New Zealand Driving Tips

Tips for driving in New Zealand

If you enter New Zealand on a Visitor’s Permit and you have a current international driving permit, or you have a current driver's license issued in a country other than New Zealand, or you have a driving license issued in New Zealand, then you are qualified to drive in New Zealand. However, there are certain driving tips that you must keep in mind while driving in New Zealand.

These driving tips can be broadly categorized as under:

  • Driving can be strenuous; always take breaks at regular intervals or when you are feeling tired. Do not over exert your body and remember to sleep well before driving.
  • Keep Left.

Most roads in New Zealand are two-way and the only thing that separates vehicles travelling in opposite directions is a white line painted down the middle of the road. In New Zealand it is important to remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road to avoid head-on collisions with other vehicles coming from the opposite side. You must also take special care when pulling out onto the roadway after any stop for accommodation, petrol, food etc.

Speed Limits

You must strictly adhere to the speed limits while driving in New Zealand. There are fines from NZD 400 to NZD 1000 if you are caught overspeeding. The assigned speed will always be mentioned on the roads.

If you are traveling slower than the prescribed speed limit and there are other vehicles following you, then you must keep as close to the left of the road as possible

Give Way Rules

It is very important to follow the Give Way Rules in New Zealand as non-compliance with these rules can increase the danger of collisions at intersections.

These Give Way Rules apply at:

  • Traffic lights.
  • GIVE WAY signs.
  • STOP signs.
  • Police officers directing traffic
  • Intersections where:
    • Two vehicles are coming towards each other and both are at STOP signs.
    • Two vehicles are coming towards each other and both are at GIVE WAY signs.


In New Zealand, the law requires everyone to wear a seatbelt irrespective of where he or she is sitting in the car.

In New Zealand it is not legal to mix drinking with driving. Your license can be seized along with heavy fines if you are found in this state

Child Restraints

The laws regarding child restraints, in New Zealand are as follows:

  • Children under 5:
    • Children must be properly restrained in an approved child restraint.
  • Children between 5 and 7:
    • Must use a child restraint if available.
    • If there is no child restraint available, the child must use a safety belt if available.
    • If there is no safety belt available the child must be in the back seat.
  • Children between 8 and 14:
    • Children between 8 and 14 must necessarily use safety belts if available.
    • If there is no safety belt available, the child must be sitting only in the back seat.
  • People over 14:
    • Drivers and passengers must wear safety belts when available.




Published On: Monday, September 23rd, 2013