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Driving in New Zealand with UK License

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Driving in New Zealand with UK License

1. Posted by Taylor84 (Budding Member 49 posts) 6y

Taylor84 has indicated that this thread is about New Zealand

Hey all

I'm looking for some advice on driving in New Zealand.

I'm going to staying in New Zealand for either 1 or 2 years with a working holiday visa. I was wondering if there was a time constraint on driving in New Zealand with a UK license?

Cheers for any help provided

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 6y

Technically you're only allowed to drive on your UK license for a year; if you stay for a second year, you'd need to get a kiwi license. Personally, however, I'd ignore that, and just keep driving on the UK license.

3. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 6y

You can also leave the country and then return, upon which you'll be allowed to drive a further one year. It'll be a great excuse to check out the neighbouring pacific islands or Australia!

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 6y

Quoting Sander

Technically you're only allowed to drive on your UK license for a year; if you stay for a second year, you'd need to get a kiwi license. Personally, however, I'd ignore that, and just keep driving on the UK license.

It's a risk driving with a UK license after 1 year because after that you would be driving illegally which would mean any insurance would be void.

Quoting Kelvin Ang

You can also leave the country and then return, upon which you'll be allowed to drive a further one year. It'll be a great excuse to check out the neighbouring pacific islands or Australia!

It's not as easy as that, as leaving for a holiday doesn't mean you haven't lived in NZ for the last year. You might get away with it but it's probably not worth the risk.

If you have a British license you no longer need to do a theory test to get a NZ license - just go into any AA shop and complete the form.

5. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 6y

Quoting bex76

It's not as easy as that, as leaving for a holiday doesn't mean you haven't lived in NZ for the last year. You might get away with it but it's probably not worth the risk.

You don't have to show you haven't lived in NZ for the last year - as long as you're not a NZ citizen or resident.

source: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/residents-visitors/driving-nz.html

You can drive in New Zealand if you hold a driver licence from another country or an international driving permit and:

* your overseas licence is current and valid, and
* you've not received a disqualification or suspension in New Zealand, and
* you last entered New Zealand less than 12 months ago, and
* your overseas licence is in English; if it's not, you must have an accurate translation, and
* you've not been granted a New Zealand driver licence.

(bolding mine)

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 6y

Quoting Kelvin Ang

Quoting bex76

It's not as easy as that, as leaving for a holiday doesn't mean you haven't lived in NZ for the last year. You might get away with it but it's probably not worth the risk.

You don't have to show you haven't lived in NZ for the last year - as long as you're not a NZ citizen or resident.

source: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/residents-visitors/driving-nz.html

You can drive in New Zealand if you hold a driver licence from another country or an international driving permit and:

* your overseas licence is current and valid, and
* you've not received a disqualification or suspension in New Zealand, and
* you last entered New Zealand less than 12 months ago, and
* your overseas licence is in English; if it's not, you must have an accurate translation, and
* you've not been granted a New Zealand driver licence.

(bolding mine)

Ah ok, I'm a resident so that's why I couldn't have got away with it! :)

7. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 6y

To be honest I think the whole 12 months thing is a bit messy because technically speaking, I think, even as a resident you might just be able to get away from it by driving on a non-NZ license and exiting the country every 12 months. But they would question your motive for doing that should you need to make an insurance claim so it's not worth the trouble. My insurance company wouldn't let me add names of my mates to my policy (so in the event of a claim the excess is lower) if they have no NZ driving license, even though their policy covers anyone who is legally allowed to drive in NZ so that includes tourists who have valid and current driver licenses and have been here for less than 12 months.

It's definitely worth applying for a NZ license if you intend to be here for 2 years, Taylor84, especially since they got rid of the theory test. Some places appear to feel a bit uneasy accepting a non-NZ form of identification and a NZ license will be useful (even though it's much easier to fake a NZ license than most foreign passports!). Just remember the odd "give way" rule here in NZ which is probably unique in the world

8. Posted by Taylor84 (Budding Member 49 posts) 6y

Thanks so much for all your responses.

Sounds perhaps safer to just get the license if I end up satying there the extra year, especially as you say if I need to make a claim.

Cheers

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