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Car Hire in Christchurch


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        About Christchurch

        Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. It is also the country's most populous city with over 380,000 residents. The city was severely damaged by an earthquake in February 2011 and many of its historic buildings were destroyed. However, Christchurch is slowly being rebuilt and remains a popular tourist destination. The city has several interesting museums and parks and is close to some of New Zealand's most beautiful beaches. Christchurch is also home to the University of Canterbury, one of New Zealand's largest universities.

        Basic info and car hire in Christchurch

        • Location: East coast of New Zealand’s South Island
        • Population: 381.500 (2017)
        • Official language: English
        • Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZ$)
        • Weather: The weather in Christchurch is temperate and changes with the seasons. Summers are usually mild but can be hot, while winters are cold and quite a lot of snow can fall. Christchurch experiences a high amount of rainfall throughout the year.
        • Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
        • Road conditions: The road conditions in New Zealand are unique and often challenging. The diverse terrain means that there's never just one way to get from point A, the country has many different types of roads which might challenge your vehicle or make it difficult for other drivers around you. Outside main city areas most people drive on single lane rural highways without barriers between them but sometimes they have gravel surfaces too!
        • Car hire in Christchurch: The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Christchurch is Christchurch Airport. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Christchurch!

         Driving in Christchurch

        The roads in Christchurch are generally in good condition and the city has a good public transport system. However, traffic jams are common, especially during rush hour. Driving in Christchurch can be challenging, so it is important to know the traffic rules and drive defensively. There are several roundabouts in Christchurch. So familiarise yourself with how they work before driving in the city. The speed limit is 50 km/h (30 mph) on most roads, but note that this varies by road. There are also some areas where the speed limit is lower, such as in the centre of Christchurch. Watch out for cyclists and pedestrians, who have the right of way in many areas.

        When it comes to driving in New Zealand, there are strict alcohol limits for both adults and teens. For people aged 20 or over the limit is 250 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath with a blood-alcohol content of 50 mg/100 ml. For drivers under 20, there is zero tolerance for drunk driving. 

        • Age limits: Minimum driver age for the vehicle that you selected is 18. The maximum driver age for the vehicle that you selected is 99. Different driver age restrictions apply to different vehicle groups and these are applied automatically to all online rental searches. If you entered your correct age and the online search returned a specific vehicle group, you are eligible to rent it. Please note that the same restrictions apply to all Additional Drivers.
        • International Driving Permit: An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving Licence if your National Driving Licence is not in English. Residents of countries that cannot issue International Driving Permits may present an official translation of their National Driving Licence.
        • Additional papers: You and all Additional Drivers must present a full valid original Driving Licence and the voucher or booking confirmation document when picking up the vehicle. If your Driving Licence has multiple parts, you must present all of them. All requirements apply to both you and any Additional Drivers. Your Driving Licence must have at least 6 months of validity remaining.
        • Additional requirements: Glasses (in case you need glasses, you must always have a spare pair in the car), light bulbs (are usually already in the car and are provided by the car rental company), warning triangle
        • Children in the car:  Under New Zealand law, all children under the age of seven must use an approved child seat that is suitable for their age and size. Children aged seven must be secured in a child seat if one is available in the vehicle.
        • Driving side of the road: Left side. 
        • Lights: Daytime headlights is recommended at all times and required in the rain, fog or under challenging weather conditions. 
        • General speed limits: The speed limit of 50 km/h urban and built-up areas, as well as 100 on expressways or motorways, is by default. Other higher speeds are 110km per hour
        • Parking suggestions: Parking is not free in Christchurch during the daytime. Depending on the parking zone what the hours are. Overnight parking is usually free. You will also be able to find plenty of large parking garages across the city. 

        Car Hire in Christchurch

        Most popular car hire at Christchurch

        The most selected hire car in Christchurch is the Toyota Yaris, with the Toyota Corolla and Suzuki Swift also being a popular options. The most popular car types in Christchurch are mini and economy. 

        Popular Driving Routes

        Popular One-Way car hire from Christchurch

        Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Christchurch. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original location. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the New Zealand.

        • Christchurch - Blenheim (309km, approx. 4-hours drive)
        • Christchurch - Dunedin (360km, approx. 4-hours drive)
        • Christchurch - Invercargill (564km, approx 7-hour drive)

        Popular day trips from Christchurch

        There are many great day trips from Christchurch. One of the most popular is a drive up to the mountain village of Hanmer Springs. The village is surrounded by mountains and nature reserves, and there are plenty of walking and cycling trails to explore. Another good option is to visit Kaikoura, one of New Zealand's most popular destinations. The town is famous for its whale watching tours, but there are also many other activities, such as swimming with dolphins or visiting a seal colony. Another popular option is a drive along the scenic coastal road to Akaroa. This small town is situated in a beautiful bay and is home to some of the best restaurants in the country.

