What you need to know about driving in New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand is unlike driving in your own country. There are rules you need to learn such as driving limits, road signs and terminology.

If you come, visit New Zealand, take not that driving in this country is very different to driving in the rest of the world. Driving on unfamiliar roads can be a real challenge and one must be extra careful. The roads here are often winding and there are some special road rules that require your attention.

Here are the things you need to know about driving in New Zealand:

1. Always drive on the left side of the road. You need to pay particular attention to this one because unlike other countries, New Zealand, Australia, UK and Japan require to drive on the left instead of the right. This is the most common mistake of tourists. Many fatal crashes are caused by drivers who have been driving on the wrong side of the road.

2. Do not drive beyond the speed limit. The speed limit in congested towns is 50km/h, in small communities, 60, 70 or 80 km/hr. If you see a white circle with a black slash, it indicates an open road with speed limit of 100km/h. On the other hands, a temporary speed limit of 30km/h is common through road works. If you get caught by a police officer driving beyond the speed limit, your driver’s license will be suspended for 28 days.

3. Get familiar with road terminology. In New Zealand, the national highway routes are called “State Highways”, a motorway (freeway), roundabout (rotary) and give way (yield). The State Highway 1 runs the length of both islands. State Highway 2 to 5 and 10 to 58 in the North Island while State Highway 6 to 8 and 60 to 99 found in the South Island. Most roads New Zealand roads are undivided with one lane in each direction and at grade intersections. Take note that ‘no overtaking’ zones are marked by solid yellow lines.

4. Make sure you have the right driver’s license to drive in New Zealand. If your license in not English, you need to have an International Drivers Permit or an approved translation of your driver’s license.

5. If your vehicle is diesel, it is not taxed at the pump but they are usually required to pay Road user Charges or RUC.

6. Allow plenty of travel time. Since you will be driving on unfamiliar roads, make sure you gave plenty of travel time in reaching your destination. The roads here are winding and narrow which means it will take longer than you used to know. The highways are divided into two lanes only thus more prone to traffic.

These are just some of the things you need to learn before you drive a rental car in New Zealand. Taking into consideration the rules mentioned will keep you safe and on one-piece.

Looking to visit New Zealand? Here are some resources to help you out:

Auckland Car Hire – Snap Car Rental is a rental car company that specialises in Auckland Airport Car Hire. Some of the best rates available and based close to Auckland Airport for easy pick up and return.

Auckland Holiday Homes – Nz Holiday Homes has a large range of Houses you can rent in Auckland as well all the main areas including New Zealand’s fantastic beach areas.

Queenstown Apartments  – If you are looking for your own apartment in Queenstown to make the best of the snow covered mountains in the south Island of new Zealand, check out Highview Apartments.

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