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The Complete New Zealand Driving and Rental Guide

With a territory as large as the United Kingdom but with only a population of 4.5 million inhabitants, New Zealand has always been a popular travel destination thanks to its beautiful and diverse natural sceneries. Here is a driving and rental guide we prepare especially for you aiming at helping you have a smooth road trip.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

In New Zealand, driving is on the left with overtaking on the right. New Zealand has the same system of signs and road code as you would find in the United Kingdom. During winter, especially in the mountains or on South Island, driving can be tricky. Therefore snow chains are highly recommended when renting a car at this season.

Speed Limit

There are speed limits of 100 km/h on highways and 50 km/h in urban areas unless signs say otherwise.

Traffic Signs

There are three major types of signs in New Zealand: compulsory, warning and information signs. Here are some of the regulatory signs that you may often see in New Zealand.

New Zealand Traffic Sign StopStop
New Zealand Traffic Sign Give WayGive Way
New Zealand Traffic Sign No U turnNo U-turn
New Zealand Traffic Sign 30 km/h Speed Limit30 km/h Speed Limit
New Zealand Traffic Sign No StoppingNo Stopping

Warning signs are diamond-shaped with yellow or green background.

New Zealand Traffic Sign 60 km/h Speed Limit Ahead60 km/h Speed Limit Ahead
New Zealand Traffic Sign Merging Traffic from RightMerging Traffic from Right 
New Zealand Traffic Sign Road BumpRoad Bump
New Zealand Traffic Sign Watch for Large Animals (Cattle)Watch for Large Animals (Cattle)
New Zealand Traffic Sign Railway CrossbuckRailway Crossbuck

Information signs are in rectangular shape with a white background.

New Zealand Traffic Sign Left Turn at Any Time With CareLeft Turn at Any Time With Care
New Zealand Traffic Sign Cyclists Cross Here With Care (to the Left)Cyclists Cross Here With Care (to the Left)

Further information on signs for driving in New Zealand can be found in this booklet.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

The driver is responsible for ensuring all passengers under 15 years wear seat belts. Passengers aged 15 and over are responsible for putting seat belts on themselves.

Booster Seat Laws

All children under 7 must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. 


You must correctly secure children aged between 7 and 8 in an approved child restraint if one is available in the vehicle. If not, in any child restraint or safety belt that is available. 


For children aged between 8 and 14, a safety belt must be used. If not available, they must travel in the back seat. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

· Forbidden Parking 


You cannot park your car in the following spots: 


- Along the broken yellow lines along the side of the curb, since it means that parking is not permitted


- Near a corner, curve, hill, traffic island or intersection, if it will stop other people from seeing along the road 


- On, or closer than 5 metres to a fire hydrant, unless somebody who can move the vehicle stays with it 


- In front of or closer than 1 metre to a vehicle entrance 


- On or closer than 6 metres to an intersection, unless there are parking spaces or a notice telling you that you can park there 


· Parking Signs 


Parking signs in New Zealand are marked with numbers indicating how long you can park the car and an arrow to indicate directions. Some are specified with the date of the week as well.

 New Zealand Parking With Specified Time And Arrow New Zealand Parking With Specified Time And Dates And Arrow

· Paid Parking 

All machines accept New Zealand coins, and some of them have been introduced with credit cards and TXT-a-Park payment methods. Currently, you still need to go for Pay-and-Display parking. However, all machines will be upgraded by March 2018 to include Pay By Plate technology, which allows you to enter your vehicle’s registration plate number directly on the machine and pay for it by credit card, debit card, coins or TXT-a-Park. Note that there is a 50-cent fee for credit card or TXT-a-Park transaction.

New Zealand Paid Parking Metre(Image from Stuff.co.nz)

Fuel Prices

The average gasoline price in New Zealand in November 2017 is $2.22 per litre, while it is of $1.47 for diesel.

Toll

There are three toll roads in New Zealand: the Northern Gateway Toll Road north in Auckland, the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and the Takitimu Drive Toll Road in Tauranga.

New Zealand Toll Road(Image from nzta.govt.nz)


How much you should pay depends on your car type. You can pay the tolls by debit or credit cards, POLi, and cash. 


Debit or credit card 

You can use your Visa or Mastercard to buy or pay a Pay & Go toll.


POLi 

If you have Internet banking with ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB Bank, Westpac or Bank Direct, then you can buy or pay a Pay & Go toll (external link) using Payment Online (POLi). 


Note: POLi is not available for business internet banking customers. 


Cash 

If you prefer to pay with cash (or by debit/credit card) you can pay your tolls at selected service stations (a transaction fee of $1.20 per transaction will apply). 


