Welcome to Australia, one of the most captivating countries in the world. Whether you go on a road trip in a campervan or you rent a car to travel to your favorite destinations, there are some things to remember about driving in Australia.
Your Driving Guide for Australia
To help you get the hang of driving here, we have compiled some tips to give you the basics of driving in Australia.
Drive on the left side of the road
What this means for an American driver is that your steering wheel will be on the other side of the car. This may be a difficult adjustment for you after years of driving with the steering wheel on the left side. Following are some tips to help you get used to right hand driving:
- Stick to an automatic. While you may love driving a standard, getting accustomed to driving on the left side of the road while also learning how to shift and clutch on the opposite side of the car can be a very big headache. Keep it simple and rent an automatic vehicle.
- The exit will be on your left. Yes, this will be very confusing for you who have spent years driving in the U.S where most exits will be on the right side. But, it’s the same idea. The exit is the opposite side of your steering wheel. So, when trying to get off the highway, go left.
- Pulling out of a parking lot. Typically, when pulling out of a parking lot onto the road, you will turn to the right, but if you do that in Australia, you will be turning into oncoming traffic. So, always remember that you will want to turn left when you leave the parking lot. Yes, you will have to be careful to watch both the oncoming cars from the right and the cars that are already on the left. It’s a little tricky at first, but you’ll get used to it.
- Stay to the left if you plan on going slow. Which you very well might want to at the beginning. In the United States, you probably tend to avoid the right lane like the plague, but here you may want to hug the left until you are sure that you can speed down the right lane with confidence and skill.
Australian driving laws
While there are very many similar laws to the U.S. here are a few things to keep in mind for your Australian road trip:
- You are not allowed to be on your phone while driving.
- Keep an eye out for wildlife on the roads. Australia is full of interesting animals that you want to avoid making into roadkill. Please.
- Pass when there is a single line with spaces, don’t pass if there is a double one.
- If you need emergency help on the road, call 000.
- Always use your signals and blinkers as you would in the U.S. and always follow the speed limit. Australia is also strict on this point.