are kiwis good drivers

Are New Zealanders Good Drivers?

There is a slight debate as to whether New Zealanders are great drivers. Some kiwis label us as aggressive on the road, rude and terrible drivers. Others think kiwi’s passion for hitting the road and road trips means that in general New Zealanders are great drivers! As New Zealanders we do like to drive, our expansive landscape and pockets of great scenery calls for the classic kiwi road trip time and time again. As a population we also tend to commute to work and other activities though our own means. 

Online platform, Shopless looks into kiwi’s driving behavior and if kiwis really are good drivers…

What do the tests say?

Surprisingly there are some statistics that suggest who are the best and worst drivers in the world. However the data and testing range is limited. In a test involving testing individual drivers from different countries in a driving simulator. It was concluded that New Zealanders are the 3rd best drivers in the world.Therefore on a world scale based on a small pool of New Zealanders… we do rank as a country of great drivers!

For most other similar tests New Zealand was either not included or not ranked. However another driving analysis with various driving statistics suggested that New Zealand was the 15th best country to drive in. 

Who are the best drivers in NZ? 

Based on insurance data and claims, Tower has released data that analyzes the best and worst drivers in New Zealand. Indicating that the top 3 best drivers by area in New Zealand were in Greymouth, Hawkes Bay and Otago, and the worst drivers were in Canterbury and Auckland.  With the largest age range for insurance claims being 30 – 40 year olds. 

Overconfidence when Driving

Some articles suggest that kiwis are in fact bad drivers, primarily because they see themselves as great drivers. This unusual dichotomy plays true in behavioral indicators of New Zealand drivers. Some of the primary flaws of our country’s drivers are missing minor yet important factors such as stopping for the required amount of time at stop signs. Using indicators and most commonly speeding. More often than not kiwis believe it is fine to go 5-10km over the speed limit and commit to dangerous maneuvers to pass others adhering to the speed limit.

Despite a desire for speed being a commonality in many kiwi drivers, one Stuff article discussed how New Zealand drivers are happy to blame tourists for terrible maneuvers and poor driving.  

Driving to the conditions

As well as speed, the New Zealand police believe that one of the downfalls of New Zealand drivers that causes accidents is an inability to drive to the conditions. Particularly on busier weekends such as holiday weekends, there are more cars on the road and therefore sometimes drivers feel the need to make calls they would not otherwise make due to the pressure of more traffic. Such as overtaking, driving faster, disregarding signage or making poor judgment calls when pulling into traffic. 

Additionally, weather conditions also contribute to accidents and driver mistakes. Which is why NZ transport and NZ police promote driving to the conditions.  

In conclusion, New Zealanders were not rated the best drivers in the world. BUT in general we are not poor drivers… our collective downfall as drivers is over confidence, speeding and not driving to the conditions. On a world scale we are considered good drivers but not the best.

If you are searching for your next car for a classic kiwi road trip, or if you are looking to sell your car. Make sure to check out our range of vehicle listings at Shopless online marketplace – Find a car anywhere in NZ.