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-   -   Converting UK driving license to NZ (https://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/converting-uk-driving-license-nz-929257/)

BEVS Nov 15th 2019 7:33 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by Stonesy93 (Post 12764125)
I have been driving over here on my UK license as I have up until a year before I have to swap it over. I was just wondering if they ever contact the DVLA to check if a UK driver has points on their license or something like that?


Originally Posted by Stonesy93 (Post 12764173)
What are you talking about mate, sorry I'm confused? My license is clean.

I think the confusion was because you mentioned points on a license.

If the license is clean then nothing to worry about. You hand it in. They will do the checks. You do the theory test ( from memory) + eyesight. You get your NZ license.


Originally Posted by NZTA and AA
You need to make your application at a specialist overseas conversion site first, and sit your theory test. Your application will then be sent to the NZ Transport Agency for your overseas driver licence to be assessed. We’ll check to make sure your driver licence is authentic and hasn’t been tampered with in any way.

There has been a general tightening up nationwide as NZ does have a downer on overseas drivers, many of whom are used to driving on the opposite side of the road to NZ and the UK. They are also not aware of the driving standards here and the need to be very aware and adopt defensive driving skills.

You'll be fine mate. My UK license was ancient - bit like me - I had no issues and neither did him indoors.


Stonesy93 Nov 15th 2019 9:22 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 
Awesome, cheers mate. Thanks for the assistance!

jarv5116 Nov 16th 2019 7:14 am

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 
Na bevs you don’t need todo a theory test for a car.
Just the eye test.
My wife just swapped her car licence over at the AA and just done an eye test.
I had todo a medical and a theory test for my class 5 to transfer over.

I also agree the roads are dangerous out here.

grant r Nov 16th 2019 3:23 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by jarv5116 (Post 12764586)

I also agree the roads are dangerous out here.

I'm curious πŸ€” in what way are they dangerous? I'm coming over in march for a holiday/recce and I'm wondering what I'm letting myself in for lol

Justcol Nov 16th 2019 7:09 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 
Kiwis are pretty poor drivers in general. For years the driving test was two minutes round the block with a copper sat next to you. Only recently had the minimum driving age been raised from 15, and in some areas it wasn't uncommon to see a kid in school uniform leaving school in a badly maintained V8 or massive Ute. Add a huge influx of overseas driver's into the mix and it can get "interesting". Kiwis always blame foreigners for all the bad stuff, but it's mostly the homegrown drivers that cause the most issues. Driving to slow, then speeding up at the passing lanes is a kiwi favorite, or charging up behind you at silly speeds on the motorway, desperate to overtake, then when they do, swinging straight across all three lanes to just make it onto an off ramp.Another is the wandering Asian who can't seem to decide what lane to be in so will drive with a wheel in each at 20kmh under the limit. Kiwis love to tailgate. They will quite happily sit two feet off your back bumper, even on an empty road, regardless of the speed you are doing. Slow down to let them pass and they will then get irate that you are holding them up even though there might be two empty lanes for them to use to pass you. On the twisty country roads around me, Asians also have a habit of slowing to around 20 or 30 kmh (in a 100 zone) as they are not very confident drivers. The occasional one will forget we drive on the left, but I've only seen that a couple of times. In general things are usually incident free and I'd still prefer to drive here than in a big UK city

grant r Nov 16th 2019 7:13 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by Justcol (Post 12764782)
Kiwis are pretty poor drivers in general. For years the driving test was two minutes round the block with a copper sat next to you. Only recently had the minimum driving age been raised from 15, and in some areas it wasn't uncommon to see a kid in school uniform leaving school in a badly maintained V8 or massive Ute. Add a huge influx of overseas driver's into the mix and it can get "interesting". Kiwis always blame foreigners for all the bad stuff, but it's mostly the homegrown drivers that cause the most issues. Driving to slow, then speeding up at the passing lanes is a kiwi favorite, or charging up behind you at silly speeds on the motorway, desperate to overtake, then when they do, swinging straight across all three lanes to just make it onto an off ramp.Another is the wandering Asian who can't seem to decide what lane to be in so will drive with a wheel in each at 20kmh under the limit. Kiwis love to tailgate. They will quite happily sit two feet off your back bumper, even on an empty road, regardless of the speed you are doing. Slow down to let them pass and they will then get irate that you are holding them up even though there might be two empty lanes for them to use to pass you. On the twisty country roads around me, Asians also have a habit of slowing to around 20 or 30 kmh (in a 100 zone) as they are not very confident drivers. The occasional one will forget we drive on the left, but I've only seen that a couple of times. In general things are usually incident free and I'd still prefer to drive here than in a big UK city

To be honest it doesn't sound much different than the UK after the influx of our European friends πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

escapedtonz Nov 16th 2019 7:17 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by grant r (Post 12764710)
I'm curious πŸ€” in what way are they dangerous? I'm coming over in march for a holiday/recce and I'm wondering what I'm letting myself in for lol

They aren't dangerous. They are just different. State Highways are mostly single carriageway with the odd passing lane and can be a mixture of awesome open roads through open countryside or native bush to 25kph hairpin winding roads where you struggle to get any speed up before brake brake brake although there'll always be some local passing you at double the speed in a shitbox Mitsi legacy, on the opposite side of the road crossing the yellow line with 4 kids in the car and none of them in any child restraint :blink:.
What makes driving dangerous here is the incompetent drivers on the roads. Absolutely no driving skills whatsoever. Don't seem to take a blind bit of notice of any speed limits or road markings. They cut corners, regularly use the wrong side of the road as they haven't learned the art of turning the steering wheel.
I'm ranting a bit now :p seems years of driving 220km return commute has that effect.

