There are a few things to know before hitting the kiwi roads with one of our cars. Because we care about you and your safety, we want to make sure your have a safe and unforgettable journey in New Zealand. Please take a moment to watch the video above and to read this booklet before travelling: What’s different about New Zealand? (PDF)
For more information please the DriveSafe website.
Drivers licence requirements
You must have your current full and valid driver licence or driver permit with you at all times when you’re driving. If your overseas licence or driver permit is not in English, you must also carry an accurate English translation. Please not you must carry your original licence AND the translation at all times. Find more info about drivers licences in NZ here.
Get some rest
If arriving from a long-haul flight, we encourage you to rest and stay overnight before driving a long distance.
Check the distances
New Zealand is a small country, but driving times can often take longer than expected due to our winding roads. We recommend you use this Driving Time and Distance Calculator to get an accurate idea of New Zealand driving times while planning your trip, allowing additional time for rest stops.
Always drive on the left side of the road. If you drive on the right side of the road in your own country, please remember to keep left when pulling out onto the road, it’s easy to forget where you are!
By law, everyone in the vehicle must wear a safety belt or child restraint whether they’re in the front or back. Children under 7 years of age must be secured in an approved child seat.
Speed limit signs show the maximum speed you can travel. On the open road, the maximum speed limit is 100 kilometres per hour. In cities and towns, the maximum is 50 kilometres per hour. Be alert for signs.
Give way rules
All traffic turning right must give way to vehicles coming from the opposite direction and turning left. At an uncontrolled intersection, all traffic from the terminating road (bottom of the “T”) will have to give way to all traffic on a continuing road (top of the “T”). Read more about give ways here.
Drive to the conditions
New Zealand roads cover some impressive terrain and pass through amazing scenery, but they can also be dangerous at times and in certain weather conditions. Always drive to the conditions and reduce your speed when necessary. You can check the current road conditions here.