Driving In Oz - Please Help

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Driving In Oz - Please Help

  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by stoneyafcb (Budding Member 17 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!


i was wondering if anyone could help me out with some info on driving in oz. i am planning on being there for a year so i thought it was best to buy a car but i heard there only insure you for 6 months or whatever without a aus licence or international i just got the normal english one.
any help would be great

2. Posted by AlexT (Full Member 245 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Most insurers will only insure you for 6 months. You will probably need to get an international drivers license. Not difficult, just involves filling in a form and payiing a fee, I think they are usually valid for a year.

3. Posted by karboot (Budding Member 14 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!


I'm also going to NZ and Oz for a year and would like to jump on this thread for help! I've been driving in the UK for less than a year but am over 21, does this mean i could have a international driving licence and drive out there?



4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 6035 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

You don't need an international driver's license. International driver's licenses are a scam.
Some select few countries require an international driver's permit (which is basically a translation of your license in all the major languages) - but Australia and New Zealand don't.

If you'll find a rental car company willing to rent to you (I think some do for 21+, though they charge way more than if you were 25+), you can drive with just your regular license.

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 6035 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Oh, and for the original question of buying and getting insurance - I have no experience with this, but I'm pretty certain that'll just last for a year (basic insurance comes along with "rego" - the annual car registration), no matter what license. Given the staggering amount of backpackers doing this, anything else would be lunacy. (But don't take my word for it.)

actually... *googles*
Okay, so according to this - if you've been in Australia for more than six months, they want the international driving permit. That's not related to insurance or anything, but simply being allowed to drive. (So if you never run into any cops after the first six months, you should be fine - and even if you do, I doubt they'll ask you for your passport to check how long you've been in the country.) And I was right about the rego.

6. Posted by OzRocco (Budding Member 47 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Try this for info on driving licenses in NSW (i.e Sydney). Assuming you land in Sydney & organise yourself there, then this will suffice for all the other states. http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/downloads/gid_english.pdf

I'd recommend buying a car as opposed to renting. The 2nd hand car market here is loaded with old beasts perfect for travellers. Probably your best bet would be a Ford XD, XE or XF station wagon or similar - they're a bit thirsty on the fuel but they double pretty well as accomodation if you get stuck when doing the mandatory coastal jaunt(s). A few mates from NZ picked one up for under AUS$1000 when they were here last year, which will be pretty indicative.

Insurance is bit of a pain in the bum, but if I was you I'd just go for the "3rd party property" insurance, which means you're only insured to cover damage to other peoples cars - and not your own. As long as the car you buy has valid registration (rego) you are covered for "3rd party person" damage (the really nasty kind). Just go.

7. Posted by scotsman (Respected Member 128 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Just thought I'd throw in my tuppence. To drive in Oz you don't need an international license if yours is in english, the boys in blue have pulled me over a couple/few times and I'm still loose on the highways! As for the insurance, as a backpacker the most insurance you can get on a car is 3rd party damage whatnot. I think it's only the Insurance brokers at Kings X car market that give this insurance out to us poor travellers (thats not to say you have to buy from the market there). However, you can legally hit the road without this as long as your car is registered as 3rd party personal injury is included with the rego (or something along those lines). I wouldn't say it's wise to go for the latter option as obviously if you smack into someone else then it's your pocket that's damaged most!

Hope this helps,

P.S. My 12-month insurance cost around $400,


8. Posted by leia (Budding Member 22 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

My two bob.

buy a car it will be cheaper. rentals are ridiculous over here especially if you are under 25 and even more so if your male. But when you buy the car make sure that the rego is up to date adn that you have a whi;e on it. it needs to be renewed every 12 months and does include third party personnel so you won't have to pay for their hospital bills but you WILL have to pay for the car so get third party property which is about 250 AUD depending upon the car. also remember that when you register the car it is going to cost you $200 AUD approx at the RTA so keep that in mind. otherwise you'll be fine. enjoy the drive. There are some really spectacular sites if i do say so myself. Oh and buy a tent. Most camping grounds are free or have a minimal charge but you have to pay national park fees which are about 5 AUD per car per day. It's cheaper then staying in a hotel adn you get to experience more of our outback that way.

have fun!

9. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

If you're drivers license isn't in English then get a certified translation - also known as an International Drivers License. Despite what was said earlier in this thread about scams many companies in Australia do require your original license and an international tranlation. Aussie coppers generally only speak English, and insurance companies need to be sure you are licensed to drive at home.

All registered cars in Oz have 3rd party property insurance: We call it CTP (compulsory third party) or a Green Slip. These are around $500. This insures other people and their property if you bang into them. The problem backpackers have with full insurance is that they are either too young or don't have a permanent address for garaging the vehicle.

If I were you I would go to www.nrma.com.au or www.aami.com.au. These are Australias two biggest car insurers. Email them and get the facts.

Happy travels

10. Posted by missparty (First Time Poster 1 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Third party property is covering you for any damage caused to other peoples property where compulsary third party is only injury insurance.

AAMI insurance dont have a problem with insuring travellers, as long as you have a license (any license is fine) and they will refund you the unexpired portion of the policy less a $20 admin fee. They also cover drivers even when you dont note them some companies might charge you triple the excess like racq or charge a additional excess like nrma.

aami is 132244 and they are 24 hours a day. All my friends are with aami and so am i! we love them!