Month: February 2012

driving in sydney

I had a remarkable experience while driving in Sydney. I think sharing these experiences here will benefit some people who are new in this.

Firstly, you don’t have to have a car to drive in Sydney. There are a lot of car rental available. The prices vary from $60 per day for a Suzuki Swift, $100 per day for a Toyota Tarago, and $150 per day for a Mitsubishi Pajero.  The requirements are your valid ID (i.e. passport), driving license (you can use international license with English translation), and your proof of address (i.e. electricity bills).

Some of the things that I discovered while driving in Sydney are:

Speed limit

Anyone who drives in Sydney must have notice about the various speed limit sign. It was annoying for the road user, but it is really important for their safety. I will discuss why speed limit is important in the next article. Generally, Sydney has 50 kilometres per hour speed limit. At school zones, the speed limit is 40 km/h. At the freeway, the speed limit can increase as high as 110 km/h. In addition, the road authorities installed heaps of speed cameras to capture the speeding driver.

Roundabout

Beside speed limit signs, Sydney has a lot of roundabouts. Again, driver might think that too many roundabouts are unnecessary, but research found that it can reduce road accidents significantly. At the roundabout, you must ‘give way’ to the driver who is in the roundabout, which is on the right-hand side of your car. Whenever you enter a roundabout, you must stop, and look at your right, if there is no other vehicle, then you can continue driving. Another common term in the roundabout is the ‘exit’. For example, in a four-legged intersection with a roundabout, if you want to turn left, it means that you are going to the first exit. Second exit means you are go straight. Third exit means that you are turn right, and so on. These terms are important if you are using GPS or google maps.

Parking

There are several types of parking in Sydney. Parking in the building at the CBD is extremely expensive. You need to spend $85 to park your car for more than 3 hours. Imagine, the cost of ten days parking is the same with the price of ipad! Alternatively, you can park your car on the street which has the P sign. In general, you may only park your car for a maximum two hours. The cost is $7 per hour. Here, what you need to do is park your car, find a parking machine, insert coins, get a ticket, then display your ticket on your car dashboard. However, these kinds of park spaces are limited, and it is very hard to find one at busy hours. Therefore, many people choose to use public transport to go to the CBD. They only use their car to shop in the suburb, which gives an easy and cheap way to park.

The tollway

Sydney has a cashless toll system. It means that you don’t have to stop at the toll gate to pay the toll. You can use e-tag, a small electronic device that you attach on your car, and it can give the signal on the toll gate to inform that your car is using the tollway. The bills of your tollway usage will automatically sent to your account. If you don’t have an e-tag, you can pay the toll online through ‘roam express’. What you should do is to register your car within 48 hours after you use the tollway.

The fuel

Unlike in Jakarta -where you can just go to a gas station, wait in your car, let the staff fill in your tank, pay for it, then go- in Sydney, you must do it by yourself. It’s not that difficult, you just insert the nozzle into your tank, then you go to the cashier and pay for it. The price of a fuel is around $1.5 per litre. You can go as further as 5 kilometres by $1.

Travelling with baby

If you are travelling with baby, you need to install a baby seat on your car. If you don’t have it, you may hire it from a baby shop. It costs you $45 for seven days. You also need a curtain on the window to protect your baby from the heat.