Hiring a Vehicle in New Zealand When You are Under 25 Years Old
It’s a common misconception that you have to be over 25 years old to rent a vehicle in New Zealand. Although being under 25 means you might hit a few restrictions when hiring a vehicle, there are actually many rental companies that specialise in hiring cars and campervans out to people aged 18 to 25 years old. Although you have less of a selection of rental vehicles and companies, there are still plenty to choose from. So, how old do you have to be to rent a car or campervan in New Zealand? Find out in this guide outlining the age restrictions for renting a vehicle in New Zealand.
How Old Do You Need to Be to Rent a Car in New Zealand?
Just to make it clear, you need to be 18 years old to rent a car in New Zealand. However, many car and campervan rental companies have age restrictions, which means that only older drivers, usually 21+ or 25+ years old drivers can hire their vehicles. More on that in the guide below!
How to Find Out if You are Old Enough to Rent a Car or Campervan in New Zealand
You may come across age restrictions for some car and campervan rental companies in New Zealand if you are 18, under 21 or under 25 years old. The best way to find out how old you need to be to rent a vehicle is to read the “Terms & Conditions” of the car and campervan rental companies you are comparing. They will state what the age restrictions are, what the minimum age is to hire a vehicle, and whether there are any additional fees for being under a certain age.
We can save you all the hassle of finding rental companies that rent vehicles to young drivers! Simply check out The Best New Zealand Car & Campervan Rentals for Ages 18 to 25. Plus, check out RentalCars.com for cheap car rental deals.
Hiring a Vehicle if You are 18 Years Old
In New Zealand, 18 years old is the age that you are legally allowed to rent a car in New Zealand. You also need to have a full driving license, as well as an approved translation or IDP if your driving license is not in English.
Can You Rent a Car on a Restricted License in New Zealand?
Only very few car rental companies offer car rentals in New Zealand to drivers on a restricted license. Usually, there are conditions attached, such as restricted licenses must be from New Zealand or Australia and not be suspended or revoked.
Can 18-Year-Olds Rent Cars in New Zealand?
Yes, there are plenty of vehicle rental companies, both car and campervan, who specialise in hiring vehicles for under 25-year-olds, including drivers aged 18. However, many other vehicle rental companies have a minimum age for hiring their vehicles, which tends to be 21 years old. This means you have far less choice of rental vehicles in New Zealand if you are 18, 19 or 20 years old. It’s also worth noting that some rental companies require you to have had a driving license for at least one year.
If you are under 18 years old and want to rent a vehicle in New Zealand, the restrictions mentioned in the two sections below also apply to you…
Hiring a Vehicle if You are Under 21 Years Old
There are plenty of campervan and car rental companies that rent vehicles to people under 21 years old, just as they would to someone over 21. The market of these companies is usually a younger audience so they often advertise under 21 rentals loud and clear on their websites. However, where it isn’t obvious that a vehicle rental company hires out vehicles to under 21s, then you will need to start digging into the fine print.
The Conditions of Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand if You are Under 21
If you are under 21 years old when renting a car or campervan in New Zealand, you may find the following scenarios:
- You may have to pay a substantial “security bond” (usually a couple of thousand dollars) which you will receive back when you return the vehicle in the same condition as you picked it up
- There may be an added surcharge for being under 21
- You may have to pay more insurance excess if you cause damage to the car than drivers who are over 21 years old
- You are only able to hire certain cars, usually excluding motorhomes and premium vehicles.
Not sure what “bonds” and “excess” are? Make sure you check out our guide, New Zealand Rental Car & Campervan Insurance: Explained!
Hiring a Vehicle if You are Under 25 Years Old
The final age restriction you’re likely to find when hiring a vehicle in New Zealand is for those under 25 years old.
The Conditions of Renting a Car or Campervan if You are Under 25 Years Old
Similar conditions to what many rental companies apply to under 21-year-olds may apply to those under 25 years old, including:
- There may incur a surcharge for being under 25 years old
- You may have to pay more insurance excess if you cause damage to the car than drivers who are over 25 years old
- You may have to pay a higher “security bond” (usually a couple of thousand dollars) which you will receive back when you return the vehicle in the same condition as you picked it up
- You are only able to hire certain cars, usually excluding motorhomes and premium cars.
Again, make sure you understand bonds and excess by checking out our guide, New Zealand Rental Car & Campervan Insurance: Explained!
What Type of Vehicle Can You Hire When You’re Under 25?
Even if you are under 25, there is a wide range of options when it comes to the type of vehicles you can hire in New Zealand. Most rental companies will offer under 25-year-olds a choice of all their standard-size cars, sleep-in cars and 2-berth campervans. These are usually van-sized campers that can compactly fit a bed, shower, toilet and small kitchen. However, you may start finding less choice when it comes to looking at premium vehicles, like SUVs and 4WDs, as well as motorhomes or RVs. Most motorhome rental companies have an age restriction of at least 21.
For more information on the different vehicles available to rent in New Zealand, take a look at What is the Best Type of Car to Rent in New Zealand?
Are You Too Old to Rent a Car or Campervan in New Zealand?
Another age restriction cropping up in the car rental industry in some countries is the maximum age restriction. People over a certain age will either be charged extra for renting or will be banned from renting altogether.
What is the Upper Age Limit for Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand?
While a maximum age restriction is not a feature of most car or campervan rental companies in New Zealand, always check the “Terms & Conditions” of car rental companies to make sure. At the time of writing, the only known companies to apply an upper age limit is Apollo Campers and Hertz. People over 75 years must provide a doctor’s certificate proving that they are fit to drive with these rental companies.
More About Age Restrictions for Renting a Vehicle in New Zealand
Now that you know how old you need to be to rent a car or campervan in New Zealand, here’s more advice to help plan the perfect road trip:
- 20 Ways to Save Money on Car & Campervan Rental in New Zealand
- The Essential Guide to Renting a Car in New Zealand
- Renting a Campervan in New Zealand: The Essential Guide
Finally, if there’s anything that we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in Travel By Car in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide.