Guide to Driving in Australia

Australia is split in several states, each one with its own set of rules. However, some of the laws are similar and they are displayed below. In general it’s extremely easy to drive across Australia, except in Sidney, Brisbane or Melbourne. In these cities the traffic can get pretty intense, especially between 4:00PM and 5:00PM. First of all, let’s say that the traffic is on the left and overtakes are on the right, similar to the UK. In an unmarked ‘T’ intersection, the driver going forward has the right of way. In all the other unmarked intersections you must give way to vehicles coming from your right. The road network is well-maintained and the road markings are repainted every year. Several bridges and motorways use a toll system, but we’re talking about €5 at most. In case that you’re driving around the north-west side of Australia, stand ready to encounter a lot of wildlife. They say that anything that moves can kill you, but it’s not the case. As long as you keep your eyes on the road, everything will be alright. The local drivers are friendly and polite, so that’s a clear advantage. Parking is easy since there are a lot of parking lots and numerous signs which indicate clear that you’re not allowed to park in the area.

The police cars in Australia are often blue or white, with white or blue tiny square on the sides. The word ‘POLICE’ is written on the bottom of the side doors and on the hood. The light beacons will indicate you whether it’s an official car or no. Speeding cameras are often mounted on police vehicles, so you stand a good chance of being caught if you’re planning to step on the gas too much.

Essential Driving Information

  • All the passengers inside a car are required by law to wear the seatbelt, if fitted.
  • Be aware that using a mobile phone while driving is considered illegal – including when waiting at traffic lights; you need to bring the car to a complete stop and turn off the engine before you’re allowed to use your phone.
  • You need an International Driving License only if your domestic license is not in English or if you don’t have a legalized translated copy. Your domestic license is valid for 90 days.
  • Dipped beam should be used when the visibility decreases or when it’s raining.
  • Sounding the horn without a proper reason can lead to fines up to €300.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 100kmh (62mph)
Motorway: 110kmh (68mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 000
Ambulance: 000
Firefighters: 000
From a Mobile: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 18
Alcohol Limit: 0.05%
Petrol Price: €0.80/litre
Diesel Price: €0.85/litre
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