Australian Driving Rules
Australia is one of the countries that are known for their outdoor activities. Traveling by car is the ideal way to make sure that you are able to see all that they have to offer when you are in the area. However, Australian driving rules differ from other countries, so before getting behind the wheel you should know what law officials expect. Therefore, today we are discussing the things you need to know before driving in Australia.
Brief Background about Australia
Australia is about the size of the United States but it does not have the same population. This is a good thing because unlike in the US, you will be able to travel longer distances without it taking hours to do so. Therefore, when you rent a car you should make sure that you go for a vehicle that is good on the road.
Purchasing a Car
If you plan to stay in Australia for more than three months, it is generally better to purchase a car than to rent one. Additionally, when purchasing a car you need to go for a model that is easy to repair. Usually, when drivers are out on the road a mechanic is not nearby, so you have to be able to repair the car yourself until you can make it to a mechanic.
Basic Australian Traffic Rules
Traffic rules are common in Australia, just like in any other country. You will find their speed signs visible throughout the country, so they are enforced. Speed cameras are everywhere so you want to make sure that you are doing 50km/h in the cities and not going over 100hm/h in permitted areas. Lastly, you always want to make sure that you have your passport on you at all times.
Australia is big on seat belts too. In fact, for people who are not wearing their seatbelt there is a $250 fine. Therefore, before you put the keys inside of your ignition you have to make sure that all of your passengers are buckled up. Additionally, if you are renting a car and get caught not wearing your seatbelt the rental car company can give you an additional charge too.
If you plan to drive in Melbourne, you have to learn how to make turns in the roads that have trams. Keep in mind that the tram passengers are always going to go first. You have to wait for them to pass before you turn. When proceeding to make a turn it is important to make sure, you go to the far end of the intersection when you are approved by the traffic light or are making a right turn. Making this type of turn is referred to as a “hook turn”.
Always make sure that you are focused, and prepared, when driving in Australia. An accident can occur at any time, although most accidents take place outside of the cities. You always have to make sure that you do not run over any wildlife, so we recommend traveling before nightfall. Before getting on the road, you need to know your route, where the gas stations are along the way, and where the repair shops are.
Traffic Rules Recap
- Speed signs are visible and enforced. Always pay attention to them
- Speed cameras are everywhere. Never push your luck
- Speed limits vary from 50 km/h to 100 km/h. Make sure you are aware of the current speed limit in your location
- Passports have to be on you at all times
- You will be fined a minimum of $250 if you are caught not wearing a seatbelt. If renting a car the company may charge you an additional fine
- When in Melbourne, tram passengers always have the right of way
- When travelling, try to be at your destination before nightfall, to reduce the risk of running over wildlife
- Mobile phone coverage is not great in remote areas.
Driving in Australia may be a little different than it is in your home country. Today, we have covered the basic differences that you may experience. If you want to become a permanent resident of Australia, and need to get an Australian driver’s license click this link for further instructions. We recommend having someone who has already successfully contained his or her Australian driver’s license help you prepare.
Keep in mind that Australia laws and regulations differ in each state. Some states want you to have an International License in addition to your current foreign license. Other states may just ask that you carry your current license with a formal translation. Generally, you do have permission to drive in Australia as a visitor for a maximum of three months. Once the three months are over, you are no longer considered a visitor and, you have to get an Australian driver’s license.