The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in New Zealand

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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.


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Rating Summary
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11,350
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Jose

8 years of experience
33 reviews
Jose
8 years of experience
BMW 325i - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Redwood City, California
I had a few mechanics from YM and _all_ of them arrived late (some even 2 hours late) , but not Jose! He arrived right on time! I gave him the keys and let him do his job. I am a curious person so I asked him a few questions about his techniques and he had no problem answering them all with detailed explanations! He did run into a problem on my car because of stripped bolts, but he literally went above and beyond and found a way to remove it. Best mechanic ever.
Lexus CT200h - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - South San Francisco, California
Jose was on time and did a great job on my brakes. He was friendly and explained the entire process. Would highly recommend.

Augustine

11 years of experience
35 reviews
Augustine
11 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Augustine was amazing. He was the perfect example of customer service all around. While he was working, I was recommending him to my neighbors. Next time I need work, I will be requesting Augustine specifically!!!!! Please give him a raise or bonus!!!
Toyota Corolla - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mr. Sanchez showed up on time and finished replacing my rotors and break pads. He was very informative and treats your car like his own. He was very time efficient and communicated very well. I highly recommend Mr. Sanchez’s services!!!!

John

26 years of experience
552 reviews
John
26 years of experience
GMC Yukon XL 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - League City, Texas
I am so happy John is back. I trust him very much. He is efficient and has a tremendous amount of mechanical knowledge. He is a true asset to Your Mechanic.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Alvin, Texas
I like John because he is very knowledgeable about all my vehicles. In addition he is very organized regarding how he performs his work.

Wesley

8 years of experience
45 reviews
Wesley
8 years of experience
Dodge Nitro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Peoria, Arizona
Great experience. Very professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Highly recommended and will continue to use for future work.

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