Traveling around New Zealand in either a rental car or campervan is one of the best and most economical ways of seeing this amazing country we call home. You will not regret this experience. I have put together a set of tips which will help you make the right decision when choosing which company is going to supply your wheels for your trip of a lifetime.
Can you rely on your rental?
You must check if the rental company provides you with 24 hour AA (Automobile Association) roadside assistance. In the event of your car breaking down, AA will fix it anywhere in New Zealand.
Is your car or campervan rental selection right for you?
Your car should be a perfect fit for your requirements. When you talk to the rental company, be very clear on the make of car you require, any specific needs you have and specify your budget. Most companies will have a wide range of cars with different features at various prices. Ask questions and make sure you get the answers you want to hear.
Are you under 21?
If you say YES, then it is vital for you to check if the company will let you drive their vehicle in the first place. Most car rental companies in New Zealand will hire to you as long as you are 18 years+. As a helpful tip remember to check to see if there are any extra costs involved if you are under 21. For example you may find that the insurance costs may be slightly higher. This is normal, but just ask the questions so you are fully informed and don't get any nasty surprises on pick up!
What do you get for the rate that you pay?
You must discuss what the inclusions and exclusions are. It is important to know well in advance what is included with the daily rate for your car rental. Again no one likes surprises on pick up.
Are you traveling with a baby?
Check to see if the vehicle you are looking to hire has baby bolts so that a baby seat can be fitted safely. Most companies hire out baby seats and baby boosters. Just check this before making your booking.
How many seats do you need?
Plan well in advance as to how many of you will be traveling. Based on the confirmed number of travelers, go about choosing your wheels of choice and confirm if your car can seat that many comfortably. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable.
Will you use the ferry crossing?
If your travel involves crossing between the North and South Island, then you have to use the ferry. Some companies have an office on either side. From travel experience myself, it is best to load your car, take it on the ferry and drive away when you reach the other side keeping the same vehicle the whole time rather than leaving your car on one side, unpacking it and taking all your luggage on the ferry and then repack the new car on the other side. Just check with the company to see what their options are.
What are your needs?
At the end of the day you need to really think about what your needs are. This is what really matters, so make sure the company you choose meets all your requirements.
You need to take your time to choose the right company because let's face it your wheels will be the key component in your adventures around New Zealand. Make sure you get it right.