What You Should Know About Renting A Car During Winter

Cheap Car Hire North Shore – Four-wheel drive and heated seats are nice in the snow, but the real keys to driving this winter are preparation and patience.

Are you renting a car as part of your travel plans? Some people will tell you to make sure you rent an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle for winter driving, which is not a bad idea.

Still, unless you’re planning on tackling a blizzard or headed to a ski area with a switchback access road, it often isn’t necessary. And the extra cost may not be worth it.

Besides, in New Zealand it rains much more than it snows during winter.  But you may want to ski around Queenstown.

The truth

The truth is most new cars these days are front-wheel drive and handle fairly well in moderate snow. What you do want to make sure you get is a car with an anti-lock braking system. In general, the most dangerous part of driving in the snow is braking, particularly on a curve. Anti-lock brakes help to keep the car from sliding out of control. Notice I said “help.” It will not prevent slides completely. No matter what car you drive, your best course of action is to slow down. All-wheel drive will do nothing for you if you blast around an icy corner at 50 miles per hour or try to stop quickly in three inches of wet snow.

Here are a few tips:

To reiterate, slow down.

And leave much more space between you and the car in front. Most people tailgate these days, but if there’s a time to break the habit, it’s in the snow, when sudden stops and swerves can cause big pileups. In adverse driving conditions, there should be a six-second gap.

Make sure

Make sure the car has all-season tires in good condition. Also check the spare. In a perfect world you might stop at a gas station and check the air pressure, but you could also trust the rental company.

Fill the tank

Fill the gas tank when it goes below half. You don’t want to run out if you find yourself in a bad traffic jam or if you get stranded–fuel means heat.

Warm up

Be sure you have a full tank of washer fluid.

Bring enough warm clothes–you probably won’t get stranded for many hours, but if you do, warm layers could literally be a lifesaver.

Shovel down

If there’s a good chance you’ll be in a less-populated area with lots of snow, you might pick up an inexpensive shovel at a hardware store and toss it in the trunk.

Don’t forget

Keep the rental company’s roadside assistance number handy.

Make sure you have good insurance – it might even be a good time to discuss insurance with us.

Driving in snow and making sure the rental car is ready for it involves a bit of patience. Like other patient acts of travel, it has its rewards. In this case, when you arrive safely at your destination, you can careen down a hill on some kind of sled, ski, or board and whoop like a maniac.

Drive in or contact us today at (09) 415 8569