Tips on driving in Australia
Driving on the Left
Australians drive on the left side and drivers should use the left lane of any given highway unless overtaking. Three cities operate trams, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne of which the latter is by far the largest. In general Trams always have right of way.
In most States the maximum speed limit on freeways and major highways is 100kph and local urban limits range from 50 - 80 kph. All speed limits are clearly marked and all States operate sophisticated speed detection equipment including mobile and static speed cameras along with Red light cameras. Any fine incurred in Australia is the responsibility of the driver and should they be a foreign national the fine will be mailed to their home country address.
Safety Belts and Child Restraints
Wearing a seat belt in Australia is compulsory and you as well as any passengers are liable if a belt is not worn. Child restraints must be used where passengers are too small to make use of regular seat belts. Alpha Car Hire retains a number of baby seats and booster seaters that are available for a small fee.
All Australian states enforce strict drink drinking laws and the Police are entitled to stop drivers on a random basis for breathalyser tests. In most states the legal limit is 0.05, however in encouraging responsible driving abstinence is recommended.
Driving at Night
When driving at night particularly in the Outback care should be taken to lookout for wildlife that may stray onto the road. Animals are attracted by car lights. Collisions with animals such as the Red Kangaroo can cause substantial damage to your vehicle.
Parking of vehicles and disabled parking is controlled by the various State, Territory and local government authorities. In major cities, parking areas will often have pole signage advising of parking restrictions. During business hours some public parking areas are limited to a 1 or 2 hour parking zone. Please ensure you observe parking restrictions. Some cities also use parking meters, so be sure to check for and feed the meter if there is one. Regulations vary and motorists are advised to make themselves familiar with the requirements of a particular locality.
International visitors may drive in Australia on a valid overseas driver's licence that covers the same vehicle class. Whilst driving ensure that you carry your licence with you and if it is not in English carry a translation.
Petrol is sold in litres and comes in both unleaded and lead substitute forms. Prices will vary depending upon location and in the major cities you will see price fluctuations during any given week and national holidays. Please be aware which type of fuel your Alpha rental requires.
Owing to the size of Australia and distances travelled, driver fatigue has been the cause of 20% of all traffic accidents. Rest every 2 hours and give yourself a 15 minute break even when close to your destination.
Your Alpha Rental Vehicle
It is suggested that at the time of collecting your vehicle from a rental company that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle's safety equipment including the hazard lights, windshield wipers, spare tire, headlights, seatbelts and door locks. Check that the seating position is comfortable and that mirrors are positioned correctly. If you're not sure where everything is please ask your friendly Alpha Team Member before departing.