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Taking the car across from Wellington to the South Island on the ferry, if that's what you are thinking, seems to me, IFRC, it was pretty darn expensive. A quick look at the InterIslander Ferry site makes it look like it might be about $300NZ one way for car plus 2 adults. NZ$ about 80% of US$.

We sort of looked into buying a used car, and then driving, and at the end having to sell the car when we were last there. Renting was easier, and you don't have to take the car on the ferry trips, which saves as well. Rental for both islands is just one rental.
 

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I would do it! Driving the South Island's twisty roads behind that awesome boxer motor would make it so much more enjoyable than it already is. I've done it a couple of times in Hyundai Getz and Toyota Corolla rental cars and then in a Lancia Delta HF Turbo that I was collecting from Christchurch. having a proper car makes all the difference.
 

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I'd probably do the same if I had a buyer at the end. The Mazda 3 wagon that we had, though, was quite good, probably the equal of the 33.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, Streamz, does this one seem a reasonable price for 300,000km. Just wondering why it's been on the market so long. I'd be selling it in Wellington at the end of our stay. Kia
 

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Ummm, selling it in Well would mean you pay for a round trip on the ferry, ~600$NZ. What is insurance going to cost for such a purchase?
 

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If it really is mint as the seller says then its a good price. If you wanted to sell if quickly you would probably need to take a hit on it though. But then you saved the money you would have spent on a rental car so could work out.
 

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Maybe, maybe not. You would still have to pay for insurance and the two ferry fares, plus the hit on the selling price. And, you wouldn't have the peace of mind of being able to call the rental company to get a replacement or service if required. Just sayin'...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Our son is in Wellington and we fly out of Wellington, so we're coming back to the north Island whether we have the car or not. Our son could sell it for us when we leave. I was told (haven't actually looked into it myself) by the father of our son's girl friend that insurance would run around NZ$300/yr. Sounds low to me.
Also wondering if the owner is having trouble selling it due to it being in Hawkes Bay and if it would be easier to sell in Wellington.
 

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That's true, you do have an "agent" there in Well.
 

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As in "sales agent", lol.
 

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Our son is in Wellington and we fly out of Wellington, so we're coming back to the north Island whether we have the car or not. Our son could sell it for us when we leave. I was told (haven't actually looked into it myself) by the father of our son's girl friend that insurance would run around NZ$300/yr. Sounds low to me.
Also wondering if the owner is having trouble selling it due to it being in Hawkes Bay and if it would be easier to sell in Wellington]

The price delta to add a vehicle to the fare across Cook Strait is about $150 per round trip, assuming two adults are travelling.

Flying between the two islands is actually fairly reasonable if you book well in advance. Major rental companies actually forbid using the ferry for their vehicles. You rent "one" car but leave the car at the ferry terminal and pick up a different car at the other ferry terminal. Kiwis have most of such stuff well sorted and generally very pragmatically.

Other big risks of buying are roadworthiness issues needed to get the car licensed and repair issues. NZ has pretty stiff roadworthiness requirements similar to UK MOT certificates but I see the WOT is good to April next year. Just remember you'll need to ensure that WOT can be renewed without much expense if you are selling close to the expiry date. Rentals come with de facto roadside assistance. If the car breaks down you get another one.

I'm sure you've priced rentacars. I'm getting a corolla or equivalent (not our corolla anyway) for 16 days, inter island for nz$1,200.00 at the height of summer January 2015. The economics look rational in an Alfa sort of way. Hawke's Bay is kind of the Napa valley of NZ so rust free cars are no surprise there. Just by the by the drive from Turangi to Napier is quite the drive, especially the last 45 minutes or so. You cannot make up any time lost. The first part of the drive back up to Taupo is alongside the lake more or less. Then you get up onto a high plateau east of taupo. The last section descends rapidly through volcanic canyons to the sea level plain that is Hawke's Bay. You are then no closer to Wellington than you were 2 hours ago.

