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21 August, 2022 - Updated Last updated on
22 August, 2022

Posted by Spaceships Crew

Driving in New Zealand isn't that different from driving in your home country. As long as you stick to the rules and remember the most important one: keep left. Always keep left as we drive on the other side of the road in this part of the world.

To make it even easier for you, we've created a list with the most important rules when it comes to driving in New Zealand.

Safe driving in New Zealand made easy

  1. Keep left!
  2. Wear your seatbelt. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is using their seatbelt.
  3. Don't exceed the speed limit. It's the maximum speed you can drive, not the minimum speed. Sometimes it's better to drive slower than the speed limit, especially in bad weather conditions.
  4. Drive to the conditions. If it's raining, icy or snowy reduce your speed and take extra care. 
  5. Stop at STOP signs. In New Zealand, you have to a complete stop at a STOP sign.
  6. Slow down to the recommended speed around bends.
  7. Only overtake vehicles when it's safe to do. Preferably use a passing lane. Never cross a solid line on your side of the centre line.
  8. Share the road - It isn’t just cars and other motor vehicles that use our roads, you will come across a variety of road users in New Zealand, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. They all use the same road, so sharing and being extra careful is important.
  9. Do not drink and drive. It's the same as in many countries around the world. Alcohol and drugs don't mix with driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police. Be a responsible and sober driver. 
  10. Don't use your mobile phone while driving. Pull over if you need to make a call or send a text message.
  11. Take your time. Driving in New Zealand can take longer due to our winding roads and lower average speed. Take it easy and take your time. Enjoy the journey!

Easy tips to make driving in New Zealand safer

Be prepared when you arrive in New Zealand - Do the test!

Learn the New Zealand Road Code for free before you arrive. It is critical that you take some time to practice our road code rules before you arrive. It will only take 30 minutes. Then you can travel with greater awareness and confidence and help keep our New Zealand roads safer for all drivers and other users.

Do the free road code test now: click and start the test (available in English, German, Chinese, French or Spanish). It'll help you to prepare for driving in New Zealand.

Videos about driving in New Zealand

Lots of info about driving on country roads in New Zealand.

Fahren in Neuseeland - Was Sie wissen müssen

Safe driving tips for our German friends... Die Drive Safe-Informationen auf Deutsch finden Sie hier.

Conduire en Nouvelle-Zélande - Ce que vous devez savoir

The most important safe driving tips for our French friends... Vous pouvez trouver l'information sur Drive Safe en français ici.


All you need to know about driving in New Zealand, a special version for travellers from China.... 你可以在这里找到中文的驾驶安全信息。

More safe driving tips

Spaceships is committed to making your stay in New Zealand fun, but also safe. We are working with the Safer Journeys programme to make our roads safe. Check out our other NZ driving info & tips or visit our partner Drive Safe NZ for even more info and tips about safe driving in New Zealand.

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