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DIY New Zealand ports by rental car


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We have returned from our wonderful adventure and thought I would report what we did on the three days we rented a car.  
Bay of Islands:

We were able to see so much!  We made a brief stop at Haruru Falls.  Then headed to Manginagina Forest.  We arrived before the cruise excursions so it was a very peaceful stroll.  Heading towards the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves, we stopped at the famous Kawakawa bathrooms..and there was a very good bakery across the street.  We loved the tour of the caves.  Our guide was the youngest member of the family...a very bright and lovely 14 year old.  I was impressed!  We still had half a day so we asked her for recommendations for the afternoon.  She recommended Stone House Heritage Park and we were glad we went.  It was a lovely historical park, a lake and many beautiful flowers.  On the way back to the ship, we had time to stop at the chocolate factory and Kauri craft shop in Kerkeri.    This was a fun and full day!

Tauranga:

Here we stopped at the Okere Falls and Tutea Falls.  It was one stop and a really nice walk. We enjoyed watching young, adventurous rafters going over the waterfalls!    We continued on to Te Puia where we had 1pm tickets already purchased.   Just a hint...you can arrive before your “show time” and begin your visit and see the geysers.   The ticket time is just for the Maori Welcome Show.   We only had a little time after our Te Puia visit to go see the Blue Lakes and Green Lakes.  They are very close to Te Puia, but we only had time for a quick drive around.  (In retrospect we should have skipped going there.). We drove straight back to the ship, but could not find a gas station to fill up the car, so my husband dropped us off in town and drove back 3km to the nearest station.  Traffic was really bad by then & my husband barely made it back to ship in time.  (There is more to that story....  leaving the gas station, my hubby back up and bumped the car behind him.  It did no danger to the rental car, but the lady he hit said there was a dent in her bumper.  We had purchased “no excess” car insurance, so he gave her his name and the name of the rental company.   Now the rental company claims the insurance only covers the rental car.....hmmmmmm....they are supposed to email us an estimate for the repairs)

Akaroa:

Since there were 4 of us, it was more economical to rent a car than take the ship shuttle to Christchurch.   And ....we got a BMW convertible, so we travelled in style!   On the way back, it was warm enough to put the top down which was simply fantastic.   The best part of our journey was the scenery.  We are not city fans.  If we were to do it all over, we would skip Christchurch and just enjoy a longer drive in God’s gorgeous creation.   
 

As a further note, just be aware that the cars you rent will likely not be new.   The newest we rented was a 2012.  But they were clean & in good condition. 
 

Car rentals in the ports are expensive.  There were 4 of us splitting costs so our “excursions” were still less expensive than the ship’s.  And a lot most flexible. 

 

New Zealand is gorgeous!  Enjoy exploring!

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When you rented your cars, did you buy the excess insurance that is referred to so often.    Normally, being Canadian we travel to the US very frequently and always rent cars.  Our credit card covers the car insurance in addition to the personal car insurance we have in Canada extends over to car rentals in the US so we do not pay out of pocket at all for any additional car.  In New Zealand, I understand that it is critical to purchase car insurance and something else called Excess to make sure that we are 100 percent covered in case we hit someone or someone hits us (is it true New Zealanders do not insure their cars?    Please let me know what was your experience with Avis in terms of insurance.  

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3 hours ago, pink845 said:

When you rented your cars, did you buy the excess insurance that is referred to so often.    Normally, being Canadian we travel to the US very frequently and always rent cars.  Our credit card covers the car insurance in addition to the personal car insurance we have in Canada extends over to car rentals in the US so we do not pay out of pocket at all for any additional car.  In New Zealand, I understand that it is critical to purchase car insurance and something else called Excess to make sure that we are 100 percent covered in case we hit someone or someone hits us (is it true New Zealanders do not insure their cars?    Please let me know what was your experience with Avis in terms of insurance.  

