What You Need to Know About Driving in Fiji
While it might seem like island-hopping is the way to go in Fiji, there’s actually a lot to discover on land! Arguably, the best way to explore Fiji’s larger islands and reach its hidden gems is by making use of one of the many Fiji car rental companies and hitting the road. However, before you put the keys in the ignition, we suggest you take a look at this guide on how to drive in Fiji so you know what to expect and stay safe on Fiji’s roads.
Safety Tips for Driving in Fiji
Is Fiji a safe country to drive in? Mostly yes, but you do need to approach driving with some caution and follow the rules of the road in Fiji. Some tips include:
- Drive on the left side of the road
- Know the speed limits – 50km/h in urban areas and 80km/h on the open road
- Be aware of road hazards like animals, people, speed bumps and potholes
- Be prepared for basic and some unsealed roads
- Be careful when overtaking
- Don’t use your phone while driving
- Where a seatbelt, even if it’s only legal for only the front passenger and driver
- Plan extra time due to the low speed limits and hazards
- Lock your car and hide your valuables.
For more details on each safety tip, take a look at the 14 Safety Tips for Driving in Fiji.
Can You Drive on an Overseas License?
Yes, it is legal to drive in Fiji if you have a full valid overseas license that is written in English. For licenses not in English, it’s best to have an International Driving Permit to accompany your license.
Some car rental companies only accept drivers over 21, 23 or 25 years old who have at least two or three years of driving experience.
See Can You Drive in Fiji with Your Overseas License? for more information on the subject.
Car Rental in Fiji
There is an extensive number of car rental companies on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, while less than 10 companies can be found on Vanua Levu and only one car rental company exists in Taveuni.
Car rentals in Fiji tend to be of good quality, with a wide range of budget, premium and 4WD vehicles available. Expect all of the usual car rental paperwork to be done prior to renting your car, including paying a bond and having the option for additional insurance to reduce your basic car rental insurance’s excess.
A significant proportion of Fiji’s roads are sealed, so any type of vehicle is usually suitable for these roads. However, most of Fiji’s inland roads are gravel or dirt roads, so be sure to hire a 4WD or high-clearance car if you intend to go off the main roads. Note that some car rental agreements in Fiji do not allow renters to take vehicles off sealed roads.
For more car rental advice, take a look at The Guide to Renting a Car in Fiji.
Fuel Stations in Fiji
Fuel stations are most abundant in Fiji’s main towns, becoming sparser as you travel between villages. There are plenty of fuel stations around the Queens and Kings Roads in order to make it all the way around Vit Levu. If heading into the interior of Viti Levu or Vanua Levu, we recommend heading out with a full tank of fuel.
Petrol in Fiji costs around FJ$2.19 a litre, while diesel is around FJ$1.87 (2020). While some fuel stations in the main town accept credit card payments, you should have cash available to pay for fuel outside of the towns. If driving somewhere remote and start running out of fuel, it’s worth asking if they sell fuel at local village stores – however, this shouldn’t be relied on.
Fuel stations in Fiji are fully serviced, meaning that service station attendants refuel the vehicle for you, accept the payment and bring back the appropriate change and receipt.
Road Rules in Fiji
Road rules in Fiji are similar to those in countries like New Zealand and Australia. As long as you remember the few simple rules listed below, along with getting familiar with the Fiji road signs, driving in Fiji is pretty simple.
- Drive on the left-hand side of the road
- The speed limit is 50km/h in urban areas
- The speed limit is 80km/h on the open road
- Roundabouts are used in Fiji, which can throw off some of our American friends. When approaching a roundabout, give way to vehicles on the right
- Seatbelts are compulsory for only the driver and front passenger
- The blood alcohol level is 80mg
- It is illegal to use your phone while driving unless you have a hands-free device
- Car owners are required to have a minimum of third-party insurance (this is included in car rentals)
- You must be at least 18 years old and have a full driving license to legally drive
- Observe all road signs.
To get familiar with the Fiji road signs, take a look at the Land Transport Authority (LTA) road sign page.
What are the Roads Like in Fiji?
Fiji has around 7,500km (4,660 miles) of roads, with only around 1,700km (1,056 miles) of roads being sealed. The easiest roads to drive and get to know are the Queens Road following the southern coast of Viti Levu between Nadi and Suva and the Kings Road following the northern coast between Nadi and Suva. Vanua Levu’s road between Savusavu and Labasa is also fully sealed, as is the first half of the Hibiscus Highway following the coast from Savusavu.
That leaves about 5,800km (3,600 miles) of unsealed roads in Fiji. These roads are a mixed bag when it comes to their conditions. Some are gravel roads that are easy to drive on as long as you slow your speed, while others are dirt roads that are best attempted in a 4WD with some knowledge on how to handle a 4WD vehicle.
For more road safety advice, see the 14 Safety Tips for Driving in Fiji.