While I concur NZ driving is more enjoyable with a good car it is a sad truth that an out of the box rent a Hyundai will blow the doors off an old Sud or 33.
 

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"The price delta to add a vehicle to the fare across Cook Strait is about $150 per round trip, assuming two adults are travelling"

The price I looked up for the InterIslander for the same was closer to $600NZ total. Must have looked at a more expensive option.

Using the both island rental option worked very well for us. Yes, you just drop off the car upon ferry departure and pick up another upon arrival. The Mazda 3 we ended up on one island with was very good. The Toyota Corolla was not quite as good, but still, no worries.
 

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You are correct. I foolishly assumed that by selecting "return" option I would be quoted a full price for both directions. In reality you get two schedules and have to add them up yourself!

So the delta is around $300 round trip over travelling only as a foot passenger. This seems oddly expensive for the foot passengers weighing at most 400 lbs and taking up maybe 20 square feet compared to 3,000 plus lbs of car taking up 200 sq ft of deck space.

Looks like NZ subsidizes vehicle rates by charging the earth for passengers. BC Ferries operating shorter hauls charges about CDN$17 per person and around CDN$54 per vehicle 20 ft or shorter. Translating that to Cook Strait rates would result in passenger fares of around NZ$50 but they charge NZ$150.00???

Checking again the driver is included in the vehicle quote so the car itself is being charged NZ$140.00 and the driver pays around NZ$70 (actual rate depends on ticketing options).
 

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Not long ago my parents and my family did a South Island driving trip in a Honda Odesyee (sp?). My father bought it on the side of the road, performed a service, fixed a few things and off we went.

We first used it to go up to the Bay of Islands and we experienced bottoming out with the rear of the car, ie. hitting the bump stops.

So Dad and I had a look and the rear springs and shocks were stuffed. Chucked in some new shocks from Repco or somewhere, and went to Para Rubber (sp?) and bought a rubber mat about 1/2 an inch thick. Removed the springs and cut the mat so it acted like a packer to lift the rear of the car, reinstalled springs + packer ... and problem solved in a very NZ'er way.

Off we went around the South Island and we never opened the bonnet and never had any issues and was a great drive. On one very long and tedious stretch I was given permission by my wife to get a move on and with 7 up in the car we were sitting on 140+ and thoroughly enjoying myself. Perfectly safe as wide open and very good visibility.

We drove the car all the way home and eventually my father sold it. Don't think he made any money but didn't loose and was a great car for the task.

Buy the car, do a service and test run and don't worry about the cost of the ferry ... not that expensive and enjoy yourself ... but take good rain coats!
Pete
 

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Could be fun, but is the riskier option. I guess, unless you get to drive a pretty cool car, I kinda don't see the point. I know Richard wants to drive an Alfa, I did as well, and got to (a 2002 V-6 Spider, thanks AlexG), but renting is much more worry free for actually seeing the country.
 

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Could be fun, but is the riskier option. I guess, unless you get to drive a pretty cool car, I kinda don't see the point. I know Richard wants to drive an Alfa, I did as well, and got to (a 2002 V-6 Spider, thanks AlexG), but renting is much more worry free for actually seeing the country.
True but driving is a big part of a holiday in the South Island. It is a long drive from some stops with very similar scenary.

Anyway one day I'd like to do the drive again in my Alfa ... and things are happening at the moment that might mean this is a possibility :thumbup: Well worth the $300 ferry costs IMO.

In your situation, rental was a no brainer because you don't live in NZ. Too much hassle buying cars
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'd like a car for 43 days, maybe longer. Rent A Dent, NZ want NZ$2037. The 33 is looking better:)
 

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We got a lower rate than that from Hertz (we check all companies) when we were there, everything included. I think the trick is to reserve the rental before you leave the States. We've gotten good deals that way with these overseas specials. Did find that some didn't let one rent a car for more than a month, however; and a couple have upper limits on the age of the driver, no less.
 
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