Driving in Australia is a great way to see the country and enjoy off-the beaten tracks sights you might not otherwise be able to see.
If you’re a UK driver heading to Australia and thinking about hiring a car, you’ll be pleased to know that they drive on the left, so you won’t have to get used to driving on the other side of the road, which is a welcome relief for most people.
One thing to take note of, if you’re looking for an automatic, rather than a hire car with manual gears, you’ll have to request it from the hire company and they may not be able to provide one.
Important Information about Driving in Australia
If you’re used to driving in the UK there will be a few things to get used to when you start driving in Australia. For a start, all measurements are in Kilometres rather than miles so the speed limits are all in KPH. However, if you’ve hired a car, your speedometer will also be in KPH so it shouldn’t be too confusing.
It’s also much more important to carry plenty of water and other supplies if you’re taking a longer journey through the outback. It’s possible to drive for hundreds of miles without encountering another motorist and on these journeys there might not be anywhere to get petrol, water or refreshments, so you need to ensure you plan your journey before you set off.
Australian Rules of the Road
Drivers must have a valid international driving permit as well as a UK driving licence
All drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts where fitted
Speed limits are enforced and speeding is treated very seriously
Driver’s blood alcohol level must not exceed 0.05
Drivers must not use a mobile phone unless it is in hands-free mode
Cars can only overtake each other when the centre line marking on the road is a single broken line
Do not leave the vehicle if you breakdown as it can provide shade from the sun
The emergency services number in Australia is 000
The speed limits in Australia work the same way as in any other country and can vary from road to road as well as area to area, so it’s important that you pay close attention to road signs that indicate variations.
The following speed limits should be used as guidelines only.
- Cars: 50/60 km/h
- Motorbikes: 31/37 mp/h
Motorways (Northern Territory)
- Cars: 130 km/h
- 81 mp/h
Fuel prices in Australia differ from one city to the next. However, according to figures released by MotorMouth a motoring industry group, Adelaide had the lowest average price for petrol at 104.1 cents per litre.
Sydney was the next lowest at 108.1 cents per litre
Melbourne was the third lowest with an average fuel cost of 109.1.
Fuel can cost as much as 129.6 in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.