Driving Rules & Regulations in Australia


Discovering Australia in a rental car is one of the most exciting experiences you will ever have. Setting off with thousands of miles of open road in either direction is an adventure that will remain with you for a lifetime. To make your journey even more enjoyable, familiarise yourself with the traffic rules in Australia.

Australia driving rules


  • Stay in the far-left lane on a highway or freeway unless you are overtaking.

  • When you reach an intersection yield to the traffic on the right, unless it is stopped by a YIELD or STOP sign. At a T intersection, the driver going straight through has the right of way.

  • Don’t honk your horn unless you need to warn another driver that he is in danger of hitting you.

  • The speed limit in built-up residential areas has been reduced in many locations from 60 kilometres per hour (35mph) to 50 kph. This applies in the Brisbane suburbs and in several areas of Sydney, across New South Wales, and in other cities. On country roads and highways the speed limit has long been 100kph (62mph) or 110kph (68mph), but the speed limit on certain sections of the Newcastle Highway and on Sydney’s M4 freeway has been reduced.

  • The blood/alcohol limit for driving is 0.05.

  • Front and rear seat belts must be worn.

  • Traffic in a roundabout moves clockwise. Keep to the left lane if you are turning left or proceeding straight on in a two-lane roundabout. Keep to the right if you are turning right,or if it is a two-lane roundabout and you’re going straight. Signal to indicate the direction you are taking. Drivers in New South Wales are required to always signal left when exiting a roundabout.

  • Drivers are banned from using mobile phones, even when the car is stationary, unless the vehicle is parked.

  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, and some of the highways and roads are tolled, so have your change ready. You can avail of encoded magnetic cards called e-Tags on certain tolled roads.


Road Signs to Be Aware of:

  • NO STANDING: Do not stop in this area unless you are allowing a passenger to alight or board your vehicle.

  • NO STOPPING: Except in medical emergencies.

  • NO PARKING: You can only stop to allow passengers in or out of your car.

  • BUS ZONE: Do not drive your car in this lane.

  • LOADING AND UNLOADING ZONE: You can only park here if you are delivering or collecting goods.


Have you any experience of driving in Australia you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you! And remember, if you are planning a road trip in Oz, check out our list of locations for car hire in Australia and book well in advance to ensure the best value and choice of vehicle.