Can I drive in New Zealand on my existing driver licence?
Before driving in New Zealand, you must have a valid driver licence. You can drive on your international driver licence for one year. After one year, you must obtain a New Zealand driver licence. You will have to pass a theory test on the New Zealand Roadcode, and a practical test. The LTSA has information on the process and costs, or you can find information and make bookings for testing at one of their authorised agents:
- The Automobile Association
- Vehicle Testing New Zealand
- Vehicle Inspection New Zealand
What are the road rules in New Zealand?
New Zealand's road rules are explained in a book called the Roadcode. You can get a copy of the Roadcode from:
- Dunedin Public Libraries
- Most booksellers
- Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA), free phone 0800 822 422.
What petrol is available in New Zealand and where do I get some?
Petrol (91, 96 and 98 octane), diesel and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) are available at petrol stations. The most common petrol is 91 octane, used in most modern vehicles. Check on the inside of your petrol tank cap for information on which your car takes.
Where can I buy a car?
Although there are car dealers dotted all over Dunedin, there are two stretches of road where car yards predominate. They are Andersons Bay Rd and Kaikorai Valley Rd.
The Land Transport Safety Authority offers advice on buying or selling a vehicle. Pre-purchase inspections are available at a cost from organisations such as the Automobile Association.
Do I have to insure my car?
Insurance is optional in New Zealand, but highly recommended. You can obtain options from car insurance from insurance brokers.
Are seatbelts compulsory here?
Everyone in a car must wear a safety belt, and babies and toddlers must be in child car seats. Plunket can help with information about the right car seat for your child, and operates a low-priced rental service.
What about cycling?
Dunedin has cycle lanes covering several routes. The Council publishes a map of cycling routes in and out of Dunedin, which can also be obtained from the DCC Customer Services Agencies.
Can I catch a bus?
Dunedin has an extensive bus service, with routes all over the city, and services to outer suburbs.
The city routes travel through the city centre and near the tertiary institutions, making them convenient for commuting to work and school. There is a reduced service on Sundays and public holidays.
All route, timetable and fare information is available from the Otago Regional Council's website.
Timetables are delivered to each household annually and are also available from the DCC’s Customer Services Centre or the Otago Regional Council’s office at 70 Stafford St. Alternatively, you can phone the GoBus centre on 03 474 0287 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday).
How do I catch a taxi?
Taxis operate all over Dunedin city. They can be ordered by phone or at taxi stands in urban areas.
Are there trains here?
There is no regular passenger train service in or out of Dunedin at present. Tourist trains operate from the historic Dunedin Railway Station on a regular basis.
Where can I find maps to get around?
You can find maps of Dunedin at most service stations or book stores. They can be purchased from the DCC's Customer Services Agency and the i-Site Dunedin Visitor Centre.
What about parking in Dunedin?
Parking officers patrol Dunedin's streets and off-street car parks from 8am - 6pm Monday to Thursday, 8am - 9pm Friday and 9am - 4pm Saturday. There are car parking buildings available on Filluel St, Great King Street, and two on Moray Place. These are operated by an independent contractor. For more information, visit Parking information.
What else do I need to have a car on the road?
Cars need to be registered once a year, and given a warrant of fitness (checking their roadworthiness) every six months. If you have a diesel-powered car, you will also need to buy a road user charges licence, which must be kept up to date at all times.
Are there breakdown services?
Breakdown services are available with membership of the Automobile Association or for members of some insurance companies.