Chinese motorists screened by NZ Travel Company to cut crashes

Kate Deng's travel company books Chinese tourists on public transportation if it believes they are not experienced enough to drive rental cars.A travel company catering for Chinese tourists has considerably cut its customer crash rate through cautious screening, on roadway training, and refusing to employ cars to those it deems risky to drive.


Kate Travel has brought 10,000 Chinese independent tourists to New Zealand since setting up in 2013.Co-owner Kate Deng said in the very first year of operations her clients had between 20 and 30 severe crashes, consisting of a minimum of three requiring helicopter saves. But that dropped to simply two crashes last summertime "and they were not that serious".


Deng's staff questioned potential drivers to assess their level of experience, and sent them a short test covering roadway guidelines about speed, left turns and using roundabouts."You can have a driving licence for three to five years and hardly drive at all in China. We ask 'do you drive to work every day?'

About 5 per cent of clients were refused hire vehicles.


"Some of them are really angry; they say 'it's not your business'. Some take it really positively because we're looking after them actually well."Deng stated she was also using a new company owned by a Chinese man who took visitors out for training drives and discussed the roadway guidelines so they felt more confident behind the wheel.


"If they think after a very long time they can't drive, they will turn them away and send them back to us and we will reserve a bus."Other rental companies decreased to lease cars to tourists if they were not up to speed with New Zealand's driving laws.Hertz New Zealand manager Mark Righton? Stated the company ensured customers were prepared to drive when they got to New Zealand then made more evaluations at the front counter.


Hertz employees could cancel a hire at their discretion, he said."All our employees have the authority to not rent it out. It could be anybody if there's any reason to think we should not offer them the secret."Go Rentals general supervisor James Dalglish estimated about 10 to 15 percent of motorists evaluated before they supported the wheel needed further education.


Additional training "may even reach a practical driving test", he said."We take it quite seriously. We have on several celebrations not let a hire gone on."Rental Vehicle Association chief executive Barry Kidd said while rental automobile business chose not to work with cars to unskilled drivers, there were no national figures readily available.