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Otago residents are the most cautious in New Zealand when hiring rental cars, a customer satisfaction survey has found.
Canstar Blue surveyed 392 New Zealanders who had hired a car within the country in the 12 months to November 2012.
Of Otago respondents, 78% said they read the full terms and conditions of car hire before finalising the deal, and 84% said they checked the vehicle condition report thoroughly before taking the car from the rental premises.
But fewer than half (49%) paid for additional insurance offered by rental companies.
Terms and conditions were read by 54% of Auckland respondents, 58% from Waikato and 60% from Wellington and Canterbury. The national average was 59%.
Vehicle condition was checked by 72% of Waikato and Wellington respondents, 76% from Auckland and 79% from Canterbury. On average, 54% bought additional insurance.
The survey found 76% thought international drivers were unprepared for New Zealand driving conditions, although 8% admitted crashing or denting a hire car and 12% said they drove hire cars with less care than they took with their own vehicles. Men were twice as likely as females to be reckless with rental cars.
Almost all hirers compared prices on the internet beforehand and 19% said they hired cars they could not afford to buy. Unexpected charges upon return of hire cars affected 15%.