10 Important Things You Need to Know About Driving in Australia

10 Important Things You Need to Know About Driving in Australia

10 Important Things You Need to Know About Driving in Australia banner

Going on an extended Aussie holiday? Rent a car to get full control of your trip and visit the iconic sights and hidden gems. With your very own vehicle, you don’t have to plan your days around limited train and bus schedules. You can spend as much time (or as little) as you want at national parks, bayside villages, and beyond.

1. You can drive with your overseas driver’s license (in some cases)

Top view of car on a road

Can’t wait to begin your Aussie road trip? Good news! You can enjoy driving on an international license in Australia or even just use your foreign driver’s license. Just make sure it’s valid, has a photo, and is in English. If it’s in a different language, you’ll have to carry an English translation with you or get an international permit. If it doesn’t have a photo, bring another form of photo ID.

In the Northern Territory, the rule is slightly different. Your license is valid as long as you haven’t been in the NT for more than three consecutive months.

2. Remember to drive on the left side of the road

Car on a bridge with a body of water below

Like its neighbors NZ and Indonesia, people drive on the left side of the road and sit on the right side of the car in the Land Down Under. Aussie law also dictates that you must keep left unless you’re overtaking another vehicle.

If you’re used to driving on the right side of the road, one thing to keep in mind is that the incoming traffic will be coming on the side of your right shoulder.

3. There are unique road signs to learn

Road sign that says slow down

Once you’re driving around Australia, don’t be surprised to spot road signs that you probably won’t find anywhere else. Whether in Tasmania or Queensland, there’s a good chance you’ll see signs depicting kangaroos and cows getting close to cars. There are also signs that let you know there are upcoming movable bridges, dips, and trams ahead of you.

4. Avoid accidents and fines by following simples rules

A road under a bridge at night

Connect your phone to your car, so you can answer calls and make commands hands-free. Australia has some of the toughest penalties in the world for people who text and drive. In Queensland, the fine is 1000 AUD, while in NSW, there are cameras that detect illegal phone use on the roads.

Another simple rule is wearing a seatbelt whenever the car isn’t parked. The drivers and the passengers can receive fines of up to 1078 AUD if they don’t comply.

5. Prepare for the road tolls

A road in the middle of a desert

As you’re driving on Australia’s panoramic motorways, you might notice that there are heaps of toll roads but no cash toll booths. That’s because all Aussie toll roads are electronically tolled. There are two ways to pay.

If using a rental car, check if it has an electronic tolling device installed. If it does, the car hire company will likely charge the toll to your credit card. If there’s no tolling device, you’ll have to pay the fee online within 24 hours of passing the toll.

6. Practice navigating roundabouts

Top view of a roundabout and cars

Roundabouts can be overwhelming at first glance, but once you get used to them, they’re easy to navigate. The simplest are the small roundabouts with a single lane because you just follow the lane and take the exit you want. For roundabouts with two lanes, you must stay in the outside lane if you want to take the first or second exit and stay in the inside lane for the third turnoff.

The driving rules in Australia vary per state. In Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland, everyone has to indicate when leaving the roundabout, even if it’s in a straight direction. In the ACT, drivers leaving before the halfway point of the roundabout must enter the left lane, while those exiting after the halfway point must enter the right lane.

7. Take note of the speed limit

Man on a bike on a railway in between buildings

One of the most important rules of driving in Australia to remember is the speed limit. All states – except the Northern Territory – have set a max speed limit of 110km/hour for dual carriageways. In the NT, the limit is 130 km/hour.

For residential areas which don’t have road signs, the speed limit is typically 50 km/h, but school zones, which have signs at the beginning and end, have a speed limit of 40km/h.

8. Secure your insurance

A road in between forests and the sea

When it comes to driving in Australia, it’s required to have a minimum of compulsory third-party personal (CTP) car insurance. It provides drivers financial protection in vehicle accidents that injure a third party, passengers, and other drivers.

There’s also the option of joining a roadside assistance program for additional protection, but there are different programs for each state and territory. If you’re a member of the American Automobile Association (AAA), they have deals with many Australian clubs and services, so it’s good to double-check before you pick a program.

9. Keep your eyes peeled for wild animals on the road

A kangaroo crossing the road

While exploring the Land Down Under, pay attention to animals that may be crossing the road, especially in the countryside. It’s even more common to encounter koalas and kangaroos after sunset. To avoid any incidents, slow down to 20 km/h on dark country roads.

If you’ve collided with an animal, call the wildlife authorities, which vary per state, and check your car for any damages. If your car is badly damaged, you should call the police for assistance.

10. Pass through tram tracks the right way

Horses and a tram passing by

Visiting Melbourne, Adelaide, or Bendigo? The one thing these cities have in common is that they have trams, and it makes driving slightly complicated.

In Melbourne and Bendigo, drivers are sometimes permitted to drive on the tram tracks marked by dotted yellow lines, as long as it doesn’t delay the trams. In Adelaide, drivers must not use the tram lanes unless allowed by a traffic sign or a road marking.

Now that you know all the important road rules about driving in Australia, all you need is the right car rental for your epic Aussie road trip. Reserve your car online with Klook to get the best deals and choose the best vehicle that suits your trip.

Related Articles

a van driving along arches national park in the united states

Learn how to book a Klook car rental and enjoy driving abroad through this short guide! You’ll also learn about getting an International Driver’s License and tips on driving on the left side of the road!


Looking forward to your next trip to Australia? Here are the travel restrictions and requirements that you need to know before booking your flight!

two people camping inside a van in the woods

Whether you’ve got your own car or just renting one for your visit (we get ours directly from Klook), you too can experience the joys of car camping in some of Australia’s most famous campgrounds! Read on below for our 15 recommended sites for car camping in Victoria, as well as some handy camping tips and tricks.

ceduna jetty on the left, adelaide in the middle, augusta on the right

Are you planning on spending a long vacation in Australia, let’s say for a month? Then you’re probably wondering about how you’re gonna stuff your time with exciting and joyful things to do. We have a suggestion! If Melbourne is part of your Australia trip, then you’d be delighted to know that it’s totally possible to rent a car and embark on a road trip from Melbourne to Perth! Once you’ve seen and did everything you wanted in that city, then going on a two-week adventure to the City of Light might be up your alley.

12 Picturesque Places to Visit During Your Tasmania Road Trip from Hobart banner

Whether you’re looking for gourmet experiences, animal encounters, or scenic destinations, you can never go wrong with Tasmania. The state is full of incredible places—all within reach from Hobart.

12 Fun Things to Do in and Near Huon Valley in a Day banner

Make the most out of your Huon Valley day trip with these 12 unmissable, exciting things to do. From kayak rides to picturesque hikes, you’ll have an unforgettable time away from the city.

9 Beaches in Cairns You Need to Visit During Your Beach Hopping Trip banner

Don on your best tropical shirt and favorite pair of shades, ‘cos we’re going on an epic beach hopping adventure to Cairn’s 9 most stunning beaches!

8 Waterfalls in Cairns to Visit by Car banner

Don’t go chasing waterfalls… Well, at least not by foot. Here are eight waterfalls in Cairns you can visit by car!