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Amy's Travel Advice

Driving in Australia

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 9 September 2016 | Views [354]

When you’re a United States citizen traveling, working or living abroad, it’s important that you’re able to get around safely. Though countries like Australia and the United Kingdom far better utilize public transportation than most areas of the US, you still may feel more comfortable driving a car while you’re overseas. Perhaps you need it for work, or maybe you’re just on vacation and want to get around as quickly, easily and stress free as possible. While driving in another country isn’t the worst thing in the world, there are some things to consider. So if you’re headed to Australia and plan on driving while there, what can you do to prepare?


Have Your Documents Ready


Valid, Full Driving License: You’ll need your full – not provisional – driver’s license for the United States.


International Driving Permit: Because many countries do not recognize a US driver’s license, depending on where you’re headed, you may want to get aninternational driving permit. In Australia, driving regulations differ from state to state. In New South Wales, if you will be there for more than 3 months, you can be issued with aTemporary Overseas Visitor Licence. Less time than that means you are fine to use your current overseas license.


Original Vehicle’s Registration Document


Passport: Always have your passport on you when driving in another country. You may also be required to have a visa.


Motor Insurance Certificate: Check with your auto insurance company before you head off – they may cover you. If you’re only in Australia for a short time and renting a car, you can most likely get insurance through the rental car company.


Travel Insurance Documents


Remember to Stay Left!


This is the most obvious difference, and the most easily forgotten to driving in Australia versus the United States. The only way to break the habit of driving on the right-hand side of the road is to stay completely attentive the whole time you’re driving. Go slowly. Even when you’re walking, remember tolook to the right, then left, then right again when crossing the street.


Keep the Road Conditions in Mind


In Australia, there are a wide variety of road conditions you may see. Depending on where you’re traveling, you may see perfectly paved roads or unsealed and gravel roads. In addition to road conditions themselves, it’s also important to keep in mind weather conditions. Check weather conditions before you go so that you can avoid any flooded roads that may be in the area.


Watch out for Wildlife


Kangaroos, emus, wombats, and koalas aren’t completely out of the question here. You might see large groups of livestock grazing along the roads as well. Check your speed and drive carefully no matter where you are.


Learn the Rules of the Road


Always wear your seatbelt – it’s against the law not to. Know when you can overtake another vehicle. When the center marking is a double line, you’re not allowed to overtake another vehicle; if it’s a single line, you can cross the line to pass.


According to Henry Carus & Associates, commonly seen personal injury claims can be due to motor vehicle crashes. Stay aware of your surroundings at all time when driving in Australia – especially if it’s something you’re not familiar with. Remember these things to consider, drive with caution, and enjoy you’re time abroad!


Tags: insurance, insurance, road, tac, travel, wildlife

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