Driving in NZ

Travel Tips

It’s important to us that when you hire a car from Ready Rentals, you have an awesome travel experience in New Zealand! So here are a few top tips for getting around safely …

  • Drive on the left side of the road!
  • Always plan your road trip before you leave
  • You MUST carry your license on you at all times
  • Have a funky attitude when driving with READY RENTALS!

Driving in New Zealand

Here are a bunch of awesome resources for tips and info on driving in New Zealand:

Checkout these links to view the video in:

  • French https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-Q_oUPMp8c
  • German https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8A-I2yU3oY
  • Chinese https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05jMThMO-G0




The message:
1) Keep left
2) Give way at intersections
In general, if you’re turning, give ways to all vehicles going straight
3) No left turn at a red light
4) The driver must not use a hand-held mobile phone or operate the GPS while driving
5) Travel times
NZ has some hilly, tight, and winding roads, therefore distances can be deceptive. Plan your journey, take your time, and do not rush.
Do not drive when tired. Take breaks and enjoy the journey.
6) Sharing the road with cyclists
Cyclists have the same rights as drivers. Slow down and pass safely and carefully.
7) Alcohol and drugs
Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
8) Driving speeds
The open road speed limit is 100 km/hr. Generally, the road speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/hr. Sometimes poor conditions or winding roads will require you to go slower.
9) All passengers must wear seatbelts at all times
10) Driver licensing requirements
A current and valid driver licence and an English translation, if applicable, must be held at all times when you are driving
11) Overtaking
Do not overtake or cross a solid yellow line on your side
12) One-lane bridges
Follow the arrows on the signs. They indicate who has right of way
13) Winter driving poses wet or icy conditions. Slow down and avoid breaking suddenly. Chains may be required in icy or snowy conditions.
14) Be cautious of farm animals on rural roads. Slow down, do not sound your horn and let the animals pass.
15) On unsealed (gravel) roads slow down and corner carefully. Be cautious of dust limiting visibility
16) Rail Crossings
Slow down when approaching, follow the signs/lights, and cross only when indicated/safe to do so.


More links! …

NZTA ‘What’s Different about driving in New Zealand’ brochure (multi-language):
NZTA Driver Fatigue guides:
http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/about-limits/driver-fatigue.html; and
NZTA Speed Limit guide:
NZTA Driving Conditions guide:
NZTA Road Code guide:
NZTA Latest Highway Conditions updates:
Advance warning of planned activities and real-time updates on delays, disruptions and detours on your planned route.
NZTA Alcohol and Drug Limit when Driving:
Tourism NZ ‘Self Drive or Transfers in NZ’ article by Tony Townley:
AA Travel NZ driving Time and Distance Calculator:
NZTA Travel Times and Distance Calculator:

Winter Season

NZTA Safer Winter Driving brochure:
Tourism NZ ‘Beware Black Ice’ Tips:
Tourism NZ ‘ Winter Rental Car Safety in NZ’ guide by Linda Jenkins:


Chinese Visitor

– Chinese Visitor Safe Driving Guide (in Chinese) produced by the Chinese Consulate-General (in Christchurch):
See Appendix: C
– Tourism NZ Chinese Visitor Information Brochure (in Chinese):
Brochure that provides information on NZ travel tips, itineraries, planning, self-drive and safety tips to Chinese visitors (in Chinese)

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