NZ Driving

Road rules and Safety N.Z.

New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. Drivers give way (or yield) to all traffic crossing or approaching from the right.

The speed limit is 100km/h on the open road and 50km/h in urban areas.

In New Zealand, all passengers in vehicles must wear seatbelts, and fines are regularly imposed on vehicle occupants caught without a seatbelt.

Most New Zealand roads are two lanes and are often narrow. Some roads are unsealed and have no surface markings; some also change from sealed to unsealed – look out for road signs that indicate this. If you can, plan your journey to avoid unsealed roads.

Unsealed roads can be dangerous and affect your control of the vehicle. They are often narrow and have gravel verges. Reduce your speed to 40-50kph or slower. If possible, drive on established tracks where the surface is harder and keep left. When approaching an oncoming vehicle slow down to pass. Road dust could obscure your view of the road ahead.

Should your vehicle slide on shingle DO NOT BRAKE SUDDENLY. Slow your speed to 40kmph or less to help you to maintain control of your vehicle. Keep to established tracks that have a harder surface and slow down when approaching an oncoming vehicle.

New Zealand is an agricultural country with many farm animals. You may meet sheep or cows being moved by a farmer. Slow down and stop when you meet the animals – let them go past you, or move slowly behind and take instructions from the farmer. Should you injure a farm animal tell the nearest farmer.

The alcohol limit for drivers aged 20 years and over is 250mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.The blood alcohol limit is 50mg (0.05) per 100ml of blood, (0.08). For drivers under 20, the limit is zero.

Don’t overtake on yellow lines.

Don’t overtake where you cannot see 100 metres in front of you.

Don’t overtake near a pedestrian crossing, railway crossing or an intersection.

If you crash, contact the police and obtain the name and address of all drivers and the registration numbers of all vehicles involved.

At an intersection always use your indicators if turning, and give way to traffic that is not turning.

At an intersection always obey all traffic lights and road markings.

At an intersection, give way to all traffic crossing or approaching from your right.


Are you ready to Drive?

“Are you coming to New Zealand for a holiday, work or study and hiring a car, motorbike or campervan? These 66 questions are the essential Road Code rules you need to know to help keep yourself safe on NZ’s roads.”