Apex Car Rentals is committed to ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable driving holiday in Australia. Please take the time to read through the road rules and information provided below to ensure you’re ready for the road ahead.
If you are arriving on a long-haul flight, consider staying overnight in that destination. That will ensure you are fresh and ready for the drive ahead.
It’s easy to underestimate driving times in Australia. It’s a very big country and you should check the expected drive time before hitting the road. Take plenty of breaks along the way and give yourself additional travel time to rest, eat, and stretch your legs. Plan to drive for only 1 - 2 hours at a time to break up your journey.
Always drive on the left side of the road. If you drive on the right side of the road in your own country, please remember to keep left when pulling out onto the road – sometimes it’s easy to forget where you are!
In general, if you’re turning, give way to all vehicles that are not turning. Always use your indicator when turning.
Drivers must not use a hand-held mobile phone when driving, unless the device is completely hands-free or mounted securely to the vehicle – and touched infrequently and briefly. Writing, reading or sending text messages on a mobile phone while driving is also illegal.
Many intersections are controlled by a central roundabout. Roundabouts manage traffic flows on either single lane or multiple lane roads. The roundabout sign means Slow Down, prepare to Give Way and if necessary stop to avoid a collision. As you're approaching a roundabout, you must get into the correct lane, indicate if turning, and give way to traffic already on the roundabout. Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic.
It’s easy to underestimate travelling times in Australia. Distances may seem shorter on paper, but Australia is a vast country and you need to prepare carefully.
When you’re tired you’re much more likely to have a crash. Here are some tips to help you stay alert.
Front seat passengers can help the driver by operating the GPS for them and should always be aware that they should be on the left hand edge of the road, not the middle.
Cyclists have the same rights as drivers on Australia roads. Always slow down near cyclists, pass slowly and only when safe, and try to leave a space of 1.5 metres. Indicate in plenty of time and respect cycle lanes.
Don’t drink or use drugs and then drive – the laws against this are strictly enforced in Australia and penalties are severe. In Australia, you are not permitted to drive a car if your blood alcohol level is 0.05 per cent or higher. If you hold a probationary or provisional driver’s licence, your blood alcohol level must be zero at all times. Driving after taking drugs that affect your ability to drive is illegal and penalties are severe.
Speed limit signs show the maximum speed you can travel. At times you may need to drive at a slower speed due to road, weather or traffic conditions. Speed limits are strictly enforced in Australia and you must not drive above the speed limit at any time. You should be especially careful in residential areas and in school zones.
50km/h Speed Limit Sign
In urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50km/h unless a sign says otherwise.
100km/h Speed Limit Sign
On most of Australia's main rural roads, the speed limit is 100km/h unless a sign says a lower speed applies. The speed limit is generally 100km/h on motorways.
By law, everyone in the vehicle must wear a safety belt or child restraint – whether they’re in the front or back. Children under seven years of age must be secured in an approved child restraint appropriate for the child’s size and weight. Children aged seven must be secured in a child restraint if such a restraint is available.
You must have a current and valid full driver licence to rent a car from Apex Australia. If you have an International Driving Permit you must also carry your current and valid driver licence. If your overseas driver licence is not in English, you must also carry an accurate English translation or International Licence issued by one of the following:
IMPORTANT NOTE: An International Driving Permit (issued in accordance with a United Nations Convention on Road Traffic) is acceptable only as a translation.
Overtaking manoeuvres can be dangerous and you should be made with extreme care. If you're not sure it's safe to overtake then wait until you have clear visibility ahead and enough clear road to complete the manoeuvre.
When overtaking you must:
You must not overtake:
When being overtaken you must:
Watch out for farm animals on the road, particularly in rural areas. When you see them, slow down and do not sound your horn – it may startle them. You may need to stop and let the animals go past or move slowly behind and follow the farmer’s instructions. Also be alert for wildlife on the road, such as kangaroos, emus, wombats and koalas. You should always be travelling at a safe speed, so when required you can further reduce your speed.
Avoid unsealed roads if possible. If you need to drive on them, remember they can be very narrow. Reduce your speed and slow down even further when approaching oncoming traffic as dust could obscure your vision and loose stones could chip your windscreen.
When you see a stop sign at a crossing, stop and only cross the track if there are no trains approaching. When you see a give way sign, slow down and be ready to stop and only cross the track if there are no trains approaching.
Do not leave your vehicle if it breaks down, as it will provide you with shade and protection from weather conditions. Wait for help to come to you.