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Tips for Expats Driving in Brisbane

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Brisbane.
|-Tips for Expats Driving in Brisbane

1. Understanding the Driving Side

First and foremost, remember that Australians drive on the left side of the road. This might take some getting used to if you’re from a country where driving is on the right. The driver’s seat and controls are also on the right side of the car. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with this arrangement before hitting the road.

2. Car Recommendation

There’s no specific car recommendation for Brisbane. It largely depends on your personal preference and needs. However, considering the city’s climate, a car with good air conditioning is a must. Also, if you plan on exploring the outskirts or going on road trips, an SUV or a car with good mileage and off-road capabilities might be beneficial.

3. Parking in Brisbane

Finding parking in Brisbane can be challenging, especially in the city center during peak hours. However, there are numerous parking facilities available. It’s advisable to use parking apps or websites to find available spots. Parking can be expensive, particularly in the CBD, so it’s worth considering public transport for commuting.

4. Driving with an International License

Yes, a foreigner can drive in Brisbane using an international license. However, this is only valid for three months from the date you arrive in Australia. After this period, you will need to get a Queensland driver’s license.

5. Getting a Queensland Driver’s License

To get a Queensland driver’s license, you will need to pass a written road rules test and a practical driving test. You can book these tests online or by phone. Before taking the tests, it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the Queensland road rules, which are available online. If you hold a license from certain countries, you might be exempt from the tests.

6. Speed Limits and Traffic Rules

Speed limits are strictly enforced in Brisbane, and there are numerous speed cameras around the city. The standard speed limit in residential areas is 50 km/h unless otherwise indicated. On highways, it can go up to 110 km/h. Also, remember that it’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in Australia unless it’s hands-free.

7. Be Aware of the Wildlife

Australia is known for its unique wildlife, and this includes Brisbane. Be cautious when driving in rural areas, especially at dawn and dusk, as animals might cross the road. Hitting an animal can cause serious damage to your car and harm the animal.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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