These days it is easier than ever to gain an Australian driving licence if you have a driving licence from your home country. For example, in NSW, the requirement to take and pass an actual driving test was phased out in 2002, as long as you had been driving in your own country for more than 3 years and your home land was one of the (many) recognised countries. At that time, you still had to pass a multiple-choice knowledge test, but this necessity was removed in 2005. Now, all you need to do is turn up at the motor registry with your old driving licence and proof of residency and pass an eye test.
However, every country has its own variations on the rules of the road, so if you intend to be a responsible and safe Australian driver, you should consider a brief introductory session at a local driving school. Here, the instructor can guide you through some of the following aspects of driving, which can vary so much from home.
Australia and New Zealand are probably unique in the strictness of their parking regulations. The rule that most often catches overseas drivers is the one that requires you to park facing the direction of travel–to park on the other side of a 2-way road you need to turn around first.
Some traffic lights will have signs letting you know if you can turn left on a red light after stopping to check for other traffic. This is highly practical, but not implemented in a lot of other countries.
Driving on the left
If you have been driving for many years on the right-hand side of the road, a driving instructor can take you through a few roundabouts and intersections and give you the confidence needed to break old habits.
Whether you come from a country like the UK, with the understanding that line markings are followed strictly and use of the indicator is required for any cross movement, or from a country like Italy, where traffic-hopping is more fluid, learning the local filtering etiquette will prevent beeping horns and aggravated locals.
Whereas the majority of European cars have manual gears, Australians favour automatics. The shift from manual to automatic is easier than vice versa, but, if unsure, an instructor can help you get a feel for hill-starts and braking.
Once you have the local knowledge under your belt, Australia is a country that lends itself to driving. Get out of the urban congestion and you’ll find that Australians tend to stick to the speed limit on freeways. The lack of stress caused by the consistent speed of the traffic lets you sit back and enjoy this beautiful country. For more information, contact a business such as Mitcham Driving School.