Be aware that as a car renter, not paying for the toll fee will result in the car hire company paying it for you and collecting the toll fee along with an add-on of management fee (note that it can sometimes be costly) from your credit card.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

If you are 20 or over, you must not drive if you have consumed more than the legal alcohol limit, which is 250 micrograms per litre of breath or 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood (0.05%). There is a zero tolerance for alcohol if you are under 20.

Traffic Fines

In New Zealand, exceeding the speed limit results in an infringement fine range from $30 to $630. The amount of the infringement fine will depend on the difference between the actual and legal speed limit. 


As for parking, an infringement notice can be issued if a vehicle is parked illegally on public land, or in breach of what a parking sign says. In some circumstances, the vehicle can also be towed away if it is obstructing traffic. 


Normally, there will be a website or hotline number on the front or back of the ticket as well as the reason for the violation fine and the relevant voucher number. Please be aware that you can log onto the website or call the hotline and follow the guidelines to pay the ticket. 


Failure to pay tickets will result in the car hire company paying them on the renter’s behalf, and debit the renter credit card for the fine amount plus an administration fee. Please note that you can always contact EasyRentCars’ 24/7 customer service team for help if you have questions concerning this matter. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

At the time of rental in New Zealand, all drivers must present a full and valid driving licence from the renters country of residence and the licence should be held for at least 1 or 2 years ( policies may vary depending on car hire companies). An International Driving Permit is highly recommended for international drivers. If your domestic driving licence is not printed in English (Arabic, Japanese, Cyrillic etc), an International Driving Permit (IDP/IDL) or an official translation in English is required when you drive in New Zealand.


Minimum age in New Zealand is 21 years (age may vary depending on car category) and the maximum is 80 years of age. If you're 21-25, you are likely to have to pay a young driver fee. If you're 65 or older, you may have to pay a senior driver fee.


*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
J.Hall

May 20, 2020

Destination: Auckland

10Easy peasy

Super helpful folks at Discount Car Rentals. Thanks!

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May 20, 2020

Destination: Auckland

8I am Happy !

worked good !

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P.Jain

May 19, 2020

Destination: Wellington

8.4Very Good

Good

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D.Thomson

May 12, 2020

Destination: Tauranga

9Excellent

Very Good !

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M.Kodama

April 7, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

9借りるのに1時間はかかりました

車はきれいに清掃されていました。借りる時に、交通ルールのペーパーテストがありました。テストの解答を間違えたので、再テストを受け、全問正解した後、やっと車を貸していただけました。 安心して借りる事ができます。

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April 3, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9Excellent car rental experience.

Extended rental with no issues which was very helpful.

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M.Gillen

April 2, 2020

Destination: Auckland

7.7Good service and cheap

Car rattled a little, but survived teh trip

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T.McNulty

April 2, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

8.7An easy, hassle free experience enhanced by an exceptional response to the NZ response to Covid-19

APEX rentals supply older cars. The condition of this 6 yr old veihicle was consistent with my expectations. The vehicle was a competent Toyota Corrola and although a lttle small for two large suitcases was never the less comfortable for two average sized adults. The pick-up at Christchurch and drop off at Picton were both very easy and hassle free. We hired a second car on the North Island when the Covid-19 restrictions hit. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Liam and the team for accommodating the the needs of visitor requiring to retain a car after the lock down on 25 March. Many other rental companies gave their clients less than 24hr notice to return their cars to a rental compound. Without the vehicle and the ad hoc arrangements implemented for the drop off of cars at Auckland Airport we would not have been able to connect with our repatriation flight to the UK on 28 March. Thanks APEX!!!

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April 1, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

6.3Average

We did wait a long time to get a vehicle as the customer ahead did not have the correct booking information to hand and held up proceedings, and there was only one customer service rep serving at the time. The car had not been cleaned since the last rental, but the car performed as expected.

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April 1, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9Great vehicle to drive around Auckland.

Excellent money saving deal. Got a fairly new vehicle. Was a very economical trip.

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March 31, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

8.7Much better as expected...

They're very helpful and accomodating. Especially, they don't charge us anymore for next days due to the Covid-19 Lockdown here in New Zealand, while waiting our flight home.

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J.Cheung

March 30, 2020

Destination: Auckland

7.3Good

The car is over than 10 years and the interior is not clear at all. The seat covers have stain. I booked Toyota Yaris while they offered Honda Fit to me

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C.Koh

March 29, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

7.7Overall still satisfied. Not wowed.

