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What car?

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Noosa, Australia
posts: 363
reviews: 80
What car?

We plan to stay in Wanaka in August for skiing. Do I hire a small 4WD or is a standard car adequate for driving up to the ski resorts? I'd prefer not to fiddle around fitting chains every day. Are they a requirement when driving to the snow?

Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 3,413
reviews: 40
1. Re: What car?

If you intend driving your self up the mountain, if chains are required to be fitted, then chains must be fitted. at times they may differentiate between 4WD and 2WD. Do not automaticly think that because you have 4WD that you are exempt from needing to fit chains. In most ski resorts, thereis transport by bus up the mountains which may be worth considering partcularilly if there is snow around whilst there

posts: 3,482
reviews: 31
2. Re: What car?


You don't need a 4x4 but an AWD is a distinct advantage.

We always hire an AWD and have only been required to fit chains twice over many, many visits. They usually "wave you through" when 2WD vehicles have to fit chains.

However don't think the AWD or a 4x4 are much better in some conditions. Nothing works on ice, chains do help in snow but you MUST drive slowly and leave heaps of room to stop.

Make sure your rental agent shows you how to fit the chains. They must be carried in alpine areas. BTW chains are fitted to the front wheels of AWDs, 4x4s and front wheel drive 2WD cars and to the rear wheels of rear wheel driive 2WDs ;-)


Noosa, Australia
posts: 363
reviews: 80
3. Re: What car?

Thanks for your help. I will weigh up prices and consider AWD over 4WD.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 18,915
reviews: 44
4. Re: What car?

Wanaka has a limited number of rentals so best book fairly soon to ensure you get what you want :)

Wanaka, New Zealand
posts: 1,541
reviews: 12
5. Re: What car?

We drive up to Treble Cone in our 4WD car every weekend in ski season. Perhaps only once or twice we had to fit chains last season. I have also driven my 2WD up several times and not needed chains - though I always carry them. so even 2WD don't have to fit them that often. That said, it does depend on the weather. obviously If you strike a snowy/icy patch of weather you will need to fit chains more often.

6. Re: What car?

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