Maybe you’re the kind of adventurer who plans each and every detail of your journey. Or perhaps you prefer to pick up a rental car and wander like a free spirit. Whatever gets your motor running, there are some key facts about South Island that you might want to know. You’ll have to book a plane ticket to New Zealand to get to this incredible destination.
Here’s a rundown of our top suggestions to bag the best deal on a rental car:
Look into as many different bargain deals as possible (we make that chore as easy as pie!)
Set up an email Price Drop Alert for your next exciting vacation destination. You never know what great bargains will drive straight into your inbox
Research is the key to getting the cheapest rentals deals in town, so be sure to take a look at both airport and non-airport pickup and drop-off outlets before you shell out for your ride
If your dates are not set in concrete, see if you can get a better price by switching up the days in your search
Pickup and drop-off times typically need to be similar (e.g, both 10 a.m.) or you may be required to pay for an entire extra day
Sometimes rental outlets offer big incentives to pay immediately, so make sure you look out for these penny-pinching offers
It’s best to make a reservation as soon as your dates are confirmed. The earlier you book, the bigger the choice.
Don’t restrict your adventures to those urban areas. South Island has some sensational scenery, such as sandy shores, snowfields, and glaciers. A car like a convertible will help you get around them in style. These rentals are ideal for those who’d like to take in the views with the top rolled down. Who doesn’t adore the sensation of the wind in their hair?
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to renting a car in South Island. From SUVs with space to spare to economy rides that are a snap to park, you’ll find it all here. Deciding on your perfect match of course depends on your budget and what activities you plan on doing. There are some road trips that are just begging you to splurge on your dream ride, whereas other adventures don’t need anything more than four wheels and a gas pedal. The choice is yours.
There’s no better way to discover the hidden gems of South Island than from behind the wheel of your own rental car. But before you buckle your seat belt and tear off, it’s worth studying up on some of the road rules. Here are a few handy hints to help make your trip as safe and easy as possible:
In South Island, drivers stick to the left side of the road. That means the driver’s seat is on the right-hand side. If you’ve rented a manual transmission car, get comfortable with shifting gears with your left hand.
Speed limits generally range from 50km/h to 100km/h in South Island and there are penalties for exceeding the limit. Built-up areas usually have a maximum speed of 40km/h, unless signed otherwise.
Normally, one of two things will happen. Your rental car company may bill the fined amount to your credit card. This is the most common practice. Alternatively, it may forward your contact information to local law enforcement agencies so the fine is issued directly to you.
Although there are a few exceptions, seat belts must be worn when the vehicle is in motion in New Zealand.
If you have hands-free or Bluetooth functions enabled, you can use your cell phone while driving around South Island. But be sure to stay focused on the road.
While operating a vehicle in South Island, it’s illegal to have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of more than 0.05%. Planning to have a few beers while you’re out? Consider taking a taxi or using a ride-sharing service.
You aren’t permitted to turn on a red light in South Island. If you come across one, enjoy a mindful moment until the signal goes back to green.