Important New Zealand road rules

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Roads in New Zealand are different to the rest of the world.

Test your driving skills in New Zealand

Put yourself in the driver’s seat using the AA’s new Visiting Drivers Training Programme and experience what it is like to drive on New Zealand roads. Complete a series of driving tasks and test yourself on New Zealand’s road rules. If you pass the tests, get a certificate to prove your skill.

Click to take the tests.

For a safe and enjoyable driving experience while on vacation, make sure you're familiar with the important New Zealand road rules below. 

  • Stay on or below the legal speed limits indicated on road signs. The maximum speed on any open road is 100km/h. The maximum speed in urban areas is 50km/h. Adjust your speed as conditions demand.
  • When traffic lights are red you must stop. When traffic lights are amber you must stop unless you are so close to the intersection it is unsafe to do so.
  • Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts or child restraints at all times, in both front and rear seats.
  • Do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand.
  • Signposting follows standard international symbols and all distances are in kilometres (km).
  • Driving while using a hand-held cellphone is illegal in New Zealand.
  • It is illegal to pass other cars where there is yellow line instead of a white line marking the middle of the road. The yellow line indicates that it's too dangerous to overtake.

For more comprehensive information on New Zealand's road rules, read the full New Zealand Transport Authority Booklet for Overseas Drivers

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