Car hire :: New Zealand Car hire :: driving guide

Guide & Tips to driving in New Zealand.

New Zealand offers some of the world's most spectacular drives so it's well worth hiring your own set of wheels while you're here. Swot up on the rules of the road before you go.


Q: What side of the road should I drive on?


A: Cars drive on the left here.


Q: What is the speed limit?


A:The speed limit is 30km/h near roadworks and dangerous zones, 50km/h in cities and towns and 100km/h on highways.

Q: How much can I drink when I'm driving?


A: The drink-drive limit is zero for drivers under 20. For those aged 20 and over the limit is 50mg per 100ml of blood.

Q: Where can I park?


A: When parking on the road, cars must park in the same direction as the traffic flow except on one-way streets when drivers can park on either side of the road.

Q: Who has priority on the road?


A: Cars do not take priority over pedestrians, cyclists or animals in New Zealand. Cars must stop if a pedestrian is crossing a road and driver should always be wary of animals in the road.

Q: Anything I definitely shouldn't do?


A: Don't use your horn unless it's absolutely necessary. The use of a car’s horn is not permitted except to warn another driver or pedestrian of danger. Don't use your mobile phone while driving, of course - it's illegal. And be careful of tailgating; the law in New Zealand states that there must be at least 16m of space between your vehicle and the one in front when travelling between 40km/h and 50km/h. If you are travelling at 90km/h or faster, the distance must be 36m.

Q: Anything else I should know?


A: Many railway crossings do not have warning lights so pay attention to signage and make sure you stop or give way where necessary.