Good deals. Didnt get a kia carnival as "suggested". Gor a Previa instead. So the space was kinda tight.

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G.Robinson

March 26, 2020

Destination: Auckland

10Very good price, service and vehicle

I did opt for a upgrade and I was very satisfied that vehicle

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K.Agrawal

March 26, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

2EXTREMELY Dissatisfied

Due to Covid-19 we had to leave for Auckland from Queenstown on 20th morning. We asked them for a refund of the remaining days to which they refused also when also asked for q courtesy car just for 2 hours they refused. We aren't happy with the service provider. I request for a refund for the remaining 3 days.

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D.Hitchen

March 25, 2020

Destination: Wellington

8Very good

Basic car very inexpensive and it performed well over the 15 days and 2k km covered. Car had a lot of bumps and scatches however for a basic run around it provided true value for money and surprisingly able to take two large cases in the boot.

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A.Watters

March 25, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9Excellent value, friendly staff

Only one hitch when I tried to extend the hire neither easy car nor apex wanted to take responsibility, however thanks to the manager in Auckland it was all sorted.

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X.Missio

March 25, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

6Average

Véhicule en mauvais état avec plus de 100000 km..

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S.Bookham

March 24, 2020

Destination: Auckland

10Efficient & helpful service

The car we were given exceed our expectations. Very good to drive & very comfortable. Staff on pick up & drop off were extremely helpful, couldn’t do enough for us.

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H.Pipe

March 24, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9.7Great value

Excellent service and value.

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P.Cresswell

March 23, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

7.7Good

Pleased with the good cost of car

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P.Richards

March 23, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9.7Good little car at a fantastic price with very prompt airport pickup and completion of contract form

Good little car at a fantastic price with very prompt airport pickup and completion of contract form

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Vee

March 23, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

9.3Great

You can talk to the staff ,he always respond yours. Reasonable price and Reliable .

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March 22, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

7.3余裕を持った返却が必要

返却後、空港へのシャトルバンがなかなか出発せず、店舗に着いてから空港に着くまで30分以上かかった。

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Lex

March 22, 2020

Destination: Auckland

10Great service and awesome vehicle

Staff were very helpful and courteous. I would highly recommend and will definitely use again ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️

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W.Sawyer

March 22, 2020

Destination: Auckland

8Everything that I expected with no issues.

There was confusion regarding the pickup point but we connected by phone. The processing for the vehicle was very efficient and the Camry I ordered was in good condition and clean. No issues during my stay and the drop off was again efficient and easy. Overall a good service and a great price with little hassle.

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William Austin

March 22, 2020

Destination: Auckland

10Perfect

No comment

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J.Hardman

March 21, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

9Worth it for my trip

Got what I wanted, need a 4x4 in NZ so worked well

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A.Harper

March 21, 2020

Destination: Auckland

8Very Good

The car we were allocated was much older than the others in the fleet and had lots of dents and scratches. Not sure why this was so but I'm the end it was great as we did not have to worry about another scratch. The car did us proud for 33 days. Thank you.

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March 20, 2020

Destination: Nelson

3.7Poor

Véhicule usagé, 160000 km, temps d'attente tres long et le lieu de lrise en charge etait différent de celui d'origine.

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March 18, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

3.7不満

予約ではトヨタ「yaris」相当の車だと記載があったが、実際には傷だらけの「tiida」でした。傷の確認も1人でしてくれと言われた。ニュージーランドではそれが普通なのですか?日本では店員と客が一緒に傷の位置など丁寧に確認します。また、車の使い方など丁寧に日本のスタッフは教えてくれます。 オプションでナビを頼んでいたのに行ってみたら。「ナビは使用できない」と言われ、自分のスマートフォンのマップを使うことに。 また、空港に到着して到着の連絡に手間取りました。申し訳なかったですが、私は日本人で英語もあまり上手ではありません。それなのに迎えに来たスタッフは機嫌悪そうな態度。そのスタッフがその後の手続きをしてくれたが、全く丁寧さが感じられなかった。メガネをかけていたあの男性は本当に最悪です。日本人を侮辱しているのか?もし、私の知り合いでニュージーランドでレンタカーを借りようとしている人がいたら、EZUは絶対に利用してはいけないと伝えます。 私は怒っています。

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Caleb

March 18, 2020

Destination: Auckland

6.3Regret choosing a less known rental company to save money but still got use out of the vehicle.

Vehicle was well used and worn inside and outdated. Had 153,000+ km. Was rough to drive as it was older and had issues with a seatbelt not working and a headlight out at night. Very dangerous.

