Driving in New Zealand can be very different compared to your home country. We drive on the left-hand side of the road and it can be challenging for overseas travelers to drive on the opposite side. Even if you have experienced to drive in other countries, it is important that you know the road rules in New Zealand before hitting the road.

If are you planning to tour and drive around the larger cities or towns in New Zealand, make sure you know the basic rules on the road, which may be different in your own country. To keep you updated, view the videos and the resources below:

Online resources:

Driving in NZ – NZTA

Drive Safe

Video source: https://www.drivesafe.org.nz/home/on-arrival/

Get an approved International driver license.

Before you touch-down at the airport make sure you bring all your necessary stuff, that includes your driving license. Suppose you will be renting a car in here, if your license is not in English then you will be required to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). It is a document which permits you to drive in foreign countries. It is required to bring the physical driving license with the IDP as this is not a permit or license in its own.

To help you guide with your application for the IDP, click here:
Driving License Translation Guide

When applying for an IDP, you must:

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Have a clear copy of the passport ID.
  • Have a current driver’s license.

Additional things drivers must know about IDP:

  • IDP is validated for one year from the moment you arrived.
  • Driving for commercial use is not permitted.
  • Carrying your original documents together with your license is a must.

Safety Driving tips

Cities and towns in New Zealand have numerous CCTV cameras on the roads so if someone violates the traffic law HE/SHE will definitely incur an infringement. To avoid any violations and to keep everyone safe while on the road you should familiarise yourself with the traffic signs and here are few of them:

 Always keep left. If you are comfortable driving on the right-hand side, then be conscious to keep on the left-hand side of the road. Most rental car vehicles have a Keep Left stickers to remind drivers about this. We have placed ours on the speedometer in the dashboard.

 

Reduce your speed. In New Zealand, speed limits should be followed. In most of the main roads the speed limit is about 100 km/h, and in urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h. Always lookout for a speed limit sign to avoid inconveniences on the road.

 

Fasten your seatbelts. By Law, passengers inside the car should wear a seat belt for your safety and it also helps you cut down your movement while driving on bumpy roads. If you get caught without a seatbelt, you will automatically receive a fine. Children are strictly required to be in age/height-appropriate car seats as well.

 

Mobile devices are not allowed while driving your car. Drivers can use their mobile GPS while driving, and phone devices must be completely hands-free or fitted securely to the car.

 

Giving way at intersections. Use your light indicators when turning on the road. Slow down and be alert of the traffic light signals to give way to cars coming from the opposite direction and turning left.

 

Do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited and it is a crime under the law in New Zealand.

 

For more road signs, read here: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/

 

If a traffic offense has been committed and a police officer has contacted Aerodrive regarding your behavior on the road, please be aware that we will contact you by phone and email to inform you about the poor driving behavior. NZ Police take unsafe driving practices very seriously and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the roads safe. If ever the authorities deem that your driving may risk other people’s lives, there is a possibility that we will cancel the rental contract.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call us. See our Location page to contact any of our branches where you will be collecting your car.