Wai car rental, located in the popular and picturesque South Island town of New Zealand, will now screen all foreign drivers, except Australians by having them complete a few questions about road rules and safety, using an app available on their mobile phone. This includes Brits but is most likely aimed more at the Asian drivers who are increasingly taking their holidays in New Zealand, where a rental is perfect.
In justifying the move Manager Greg Wensley says, “In some [foreign] countries you can essentially just buy a driver’s licence without having to sit tests. In these customers’ hands, our rental cars can become deadly weapons.”
Initially they will just trial the app, without refusing rental, to see how best to manage customer serivces, and have offered its use to two other local rival rental firms.
Barry Kidd, head of the Rental Vehicle Association in New Zealand says “the overseas driver issue is a complex problem that needs to be addressed in multiple ways”. Adding that this is a good idea, and would help both the renter in brushing up on their knowledge of local rules, and the renter in politely refusing to rent a vehicle.
With the areas twisting mountainous roads, driving safety is an issue and there are numerous accidents each year as a result of poor or inadequately trained foreigner drivers unfamiliar with local road rules.