International Driving Permit

Jun 9th, 2015, 08:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 361
International Driving Permit

Will be driving in Australia and in New Zealand (South Island) for 4 these countries require
an international driving permit--we are from the US. What are the benefits of having one versus our California drivers license?? Thanks for any help you can give
bornintheusa is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,011
Not if your Drivers Licence is written in English.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 03:16 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 305
U.S. Licence is ok in Oz/NZ. However....

It's really REALLY important to keep in mind at all times that we drive on the left hand side of the road here.

There have been many sad instances of drivers from North America and Europe involved in fatal accidents after pulling on to roads in regional and country areas on the wrong side, or looking in the wrong direction.

Pedestrians also get cleaned up when walking out after looking in the wrong direction for oncoming traffic.
mareeS55 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 03:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 810
I'll add a word of caution here as well. We heard from our guides on a recent trip to the south island that the very limited traffic in many areas actually contributes to the number of accidents involving tourists. Because there is not a lot of oncoming traffic drivers unfamiliar with driving on the the left lack visual cues to remind them where they ought to be. They tend to migrate to the wrong side and don't realize it until they meet traffic head on coming round a curve.

Be careful, stay safe.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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None whatsoever.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 11:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 361
Thanks so much for the helpful advise...drove on the left in Ireland and that was a challenge....will be careful!!
bornintheusa is offline  
Jun 11th, 2015, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>>What are the benefits of having one versus our California drivers license<<

Even though it isn't an issue in (English speaking) OZ and NZ . . . no matter where you were traveling it would never EVER be 'versus'. The IDP is not a replacement for a drivers license. It it merely a translation so would be totally useless on its own.
janisj is online now  
Jun 12th, 2015, 03:53 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 305

Driving on the left for you is like driving on the right for us. we have done it over many years in North America and Europe, but it's exhausting keeping your wits and putting all the road rules in opposite mode, thus you have to cut your driving hours due to the energy needed for concentrating.

Roundabouts are the worst. they are clockwise in LHD countries and counter-clockwise in RHD countries, and what a nightmare when they have more than two lanes and peak-hour traffic!
mareeS55 is offline  
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