and winding roads. Of course, the beautiful scenery tends to make the drive worth it.

You will drive on the left side of the road in New Zealand. The drivers, as well as all of the passengers in the vehicle need to wear their seatbelts. When the traffic lights are red, you cannot make left hand turns. When you are parking, make sure you only park in designated areas, or you will get a ticket.

When you are driving, you are not allowed to use your mobile phones. Reading, writing, and sending messages while driving is illegal as well.

The speed limits

Be sure to follow the posted speed limits for the roadways and motorways. The following are the typical speed limits for different types of roads in New Zealand.

  • Open roads – 100 km/h
  • In towns – 50 km/h

The country has a number of speed cameras that will help to catch people who are speeding. The goal is to curb speeders on the roads, so be careful and stay within the speed limit.

New Zealand has many places to visit that are simply easier when you have a rental car. It is a simpler option than trying to rely on public transportation to get everywhere you need to go.

Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating


Rating Summary


33 years of experience
991 reviews
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.


22 years of experience
37 reviews
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!


27 years of experience
93 reviews
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.


23 years of experience
483 reviews
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Related articles

The 10 Worst Cities to Drive In
Highly populated cities can be some of the worst areas to drive in. Chicago has traffic for 12 hours a day and parking can be difficult to find.
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Morocco
Morocco Morocco is a fantastic place to spend your next vacation. There are plenty of attractions to visit. You may want to head to Todra Gorge, the Draa Valley, Casablanca, the Marrakech Museum, or the Moroccan Jewish Museum. Renting...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in El Salvador
Over Over the past several years, the country of El Salvador has become a very popular location for tourists. There are a number of things to see and do in the country. You can visit Museo de Arte de El...

Related questions

How can i fix my locked ignition cylinder

If the key won't turn in the lock cylinder, it is a mechanical issue. If this happened to me, I would be removing the steering column covers again to see what is physically keeping the lock cylinder from turning. As...

How often does a 2011 BMW 328i really need to get oil changed? My light has come back on at under 5,000 miles. 2011 BMW 328i

Hi - the # of miles between oil and filter changes is perhaps the 2nd longest running discussion since someone said "My car is faster than your car!". Driving conditions: clean air/dusty, freeway/city stop-and-go, long drives vs 3 minute "around...

Error code p1516 with check engine and reduced engine power unable to drive over 30mph car is revving up put no power

The code P1516 is is for the throttle position sensor. It looks like the car's computer is putting the engine in "failsafe mode" to prevent the car from being driven much further. A technician would need to examine the system...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 ·