We did purchase the “excess” insurance.  We were told by the rental company (Rad Car Hire) that there would be zero out of pocket expenses if we were in an accident.  Then when we called to report the accident, they said the insurance only covered the rental car. We exchanged information with the driver of the other car. No police report was filed. Unfortunately my husband didn’t take pictures of the damage on her car. He said it was very minor. She was afraid that there were some plastic parts broken that we could not see. She is supposed to send us an estimate of damages. But we haven’t heard anything back yet. It’s been over a week.   I need to do more research on this “excess” insurance.  

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51 minutes ago, cc cruiser said:

We did purchase the “excess” insurance.  We were told by the rental company (Rad Car Hire) that there would be zero out of pocket expenses if we were in an accident.  Then when we called to report the accident, they said the insurance only covered the rental car. We exchanged information with the driver of the other car. No police report was filed. Unfortunately my husband didn’t take pictures of the damage on her car. He said it was very minor. She was afraid that there were some plastic parts broken that we could not see. She is supposed to send us an estimate of damages. But we haven’t heard anything back yet. It’s been over a week.   I need to do more research on this “excess” insurance.  

Do you have the paper work of your car rental from RAD Car Hire? Does it explain the insurance and what you have paid for? 

 

This is from their website - 

Is insurance included in the rate?

Standard comprehensive insurance is included in all daily rates unless otherwise specified. An insurance excess does apply subject to age, vehicle and licence type. A $1900.00 insurance excess applies to 25yrs and over. Under age drivers have an additional $500 (21yr to 25yr) and $800 (18yr to 21yr). A higher excess will apply to suv, specialty, mini-bus, mini-coaches and trucks. Optional Excess Reduction is available. CDR (Collision Damage Reduction) can be purchased as an option at the commencement of hire. All subject to change from branch to branch.

 

 

 

Leigh

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Anyone have any car hire experience in Auckland?  We end our cruise and will spend another week in Auckland and wanted to have a car for day trips etc...  Looks like there are several downtown locations for various companies.  I've rented a car in Auckland before, but it was at the airport.

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This insurance issue causes me great concern so I believe we will forgo any car rentals in New Zealand.  From the above caption, I see no mention at all of liability insurance - what happens if I hit another car and the others in the car are injured.  Do the car rental companies (the major ones, Hertz, Avis) see liability insurance.  Also, the whole excess thing still confuses me.  Can I not buy insurance that covers damage to the car we rent, the car we may hit, the people in the car we may hit, etc.  Also, can we buy insurance that covers all costs completely.   I do not want to be liable for anything.  

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4 hours ago, pink845 said:

This insurance issue causes me great concern so I believe we will forgo any car rentals in New Zealand.  From the above caption, I see no mention at all of liability insurance - what happens if I hit another car and the others in the car are injured.  Do the car rental companies (the major ones, Hertz, Avis) see liability insurance.  Also, the whole excess thing still confuses me.  Can I not buy insurance that covers damage to the car we rent, the car we may hit, the people in the car we may hit, etc.  Also, can we buy insurance that covers all costs completely.   I do not want to be liable for anything.  

Excess in insurance usually means that when you make a claim, that to lower the cost of that particular insurance policy that you agree to pay an amount usually decided by the insurer when or if you make a claim. Car insurance excess can be very expensive. But usually you can pay a higher amount to bring the excess amount down even to zero. To cover all eventualities ensure you have a fully comprehensive insurance cover included in your rental cost. What you referred to as liabilty insurance is fully comprehensive insurance down under. Make sure you read all the T&Cs and ask questions if you don't understand any of it. Looking at Hertz for a largish vehicle to bring the excess down to NIL, you would pay an extra  NZ$68 per day on top of your rental amount and be fully covered.

