Hats, clothing and sunglasses

The sun in New Zealand can be quite strong in summer, so for comfortable touring with the hood down, it is advised to wear a hat. Either a baseball cap or a brimmed type that will keep more sun off will do. Wind turbulence is low behind the windscreen and only a large brimmed hat would need a chin tie-down. Sunglasses are also recommended and a good sun-block cream for exposed arms and ears!

Road rules

Cars are driven on the left side of the road. Generally, rules are the same for other countries. More details here on NZ road code.

Speed limits

50kph (31mph) is the standard maximum speed in towns and cities while 100 kph is the maximum speed on all highways and main roads.

Unmarked speed cameras are used by the police to catch errant speedsters and fines are quite high. Camera traps are not marked and can be set up anywhere, anytime, even in unmarked vehicles, so be aware!

Hirers will be expected to pay any speed camera fines, usually after the hire finishes.

Unsealed back roads not recommended

In rural areas of New Zealand, there are many unsealed back roads with a shingle surface. These roads are unsuitable for use in an MX5 as low ground clearance means it could cause underbody damage. It may be necessary to travel the short distance on well-kept, unsealed roads, but any contact with stones will cause underbody damage which could be costly to repair.

Fuel Economy approximately 8.5 litres/100km. or 33 miles per gallon

With a small frontal area, good aerodynamics and low weight, the MX5 Roadster combines good performance with low fuel consumption. On the highway, you can expect 33mpg (8.5 litres per 100km, 28mpg/US gallon) or more economy with a light foot.

As in most countries of the world, fuel price here has risen and fallen dramatically in the last year, but compared to prices in the UK and Europe, it is still relatively affordable. With the good fuel economy of the MX5, touring by car is the most sensible way of seeing New Zealand.

What happens if I have an accident?

Personal injury: the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) administers New Zealand’s accident compensation scheme, which provides personal injury cover for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand. In return, people do not have the right to sue for personal injury, other than for exemplary damages. ACC’s legislation covers the medical treatment of overseas visitors who are injured while in New Zealand. However, they cannot get compensation for lost overseas income and their cover does not continue once they leave New Zealand. In the case of serious injuries, ACC will assist them only to the point where they are able to safely return home.

It is important to note that tourists often pay some form of ACC levy. For example, those who hire rental vehicles pay an ACC levy when they buy petrol, so they do pay towards any road-accident related treatment.

However, it is important to appreciate that in return for this cover overseas visitors, like New Zealanders, forgo the right to sue for damages if they are injured here.

If you accidentally damage the car, you are required to notify the MX5 Rentals Ltd office within 24 hours. The car repair cost is covered by our insurer and the most you will be liable for is the excess of $NZ500 IF you have chosen the Excess Reduction (ER) option. You may decline this option; however, then you will be liable for up to $NZ5000 – the excess/deductible for the standard insurance.

Please note that if you have an accident and the New Zealand Police deem that it was caused by dangerous driving, you will be liable for the entire cost of fixing the damage or replacement of the vehicle.

What happens if I break down?

Mazda MX5s have a fine reputation for reliability, but if a problem occurs, then our fleet are covered by our Roadside Assistance anywhere in New Zealand for engine, electrical or over-heating problems.

If the problem is a non-mechanical, driver related one such running out of fuel or keys locked in the car, a callout fee is charged.