What You Need to Know About Driving in Fiji
Renting a car and hitting the road in Fiji is a great way to travel around the country. You’ll experience the ultimate freedom, get to see more of Fiji than the average tourist sees, and enjoy a wealth of experiences and activities along the way. While travelling Fiji by car is an awesome way to travel, it’s not so awesome when safety is a concern. All you need to do to keep you and your family or road trip buddies safe is to be aware of and stick to the Fiji road rules. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of safety tips for driving in Fiji.
1. Drive on the Left Side of the Road
Unlike most of the world, Fiji is a left drive system similar to the UK, Australia and New Zealand. This stems from its British colony history and remains probably the most obvious sign of British colonisation today (aside from union jack on the flag). Long story short, make sure to stick to the left side of the road. Don’t worry, you’ll quickly get used to this way of driving.
2. Know the Speed Limits
The maximum speed limit you will encounter is 80km/h (50mph) on the main highways outside of the cities. The speed limit is 50km/h (30mph) in cities, towns and villages. Finally, the speed limit may be 60km/h (40mph) when approaching a city.
3. Be Aware of the Road Hazards
There are a lot of animals and people on the roads in Fiji, especially at night, so always be aware of that. In villages, people hang out on the side of the road, usually walking on the side of the road due to the lack of footpaths. It’s not uncommon to see cattle, dogs, goats and even horses taking up the road too.
4. Be Prepared for Basic Roads
There are no huge American-style highways in Fiji. Most of the roads are two-lane sealed countryside roads. Potholes are common so keep an eye out.
5. Overtake Carefully
Many of the roads in Fiji and winding and only two lanes, so real care needs to be taken when overtaking. Even with the low 80km/h speed limit, many of the locals choose to drive slower, so sometimes it’s best to go with the flow and embrace “Fiji time“, rather than trying to overtake every vehicle you encounter.
6. Be Prepared for Driving on Unsealed Roads
Gravel roads, dirt roads, whatever you want to call them, they are daily staples of life on the road in Fiji. Aside from within cities and a few main roads, many of the roads in Fiji are unsealed. It’s best to drive slower on unsealed roads, as your tyres will not have as much grip on the gravel and the surface likely to be uneven. Plus, research whether you need a 4WD to go up certain roads. We usually mention on this website when 4WD is recommended.
7. Don’t Use Your Phone When Driving
For obvious reasons, such as being extremely distracting, it is illegal to use your phone while driving in Fiji. It’s especially dangerous when the roads are unfamiliar so leave the phone duties to your co-pilot.
8. Wear Your Seat-Belt
Fiji might seem like a relaxed country, but most people agree that it’s just plain dumb to be relaxed on safety. And don’t forget to buckle up the little ones in the back. Most Fiji rental car companies have baby seats to hire so use them.
9. Plan Extra Time
Due to the low speed limits, hazards on the road, some unsealed roads, the scenery and picture stops, and the fact that everyone else on the road is on Fiji time, you will want to plan yourself extra time for any trips you are taking. Always assume the drive will be longer than expected. But hey, taking your time and going with the flow is what a Fiji road trip is all about. Check out The Driving Times in Fiji You Need to Know.
10. Lock It or Lose It
Just like you would at home, lock your car when you leave it unattended. While theft is not common in Fiji, it is going to happen it will happen to the rental car signifying a rich tourist.