For actor Ido Drent, having to give up a car he felt passionate about for the love of his life has paid off in a way he never imaged.

When he became engaged to Amanda Hodges he decided to sell his beloved 2008 Volkswagen Golf GTi to help pay for their December 2011 wedding.

Drent had owned the Golf since late 2009, and had many memorable road trips in it, including a summer adventure around the Coromandel Peninsular and down to Mt Maunganui.

After a series of older Japanese cars and high maintenance, used import European ones, the Golf was his first "decent car".


"It was so much fun to drive - but it was new enough, with 30,000km on it, that I wasn't going to spend money on it for repairs," said Drent.

With his parents in Hamilton and work in Auckland, Drent appreciated the VW's road handling and its performance, but the cost of his nuptials meant goodbye to the VW; hello to a cheap Japanese runabout.

On the big day, Drent borrowed two Range Rover Sports through family members in Hamilton, who own the Ebbett car dealerships, while Giltrap Audi in Grey Lynn lent him an Audi A8 for his central Auckland wedding.

Through that informal relationship and then friendship with Giltrap Audi, the high profile actor has been able to continue driving their products - including his current Audi, an A1 Sports Plus S tronic.

Powered by a 1.4-litre engine, the high spec sportshatch had a seven-speed automatic transmission and came with an impressive price tag of $47,500.

"It's a really good car for around the city. I enjoy it. Because I drive to Hamilton a lot, I need a car that is powerful enough to overtake, and makes you feel safe and sturdy enough in the rain." Drent said that even at 100km, it sits comfortably on the road and handles well.

After passing his licence at age 15, Drent's first car was his sister's 1991 Toyota Corolla - and it was in the hand-me-down that he learned an important lesson.

"As a restricted driver, and going to school in the rain, I came off second best to a road barrier. I wasn't speeding, I just took a corner too fast for the conditions, but it was a good lesson for me to learn at a young age.

"Because when you're in your teens you think you're bullet-proof, and so you just drive like a bat out of hell - but you can get hurt so easily."

And the 25-year-old has tips for young drivers: "Respect the road and respect other drivers. You're not invincible, so concentrate when you drive because you never know what other drivers are doing. You have to be mindful of them so you can react and adjust to what they are doing."

Having also ridden motorbikes, Drent picked up helpful skills.

"Riding a motorbike taught me to always be incredible mindful - drive with the mindset that everyone is out to get you so you are constantly watching the road."

Drent enjoyed driving - especially long road trips.

"The road from Taupo, through the National Park and down the Desert Road is possibly my favourite part of the country," he said.

That and the annual Coromandel summer trip: "I love it."

He'll love it even more thanks to his 'borrowed' wheels from Giltrap Audi.