Driving Tips | Campervan Hire New Zealand
Driving a campervan can be a challenging task.
Many of our clients voice their concerns about handling a large 4 or 6 Berth campervan. My advice is to take it easy for the first couple of days, giving yourself a fair chance to get used to the new dimensions and functions. If possible, stay away from city traffic and travel on open country roads. Once you have mastered your first few days driving, parking and reversing (Rear vision cameras are a great asset!), handling the campervan will feel absolutely natural. - A “Piece of cake!”, as we like to say here in New Zealand.
Tips for driving your campervan hire vehicle on New Zealand’s roads:
1) Stay left
New Zealand is one of the countries with left-hand traffic. It is absolutely vital that you keep your vehicle on the left side of the road at all times! Keep focused when turning at intersections. Even when you have done a lot of driving in New Zealand, it only takes one unfocused moment to turn into the wrong lane. Of course, if you are visiting from Australia, India, Japan, United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore, Grenada, Christmas Island, etc., nothing changes for you and you can disregard this paragraph.
2) Let faster traffic pass
Some larger campervans are over 3500 kg and therefore only allowed to travel at a maximum speed of 90 km/h. Most cars will be faster than you. To keep the harmony on the road, please stay aware of any traffic behind your campervan. Pull over as soon as it is safe to let following vehicles pass. If there is a straight stretch ahead keep your speed down, so that vehicles can easily pass you.
3) No parking on opposite side of street
Just recently one of our clients received a NZ$ 40 fine for parking on the wrong side of the road, which reminded me that there is no such rule in most countries overseas.
The “wrong side” is the right-hand side of the road (except in one-way streets).
4) Abide the road rules
Like most countries, New Zealand has strict road rules which you should respect to avoid traffic fines and unnecessary risks. Clear and easy to understand signage is provided, so there are no excuses for speeding or reckless driving.
5) Child Restraints
Children under 8 years of age must be secured in a suitable child or booster seat. When booking your campervan hire with us, we will make sure the correct equipment is included with your vehicle.
6) Allow plenty of time to get from A to B
Nothing kills the holiday mood more than having to rush from one place to the next. When you are planning your New Zealand campervan hire holiday, make sure you allow plenty of time to reach your destinations. Although it may look like a short drive on the map, you may be surprised how New Zealand’s winding and often hilly roads can slow you down. Keep in mind that you want to spend quality time at your destination, so that you can fully enjoy the breath-taking scenery New Zealand has to offer.
Regular breaks are also recommended to refresh and relax.
7) Drive to the Conditions
New Zealand can be a very windy place. Especially when driving in a large campervan, side-winds can be difficult to handle. In windy conditions, keep in mind to expect strong gusts at any stage and drive slower so that you can react accordingly. Driving on icy or snowy roads is also extra-slippery in a campervan due to the large vehicle body and mass. Always remember that safety comes first!
8) Driver’s Licence
All drivers must be 21 years of age or older and hold a current valid driver's licence. A country of origin licence is acceptable, however non-English language licence holders must either carry an authorized English translation* of their foreign driver’s licence or an International Driving Permit. A normal car licence is all that is required to drive a campervan in New Zealand.
9) Accidents & Emergencies
For any type of emergency (traffic accident, fire, theft, etc.) call 111 immediately.
If you are involved in an accident with another party or third party property, it is recommended to report the matter to police. You are also required to report any incidents involving your campervan to your campervan hire company within 24 hours.
Now you should be ready to hit the New Zealand roads for your campervan hire adventure! Although there are obviously some rules you need to stick to, a campervan hire holiday in New Zealand gives you maximum freedom in one of the most beautiful countries on earth. Enjoy & Happy Camping!
ProCamper Limited has been operating since 2010 and specializes in Campervan Hire for clients visiting New Zealand and Australia. Regular campervan inspections and valuable industry knowledge enables ProCamper to provide ideal solutions for campervan holidays, combined with excellent customer service and competitive rates.