Off-Road Driving with Car Rental Companies in New Zealand
Off-roading for car rental companies tends to refer to any driving done on roads that are unsealed, i.e. have a loose top surface of gravel or dust rather than tarmac. Unsealed roads are also referred to as gravel or metal roads in New Zealand. They are usually found in rural areas and are often one-track and narrow, with no safety barriers / verges on either side of them.
IS OFF-ROAD DRIVING IN RENTAL CARS ALLOWED BY CAR RENTAL COMPANIES IN NEW ZEALAND?
All car rental companies state what their policy is about off-roading in rental cars in their rental agreements or rental schedules, so you should always check what your car rental company's policy is.
However, most car rental companies in New Zealand do NOT allow clients to drive their vehicles on unsealed roads. This is due to several reasons including:
- Driving too fast on roads with loose surfaces, such as gravel and dust, can easily cause damage to rental vehicles.
- Other vehicles on unsealed roads can throw out gravel into the air which may damage windscreens and paintwork.
- Dust on the roads, kicked up by your rental car or by other vehicles can easily obscure driver vision.
- Drivers unused to driving off-road may not be able to control or stop a vehicle safely because the gravel can act as rollers between the vehicle's wheels and the road surface.
Find and Book with Car Rental Companies in New Zealand
It is easy to book a rental car in New Zealand. Simply browse our range of rental cars by choosing one of the options below.
You may be interested in a form of transport in New Zealand other than a rental car. Browse our range of transport options including airlines, bus and coach services, rental 4WD, minivan and buses, rental campervans and motorhomes, rental bikes and motorcycles and trains.
View more frequently asked questions about New Zealand car rentals.