Tag Archives: tips

Auckland is a sprawling metropolis known for its far flung suburbs… and marginal public transport services. Any local will tell you emphatically: you can’t survive in Auckland without a car. So if your car is being repaired,  you’re a visitor to Auckland, or you’re a one car family but occasionally need two, a hire car is often the perfect solution to  your transport dramas. Typically, a day’s hire cost can be less than a single trip in a taxi or Uber.

Of course a car hire can also bring its own dramas, so in this series we give you some tips for a smooth, uneventful, stress-free  car rental in Auckland, and the obvious place to start is:

Picking Up Your Hire Car

This is a critical time, but quite often there is a fair amount of “she’ll be right” on behalf of both the hirer and hiree. It’s understandable: you’ve probably used hire cars before and can’t wait to get on the road, and the rental operator has phones ringing and other customers waiting. You will forget to ask half the questions you planned to, and they will forget to tell you some quirks of operation in your car. Remember, for the company staff this hire car is just like dozens of others, so for them these details may seem too obvious to bore you with.

Collecting your rental car doesn’t need to be slow and arduous, but here are a few tips that are definitely worth remembering:

1. Online Saves Time!

It’s the 21st century, and these days many Auckland car hire companies let you pre-enter most of your information online before you set foot in their office. Do this if at all possible. It not only means that you’ll be behind the wheel of your hire car within moments, but it will often answer many of the questions you had, or raise others, before you meet the rental staff.

2. Who’s Driving?

Make sure you have your licence. Not a photo or xerox of your licence, but your actual licence. You will not be able to hire a car without it.

Ideally bring the licences of any likely drivers with you, too. Hirers often casually mention that their spouse “might” drive the hire car, but don’t have that person or their licence with them. No licence on the hire agreement means NO INSURANCE COVER, so don’t even think about it. Some rental companies let you add licences by sending scans or photos through during the hire, but don’t take this for granted, others can be quite strict.

Licences should be in English, or accompanied by an International Driving Permit or authorised translation. Overseas licence holders will also need to present their passport.

3. Snap Away!

Take photos of your hire car. The rental company will probably have done this, but these days it is so easy to walk around the car with your phone and take a few snaps or a video while it’s still on their premises. Take close ups of any existing damage. Disputes still can arise, even between perfectly honest rental companies and perfectly honest customers, so this is free peace of mind.

4. Any Questions?

Check the important things while you’re there. If the stereo or GPS in your hire car will be critical to your travelling pleasure, try and get some joy out of it. If you plan to fold seats away for luggage or sleeping space, do it now. Trying to communicate these things over the phone later can be challenging for both parties.

Do you need a car hire in Auckland? We can help! See our range and contact us here.

Minibuses are useful. Everyone should have one! Trips with extended family, kids birthday parties, stag do’s, hen’s nights. Work functions, VIP tours, inter-site shuttles. Sports team away games, school trips… most folk will have a use for one occasionally and some folk, schools, or businesses depend on them heavily.

Like any expensive piece of equipment though, if you don’t need a minibus frequently then it’s smarter to hire. And while a rental saves you a ton of responsibilities and costs, it can come with its own pitfalls. At Auckland Vehicle Rentals we know from bitter experience the things our customers have struggled with over the years and are happy share this insider advice for your benefit!

Distractions

Safety campaigns have drummed in the perils of drivers using phones, and small squabbling children are known to be a lethal distraction to parents at the wheel. Imagine, then, the potential of ten or eleven passengers to affect your concentration while you operate an unfamiliar and large rental van. Your responsibility is magnified in this situation, so take it easy and let the passengers entertain each other.

Length

Perhaps the most commonly damaged area of a rental minibus is the passenger side, on or just ahead of the rear wheel arch. This is simply because drivers negotiate obstacles as though they were driving a car, and forget that a rental van is significantly longer. Before you even leave the rental operators premises, set your mirrors to suit, and then watch them like a hawk when navigating around posts, gates, bollards, and other vehicles.

Height

Jumbo vans and undercover parking don’t seem to mix well. Our 12-seat minibuses are 2.3 metres high, so pay attention to any signage at parking building entrances. Roof repairs are expensive, as well as embarrassing.

Reversing

Reversing a minibus is a knack. Visibility can easily be blocked by people, luggage, and the rows of seats. Things get a little easier in rental vans equipped with backing cameras (all our 12-seat Premium vans have them), but if in doubt dispatch a spotter to guide you.

Stopping

Aside from the obvious truism that a minibus is larger and heavier than a car, a rental van full of passengers and their luggage can easily add another tonne. Factor this critical mass into your stopping distances, and take speed recommendations on highway corners fairly literally.

Braking constantly while descending long hills can cause the brakes to overheat quicker than they would in a lighter vehicle. Smoke coming from the front wheels is an alarming indicator that your minibus brakes need a breather, and in extreme cases continued abuse will damage the components. New Zealand is known for its volcanic landscape and consequently you’re likely to find yourself traversing mountain ranges during many inter-city drives, so take it easy on the anchors. Watching your speed and releasing the brakes momentarily every few seconds gives them a chance to cool off.

Have more questions about driving a rental minibus? Call 09827760 to speak to one of our staff.