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The small print – General information, terms & conditions

RentAClassic ‘Swap & Go’ Car Tours are run by RentAClassic Ltd, 23 View Mount, Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand, established 2016. 

Being a local family business, we aim to be as transparent and accommodating as reasonably possible, and recommend you read the following prior to booking with us.

Pricing & Payment

Prices are all inclusive and available in New Zealand dollars only.

Prices are subject to change at any time, but will not change once you have confirmed your booking/paid your deposit (which is nice….).

A 20% deposit reserves your tour place, and is due immediately. Once your deposit is paid, you are considered booked on the tour.

The balance of the tour price is due 4 weeks prior to the tour start date. 

There are two ways to pay, details for which we will send once you confirm you wish to proceed.

  • New Zealand Bank Transfer
  • Online secure credit/debit card payment gateway via Swipe HQ
Cancellations & Refunds

RentAClassic Car Tours reserve the right to cancel any tour at any time and for any reason, e.g. insufficient numbers, health and safety. If cancellation occurs prior to the start of the tour, any payments made to us, including your deposit, will be refunded in full and/or offer the opportunity to re-book on a suitable alternative tour if available. 

Should you wish to cancel, this must be made in writing, and the following charges will apply from receipt of such:

Date cancelled prior to tour start date% of the tour fee due for payment
   Over 30 days prior20% i.e. your deposit 
   10-30 days prior50%
   Less than 10 days80%

No shows or cancellations during the tour will be charged 100%, unless exceptional extenuating circumstances at our discretion.

Drivers and Car Hire

  • All drivers must be between 25 and 80 years of age
  • Full driving licence valid for New Zealand, held for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Use on unsealed roads*, time trials, illegal activities etc is not permitted and voids insurance, (*up to 1km to reach accommodation/activities is fine)
  • No smoking or animals in the vehicles
  • All drivers are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the latest New Zealand Road Code before hire at www.DriveSafe.org.nz. We reserve the right to postpone or refuse hire if we have any reason to believe you are unfit to drive safely at any time.

All cars come with the following included in the price

  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Comprehensive insurance with $500 excess covering the South and North Islands.
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance Package
  • Digital Media Player facility and/or CD player (except for 1975 Alfa Spider S2)
  • A personal familiarisation session and documentation
  • Satellite navigation / GPS hire
  • Bluetooth portable speaker hire
  • A full tank of petrol 

Car availability

Because we hire ‘one off’ vehicles, whilst very unlikely it is possible that your chosen car may become unavailable for your tour at very short notice, e.g. due to essential repairs or parts delay. Should this happen, we will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible and offer a similar class alternative where available. If you reject our alternative car you will not be entitled to any refunds on the entire tour outside of the standard cancellation terms.

All hire cars are subject to potential mechanical failure, and being older classics our cars may have a higher risk. Whilst regularly serviced and covered by a comprehensive Roadside Assistance Package, you may not be able to proceed with some or all of the remaining tour itinerary if issues arise, and may incur additional costs on unscheduled accommodation and/or replacement transport. We will endeavour to practically assist to minimise the disruption as much as possible, but we strongly recommend travel insurance to cover such circumstances. Should our vehicle not be available to you for the remainder of the tour in circumstances for which we are at fault, i.e. mechanical failure, we will refund you the portion of the tour cost involving hiring our car only, for the balance of days remaining.

Signing our rental agreement waives RentAClassic Ltd and its officers from all claims, losses, damages or expenses for any adverse outcomes resulting from hire, accidents or mechanical issues by all in the hire party e.g. missed flights or accommodation, holiday curtailment, including if not a resident of New Zealand, waiving the right to commence any legal proceedings outside of New Zealand.

Insurance, Compensation & Complaints

In the event of an accident, medical costs for visitors to New Zealand are partially covered by the Accident Compensation Commission Government scheme (www.acc.co.nz). RentAClassic Ltd also has a $1 million broad form liability insurance policy, but neither of these guarantees total cover in all situations. Car insurance is included, but no travel or holiday insurance. Hence it is strongly recommended that you obtain a travel insurance policy for the duration of your tour to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. 

All complaints must be made at the time of occurrence on the spot to ourselves or the supplier of the facility or service, to allow us/them to rectify the cause of the complaint. Failure to do so may result in your legal rights being reduced or extinguished.

Health, Physical & Age Restrictions

Please inform us of any health restrictions you may have that may limit your participation or could put you at risk throughout the tour.

Some cars may be uncomfortable or even undrivable for people of certain sizes or heights, due to limitations on space or adjustable seating and steering. Please enquire before booking your car, as you will not be able to switch to an alternative vehicle after tour commencement.  

Sadly none of our cars are suitable for transporting children who need baby or booster seats, or any forms of child restraint.

Tour Inclusions & Exclusions

Please refer to your tour itinerary and the FAQ section for the most up to date information.

