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The Complete New Zealand Driving and Rental Guide

With a territory as large as the United Kingdom but with only a population of 4.5 million inhabitants, New Zealand has always been a popular travel destination thanks to its beautiful and diverse natural sceneries. Here is a driving and rental guide we prepare especially for you aiming at helping you have a smooth road trip.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

In New Zealand, driving is on the left with overtaking on the right. New Zealand has the same system of signs and road code as you would find in the United Kingdom. During winter, especially in the mountains or on South Island, driving can be tricky. Therefore snow chains are highly recommended when renting a car at this season.

Speed Limit

There are speed limits of 100 km/h on highways and 50 km/h in urban areas unless signs say otherwise.

Traffic Signs

There are three major types of signs in New Zealand: compulsory, warning and information signs. Here are some of the regulatory signs that you may often see in New Zealand.

New Zealand Traffic Sign StopStop
New Zealand Traffic Sign Give WayGive Way
New Zealand Traffic Sign No U turnNo U-turn
New Zealand Traffic Sign 30 km/h Speed Limit30 km/h Speed Limit
New Zealand Traffic Sign No StoppingNo Stopping

Warning signs are diamond-shaped with yellow or green background.

New Zealand Traffic Sign 60 km/h Speed Limit Ahead60 km/h Speed Limit Ahead
New Zealand Traffic Sign Merging Traffic from RightMerging Traffic from Right 
New Zealand Traffic Sign Road BumpRoad Bump
New Zealand Traffic Sign Watch for Large Animals (Cattle)Watch for Large Animals (Cattle)
New Zealand Traffic Sign Railway CrossbuckRailway Crossbuck

Information signs are in rectangular shape with a white background.

New Zealand Traffic Sign Left Turn at Any Time With CareLeft Turn at Any Time With Care
New Zealand Traffic Sign Cyclists Cross Here With Care (to the Left)Cyclists Cross Here With Care (to the Left)

Further information on signs for driving in New Zealand can be found in this booklet.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

The driver is responsible for ensuring all passengers under 15 years wear seat belts. Passengers aged 15 and over are responsible for putting seat belts on themselves.

Booster Seat Laws

All children under 7 must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. 

You must correctly secure children aged between 7 and 8 in an approved child restraint if one is available in the vehicle. If not, in any child restraint or safety belt that is available. 

For children aged between 8 and 14, a safety belt must be used. If not available, they must travel in the back seat. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll


· Forbidden Parking 

You cannot park your car in the following spots: 

- Along the broken yellow lines along the side of the curb, since it means that parking is not permitted

- Near a corner, curve, hill, traffic island or intersection, if it will stop other people from seeing along the road 

- On, or closer than 5 metres to a fire hydrant, unless somebody who can move the vehicle stays with it 

- In front of or closer than 1 metre to a vehicle entrance 

- On or closer than 6 metres to an intersection, unless there are parking spaces or a notice telling you that you can park there 

· Parking Signs 

Parking signs in New Zealand are marked with numbers indicating how long you can park the car and an arrow to indicate directions. Some are specified with the date of the week as well.

 New Zealand Parking With Specified Time And Arrow New Zealand Parking With Specified Time And Dates And Arrow

· Paid Parking 

All machines accept New Zealand coins, and some of them have been introduced with credit cards and TXT-a-Park payment methods. Currently, you still need to go for Pay-and-Display parking. However, all machines will be upgraded by March 2018 to include Pay By Plate technology, which allows you to enter your vehicle’s registration plate number directly on the machine and pay for it by credit card, debit card, coins or TXT-a-Park. Note that there is a 50-cent fee for credit card or TXT-a-Park transaction.

New Zealand Paid Parking Metre(Image from Stuff.co.nz)

Fuel Prices

The average gasoline price in New Zealand in November 2017 is $2.22 per litre, while it is of $1.47 for diesel.


