Why Kiwi roads might mean a new approach to road trips


New Zealand is somewhat synonymous with narrow lanes, less-than-perfect road surfaces and outdated highways. What makes a bad road is subjective and depends on what car you drive, how you drive and where you drive, but one thing is a fact; New Zealand does not score highly in road infrastructure when compared to other developed nations.

Our nation has begun addressing these issues with an influx of new highways and roads, backed up by the sight of cones and roadworks on every other street. Simple solutions, like adding median barriers, have proven to reduce crash rates significantly in New Zealand but some would argue that more needs to be done.

It’s not uncommon to encounter a gravel road or two on a long road trip, never mind narrow country lanes. Some of these roads require more than a small city car to overcome. If you’re planning to head into the unknown, you might want to consider upgrading your little city slicker to an SUV. We don’t expect you to purchase a new car for one trip, but hiring a rental may be much more affordable than you think. Some reasons you might decide to do this are:

Terrain: If you don’t think your car can handle gravel and days of a hard slog across country roads it makes sense to upgrade to a luxury rental for the weekend and make the most of your trip.

Reducing risk: Don’t think of hiring a rental as an additional cost. Think of it as protecting your everyday vehicle from potentially damaging roads and breaking down on the other side of the country.

One-way trip: You’ll need a hire company that offers this – only the best ones do. This allows you the freedom you require.

Insurance: If you don’t have insurance on your car, good hire car companies will, making for safer travelling and peace of mind.

Safer vehicles: Vehicles have a safety rating which you can figure out with a little bit of online research. Rental companies make it their business to incorporate safety into the features of their vehicle fleets. When’s the last time you took your car for a full service and had the safety features, such as airbags, checked? Rentals have these checks regularly meaning they’re safer than the average car. If you’re worried about yours, hire instead.

With these thoughts in mind, you can make an educated decision as to whether your car is ready to handle a long trip or whether it makes sense to treat yourself to a rental upgrade for the ultimate escape.