You can't go wrong with an Aussie Road Trip. From "Mad Max: Fury Road" to "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", the natural appeal and beautiful scenery of Australia is so obvious for travellers. For Brits looking to experience a slice of Australia, driving may be a very different experience than hitting the road Down Under. Below are a few things to look at before you set off on your Australian road trip.
You can drive in Australia using your UK driving licence as long as your licence is valid and is not suspended, expired or cancelled. A learner's permit, provisional or probationary licence is not accepted. Learn more about the different types of Driver’s Licences here.
Planning to immigrate to Australia? Keep in mind that you can only drive on your UK licence for the first three months after your arrival. After that, you will need to apply for your Australian driver’s licence. Always carry your driving licence and passport with you at all times. These are important during events such as random breath tests, vehicle inspections or following an accident.
Since Australia is a federation consisted of six states and two territories, the laws and regulations for driving with an international licence may differ from state to state. Make sure to visit the Australian Government website or check the Terms and Conditions for your chosen car hire supplier here.
Remember that where two lanes merge into one (i.e. lane lines end), the vehicle in front has the right of way. If there are multiple marked lanes, and one ends, give way to the vehicles in the lane you are moving into. It is important to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you and take turns to merge if there are long lines of merging traffic.
You can only make a U-turn at traffic lights if there’s a U-turn permitted sign. Failing to give way when making a U-turn or where not permitted will incur a $100 fine and demerit points. When making a U-turn, you must use your indicator to signal your intentions to other drivers. You will also need to give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians.
Please note that in Western Australia only - U-turns are allowed over a continuous white line.
Make sure to never park in areas where you see a "No Parking" sign unless you are dropping off passengers or goods, but it should be within two minutes only. Take note as well of areas wherein parking is banned like on a driveway, across a footpath, and on a pedestrian crossing. To be safe, park your vehicle in a car park. We have compiled the top car park providers in major airports in Australia to help you find the best parking deal. Click here to choose your airport location.
As a rule, at an uncontrolled intersection, you must always give way to the right, to oncoming vehicles and pedestrians. You will receive 3 demerit points and $300 fine if you fail to give way to vehicles to the right or pedestrians. Note that an uncontrolled intersection is where there is no traffic signal, stop sign, or give way sign.
Keep in mind that on dual/multi lane roads where the speed limit is under 90km/h, the ‘keep left’ rule only applies where there is a ‘keep left unless overtaking’ sign. Note that you can only drive in the right hand lane if you are turning right or making a U-turn, if you are overtaking, if the left lane is a special purpose lane, if you are avoiding an obstruction and if the other lanes are congested with traffic.
If you are planning a road trip through the Australian outback, it’s necessary to be well-prepared. Make sure to plan your trip well in advance and leave time for regular rest stops along the way. Don't forget to check your vehicle, the road conditions and the weather forecast before hitting the road.
Please note that travelling into some areas of the South Australia outback may involve the need for a Desert Pass Permit.