There are three toll roads in New Zealand: the Northern Gateway Toll Road north in Auckland, the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and the Takitimu Drive Toll Road in Tauranga.

New Zealand Toll Road(Image from nzta.govt.nz)

How much you should pay depends on your car type. You can pay the tolls by debit or credit cards, POLi, and cash. 

Debit or credit card 

You can use your Visa or Mastercard to buy or pay a Pay & Go toll.


If you have Internet banking with ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB Bank, Westpac or Bank Direct, then you can buy or pay a Pay & Go toll (external link) using Payment Online (POLi). 

Note: POLi is not available for business internet banking customers. 


If you prefer to pay with cash (or by debit/credit card) you can pay your tolls at selected service stations (a transaction fee of $1.20 per transaction will apply). 

Be aware that as a car renter, not paying for the toll fee will result in the car hire company paying it for you and collecting the toll fee along with an add-on of management fee (note that it can sometimes be costly) from your credit card.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

If you are 20 or over, you must not drive if you have consumed more than the legal alcohol limit, which is 250 micrograms per litre of breath or 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood (0.05%). There is a zero tolerance for alcohol if you are under 20.

Traffic Fines

In New Zealand, exceeding the speed limit results in an infringement fine range from $30 to $630. The amount of the infringement fine will depend on the difference between the actual and legal speed limit. 

As for parking, an infringement notice can be issued if a vehicle is parked illegally on public land, or in breach of what a parking sign says. In some circumstances, the vehicle can also be towed away if it is obstructing traffic. 

Normally, there will be a website or hotline number on the front or back of the ticket as well as the reason for the violation fine and the relevant voucher number. Please be aware that you can log onto the website or call the hotline and follow the guidelines to pay the ticket. 

Failure to pay tickets will result in the car hire company paying them on the renter’s behalf, and debit the renter credit card for the fine amount plus an administration fee. Please note that you can always contact EasyRentCars’ 24/7 customer service team for help if you have questions concerning this matter. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

At the time of rental in New Zealand, all drivers must present a full and valid driving licence from the renters country of residence and the licence should be held for at least 1 or 2 years ( policies may vary depending on car hire companies). An International Driving Permit is highly recommended for international drivers. If your domestic driving licence is not printed in English (Arabic, Japanese, Cyrillic etc), an International Driving Permit (IDP/IDL) or an official translation in English is required when you drive in New Zealand.

Minimum age in New Zealand is 21 years (age may vary depending on car category) and the maximum is 80 years of age. If you're 21-25, you are likely to have to pay a young driver fee. If you're 65 or older, you may have to pay a senior driver fee.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /


2018.11.21 Destination: Christchurch

10.0Worth the money

Car in good condition, no issue for 15 days for around 3,000KM mileage drive


2018.11.21 Destination: Auckland

10.0Great Rentals are good value

Nice that they have moved closer to the airport to reduce pickup and drop-off time. We'll be back.


2018.11.19 Destination: Christchurch

10.0Good value for money and powerful car

Big and comfortable car, able to accommodate 6 big luggages


2018.11.19 Destination: Queenstown

8.6Fantastic small car

Got large storage area


2018.11.18 Destination: Auckland

8.6Great value

New vehicle, competitive price. Very thorough with checking damage on vehicle before pick-up


2018.11.15 Destination: Christchurch

9.2gd car. clean.

gd car. fuel economy. clean.


2018.11.14 Destination: Christchurch

8.4Good price, reasonable vehicle

Good price and friendly staff, but high excess


2018.11.13 Destination: Auckland

9.6Great Service

Shuttle from airport to Ace rentals, checked in and picked up car with ease


2018.11.13 Destination: Auckland

8.22 days in Auckland

cheap price


2018.11.13 Destination: Auckland

10.0Super nice and helpful!!

Staff was excellent

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Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on EasyRentCars.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

EasyRentCars will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on EasyRentCars, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on EasyRentCars.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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