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Australia Driving Tips

New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia — these are all areas within a huge, diverse continent that beg to be explored. Of course, the best way to see anything is off your own back, and a road trip could seriously enhance your time in this beautiful land we call Australia.

Driving within the various states of Australia is becoming a hugely popular way to see the country. Of course, this brings with it various questions about driving in a foreign country, especially if you are using a rented car. So let’s look at the basics.

Driving license/paperwork

You are able to drive within Australia on a foreign driving license, valid for the same class of vehicle, for three months after your arrival in the country. That being said, rules and regulations vary from state to state, and in some you may be required to carry an international license as well as your foreign license, and some may ask for a formal translation, which is the International Driving Permit (IDP).

Age restrictions

You must be at least 21 years of age to drive in Australia. Anyone 70 years and over will be asked to take regular medicals and eye examinations.

Let’s talk the law

  • In Australia, vehicles are driven on the left side of the road
  • Do not use mobile phones while driving, except a hand’s free kit
  • Give way to right hand side traffic
  • Always abide by the speed limit
  • Always wear seat belts while driving, including passengers
  • Drive in the direction of arrows marked on the road surface
  • Don’t overtake with white lines
  • Always carry your license while driving
  • Traffic signals and road signs must always be obeyed
  • Never take U-turns at traffic lights
  • While turning, always use indicator
  • At pedestrians crossings, always give way to pedestrians
  • Children under seven years of age should always be seated in the back seat of the vehicle


The normal speed limits on Australian roads are as follows:

  • 100 km/h (62 mph) on freeways and major highways
  • 50-80 km/h (31-49 mph) on local road

Never be tempted to speed in order to get anywhere faster, as you’ll be caught by one of the many speed cameras, and fined. Road signs will give you the exact speed limit for that area.

Drunk driving

Laws with regards to drinking and driving are extremely strict in Australia, and police will carry out random breath tests. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.05 g/100ml is permitted for full license holders. For provisional and learner licences, the BAC is ZERO. It is advisable not to drink at all, regardless of the legal limit, and that way you know you’re not in trouble. Being caught out over the limit is a serious criminal offence and may carry possible prison punishment.

Parking regulations

Parking in Australia has both free and paid types. For parking in cities, there is always a time and a fee. For parking aid, there are quite comprehensive parking signs in Australia, which will help you find your way. For example, a sign stating 1/2P means you can park there for half an hour, and similarly, 3P means you can park for three hours. ‘Ticket’ means pay and display. It’s worth mentioning that S in a red circle with a diagonal red line through it means no stopping.

Perth Driving Guide

Travelling to Perth for the first time you may be scratching your head about what to do after a few days.

But if you have picked up a rental car at Perth Airport and really want to make the most of your time by seeing something really unique, we suggest that you taking a drive out to the south.

Drive south west to Margaret River Region:

A pleasant three hours drive to the south of Perth will see you in one of Australia’s most strikingly diverse, yet compact vacation destinations.  The region is only 110 kms from north to south.

It is packed with world-class wineries where the wine tasting is free. There are also world class restaurants, uninterrupted beaches and lush, towering forests with laid back friendly locals to mingle with who make this a regular place to visit.

From the pristine Geographe Bay in the north, or into the ancient caves of Leewin-Naturaliste Ridge, through vineyards and karri forests, this area is a place of contrasting beauty and experience.

Albany and Esperance

If there’s one thing that Western Australia has in abundance, it is natural beauty and space.  Yet another area to explore will require you to drive for about four and a half hours south of Perth to the Albany and Esperance region on the south west tip of Australia.

If you’ve ever dreamed of surfing, but cannot stand up on a board, you will have the chance to do it on terra firma, under the World’s oldest “breaker”. Over 1 billion years old and curling over your head at 15 metres, is the giant rock formation of “Wave Rock” in Hyden.

If you want to see some of the whitest beaches and best snorkelling areas, drive out to the “Great Ocean Road, Esperance” with a road loop of around 38 kilometres. One of the best beaches can be found at Lucky Bay.

Whether you’re into bushwalking, sucking in some of the most pure ocean air on the planet, or putting on some snorkel gear and swimming in the tranquil nearby waters of Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove, we’re sure that any city based person will envy your photos of the wide open spaces that Western Australia, in this area has to offer.

For a more relaxed time, we suggest stopping over at one of the many nearby accommodation providers in the area.   Key towns for this are to be found in Albany and Esperance, but there are plenty of places to stay in more remote areas as well, with equally great hospitality.

Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels provide a wide range of discounts and choices in Perth and across Western Australia. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthancars Team

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