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Home > New Zealand > Driving In country

Driving in New Zealand

Before you pick up your car hire in New Zealand, it is worth noting some of the rules and regulations about driving in New Zealand.

Driving licence requirements in New Zealand:

Visitors to New Zealand may drive rental cars using their national licence, provided it is in a language that uses Roman letters and numbers. Holders of other licences must also show an International driving permit in English (available through motoring organizations). The authorities require that you carry your driver's licence with you at all times.

Age requirements for driving in New Zealand:

Car hire companies in New Zealand employ age restrictions, which can vary across companies. Please check your quotation for exact restrictions, as there may be an extra fee for drivers below the minimum age or over the maximum age. 


Parking in New Zealand:

  • Parking restrictions are shown on roadside signs
  • Do not park where there are yellow lines on roadside. You should not stop for any reason where there are double yellow lines on roadside.
  • Parking metres and 'Pay & Display' machines are in use in New Zealand. Maximum time allowed is usually 2 hours.
  • Fines for parking offences can be severe



Tips for driving your hire car in New Zealand:

  • Drive on the left
  • Overtake on the right
  • Drinking and driving incurs heavy fines or prison sentences so we advise you not to consume any alcohol prior to driving.
  • Speed cameras and radar are in use throughout New Zealand
  • Penalties for speeding and dangerous driving are severe and can include imprisonment
  • Rental companies have the right to charge the driver's credit card for any fines incurred whilst using the rented vehicle
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times (front and back seats)
  • The vast majority of New Zealand drivers are polite and courteous. Please respect this.
  • Do not argue with police. Be polite, be patient. Address police officers as 'Sir' or 'Madam'.

Fuel types available in New Zealand:

  • Unleaded Super 95/98 Petroleum (gasoline)
  • Diesel
  • Check carefully before filling whether your rental car uses petrol or diesel. If you make a mistake do not start the vehicle as severe damage may result and you will be liable for repair costs. Inform service station staff who will assist in arranging for the tank to be drained and refilled with the correct fuel
  • Virtually all service stations accept most types of credit or Debit / Switch cards for fuel payment - but check before filling up. Some do not accept American Express or Diners' Cards.


Speed Limits on New Zealand roads:

Cars and motorcycles Urban areas
Open roads

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