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March 18, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

8.3Very Good

We can pickup the car whenever there are an issue of my lost driving license, can be flexible for any issues, thank you EZU for understanding my condition.

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March 18, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

7.3Good

Car was quite old and the interior was in rough shape

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Mick.

March 15, 2020

Destination: Auckland

8.7Trouble free rental experience.

Quick pick up, efficient staff. Helpful staff member outside helped us out looking for pre - existing damage. Car was a base model but perfectly OK. Totally reliable.

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March 14, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

8.7Very Good

great staff

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Jon

March 13, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9.3Unusual name for a rental car company but a good service

It was my first Global Roaming call to ring for their shuttle and slight language difficulty was overcome because the driver recognised us on his arrival at the airport

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S.Wessling

March 13, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

8.7Professional, experienced, solid value in their market

Great desk service from Alistar. Loved the vehicle--just perfect for our needs and ran very smoothly the whole time.

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March 13, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

7Positive, however would have appreciated a newer car with a lot less damage....

The process of renting car was fine. The only disappointment was the car was older and had 135,000+ KM’s AND the car was full of dents, scratches and damage, so didn’t look so nice on the outside. I had to take numerous photos of all the damage and bring staff member out to car to show him and confirm with him that I would not be blamed for any of this damage when I return the car. I was comforted knowing he had also took lots of pictures of the car a few hours before I arrived, so we both had proof of all the damage. No issues in returning the car when the staff completed their inspection - they did not try to accuse me of causing any of the damage.

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W.Johnstone

March 13, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

7.3Good

The drop off went badly and the guy tried to tell us we had got a stone chip on the window so he wouldn’t drop us back to the airport for ages

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March 13, 2020

Destination: Auckland

6.7まあまあ

特になし

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March 13, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9.3Very good

Nice new car. Drives smooth.

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M.Rossow

March 13, 2020

Destination: Wellington

10Easy quick process

The staff are extremely helpful and quick to ensure the time spent is minimal for the booking in and return processes.

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March 12, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

5.7Bad experience with Apex NZ, despite overall good trip in NZ

Good Part: it was good to have the quick traffic rule test, so that we could discuss some areas that we are unfamiliar with local rules. Bad part: customer service was bad. One lady, not the person handling our return, announce the tyre damage to the whole floor, which was unnecessary and inappropriate for customer privacy. I was charged 2000nzd for the tyre damage. I asked for a more accurate estimate on spot and a male staff said 500 is enough. The officer handling my case told him to "f... off". For the refund of excess charge, I wrote in a few times for bank transfer instead of credit card refund to avoid the hefty exchange charges, but the requests were simply ignored.

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C.Garcia

March 12, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9.3Excellent

The waiting time for the bond return is too long.

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Dave

March 12, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

9.3Older but better

They were excellent in terms of customer service. The vehicles we have used have been older models and therefore extremely good value for money. They were mechanically in good condition and drove well. A month of driving in the South Island without a hitch.

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March 15, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

9.7Very easy to pick up and drop off (different locations). And lovely car to drive with no problems

Counter staff for pick up was very good and helpful.

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G.Hunt

March 12, 2020

Destination: Auckland

9.7Great little car, didn’t miss a beat and economical. Plenty of room for the two of us and our luggag

Found it I bit hard to locate office in Auckland as we were looking for EasyRentCars and couldn’t see that name anywhere or even the street number, so we weren’t sure if we were in the right place.

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T.Koh

March 18, 2020

Destination: Queenstown

7.7Seamless booking process

Pick up at Queenstown Airport was smooth. Slightly further away from the airport but not too difficult to find. Return at Christchurch Airport was very fast as the lady did a quick check and everything was ok. They also offer complimentary drop-off to the airport

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Noverski

March 16, 2020

Destination: Christchurch

8.7Overall good vehicle and reasonably prices with lots of choices

The car was exceptionally great! The location for pickup and the price was great. The staff that was handling us was terrible. From the moment we reached here counter, she was unhappy and getting agitated without any reason, and the way she talked to us was rude. It was obvious she is avoiding minimum communication with us, whenever I asked any questions it’s mostly’yes’ or ‘no’. We were unfortunately enough to see here again when we dropped of the car, and it was obvious on the treatment. Right before us was another group of people who is of her ethnicity, and she asked how they we go from the rental place and she even catered a taxi for them. When it came to us, she did a quick check and said in a grumpy manner ‘ok, done, good bye’ and chased us of. The next person she approached, she gave a very good service by asking them how they are going off and laughing. Apex needs to look into this matter and train that particular staff to at least act decently and with equally treatment in front of the customers. Apart from this the other aspects were good.

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Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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