Disclaimer

Whilst RentAClassic Car Tours has made all reasonable effort to ensure the details on this website are accurate and complete, we make no guarantees on such and disclaim all liability arising from any errors or omissions….sorry.

Sorting the essentials...

Where do the tours start from?

 

All tours start from RentAClassic Nelson base in Stoke, Nelson, at the top of the South Island.

How do the tours work?

Choose your tour, your date, and the cars you’d like to drive. Depending on how many drivers we get, we take the same numbers of cars, with the most popular ones getting the nod.

All drivers get to drive each car and with 5 hours of driving time on each tour, you should get at least 1 hour enjoying each car. Which section of the tour you drive which car on is randomised for fairness, but we all swap at the same time! A passenger can accompany but unless they’ve paid to be a driver, they can’t drive.

Full documentation is provided with a briefing session on the cars to help you get familiarised with any quirks.

You’ll be following a specified route with no more than 4 other cars, travelling in convoy, escorted by us. The trips last a full day with pit stops at characterful cafes and spots along the way, and at least an hours free time in the middle to explore by yourself and do your own thing.

What sort of costs will be extra?

The following costs aren’t included:

  • Transport costs to and from tour commencement and departure locations e.g. flights, taxis.
  • Fuel costs (though all cars come with a full tank of fuel). 
  • Food & Drinks

What does 'discretely escorted' mean?

It doesn’t mean we’re waiting in the shadows with a tatty Morris Marina if your classic ‘fails to proceed’…! It does mean that we come along too  driving the same route so we’re there if you need us. We’re also on hand in person to guide you to the best local experiences around any of your interests, and help out with any queries you have…including with the cars.

Do the trips need minimum numbers to run?

Yes they do, normally 3 drivers and if we haven’t reached that by 1 week out from the tour start date, we reserve the right to cancel the tour. Hence you should insure you have travel insurance in place to cover possible flight cancellations etc.

Can I tour on different dates to those advertised?

If our organised dates don’t suit and you’d like to tour on different ones, please enquire.

How do I pay and what's your cancellation policy?

Payment is by secure online credit card payment gateway, run by Swipe HQ, with bank transfer an option for NZ bank account holders.

A 20% deposit secures your place & car, with the balance due 4 weeks before the tour is due to start.

Cancellation charges are follows:

Date cancelled prior to tour start date% of the tour fee due for payment
   Over 30 days prior20% i.e. your deposit 
   10-30 days prior50%
   Less than 10 days80%

No shows or cancellations during the tour will be charged 100%, unless exceptional extenuating circumstances at our discretion

I'm not familiar with driving in New Zealand, is it a safe country & what do I need to know?

Having driven in many other countries and continents, we think so! The roads are well maintained and relatively uncrowded, well policed with low crime rates, along with genuinely friendly locals and pretty good cellphone coverage. 

If you’re not from New Zealand, there are two really useful websites to visit beforehand:

Some aspects you may not be used to depending on where you’re coming from, but all are relatively easily adapted to though.

Like all countries we have our share of discourteous and poor drivers, but most come out around national holiday peak periods which we avoid touring in. Most roads do not have central barriers to separate you from oncoming traffic, and some stretches of mountain passes won’t have them between you and some pretty long drops, (leave your passenger to do the scenic viewing here!). Torrential rain can make for difficult driving conditions and unexpected slips across roads, but that’s mainly in winter and early spring outside of our touring periods. When it’s dark it’s really dark, with virtually no road lighting outside of urban environments. Motorways or even dual carriageways are virtually unknown outside of cities, and in the remoter parts, cellphone coverage may be patchy and you can often be a good 45 minutes or more away from a petrol station or corner shop, many of which won’t be open in the evening….but with us accompanying you, you don’t have to worry about that…. 

If you’re concerned about earthquakes, well New Zealand has thousands of them a year….but 99% of them are too small to notice! Really significant ones are localised and rarely occur, but the emergency services and our stringent building code are very well setup to cope with such.

What about the cars?

Will my luggage fit?!

Maybe, maybe not. Road tests on sports cars rarely rave about their copious amounts of luggage space, but if you must bring most of your wardrobe with room for a case of Pinot Gris, then it’s the Jaguar, Saab or Alfa 156 you want, chiefly because of their rear seats. Surprisingly the 70’s cars are pretty good too, but for all the cars we recommend you bring multiple soft bags anyway, as many have odd shaped luggage spaces that mean hard suitcases rarely work. Look on their individual web pages for exact dimensions, but we can send you sample pics to help see if you can fit everything in.

Will I / my passenger fit?!

The following cars do have certain physical space restrictions – do consult us if you’re concerned you might be pushing their boundaries….

