Car Rentals in Australia
So you are thinking about renting a car in Australia. Not a bad idea and probably one of the best ways to see the country at your own speed and leisure. However, there are a few things that you might want to keep in mind in deciding should you rent a car in Australia. First and foremost, in Australia, they drive on the left hand side of the street (as they do in England, Japan and some other countries). If you are not brave or adventurous, driving on the “wrong” side of the street is something that you might not want to spend your vacation practicing. If you do decide to rent a car, ask for one with automatic transmission. Another thing that you need to remember is that Australia is about the size of the United States. Sydney and Melbourne are both about 600 miles apart. However, there are areas of Australia, such as the outback, that without a car, are unreachable. Therefore, for such excursions, you almost have to rent a car – or a the very least a driver. Speaking of rural areas, narrow dirt or gravel roads are common and you may find yourself facing head on traffic coming around a blind curve, so be prepared for this eventuality. Just hope that it isn’t another American or European driving on the wrong side of the road!
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The speed limit is 50 km, about 30 mph in many residential areas, 60 km in other residential and commercial zones and 100 km, or 60 mph, (or as indicated) in open highways. As in the US, be sure to wear a seat belt.
Another thing to remember is not to drink and drive. It’s already dangerous enough driving on the left hand side of the street sober, let alone drunk. Besides, Australian police in all states frequently conduct "drink/drive" road blocks where you must stop if directed, and be breathalized. If you are over the limit, you will be charged.