Travelling around New Zealand in a car is an unforgettable experience, with landscapes that look nothing like those in our beloved Europe. Driving is on the left and passing on the right, so if you’re used to driving in the UK, this will be nothing new. However, if you’re accustomed to driving on the right, be careful, because old habits are hard to break. In addition, beware of the often winding-roads, and know that trips often take longer than expected.
Minimum age and official driving documents
To drive in New Zealand, you need an international driving licence unless you hold a British licence. Also, you must have your original valid national licence with you. The minimum legal driving age in New Zealand is 18 years.
In urban areas, the speed limit is 50 km/h (30 mph), and it’s 100 km/h (60 mph) on most roads and motorways. Be sure to always check the speed limit signs. One such sign has a white background and a black diagonal line indicating that the maximum speed is 100 km/h (60 mph), but some stretches of road may not be suitable for this speed.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
For young drivers under the age of 20, there is zero tolerance on alcohol. For drivers over 20 years of age, the maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood or 250 micrograms per litre of exhaled air.
Regulations on parking vehicles are very strict. When regulations are violated, police are very quick to issue tickets or even tow the car. Please note that you must park in the direction of traffic, which is on the left side.