Driving in Australia - Basic road rules
Driving around Australia is an awesome experience. To help you relax and enjoy the drive here are some
basic road rules to follow. If you will be arriving on long-haul flights we recommend you plan to spend your first night in Australia in your arrival city to ensure that you are rested after your flight.
- In Australia we drive on the left hand side of the road.
- Everyone in the vehicle must wear a
seat belt when the vehicle is moving.
- Always carry a copy of your
driver licence in English. If using an international permit, you must also carry your original driver licence.
- Drive no faster than the
speed limit signs allow; and slower in rain or fog.
Alcohol and driving don’t mix. For experienced drivers the blood alcohol level is 0.05. Provisional drivers and young drivers may not have any alcohol before driving.
- Fatigue causes many crashes in Australia. When driving long distances,
stop and rest every 2 hours.
- All traffic must proceed in a clockwise direction in a
roundabout. A vehicle already on a roundabout has right of way over any vehicles entering.
You can read more about how to drive safely with your family thanks to these expert tips from the driving and road safety experts.
Be prepared, take the Quiz - Tourist driving theory quiz
Hiring a car or campervan for your Australia holiday? Familiarise yourself with our Road Code rules by taking the Quiz. The questions are designed to help tourists stay safe while travelling in Australia.
Take the Quiz Now
- Reading traffic signals, stop signs and give way signs at various intersections.
- Learn who has the right of way. Where should your car be on the road when driving - intersections and unlaned roads, and more.
- Basic road code driving knowledge - following and passing rules, give way rules and more.
Driving in Australia - Important 'Need to Knows'
overtake to the right. Be sure you can see enough of the road to complete overtaking and move back to your side of the road. Never overtake on corners, blind rises or on double white lines. When overtaking heavy vehicles in wet weather, beware of wind turbulence and wheel spray causing a reduction in visibility. Allow plenty of space behind you when pulling back in after passing a truck. Trucks can’t stop as quickly as cars, especially when carrying heavy loads.
- Australia is an enormous country with driving conditions that can differ greatly from other countries. When
calculating travelling time it is important to take into consideration the need to reduce speed through the many towns and cities. You will also need to consider adverse road and weather conditions.
- Australia is lucky to have many
native animals living in their natural habitats. Enjoy them, but remember they can be a hazard on country roads. Although it is a natural instinct to swerve to avoid an animal, keep your vehicle on the same line, slow down, and stop if possible. Remember there may be an oncoming vehicle. It is preferable to cause minor damage to your car by colliding with an animal, rather than with another vehicle or immovable object.
- Remember that campervans can be
double the height and length of sedan vehicles. Keep an eye out for height indicator signs, cantilever awnings, overhanging tree branches and be careful when reversing near fixed objects (walls etc.).
- In the unlikely event that you are involved in an
accident in a remote area follow these simple tips:
- Do not leave your vehicle.
- Stay in the shade.
- Conserve water.
Toll Roads in Australia
Road toll fees apply on some roads in Australia. You will likely encounter toll roads if you are driving through Metropolitan
New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
You are responsible for paying road toll fees when driving a rental campervan vehicle in Australia. It is important to be aware of these roads before you travel as toll roads in Australia are electronically tolled, you will not be able to stop and pay cash. You will need to set up a visitors e-pass once you have picked up a motorhome in Australia. Any unpaid tolls will incur an administration fee from us in addition to the fee owed to the tolling company.
To set up a visitors e-pass for any Australian toll roads go to
www.roamexpress.com.au or via phone on 13 76 26 (international dialling code + 61 2 9086 6400).
You can set up a pass on
www.roamexpress.com.au for as little as $1.50 and then be automatically charged if you use toll roads. This must be done within 48 hours of travelling on a toll road.
For more information please refer to the
Toll Road guide.
Make sure you have a valid licence to drive in Australia.
If you have a foreign licence, please ensure
- it is current
- it is appropriate for a full size motor vehicle (not restricted or learner)
- it is accompanied by an International Driving Permit.
If your licence is in a language other than English you must also present an accredited English translation.
Driving Times and Distances
Get your bearings and work out your travelling schedule so your holiday goes off without a hitch.
Australia is an enormous country with driving distances that can differ greatly from other countries. Please give yourself plenty of time to travel between cities.
To make it even easier (and cheaper) for you, we offer a ‘Pre-Purchase Fuel Option’ whereby you purchase your first tank of fuel at a discounted rate at the branch on pickup. The rate is based on the local fuel price at the branch location at the time of pickup. This option also means you do not need to replenish the fuel tank upon return at the end of your holiday.