Car Rental Tips for Niue
Hiring a car is highly recommended for a trip to Niue. It provides one of the only ways to get around the island and experience Niue’s astonishing natural attractions. With that, you’re probably going to want to know a few tips for renting a car in Niue, so we’ve compiled some for you…
For more detailed advice, head to The Guide to Car Hire in Niue.
1. You Need to Be 21 Years Old or Over to Hire a Car in Niue
The usual age requirement for renting a car in Niue is 21 years old at the least. You will need to present an ID when picking up a rental vehicle.
2. You Need to Get a Niue Driver’s License
A Niue Driver’s License is required to legally drive in Niue. These can be obtained from the Police Station in Alofi and cost around NZ$22.50. Due to the Police Station’s limited opening hours, you can drive on your overseas license when you first arrive in Niue. Find out more about getting the Niue Driver’s License in How to Get a Niue Driver’s License.
3. Standard Insurance is Often Included
Many car rental companies in Niue have standard insurance included in the rental rate. However, standard insurance comes with a costly excess of NZ$2,000-$3,000 meaning you have to pay the first NZ$2,000-$3,000 should the car get damaged. There are options to reduce the excess amount by paying a daily rate, for instance, paying NZ$10 per day will reduce the excess to NZ$500 with one company while playing NZ$25 per day will reduce it down to NZ$0 with another company. Be aware, however, that insurance with car rental companies tend to only cover a few select instances like a collision. See more associated costs of car rental in How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in Niue?
4. A Credit Card is Almost Always Need to Book a Vehicle
Car rental companies use your credit card details as security for the vehicle, which is where they will charge you should you cause any damage to the vehicle or get any fines. Most car rental companies accept MasterCard and Visa, while Niue Rentals also accepts American Express. If you don’t have a credit card, you can often negotiate to pay a bond at the start of your rental instead, which will be credited back to you on return on the vehicle. Discuss your options with your chosen rental company.
5. Rental Vehicles are Prohibited from Driving on Dirt Roads and Bush Tracks
Niue has 123km (76 miles) of paved albeit pothole-riddled roads. This is enough to get you around the island and see all of the highlights. However, there are a few bush roads and dirt tracks that are more suitable for mountain biking than rental cars. Note that most rental car agreements prohibit you from going down any bush roads or dirt tracks in Niue, which includes 4WD cars. With this, as a bonus tip, paying the extra rate for a 4WD vehicle is not necessary for driving in Niue.
6. You Can Only Drive Vehicles for What Your License is Classed for
If your license is only classed for driving a car or van, you’ll be able to hire a car or van. If it’s licensed for a truck, you can hire a truck. The same goes for a motorbike – you must hold a motorcycle license to hire a motorcycle in Niue. You will need to present your overseas license to the car rental company to prove this. The class of what type of vehicle you can drive will also be stated on your Niue Driver’s License.
7. Return Your Vehicle by Parking Up and Leaving the Keys in the Ignition
Niue’s return process for many rental cars is very simple: park up your car at the agreed return location and leave your keys in the ignition. If returning your vehicle at Hanan Airport, there are signs in the car park for where to park rental vehicles. If you have agreed to return a vehicle to the car rental company’s depot, it’s usually more customary to return the car keys back at the office.
8. There is One Gas Station in Niue
When it comes to fuelling up, you don’t have much choice. There is one fuel station in Niue, the Central Services Petrol Station. It is located in Alofi South and is open Monday-Saturday 7am-8pm and Sunday 4pm-8pm. It is a fully serviced station, meaning that an attendant will fill up your vehicle for you. Learn more about Niue’s fuel station in The Gas Station in Niue.
9. Long-Term Rates are Often Negotiable
If hiring a vehicle for a week or more, Niue’s car rental companies are usually happy to negotiate the rates. The typical deal is “hire for seven days and pay for six”. Other rentals may offer 15% off a week’s rental. It’s always worth asking. For more money-saving tips, see 10 Ways to Save Money on Car Rental in Niue.
10. Return Your Vehicle with a Full Tank of Fuel
Yes, even in Niue you need to return your rental vehicle with a full tank of gas. If you don’t, you face a service fee of NZ$15-$50, as well as the cost of the remaining fuel.