 

Leigh

 

 

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8 hours ago, pink845 said:

This insurance issue causes me great concern so I believe we will forgo any car rentals in New Zealand.  From the above caption, I see no mention at all of liability insurance - what happens if I hit another car and the others in the car are injured.  Do the car rental companies (the major ones, Hertz, Avis) see liability insurance.  Also, the whole excess thing still confuses me.  Can I not buy insurance that covers damage to the car we rent, the car we may hit, the people in the car we may hit, etc.  Also, can we buy insurance that covers all costs completely.   I do not want to be liable for anything.  


In New Zealand, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are covered by the ACC scheme. The ACC scheme (ACC stands for Accident Compesnation Corporation, the government entity that operates it) offers no-fault accidental injury cover to everyone in New Zealand (even tourists), and for motor vehicle accidents, is paid for by levies included in the cost of re-licencing your vehicle as well as the price of petrol. However, ACC doesn't replace the need for medical and evacuation insurance, since ACC coverage stops once you leave New Zealand. Also, since it's no-fault, you can't sue or be sued for compensatory damages (although you can still be held liable for punitive damages).

Comprehensive car insurance is usually included in the cost of renting your car. However, the included cover has a very high excess (a.k.a. deductible) of $2,000 to $2,500, and most companies offer a reduced excess option for an extra fee. 

Edited by lcmortensen
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Thankfully, no one was injured in our accident.  It was just a bump. My husband didn’t see any damage.  (He wishes he had taken a photo). The lady he bumped into to got an estimate.... it’s $1900 NZ.  Of course, we want to be fair & will pay for any damage caused by the accident.  We have asked for a second estimate.  And we told the rental company we would pay the repair company directly.   
We did pay for the extra “excess” insurance, but evidently  it only covers the rental car.  Our credit card does not offer car rental insurance.  And our own insurance has a $1000 deductible, so we will pay out of pocket. 
From what I just read, NZ has a no fault policy, but is that just for bodily injury? 

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LCMortensen,  Thanks for the information with respect to ACC Scheme.  Valuable to know. 

 

CC Cruiser,   I like you would have assumed that if I were paying for Excess Insurance, it would cover of repairs to the other car as well as my rental car!   Which for us is a reason I will not rent a car in New Zealand.  I do not want to be hit with any out of pocket costs for repairing damage to other people's cars.  I know the ability to tour on one's own is wonderful and I have done it many many times in the US (I am Canadian) with rental cars, but I know for a fact there that I am completely covered.  New Zealand, I am going to have to pay the piper and pay for tours so that I can have no extra worry.  

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2 hours ago, pink845 said:

CC Cruiser,   I like you would have assumed that if I were paying for Excess Insurance, it would cover of repairs to the other car as well as my rental car!   Which for us is a reason I will not rent a car in New Zealand.  I do not want to be hit with any out of pocket costs for repairing damage to other people's cars.  I know the ability to tour on one's own is wonderful and I have done it many many times in the US (I am Canadian) with rental cars, but I know for a fact there that I am completely covered.  New Zealand, I am going to have to pay the piper and pay for tours so that I can have no extra worry.  

 

Sorry, I don't immediately see what the problem is here, at least if you rent from one of the big companies. I usually rent from Hertz, and I've just been to the website to see what the rental includes. The full T&C are here.

 

On the page numbered 1 (the second page of the PDF), it has a section on "What is included in the rental rate". This includes "Minimum Cover". The extent of "Minimum Cover" is detailed in Annexure 3 on page 9, and includes:-

 

Quote

Any person named in this Rental Agreement as a person permitted to drive the vehicle is ...

ii. Indemnified to the extent of $20,000,000.00 in respect of any liability he or she might have for damage to any third party’s property (including any animal) arising from the use of the vehicle.

 

 

This is exactly what I'd expect from a big company. I've never even thought twice about liability insurance when renting in New Zealand - or, indeed, anywhere other than the US.

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Remember, car insurance in New Zealand is attached to the vehicle, not the driver, and all car insurance policies include third-party (liability) insurance. That means if your friend borrows your vehicle, runs a red light and totals another car, you're both covered for the damage to the other vehicle. 

