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Stay safe on our roads. Find out what’s different about driving in NZ.

New Zealand landscape showing the sea, a coastal road and mountains.
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Frequently asked questions

What’s different about driving in New Zealand?

If you’re new to driving in New Zealand, be sure to watch our driver education video so you are prepared for your next journey on our Kiwi roads.

GO Rentals car in the road with the mountains in the background
New Zealand Driving Tips (6:55)

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There are a few things that you may not be used to when driving in New Zealand. Make sure you have a safe and enjoyable journey. Please watch the video above and read this booklet before starting out.

Drive Safe with go

Learn more at drivesafe.org.nz

What’s the NZ road code?
Airport road sign

Travelling on a long haul flight

Nervous about driving in a new country, in a different vehicle? Plan to stay a night or two in your arrival city to give yourself time to adjust to our road conditions and rules, and to get used to driving your new vehicle.

Keep left road sign

Keep left

Always drive on the left side of the road. If you drive on the right hand side in your own country, please take a moment to re-familiarise yourself with this rule before pulling out onto the road after a break - it’s easy to forget where you are!

Give way road sign

Giving way at intersections

Always use your indicators when turning. At a stop sign, you must come to a complete stop then give way (yield) to all traffic. At a give way sign, slow down and be ready to stop and give way to all traffic. At an intersection where one vehicle will cross the path of another, and both are waiting on stop or give way signs (or where there are no signs) special give way rules apply.

Max speed 100km per hour road sign

Driving speeds

Speed limit signs show the maximum speed you can travel. However, at times you may need to drive at a slower speed due to road or weather conditions. Different speed limits apply throughout New Zealand - look out for the speed limit signs. On most of New Zealand’s main roads the speed limit is 100 km/h, unless a sign says a lower speed applies. In urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h unless a sign says otherwise.

There are hundreds of hidden speed cameras around New Zealand. We strongly recommend that you obey the New Zealand speed limits. It is against the law to exceed our speed limits, and this can result in defaulting your insurance.

Seatbelts road sign

Safety belts

By law everyone in the vehicle must wear a safety belt - whether they’re in the front seat or in the back. If you are caught without wearing a seatbelt, you may be fined.

No mobile phones road sign

Mobile devices

It is against the law to use a hand-held mobile phone or use a hand-held mobile GPS device when driving. The device needs to be completely hands-free, or mounted securely to the vehicle.

The official New Zealand Road Code
If you would like to read more about the NZ road rules and safe driving practices,
visit our friends over at the NZ Transport Agency

Read more FAQs