This article is written by Alanna Tomazin

 When making the decision to move overseas to study, you will find yourself making lots of plans and decisions. It can get hectic organizing your things and ensuring you have all that you need while studying abroad. One of these things is knowing what to expect when it comes to driving a motor vehicle in a different country other than your own. To make it easier, we’ve come up with a few handy tips that could help you out when it comes driving while living and studying here in Australia.

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Getting your International Drivers Licence

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is proof that you hold a valid drivers license in your home country. Most countries require you to have one so you can legally drive a car or ride a motorbike, it also comes in handy if you need to rent a car.

In Australia, driving regulations differ from state to state because some states require that you carry an international license along with your current license from your home country. Other states request you carry your current foreign license together with an English translation of your license.

Tip: Here you can check the state you’re living in Australia – for example, NSW, and find out which laws relate to having an overseas license in that location.

Drivers in Australia require a valid driver’s license. You can drive with a foreign (English language) license for three months. But if you are here for longer than that, you need to get a license from an Australian state.

Tip2: If your license is not in English, you’ll need to get an International Driving Permit from the Automobile Association in your home country before coming to Australia.


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Finding yourself a cheap car

 While living here in Australia it can be a bit hard to get around with no car, especially if you’re wanting to head out on your own for an adventure or simply drive to the shops. Rather than catching public transport, a car might be the easier option for you – depending on your budget of course.

There are heaps of ways to find a cheap car, including online sites such as Car Sales where you’ll find new cars and used cars and prices ranging from $2000 to $30 000 and are posted regularly. Everyday people and car yards post cars on this site to be sold, so even if you don’t find something that catches your eye immediately, just keep refreshing.

Thanks to the evolution of social media, Facebook is another great way to connect and find yourself a cheap car on buy, swap and sell sites. Wherever you are living, be sure to join the available groups in your location. People are always posting their vehicles that they’re wanting to sell. You could even post that you’re looking for a cheap car to run around in – you’ll be surprised by the power of social media.

Tip: Social media like many things in life, can be a risky business so be sure to take someone with you if you plan on going to look at a car. Never go by yourself.

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Tips for driving on Australian roads

  • Australia is a large and beautiful country and usually, it takes long distances to get between different towns especially away from the city. It is important when driving long distances to Stop Revive Survive every 2 hours.
  • Here in Australia we drive on the left-hand side of the road and use the metric system of distances and speeds. Speed limits are clearly sign-posted and you will find that 50km/h is the speed limit that applies in suburban areas. School zones are also something to watch out for between the hours of 8-9:30am and 2:30-4pm where 40km/h is the limit. If you succeed the speed limit you will find yourself in trouble with the law as speeding is an offense.
  • Australian cars are right-hand drive, with automatic and manual transmission both available.
  • While travelling away from the city you will see signs of Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, possums, and wombats. It is important, especially at night to keep your eyes peeled for these furry friends out on the roads. Here in Australia, we share our home with these animals too. Hitting a kangaroo can cause some serious damage not only to them but to your safety and car too. So always drive carefully!

Tip: For more tips on driving while here in Australia head to TripAdvisor.

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