BEVS Nov 16th 2019 7:23 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by jarv5116 (Post 12764586)
Na bevs you don’t need todo a theory test for a car.
Just the eye test.



How odd. We had to do the theory test and so have folks we know here. MrBEVS is dyslexic so we had to arrange an independent reader . Mind you that was 15 years ago now .
Yes. I can see from the AA website now the UK folks should be exempt.
Thanks for the correction jarv.


Originally Posted by AA

Approved countries

Drivers who have held a full drivers licence for two years or more from these countries can convert their driver licence to a New Zealand licence without taking a theory or practical test: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong*, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, United States of America.If your licence was issued in one of these countries, complete the application form and take it along with the required ID to your nearest authorised Overseas conversion driver licensing agent.

*Hong Kong is recognised as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.


escapedtonz Nov 16th 2019 7:24 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 
Converting the UK license is easy.
I used the local AA office.
Turn up with UK license, complete the application form, get in the queue, hand over the application form, UK license and payment (around $60 per person I think) at the counter, take a simple eye test at the counter, they'll then give you a temporary slip with your driving classes on (make sure they've transferred them across correctly - they missed out my motorcycle entitlement and had to do it all again when I questioned it) and that's it. They'll give you your UK license back, the temporary license slip and a receipt. NZ license takes around 2 weeks to arrive in the post.
Your UK license will naturally expire and if you're still in NZ when that happens you cannot renew as you have to be resident in the UK to maintain it.

A4Ron Nov 25th 2019 10:18 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 
UK is a better safer place to drive, with a modern up-to-date road network. But New Zealand has other benefits.

The problem with the roads here is the road infrastructure is the same as the UK was in the 1950s, but now with increasing traffic volumes... As mentioned above, the vast majority of NZ's motorways/'state highways' are single-carriageway with the odd passing lane every few kms - but without central barriers to separate oncoming traffic! Central barriers and proper tarmac are considered luxuries here by NZTA - very much a 'nice to have'. And when the NZTA do bother to pull their finger out with a central barrier they install wire barriers (which are banned in Europe) and can prove fatal in crashes with bikers - they call them cheese-graters. A poor fellow in Christchurch last Christmas got decapitated by the wire barrier on the Southern Motorway in his BMW Z3 convertible. If i was his family I would've taken NZTA to court.

Vast majority of road surfaces here are chip-seal, which was orginally designed for extremely low traffic volumes many years ago. The downsides are that it wears out quicker than proper asphalt/tarmac, breaks up in heavy rain with heavy vehicle use on it and offers less grip than tarmac too. The only upside is that it's cheaper, which is why NZTA persist with it... Long-term, tarmac would be a cheaper and better solution on the main roads and motorways. However, when it comes to updating the road infrastructure to modern levels, the government & NZTA do a cost-benefit analysis and conclude the costs too expensive compared to saving people's lives and reducing the road toll.

Charismatic Nov 25th 2019 10:58 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 
​​​​​​New Zealand:
Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year: 7.8
Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles: 10

United Kingdom:
Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year: 3.1
Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles: 5.7

You could argue New Zealands roads are more varied but equally the UK typically has more inclement weather and more traffic due to its population density.

​​​​​​In my view it comes down to driver training and testing issue. It's insufficient to tell people to do their best, they need to know what to do and then to do their best. If New Zealand had a motto it'd be "She'll be right" but, unfortunately, driving standards is one of those areas where indifference to quality results in a very high error rate. Sometimes those errors cause deaths.

Clappy Nov 26th 2019 4:09 am

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by grant r (Post 12764710)
I'm curious ν Ύν΄” in what way are they dangerous? I'm coming over in march for a holiday/recce and I'm wondering what I'm letting myself in for lol

The roads are OK. It is the people that are a liability. That extends to more subjects than just driving.

grant r Nov 26th 2019 8:38 am

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by Clappy (Post 12769682)
The roads are OK. It is the people that are a liability. That extends to more subjects than just driving.

Sounds just like the UK! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

A4Ron Nov 26th 2019 7:41 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 
They definitely need to improve driver education and make the driving test harder. But they also need to get the roads up to a modern OECD standard. The vast majority of the road death stats are head-on collisions on the 'state highway' network and poor road design at rural intersections. A proper motorway network and increased driving standards would significantly reduce the road toll.

I drove all over the UK last year for three weeks and it was delightful in comparison and much less stressful, even including some traffic.

BEVS Nov 26th 2019 7:47 pm

Re: Converting UK driving license to NZ
 

Originally Posted by grant r (Post 12769768)
Sounds just like the UK!

It really isn't. :unsure:

Just adopt defensive driving strategies. Remember that insurance is not compulsory here. That most are not taught how to drive. That the road signage means nothin' . Then you'll be right.





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