Hitch-hiking in New Zealand is
usually safe. But travelers who choose this mode of
getting around are advised to be careful. Don’t take
lifts from people who strike you as dubious.
Unfortunately, not all Kiwis are nice Kiwis.
Cycling, without a doubt, is the best way to really
appreciate the beauty of New Zealand’s landscape.
But its not all smooth riding; there are some areas
that are quite hilly, mountainous even. Because of
this variety in topography, some companies that
offer cycling tours also provide for a bus that will
take you uphill and let you down when it’s downhill.
Kiwi Express and Magic Bus are two of the transport networks
which cover the main routes for tourists. Called
“backpacker’s bus”, these companies allow you to choose your
itinerary and let you hop on and hop off wherever and
whenever you want, for the price of a pass of course.
Since rental cars for backpacker are available at NZ$700 per
month, sometimes less during off season, you may want to
weigh your options before committing to a means of travel.
If you plan to stay in New
Zealand for more than a month, purchasing a car may
be the best option for you economically. The only
drawback with this is selling it when it is time for
you to leave. You might, as you near your departure
date, end up giving it away. Be particularly careful
if you are scheduled to leave towards the end of
March or even later. By this time, you will be
competing with backpackers who are trying to sell
off their old vehicles. Selling anything at this
time for a good price is nil.
In order to avoid this headache, you may want to
purchase a car with a buy-back guarantee. This is
actually a “buy and sell back” bargain wherein the
seller offers you a guaranteed rate at which they
will re-acquire your vehicle once you no longer need
Another possibility is to purchase a vehicle directly from
the owner or via a system of auction. Although this presents
you with an opportunity to buy a car below NZ$1000, do not
expect a vehicle in good condition. You will most probably
end up with a lemon.
In New Zealand, transfer of ownership is very easy.
The method of registering ownership is so
uncomplicated it is almost unbelievable.
First, you must realize that ownership documents or
papers are not proof of ownership. These are just
records of people who claim or are registered as
This means that you can actually go into any post
shop in New Zealand and upon showing an
identification card, claim to be the owner of any
vehicle in the land. But this process does not make
you the vehicle’s owner.
For this to happen, you need to have purchased the
item from the prior owner.
Therefore, the proof of whether or not the registered owner
is the legal owner is an issue of contract law and not just
registration. If you purchase a vehicle from an individual
who is not the car’s legal owner, by law you have no legal
claim to the car. The legal owner can therefore take it away