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    New Zealand Driving Information

    We search & compare the best rates and choices with reputable suppliers in New Zealand. Our Suppliers are located throughout main and remote cities. 


    • Auckland to Hamilton - 125kms (2hrs)
    • Christchurch to Greymouth - 240 kms (3hrs / 20 mins)
    • Queenstown to Invercargill - 190 kms (2hrs / 30 mins)
    • Rotorua to Hamilton - 100 kms (1hr / 40 mins)
    • Wellington to Hutt Valley - 10 kms (15 mins)


    A full valid driver's licence is required for a minimum of 2 years. An International Drivers Licence is recommended for Australian drivers licence holders.


    Generally, the minimum age is 21 years, but can vary between the car hire company and location. Maximum age limits apply in some locations, a young/senior driver surcharge may apply. Please check terms & conditions when making an enquiry or booking.


    General driving rules, laws and regulations in New Zealand:

    • Vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road.
    • Pass cars on the right hand side of the road.
    • Seat belts must be worn by all passengers and driver.
    • Always use indicator lights when turning.
    • You must carry your licence with you at all times.

    New Zealand's unique give way laws were updated in 2012, so please take note of the below - it's very important that you understand them, otherwise, accidents may occur.

    • If turning left, give way to vehicles coming towards you that are turning right.
    • If turning right, give way give way to any vehicle coming from straight ahead or any vehicle turning left. This applies at cross roads, T-intersections and driveways.
    • If turning, give way to all vehicles that are not turning.
    • If going straight at an intersection, give way to all vehicles approaching on your right.
    • At roundabouts, give way to any vehicles approaching on your right.
    • At a stop sign, you have the least priority and all other vehicles have the right of way before you, unless they are at stop signs, too, in which case the give way rules apply.


    Children under 14 years of age should be seated in the back seats of the vehicle. Children under 5 years of age must be properly restrained in an approved child restraint. It is the drivers' responsibility to ensure children aged 14 or under are correctly seated and be in either an approved child seat or wearing a seatbelt.


    Speed limits are displayed in kilometres per hour (kph). Speed limit signs use a circular shape with a red border and text in the middle. LSZ Signs - 'Limited speed zone' Motorists can travel at the open road speed of 100km/h, however, speed must be reduced when conditions are reduced. Below are the speed limits in New Zealand, unless signed otherwise;

    • Urban Areas (built-up areas): 50km/h
    • Rural Roads (outside towns): 70km/h
    • Motorways/Open Roads: 100km/h (when driving a motorhome/campervan the maximum legal speed limit is 90km/h or 100km/h depending on the weight of the vehicle)


    In New Zealand drink driving laws are strictly regulated with random breath tests carried out randomly on motorists. Anyone found to be over the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08mg/100ml will receive a fine and may be arrested.


    A toll is payable on the on the Northern Gateway. Fee's are determined by the type of vehicle you're driving. No tolls booth exists, as vehicles pass under toll point, camera's capture your vehicles licence plate number and determine the fee depending on the type of vehicle. Toll fees will then be debited from an account that holds pre-paid credit, otherwise, toll single, return or multiple trips can be purchased from toll-road online. If using a hire car, toll fee will be forwarded to the supplier and invoiced to the hirer accordingly. Failure to pay will incur an administration charge plus the toll fee.


    Majority of road signs in New Zealand are very much alike to those used in Australia, although some can be found with unique differences such as colour, shapes, typeface or arrows. All signs are written in English and it is necessary that you obey all road signs.

    • Regulatory Signs (eg. Speed Limits) instruct motorists what they must and should not do. These signs will vary in shapes, sizes and colour.
    • Warning Signs (eg. Changes in road conditions) warn motorists any potential hazard, obstacle or condition up ahead. These signs are generally yellow in colour with a black symbol in the middle.
    • Information Signs (eg. Directions) provides motorists with direction information, street/road name/number, places of interest etc. Signs with a green background provide information to roads/streets, suburbs and cities, while brown signs are tourist attractions.
    • Construction Signs will have an orange background with information in the middle.


    It is illegal to park on the wrong side of the road facing traffic. Fines apply and vehicles will be towed. In built-up areas of New Zealand on-parking attract fees depending on the time of the day and day of the week. Parking operates under pay-n-display system, a ticket will need to be purchased from a nearby machine and the ticket will then need to be clearly displayed on the front windscreen. Fee's can be paid by credit card or cash and is charged at an hourly rate. Always remember before leaving your vehicle to check signage for any restrictions that might apply.


    Visa, passport and entry requirements for Australians visiting New Zealand:

    • Australians citizens travelling with an Australian passport do not require visas and are exempt from permit requirements.
    • A valid passport with at least 3 months validity is required.


    When driving in winter, especially in the South Island, ensure you have snow chains and be cautious of the weather.