        What to see in Christchurch

        Top attractions in Christchurch include the Arts Centre, Botanic Gardens and Westfield Riccarton Mall. The Arts Centre is a beautiful Victorian building that has been restored and now houses theatres, art galleries and studios. The Botanic Gardens are home to a wide variety of plants from around the world. There are also several museums in Christchurch, including the Canterbury Museum, which tells the history of the region, and the Quake City exhibition, which tells about the earthquakes in Christchurch in 2010 and 2011. Finally, there are many opportunities for outdoor recreation in Christchurch, including cycling, hiking and skiing.

        There is certainly no shortage of sights and activities in Christchurch. With its beautiful architecture, lush gardens and a variety of museums and shops, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. So if you are planning a trip to New Zealand, be sure to include Christchurch in your itinerary!

        Drive your rental car beyond Christchurch

        Some of the best road trips from Christchurch include the breathtaking drive along the east coast of the South Island, past pristine beaches and rugged cliffs. Other great routes include a drive through the Southern Alps to Wanaka and Queenstown, or a drive north to explore Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo. Christchurch is also an ideal base for exploring New Zealand's wine country with its vineyards in Canterbury and Otago. Whichever route you choose, be sure to plan enough time to enjoy New Zealand's beautiful scenery.

        If you are looking for inspiration, check out these 5 best road trips from Christchurch:

        The scenic drive along the east coast of the South Island, from Christchurch to Invercargill.

        The drive through the Southern Alps to Wanaka and Queenstown.

        Heading north to explore Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo.

        Explore New Zealand's wine country with vineyards scattered across Canterbury and Otago.

        Travel the coastal route from Christchurch to Kaikoura and on to Picton.

        Streets of Christchurch

        Southern alps of Christchurch

        Where to eat, drink, and party in Christchurch

        There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Christchurch, both in the city centre and in the suburbs. In the city centre you will find many cafés, restaurants and pubs. There are also a few cinemas and theatres. If you are looking for something in the outskirts, there are also many options. From fast food chains to upscale restaurants, you'll find it all here. And if you are looking for a drink, there are plenty of pubs and bars too. Whatever you are looking for, Christchurch has something to offer.

        Best restaurant in Christchurch

        Some of the best restaurants in Christchurch include C1 Espresso, The Churchill and Dux Central. If you are looking for a drink, The Twisted Hop and Pomeroy's are good choices. And if you are looking for an evening activity, Christchurch Casino is always a popular choice.


        What you need to know about renting a car

        What do I need to rent a car in New Zealand?

        credit card in the name of the main driver needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle as well as on your voucher. It is important to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver as well as additional drivers when it applies.

        An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.

        How old do I need to be to rent a car in New Zealand?

        The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old and with some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. Young driver surcharges may apply to many car rental companies for people under 25 years of age.

        Do I need car insurance in New Zealand?

        Insurances are very important when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in New Zealand with Orbit Car Hire the prices will include mandatory insurances in the country.

        Do I need a credit card to rent a car in New Zealand?

        In most cases, a credit card is required to be presented in the name of the main driver. A security deposit may be required when renting a car so it is important to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a car at Orbit you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.

        Do I need an international driving license in New Zealand?

        An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements.

        How do I get the cheapest car in New Zealand?

        You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit. A good idea can be to book in advance as the prices can increase closer to the travel period. 

        What is the cheapest rental car in New Zealand?

        You will find the mini car category or economy cars to be the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as Toyota Yaris, Toyota Corolla, and Kai Cerato often provide the best prices. 

        What is the best car rental company in New Zealand?

        You may find excellent service provided by companies such as Enterprise Rent a Car, Alamo Rent a Car, National Rent a Car, Yesaway Rent a Car, Europcar Rent a Car and Keddy Rent a Car.

        What types and makes of rental car deals can I find in New Zealand?

        You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size, and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are Toyota Corolla, Toyota Rav4, Mitsubishi ASX, Toyota Camry.

        Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I book it for New Zealand?

        Most car rentals in New Zealand offer unlimited mileage in their offers. 

        Car Hire Locations in Christchurch 1 location(s) found

        Find The Best Car Hire Companies In Christchurch

        • Alamo Car Hire
        • AutoUnion Car Rental
        • Car Hire with Keddy by Europcar
        • Enterprise Rent a Car
        • Europcar
        • National
        • Right Cars
        • Routes
        • Yesaway

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