New Zealand Accommodation
August 11, 2014
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Safe driving in New Zealand

At Scotties we take your safety very seriously. We are here to help you, your family and friends get around New Zealand Safely. Please use this page to familiarise yourself with driving in New Zealand.

We recommend you take the time to read the New Zealand Transport (NZTA) driving in NZ document that can be found here:

Quick Basics

Keep left

Always drive on the left side of the road. If you drive on the right hand side in your own country, please take a moment to re-familiarise yourself with this rule before pulling out onto the road after a break – it’s easy to forget where you are!

Giving way at intersections

Always use your indicators when turning. Stop completely then give way (yield) to all traffic. Slow down and be ready to stop and give way to all traffic. At an intersection where one vehicle will cross the path of another, and both are waiting on stop or give way signs (or where there are no signs), special give way rules apply.

Driving speeds

Speed limit signs show the maximum speed you can travel. However, at times you may need to drive at a slower speed due to road or weather conditions. Different speed limits apply throughout New Zealand – look out for the speed limit signs. On most of New Zealand’s main roads the speed limit is 100 km/h, unless a sign says a lower speed applies. In urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h unless a sign says otherwise.

Safety belts

By law, everyone in the vehicle must wear a safety belt – whether they’re in the front or the back. If you are caught without wearing a seatbelt you will be fined.

Mobile devices

Drivers must not use a hand-held mobile phone or use their mobile GPS when driving. The device needs to be completely hands-free or mounted securely to the vehicle.

Other useful tips: 

  • Don’t drive after long haul flights. If you feel that you haven’t got enough sleep, we can pick you up from any airport hotel once you are rested and are ready to go.
  • Keep Left – For the first day roll up your left sleeve to help you remember to stay on the left
  • Take regular breaks
  • Passengers need to help. Especially, at intersections.

Any further questions our rental consultants are more than willing to help. Please call 0800 Rental or email

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