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Learning to drive in NZ

Learning to drive in NZ

Old Sep 7th 2018, 11:56 am
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Default Learning to drive in NZ

Hi all

A quick question. I live in London and have never learned to drive (aged almost 40, whoops). I realise I will need to in NZ.

We're trying to sell our flat, once that happens we'll probably stay here in a short term rental for another 6 months before moving to Wellington. I really don't fancy learning to drive in London so was planning to wait until I get over to NZ. That way I'm learning the right road rules too.

Do you think that's the best way or should I learn to drive before we move over? It seems like it might be a longer process to learn in NZ but I don't know much about it or how much it costs. We will rent somewhere fairly central in Wellington for the first year before we buy somewhere that's probably a bit more remote and rural. So I'd have a year before really needing a car to get around. That's the plan at least!

Thanks
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Old Sep 8th 2018, 8:17 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Hi,

Hard one to call really but I'm leaning more towards you just doing it here and I'll explain why......
You can drive on your UK license here for a maximum of 12 months and prior to the anniversary of your entry you should have trotted along to a driving license outlet like VTNZ or an AA office and applied for your NZ license which is basically pay the fee, take a short eye test and they give you the equivalent NZ license. No need for any theory test or practical test......
BUT, you will not qualify because you have to have held the exempt country overseas license for a minimum 2 year period before it becomes that simple so you would have to do it all again here regardless. Doing it once is pain enough, doing it twice may finish you off ;-)
The NZ process:-
Read this and use the links
https://nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences...cle-type/cars/
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Old Sep 8th 2018, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

No point learning in UK, it will just high light how bad the actual driving over here is. My daughter has just recently passed over here, she would not of passed in the UK.
so before you can learn you have to sit your theory test and pass. Easy as there are lots of practice tests on line. Once passed you get your learners licence which allows you to learn. Learn in automatically, there is no need for separate test for manual, once you passed full test you can drive either. So on learners when you are ready you go for Restricted test, bit of heads up if you have a gap between cars that the driving instructor can count to 5 in it's an instant fail, and do not put hand brake on when sit in neutral at light's also a no no over here, No emergency stop either, bloody ridiculous if you ask me but them the rules according to instructor and the guy that tested daughter. Any way one you have your restrictions you can drive yourself, a person who has held a full licence for more than 2 years and immediately dependant family members, not brothers or sister. After 6 months you can then go for full licence. Not many Kiwis I know bother doing the full licence, one has been on restricted for over 10 years, but I believe the police may well be cracking down on this. Rules of the road are very similar to UK, if not identical.
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Old Sep 8th 2018, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Husband was in the back of the car for daughter s restricted and recorded comments at end, this is where tester said about count to 5, this was at a roundabout, told her it would come with practice and she just needs to remember to keep traffic moving, parallel park was to far out but hey everyone hates doing parallel park and many just avoid it and she may never do it, then on moving from right hand lane to left, indication was good but needed to look for other cars before moving across.
Daughter told me her friends tester, she passed first time also, said that she needed to check mirrors every time she saw a silver car?, you can't make this stuff up.
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Old Sep 9th 2018, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Do it in NZ, it has to be one of the easiest places on earth to get a licence
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Old Sep 10th 2018, 9:06 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Learn here

You'll easily pass.

However, there is one tough part which is answering the "what radio station is the car in front of you listening to"??? It can be daunting when you first try.

Once you've mastered it, it's very easy to do. The locals here are excellent at it.
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Old Sep 10th 2018, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Thanks for all your responses, very helpful!
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Old Sep 12th 2018, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
However, there is one tough part which is answering the "what radio station is the car in front of you listening to"??? It can be daunting when you first try.
I had some fun with this on my way to work today, I got the sense the guy behind me was trying to do just that so I slowed right down so he could get a proper look. He took a fair bit of umbrage and decided to undertake me by entering the T2 lane and so off he went with foot to floor and his engine screaming. Shame he was so distracted by my radio station he didn't spot the rubbish truck parked at the end of the Transit lane with its hazards on. Oh how I laughed at his angry little face, as I passed him trying to get back into my lane. Made my bloody day!!

