Why carry an IDP while driving in Australia?
Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.
It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Australia highly recommends an International Driving Permit.
Driving Rules in Australia
If you’re used to driving in the UK – or any country that drives on the left – chances are you won’t have many problems driving in Australia. But like anywhere, it pays to know about the local rules and road signs before you get behind the wheel. Australia is a vast country and distances between towns can be huge – for example, it is 964km between Sydney and Brisbane and 2,695km between Adelaide and Perth. If you are travelling a long distance by car, always make sure you are well-stocked on fuel, food and water, as services stations and shops can be few and far between.
Important Reminders for driving in Australia:
- Don’t drink and drive. Random breath testing is common and penalties for driving over the limit are harsh, so it’s best to avoid alcohol completely if you’re driving. The legal limit is 0.05 of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but in New South Wales, the limit for a hire car is just 0.02.
- Always carry your driving licence. If it is not in English, you’ll also need an International Driving Permit.
- Drive on the left. If there is more than one lane to choose from, stick to the leftmost lane, unless you’re overtaking.
- Give way to the right at roundabouts and intersections. Exceptions apply if road signs or traffic lights tell you otherwise, or other drivers have been pulled up by a stop or give way sign when you haven’t.
- Be aware of changing speed limits. Many urban areas in Australia now impose limits of 50km (30 miles) per hour in residential areas, with lower limits of 25 to 40km per hour around schools and other areas at certain times of day. Signage should tell you what the limits are and when they apply.
- Don’t beep your horn unless you’re warning other drivers of imminent danger.
- Do not park facing oncoming traffic – this is illegal and you may be fined. Instead, park on the left-hand side of the road well clear of all traffic.
- It is illegal to use a mobile while driving. You can only make or receive a call, or use the MP3 function on the phone, if the phone is in a mobile phone holder.
- Also note that in some states it is illegal to do a U-turn at a traffic signal.
Road conditions and weather in Australia
Australia has some rough terrain and not all roads are sealed. If driving in remote areas ensure you plan your route to find roads suitable for your vehicle. If faced with low quality or dirt roads, make sure you have a suitable off-road vehicle and confident driving skills. Even on paved roads, extreme weather can mean road conditions swiftly become more difficult. Be aware and ready to adjust your speed, and avoid driving into isolated areas without adequate water, supplies and planning.
How to get your IDP
We’ve streamlined the application process down by creating a platform that guides you so you know exactly what you’ll need to successfully complete your application
“I was renting a car in Italy when i found out i need to get an International Driving License, after a quick online search and 5min application. i was able to get my IDP in 15 Minutes.. I am very pleased with the service I received”
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