In New Zealand we offer snow chains for hire at $50 per rental.
If you are travelling on Alpine Roads (for example - Arthur's Pass, Lewis Pass, Porters Pass, and The Crown Range) it is highly recommended that you carry snow chains.
In the Queenstown Lakes District and Milford Sound, a bylaw has been introduced that every vehicle must carry snow chains. If you are travelling in these areas during the winter period and you are found to not be carrying snow chains you can be fined $150 in the Queenstown Lakes District and $750 on the road between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
When to use snow chains
Snow chains should only be used if there is a layer of snow or ice on the road. Using chains on bare pavement can cause substantial damage to both your tyres, the chains and the road itself.
Road safety in New Zealand is generally very good and roads are usually closed when
snow starts to pose a safety hazard. If you are caught in an unexpected snowfall we would recommend you stop in the next rest area and only continue driving if absolutely necessary.
What wheels to fit the chains to:
There are two chains that need to be fitted to the drive wheels of the vehicle.
Toyota Estima station wagon - Front wheel drive vehicle so fit the chains to the front wheels only
Toyota Hiace Campervan - Rear wheel drive vehicle so fit the chains to the rear wheels only
Video guide to fitting snow chains
Here is a great video explaining how to fit your snow chains from one of the premier ski fields in Queenstown, New Zealand. Cardrona Alpine Resort.