Sydney needs barely any introduction. It is one of the hippest and most popular cities in the world that walks the very razor edge of technology, serves as a gleaming melting pot of cultures and boasts a thriving cityscape. The city itself is just as exciting as any natural landmark in the world, and it has some of the most dazzling travel experiences to offer, especially if you decided to “conquer” the city on a four-wheeler. If you are visiting Sydney by car, here are a few things you need to know.
Speed limit and other basics
In the very heart of Sydney, which is mostly regarded as its urban area, the speed limit is 50 km/h. Even though they use the metric system like Europeans, Australians drive on the left side of the road, just like the British.
As you drive through the dense streets and heavily populated areas, 50 km/h is a perfect top-speed if you want to both get somewhere reasonably fast and take a good look at the endless rows of clubs, restaurants and galleries along the way. If something really catches your eye, why not find the nearest parking space and check it out? The speed limit on the surrounding freeways is 100 km /h.
About the licenses
If you come from an English-speaking part of the world, you don’t need a special lease or permit – you can use your own driver’s license for three months. If you don’t come from an English-speaking country, first you’ll have to acquire an International Driving Permit from your own country. If you come to Sydney expecting that you’ll be able to deal with this bureaucratic matter there, you’ll end up darting around the city on foot or on a rented bike.
Rent-a-car is a safe option
If you are coming to Sydney from a very distant part of the world, chances are you’ll have to cross the ocean – and this usually means you won’t be able to take your own vehicle along. However, you don’t have to sweat about it. Rent-a-car agencies in Sydney are renowned for their reliability and customer service.
Furthermore, all other car-related services in the city are easy to reach and the personnel is very considerate and pleasant. If you ever end up locked out of your car, you can always call a local 24-hour car key locksmith who will happily get you out of the dire straits as soon as possible. After all, we all tend to lose car keys from time to time.
Wearing seatbelts is non-negotiable
When you are in the car, make sure that everybody puts on a seatbelt – Australian authorities are really strict about this. Even if you are still a minor older than 16, you will be fined for not wearing a belt just like if you were an adult. Children younger than 7 need to be restrained with the state-approved safety harness.
Just like any other big city, Sydney has its own strict system of parking zones that needs to be adhered to. When you find a parking spot, feed the parking meter with enough money just in case. A ticket is 7 Australian dollars per hour during business hours and 3 Australian dollars off-business. You will mostly use change. Also, it goes without saying that the regulations on drinking and driving are very strict, so absolutely avoid drinking. Since the limit is 50 mg per 10 ml of blood, maybe you can sneak a small light beer or two into your stomach along with a hefty meal, but watch not to go overboard.
The legendary “Harbour City” of New South Wales has something intriguing to offer around every corner. The intricate cobweb of asphalt and hotspots makes it a perfect playground for the excited visitors who have decided to get around via car. In your trusty vehicle, you will definitely get a chance to cover more ground and savor the city in all of its dazzling complexity and beauty.