Driving with care is the highest priority when it comes to safe driving behaviour in New Zealand. Especially when you are visiting from a country that drives on the right-hand side of the road, concentration is required to stay safe.

New Zealand car rental companies have worked together with the Government to point out the 10 Most Important Tips that will ensure your trip is a safe and memorable one.

  1. Keep LEFT! We drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  2. Always wear your seat belt. Everyone in your vehicle must wear a seatbelt, and children must be secured in an approved child seat. We can rent child seats to you if you didn’t bring your own.
  3. Keep to the speed limit and always stop at STOP signs.
  4. Always slow down to observe recommended speeds around bends and check for oncoming traffic on one-lane bridges.
  5. Overtake other vehicles only when it’s safe to do so. Use passing lanes whenever possible, and never cross a solid yellow line on your side of the centre line.
  6. Stay well-rested. Plan to drive for only 1 – 2 hours at a time, and take regular breaks during your journey to stretch your legs.
  7. Drive to the conditions. You’ll need to reduce your speed if it’s raining, icy, snowing, windy or if you’re in a roadwork’s area. Ask your accommodation provider if in doubt.
  8. Use your GPS to estimate driving times while planning your journey. Driving in New Zealand can often take longer than expected due to our winding roads.
  9. Do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police, with severe penalties for offenders.
  10. It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in New Zealand. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over at a rest area or in a safe place.


If you wish to have a more in-depth overview of driving in NZ or require more information around planning your trip, staying safe and some further travel advice, feel free to look through the whole DRIVE SAFE website.

Another good resource is our Mode Rentals blog. We are always talking to our customers to collect valuable tips and trip ideas!


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