When you are traveling abroad, having a rental car is one of the easiest ways to cover lots of territory while keeping a flexible schedule. However, whenever you are renting a car abroad it is a good idea to check any applicable local rules and regulations, to make sure you don't run into any problems. Right now New Zealand is starting to implement new regulations regarding rental cars. After a surge of bad overseas drivers, rental companies now work with the police, allowing vehicles to be seized if drivers repeatedly do not follow the rules of the road.
Recent New Zealand Driving Regulations
Previously, the rental car company remained the ultimate authority for holding you accountable for tickets you may have received for poor driving while visiting New Zealand. It was up to their discretion to cancel a contract and remove drivers from the road, and many wouldn't do so except in cases of serious problems.
However, recent changes to New Zealand driving rules and regulations make it so that police can immediately seize your vehicle if you have been given a notice and still continue to drive recklessly. This is enforced by notifying a rental company who immediately cancels the relevant contract. Police can then take the vehicle from your possession. In the last nine months, in Marlborough alone six drivers have had their cars seized by police.
Most rental car companies are happy about these changes, and are actively cooperating with police to make the process as easy as possible.
Will You Be Affected While Renting a Car in New Zealand?
Most people who rent a car in New Zealand will be wholly unaffected by these procedures, as they are only meant to target dangerous drivers. Although you should always practice safe driving and research the driving rules and regulations of any country you visit, be wary that police are allowed to immediately seize your vehicle if you are found operating under the influence or with a suspended license in New Zealand.
This development comes after several recent incidents where drivers were stopped and given tickets in one location, only to be stopped in another location for continued reckless driving.
Do Drivers Need to Worry?
Overall, you should not worry about renting a car in New Zealand. The rules of the road are pretty standard, and in the off chance that you make a mistake, police are more than willing to help you understand information about driving there, and may only issue a ticket.
Most police around the country have said that they rarely need to report drivers to rental car companies, and the number of seizures are minute in comparison to the amount of people who drive in New Zealand.
In summation, the changes made to New Zealand driving rules will only make the roads safer for both visitors and residents, ensuring that no one is subject to dangerous activity.
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