  • Limited drivers leg room (due to shortish gap between maximum seat extension and pedals) – surprisingly the Jaguar XK8
  • Limited drivers leg room (due to non adjustable steering wheel) – 1975 Alfa Spider S2, (1972 MG BGT & 1993 Alfa SpiderS4 non adjustable but rarely gets in the way)
  • Limited head room (not really for folks over 6’3″) – 2001 Alfa Spider V6, 1975 Alfa Spider S2, 1993 Alfa Spider S4
  • Limited physical space (seat size) – 1972 MG BGT

How easy are they to drive?

Pretty easy! Obviously if you’re used to automatics, we don’t recommend hilly New Zealand as the place to acquaint yourself with the stick shift/manual variety. The 70’s cars don’t have assisted steering or braking but their clutches aren’t unduly heavy and they’re fine at keeping up with, and even in some cases, surpassing, modern traffic. You might need a bit of time to get smooth at those gear changes and in harmony with their manual chokes, but any initial anxieties fade away pretty quickly with use. Plus we tell you all about their little idiosyncrasies and leave you with comprehensive documentation.

The cars at the other end of the performance scale are also quite happy with docile driving and won’t bite your foot off when you go anywhere near the right pedal….but they all make some very appealing noises when revved though.

How safe are the older cars?

Most of our cars from the 90’s onwards have most of the modern safety features we now take for granted e.g. ABS, driver and passenger air bags, side impact bars. You can read the full specifications for each car on its web page. It is true that the cars from the 70’s will have much more basic safety features, though they do come with good safety belts plus high level brake lights at minimum. Therefore their main driver safety aid is you the driver, and as part of your familiarisation session we will advise on such essentials as allowing extra time and distance for braking, and switching on headlights early before twilight so you can be more easily seen. Note all our cars have to pass the 6 monthly Certificate of Fitness (CoF) test just like any other New Zealand rental car, to ensure their road worthiness for hire.

Are they warm, dry and comfortable?!

Definitely in summer yes! But seriously, all our modern classics have aircon with very effective heating and insulation from the elements. And aircon in a convertible isn’t so daft, as some summer days can get a bit too toasty everywhere else to always keep the roof down.

The 70s classics obviously aren’t going to be up to the same standard, but you won’t exactly be roughing it. The seats are supportive rather than saggy, and whilst the heating can be somewhat parsimonious you’ll be pretty snug and dry, although the odd drop of water or two might get in if heavy rain is encountered.  The ride will definitely be bouncier and the wind and engine noise a fair bit more intrusive though, which along with no power steering might be factors to consider on longer trips if comfort is at a premium for you.

Are they appropriate for New Zealand's roads?

You might be thinking you need a big saloon, SUV or four wheel drive to cope with our mainly rural environment. May we suggest that might be those automotive advertising people getting to you, as really you don’t. On single lane roads and twisting mountain passes you want something that handles, corners and stops well, giving you steering feel and confidence, with the reserves to get past slow traffic quickly and safely.

Just about all of our cars have coped fine with multi week trips up mountain and down valley, even the ones from the 70’s. And the smallest engine we offer is a 1.8 litre which hardly slows down for hills, and is a fair bit bigger than many of those coming with a number of cars from the everyday rental companies.  

And of course driving a convertible, you get panoramic views and sensations that even the most glass encrusted coach can’t get near…. 

Are they reliable, and what happens if they do breakdown?

Sssh, don’t say that, they’ll hear and go all prima donna on us….but seriously, we can’t deny the risk of mechanical issues is greater than that of a nearly new rental car. However the older cars actually have far less complicated electronics to go wrong and all our cars are maintained to a high standard, (we drive our own family and friends around in them too). If our garages recommend a part needs replacing, we just do it. Our 40+ years old MG BGT has “didn’t miss a beat” appearing quite a few times in it’s testimonials,  and in over 5 years of operation and over 350 days hire, only two of our clients have had to summon help.

However for everyone’s peace of mind, we do have a comprehensive roadside assistance package included through NZRA on 0508 697623, who can help with everything from punctures to breakdowns, (and we’re there to help too!). If the car cannot be fixed at the roadside, you will be towed to the nearest garage.  Note if you’re culpable for the breakdown though, e.g. run the battery flat or run out of fuel, you’re likely to be liable for some of the recovery costs.

They're such nice cars, I'm worried about damaging them....

Nice of you to say and heck so are we….no just joking! Our cars are to be enjoyed and if we couldn’t cope with the risk of them getting damaged we wouldn’t hire them out. Of course that means responsible enjoyment and we ask you take all reasonable care of them, but we realise mistakes by you and others can happen. So all our cars come with a comprehensive insurance policy, and in most but not all instances, you’re just liable for a $500 excess.

I like my own car better than yours, can I bring mine instead?!

Yes but unfortunately you obviously won’t be able to swap between cars!