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9 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

Sorry, I don't immediately see what the problem is here, at least if you rent from one of the big companies. I usually rent from Hertz, and I've just been to the website to see what the rental includes. The full T&C are here.

 

On the page numbered 1 (the second page of the PDF), it has a section on "What is included in the rental rate". This includes "Minimum Cover". The extent of "Minimum Cover" is detailed in Annexure 3 on page 9, and includes:-

 

 

This is exactly what I'd expect from a big company. I've never even thought twice about liability insurance when renting in New Zealand - or, indeed, anywhere other than the US.

 

4 hours ago, lcmortensen said:

Remember, car insurance in New Zealand is attached to the vehicle, not the driver, and all car insurance policies include third-party (liability) insurance. That means if your friend borrows your vehicle, runs a red light and totals another car, you're both covered for the damage to the other vehicle. 

This is what I tried to explain in my post above #33. Perhaps my explaination was not very clear but what Globaliser and lcmortensen have written is correct. I think that the OP has been ripped off by their car rental company. I would be taking it further. 

 

From the OP's rental company website - 

Is insurance included in the rate?

Standard comprehensive insurance is included in all daily rates unless otherwise specified. An insurance excess does apply subject to age, vehicle and licence type.

 

As the OP would have paid for the standard comprehensive insurance as part of the rental/hire fee, it would certainly appear that the car that the rental car backed into should have been covered by that insurance.

 

From the company website I found that there would have been a NZ$1900 excess if a claim was made on that insurance but the excess could be reduced to zero with a daily fee on top of the daily rental fees. This is also from the company website - so the OP could have or perhaps did lower the excess to zero by paying the extra fee per day. 

 
Insurance Liability - Reduction Options
 

Class 1-4 $1900.00 excess

Stress Free Cover $17.00 per day including GST

 

  •          $0.00 excess on vehicle / $0.00 excess on glass

Leigh

 

 
 
 

 

Edited by possum52
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2 hours ago, possum52 said:

This is what I tried to explain in my post above #33. Perhaps my explaination was not very clear but what Globaliser and lcmortensen have written is correct. I think that the OP has been ripped off by their car rental company. I would be taking it further. 

 

From the OP's rental company website - 

 

I've had a look at that website, too, for the corresponding T&C. These say:-

 

Insurance
11. Subject to the exclusions set out below, the hirer and any driver authorised to drive the vehicle is fully indemnified in respect of any liability he might have to the owner in respect of the loss or damage to the vehicle and its accessories and spare parts and any consequential loss of revenue or other expenses of the owner including towing and salvage costs associated with the recovery of the vehicle and its accessories and spare parts. Subject to the exclusions set out below, the hirer and any driver authorised to drive the vehicle are indemnified to the extent of $3,000,000 in respect of any liability he might have for damage to any property (including injury to any animal) belonging to any other persons and arising out of the use of the vehicle.

 

Clause 12 allows the hirer the option to reject the insurance, but that would have to be a deliberate choice by the hirer. Otherwise, the renter has that amount of third party liability, which is extremely unlikely to be insufficient given that there is no need to insure against third party liability for personal injury.

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Very educational and informative. Thanks to everyone who has provided information.   I now have to look at whether the big boys (Avis, Hertz, Budget, etc) have locations in Akaroa and Bay of Islands.  I am doubtful about that as I understand these two spots are small towns.  

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15 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

I've had a look at that website, too, for the corresponding T&C. These say:-

 

 

 

 

Clause 12 allows the hirer the option to reject the insurance, but that would have to be a deliberate choice by the hirer. Otherwise, the renter has that amount of third party liability, which is extremely unlikely to be insufficient given that there is no need to insure against third party liability for personal injury.

Thank you all for your input and research!  We just got home from our holiday, so we are actively looking into this.   The quote #11 is the exact wording from our car hire company.  It looks to me as the “no excess” insurance we purchased should cover $1900 damage to the other vehicle.   Is that how you are reading this?  
If so, I wonder how to handle this from across the ocean!  

