Tips For Winter Driving In New Zealand

Friday, July 10th, 2020

There’s no doubt about it: New Zealand is at its most beautiful during the winter months, particularly in the South Island. But while snow and ice might look postcard-perfect on the mountains they’re not as lovely on the roads, and real care is needed when you’re driving on them. Thankfully, when the conditions do become a little treacherous you can take certain steps to keep you and your passengers safe; that is why we want to share some smart tips while offering you the best budget car rental in New Zealand!

  • Don’t be in a hurry particularly if conditions are poor. Drive slower than you normally would as it takes no time at all to lose control in wet or icy conditions.
  • Be smooth in your braking or turning. Sudden and abrupt movements can cause you to skid, particularly on icy roads.  
  • Accelerate smoothly and brake gently.
  • Remember how to use your gears! Choose the highest gear when going up a hill, and your lowest when travelling downhill.
  • If your vehicle doesn’t have an anti-skid braking system, pump the brake pedal in short rapid bursts instead of pressing down on the pedal long and hard.
  • It takes longer to stop on wet and icy roads so ensure you’re leaving enough distance between you and the vehicle in front. In winter, we suggest you double the normal two-second rule. 
  • When driving through fog, snow or rain, dips your lights. 
  • Roads that are shaded by high banks and tall trees may be frozen at any time of the day even if they don’t appear to be. Drive through the shade with extra caution. 
  • Bridges often stay slippery for longer than other road surfaces, so slow down when crossing over them.
  • Frost is more severe at daybreak. While it may not be frosty at 6 am, it could be an hour or two later.

No matter which New Zealand Rent A Car branch you use, you’ll be dealing with locals who know the roads around the region and what you should be aware of, particularly in winter. Of course, we’ll also be happy to check upcoming weather forecasts for the duration of your journey. We’ll do everything we can to give you a great-value rental vehicle, and to keep you safe and happy while you’re driving it on our winter roads!  Contact us today and enjoy New Zealand at its most beautiful!

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