I'm a bloke, will driving a convertible damage my street cred?!

Hey come on dude, be a bit more secure in your manhood. If you need some more reasoned justification, read this article. Of course, if you’re really struggling, you can always keep the roof up and your shades on until you’re sure you’re well out of reach of civilisation or an Instagram post….

Everything else....

I don't want to tour but can I just hire a car?

Sure – please visit our sister RentAClassic site for latest pricing and availability.

Can we go our own route?

No sorry that would just throw out all the carefully planned swap overs! However you do get at least an hour in the middle to explore by yourself / do your own thing.

What should we bring with us?

Bare essentials are:

  • Photo ID driving licences of all parties intending to drive, in English. If not in English, an approved international driving licence translation must be carried along with your licence from your home country.
  • Credit/debit card required to potentially cover insurance excess bond of $500 and any traffic infringement fines, (which carry an extra $100 administration charge if issued directly to us). The bond is to ensure the car is returned in the condition it was hired, no deductions will be made without consultation.
  • A sense of adventure!

As for others, we recommend carrying these:

  • Mobile phones & charge leads – because one will inevitably become mislaid / go flat just when you need it!
  • Sun block / sunglasses / hats – New Zealand sun is particularly strong and if you want that top down time you need protection…. 

We provide you with:

  • Written instructions / basic maps
  • Cigarette / power socket USB charger (not applicable for 1975 Alfa Spider S2 or 1972 MG BGT as no power socket!)
  • A cool car!

I've never heard of RentAClassic Car Tours?

Neither had I until 2012 when I started RentAClassic car hire, but I suspect what you’re really asking is can you trust us. RentAClassic Ltd is a small but growing family owned registered limited company. Our Transport Service Licence No. 246497 means we’re officially registered with the New Zealand Transport Agency to provide rental car services, and jolly good ones at that. RentAClassic Car Tours commenced in 2017 so we’re pretty new to that field, but that means we try that bit harder.

Our ethos is to responsibly share the joys of sports and convertible motoring in this fabulous country. We love hearing the squeals of delight on first sight of the surprise present, or seeing the very large grins when we ask ‘ so how was your trip then?’. We take care to ensure the cars are maintained and presented in great mechanical and cosmetic condition as we use them ourselves too. We have a very personal approach in all we do. For instance we don’t just chuck the keys at you and point in the general direction of the car park, we show you all the cars features, help you get comfy and provide you with documentation on all that we’ve shown you and more. And we want to ensure you come back more than satisfied.

The best way to judge us though is from what our customers say from their car hires – they speak volumes here.

Is it really good weather for convertibles there?

No…..it’s great! February through to early April normally sees the most reliably sunny days, especially at the top of the South Island with our enviable Mediterranean sunny climate, averaging just 7 rainy days per month. Spring, (Sep-Nov) can be a bit variable early on, but there are plenty of mild blue sky days. Summer (Dec-Feb) it’s normally blue skies daily and peachy warm, with average high temps around 75F, when obviously our convertibles are in highest demand. Autumn (Mar-May) takes a long time before the sunny days aren’t the norm and you can still get the odd warm one even in Winter (Jun-Aug)! But that’s the thing, all our convertibles have heaters, you can get their roofs up or down in max 25 seconds on any car, and with the exception of our pre 90’s cars, they all have ice cold air con for the odd occasion when it really is too hot to go roof down. 

But if you’re questioning whether you’ll get value for money roof down time from your convertible hire, well chances are between November & March you almost certainly will – just remember to wear the sun hats and sun block though!  

Do you go whatever the weather?

Yes! Between November & March it is possible to have rain but a) all the convertibles have very good roofs and b) chances are they’ll be mainly down as it’ll be lovely and sunny for the majority of the day – just remember to wear the sun hats and sun block!  

Are these tours mainly for classic car enthusiasts?

Absolutely not, although liking the cars obviously helps as you’ll spend a fair bit of time in them! We’re all about sharing the delights of the open road on a relaxed tour, the anticipation and enjoyment of the journeys as well as the destinations and characterful pit stops, all spent in good company the way you want to experience it. But no, we hope folks of all ages, backgrounds and interests will join us.

What happens if I have, ahem, a bit too much fun?

NZ police strictly enforce speed limits, (and we mean strictly), but of course you can have a lot of fun getting up to them. Use of alcohol, drugs or mobile phones whilst driving are all complete no nos. Any traffic offences issued directly to RentAClassic will incur severe raised eyebrows plus a $100 admin charge in addition to the penalty, as an incentive to play responsibly. If you return the vehicle damaged by someone else where you weren’t at fault, your excess may not recovered from the insurance company for many months. If you’re involved in a single vehicle accident i.e. no other parties involved, or were found to be breaching any terms of hire, you may face costs substantially more than your excess. We will advise prior to deducting any money from your excess bond though.

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