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20 minutes ago, cc cruiser said:

Thank you all for your input and research!  We just got home from our holiday, so we are actively looking into this.   The quote #11 is the exact wording from our car hire company.  It looks to me as the “no excess” insurance we purchased should cover $1900 damage to the other vehicle.   Is that how you are reading this?  
If so, I wonder how to handle this from across the ocean!  


I think you're not understanding what the excess is.

An excess (known as a deductible in USA and Canada) is how much you have to pay out-of-pocket in thr event of an accident before the insurance company starts paying out. For example, if you cause $10,000 worth of damage with a $1900 excess, you pay $1900 and the insurance company pays the remaining $8100; if you cause only $1,000 worth of damage with a $1900 excess, then you pay $1000 and the insurance company pays nothing. No excess insurance simply reduces the excess to $0, so in the event of an accident, you pay nothing and the insurance company pays everything.

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4 hours ago, cc cruiser said:

Thank you all for your input and research!  We just got home from our holiday, so we are actively looking into this.   The quote #11 is the exact wording from our car hire company.  It looks to me as the “no excess” insurance we purchased should cover $1900 damage to the other vehicle.   Is that how you are reading this?  
If so, I wonder how to handle this from across the ocean!  

 

3 hours ago, lcmortensen said:


I think you're not understanding what the excess is.

An excess (known as a deductible in USA and Canada) is how much you have to pay out-of-pocket in thr event of an accident before the insurance company starts paying out. For example, if you cause $10,000 worth of damage with a $1900 excess, you pay $1900 and the insurance company pays the remaining $8100; if you cause only $1,000 worth of damage with a $1900 excess, then you pay $1000 and the insurance company pays nothing. No excess insurance simply reduces the excess to $0, so in the event of an accident, you pay nothing and the insurance company pays everything.

 

What lcmortensen stated is correct, the standard comprehensive insurance you would have paid in your car rental cost would have covered you/husband in the event of damage to another vehicle or property. The excess as explained above ($1900 from memory) was brought down to $0 because you paid an extra fee to do so.

 

Check your car rental agreement to ensure that you did pay the extra fee for excess reduction. My first step would be to phone the RAD (Call FREE from anywhere in the World to New Zealand  on 0064 9 275 8620and explain what happened and ask/demand that they/their insurance cover the other person's costs to repair her car. They have a messaging system on their webpage, you could use that too. If you phone ask to speak to the manager. 

 

If they are not forthcoming RAD Car Hire is part of the Index Group and they can be contacted via their webpage through a messaging system. 

 

Good luck,

 

Leigh
 

Edited by possum52
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40 minutes ago, possum52 said:

 

 

 

What lcmortensen stated is correct, the standard comprehensive insurance you would have paid in your car rental cost would have covered you/husband in the event of damage to another vehicle or property. The excess as explained above ($1900 from memory) was brought down to $0 because you paid an extra fee to do so.

 

Check your car rental agreement to ensure that you did pay the extra fee for excess reduction. My first step would be to phone the RAD (Call FREE from anywhere in the World to New Zealand  on 0064 9 275 8620and explain what happened and ask/demand that they/their insurance cover the other person's costs to repair her car. They have a messaging system on their webpage, you could use that too. If you phone ask to speak to the manager. 

 

If they are not forthcoming RAD Car Hire is part of the Index Group and they can be contacted via their webpage through a messaging system. 

 

Good luck,

 

Leigh
 

Thank you so much, Leigh. We will follow up with Rad on Monday.

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Great news!  Thanks to all of you for the helpful info my CC friends provided.  We contacted RAD Car Hire again and supplied copies of the insurance info in our contract. They have now said their first correspondence with them was a mistake.  We owe nothing for the accident.  The “No Excess” insurance we purchased covers the damage on the other vehicle!  So thank you for encouraging us to follow up before we wrote that check!  Lesson learned!  

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