Guide to Driving In Australia - Drive Safe in Australia

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Australia and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.

URBAN SPEED LIMIT

50 kph

urban
More info  

RURAL SPEED LIMIT

100 kph

rural
More info  

motorway speed limit

100-130 kph

speed limit
More info  

Drink Drive Limit

 50mg

drink and drive limit
More info  
urban
You drive in Australia on the Left side  
urban
The currency in Australia is AUD
urban
To rent a car is  18 years and to drive is 16 years of age
urban
Current fuel price in Australia 0.97 €/Ltr

Driving Laws in Australia

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Australia?

Driving in Australia


Always know where yoKangaroo Warning Sign Australiau are going to get fuel when you set out on overnight drives and be aware of the fact that fuel stations may close late at night or Sundays. Cell phones may not work in some parts of Australia. Always tell someone if you are making an off road trip and give them your planned itinerary. If your vehicle breaks down in the Outback stay with it and do not attempt to walk.

Driving is on the left hand side of the road. Do not overtake on the left hand side and do not overtake if there are solid white lines. At roundabouts give way to vehicles already on the roundabout and select your lane early.
Koala Road Warning Sign Oz
In Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide there is a tram system so look out for signs and tram tracks. Trams usually have right of way. A solid yellow line means cars are not allowed to drive in the tram lane. A special 'hook turn' is used by traffic in Melbourne to get around the problem of trams. It involves approaching an intersection in the left lane and indicating right. Approaching the intersection as far left as possible until you are perpendicular to the traffic heading in the direction that you want to be. They should be waiting at a red light. Then you follow the traffic lights to your right.

Watch out for animals such as kangaroos on the roads. If you do hit a marsupial you are legally required to stop and check whether or not they had any young in their pouches.
When driving on highway you should stay on the left unless overtaking. At T junctions the motorist going straight through has right of way.

You should be aware that there are massive driving times between the Australian cities. There are 860 kilometres between Sydney and Melbourne on the Hume Highway, 964 kilometres between Sydney and Brisbane on the Pacific Highway and 2695 kilometres between Adelaide and Perth on the Eyre and Great Eastern Highways.

Some roads which are OK in the dry season may become impassable in the wet season.

Rules of the road

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Emergency Services Numbers

Police Police: 000

Police Fire: 000

Police Ambulance: 000

Notes: To call for fire/police/ambulance services throughout Australia, dial “000”

Fuel Prices in Australia by Month

Parking Information

Parking regulations

Parking regulations
 
Parking is expensive in the major cities, especially as you approach the centre. It's often cheaper to park further out and walk or get public transport. 
 
Paid parking
 
There are expensive municipal parking garages and lots, metered parking alongside the road and ticket machine parking in most towns and cities. All are quite expensive in order to persuade drivers to use public transport. 
 
Enforcement
 
Enforcement of parking is usually the responsibility of the police and is carried out infrequently. Many risk parking without paying and get away with it but it's not recommended. Parking where it's obviously illegal or dangerous will earn you a A$100 fine and, if your car is towed, a similar amount in tow charges.
 
Disabled parking
 
Australia has its own system for parking for the less mobile but it doesn't apply to badge holders from Europe. 

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Police Police: 000

Police Fire: 000

Police Ambulance: 000

The emergency services number is 000, though 112 also works. The Australian search and Rescue team, who can find you if you are lost in the Outback, are on 641. The United States Embassy in Canberra is on +61 (0) 2 6214 5600 and the British High Commission is on +61 (0) 2 6270 6666. For more embassy numbers visit www.wordtravels.com/Travelguide/Countries/Australia/Contacts.

What to do in an emergency

You are legally required to stop and help if you have been in an accident where someone has been hurt or injured. Phone the police on 000. Leaving the scene could land you with 10 years in jail. You are protected by law from legal recrimination should something go wrong if you try to administer first aid in good faith at an accident which you are obliged to do if you have a current first aid qualification.

Long Road Train Warning in Australia

Handy Guides

World Driving Guides

Road Signs

Handy Phrases

Motorway – Freeway, Highway
Petrol – Gasoline
Asphalt – Bitumen
Windscreen -Windshield
Bonnet – Hood
Boot - Trunk

Australia Fuel Price History

Fuel Prices in Australia by Month
Month, YearDiesel €/ltrUnleaded €/ltr
Oct, 2018 1.00 0.97
Sep, 2018 0.95 0.93
Aug, 2018 0.97 0.92
Jul, 2018 0.98 0.94
Jun, 2018 1.00 0.97
May, 2018 0.95 0.92

Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Australia and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.

Visitor Comments

  • 10/16/2018

    Howard L

    Victoria does allow U turns at traffic lights unless signposted to the contrary. NSW does NOT allow U turns at traffic light unless signposted as permissive This is contrary to the information given above. Speed limits in school zones apply during specified school hours - caution, some are permanent. The speed limit varies by state.
  • 10/16/2018

    Daniel C

    It is now ILLEGAL to have speed/radar camera detection equipment in your vehicle in all states and territories, however radar detectors can be used in Western Australia. Sat navs with preloaded fixed camera locations are still available in all states and territories. Australia has an extremely low tolerance for speeding and fines can be heavy.
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