Last edited by Bo-Jangles; Sep 12th 2018 at 9:50 am.
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Old Sep 12th 2018, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

It’s not so much a test of driving in New Zealand as a test using the safety scissors to cut it out the back of the cereal box. If you can wait six months just do it here. If you do need a vehicle I think you can ride a small motorcycle or scooter on a learners motorcycle licence which is sort of a half day course and a few multi-choice questions.
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Old Sep 13th 2018, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Funny story yesterday from a couple of Kiwi colleagues.....
There's been several serious accidents in the BOP this past week with 4 deaths and a couple of seriously injured. I kind of joked to a Kiwi colleague that driving from the farm house to the gate as a 15 year old seemed enough to get you a driving license in NZ ;-)
He told me a story about how his father got his driving license back in the mid to late 1940's as a 15 year old. He lived on a huge dairy farm in the Waikato and turned up at the local police station on his farm motorbike. He trotted in to the station and handed over his driving license application. A police officer took him outside and seeing the farm bike asked him how he'd got to the police station ? "I've come on the farm bike"....ok says the police officer. No need for a practical test then! Let's do a bit of a theory test. You see over there on the approach to the bridge...there's two white lines together...what does that mean ? (in the day they were the equivalent of double yellows - i.e. you don't cross them at anytime). He said...."looks like someone wasted a lot of paint to me". Office gave him his license.....and that was full license for car, motorbike and any farm machinery that could go on a road. He's in his 90's now and still driving.
The other colleague - it was more who you know and not what you know. Test examiner knew his dad so literally took him round the block for his practical test - 4 left turns, back in to the test centre and he had a driving license :-)
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Old Sep 17th 2018, 2:09 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Just remember, however small the gap in traffic you have to pull into (apparently) its big enough!

You could try downloading the series "Canada's Worst Driver" - that should give you some prep for what you might find here. And put dash cam's on your Christmas list. Front. And. Rear :-)
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Old Sep 17th 2018, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Originally Posted by MrsFychan View Post
Daughter told me her friends tester, she passed first time also, said that she needed to check mirrors every time she saw a silver car?, you can't make this stuff up.
I think that was probably just a fun way to get the pupil to check their mirrors regularly and often...
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Old Sep 18th 2018, 9:14 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
However, there is one tough part which is answering the "what radio station is the car in front of you listening to"??? It can be daunting when you first try.

Once you've mastered it, it's very easy to do. The locals here are excellent at it.
This topic crops up from time to time, I think it is the case that the British expats do not understand the Kiwi mindset.

Those that have lived in the country some time will know that the Kiwis like to be canny with their money. So the reason for driving so close behind is because they will save money using less petrol by driving in your slipstream.

Last edited by Clappy; Sep 18th 2018 at 9:28 am. Reason: Typo
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Old Sep 18th 2018, 10:16 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Originally Posted by Clappy View Post
This topic crops up from time to time, I think it is the case that the British expats do not understand the Kiwi mindset.

Those that have lived in the country some time will know that the Kiwis like to be canny with their money. So the reason for driving so close behind is because they will save money using less petrol by driving in your slipstream.
I thought it was something to do with saving power on headlights, it often appears that four cars in close convoy only need one set of headlights between them. LOL
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Old Sep 19th 2018, 4:22 am
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Default Re: Learning to drive in NZ

Mrs Buzzy did her test in NZ at aged 15, during the late 1980s. She was then awarded a licence which allowed her to drive any car in pretty much any country.

At the stage of being awarded her licence, she had -
- never driven round a roundabout
- never driven where there were any traffic lights
- never driven on a road with more than one lane each way
- never overtaken anything
- never changed gear
- never parked

...and you know what... she's actually a really good driver!
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