Driving in New Zealand: free Road Code tests & info to prepare you
Our driving in New Zealand page provides you with a range of videos, PDFs, apps and links to provide the most up to date information about driving safely in New Zealand. Please take the time to read the below content particularly if it is your first time driving on the other side of the road and on hilly and windy roads.
Please also use DriveSafe.org.nz which is a new website developed to help you safely enjoy your self-drive holiday in New Zealand.
What’s different about driving in New Zealand?
There are a few things that you need to know and may not be used to when driving in New Zealand.
- Everyone wears seatbelts
- No overtaking on solid yellow lines (= no-passing line). More info about passing.
- We drive on the left side of the road
- Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is illegal (more info)
- The alcohol limit for under 20 drivers is ZERO. For drivers over the age of 20, it's 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath (mcg) and the blood alcohol limit is 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (mg). More info.
- The maximum speed is 100km/h or less on the open roads
- Only 10% of the roads is made out of asphalt, the rest are chipseal or gravel roads (more info about quality of the roads)
- Allow extra time on our roads. Journey times often take longer than expected
- New Zealand law requires an English translation of your driver's license or an International driver's license in English. Please make sure to have one or the other.
Download the Driving in New Zealand brochure (in 11 different languages) from New Zealand Transport Agency. If you have any questions about driving in New Zealand, please do ask us when you pick up your campervan or contact us.
Virtual Visiting Driver Training Programme
This is a great virtual driving guide (in English, German, Spanish, Chinese and French) to some of the different driving scenarios you could encounter on New Zealand roads. Please take the time to have a look.
Driving in New Zealand: free tests
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 or so and 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. And make sure to watch the videos below.
Useful links & tools for driving in New Zealand
- Can I use my driving licence in New Zealand?
- What's the quality of the roads in New Zealand? See our road conditions info!
- Travel time and distance calculator by AA (click to open in new window)
- The New Zealand Road code by NZ Transport Agency (click to open in new window)
- Tips for winter driving in New Zealand
- Driver fatigue: what is it and how to avoid it. Always drive when you're well-rested and stop often for a coffee or snack break.
- Speed limits in New Zealand (detailed info)
- How to drive in bad weather in New Zealand
- Latest traffic info and motorway conditions
- Alcohol & drugs and driving in New Zealand (short version: don't do it!)
- Use the free Spaceships travel & camping apps for knowing where to go and where to camp.