How Easy is it to Drive in Fiji?
Pretty easy! With a relatively good road network across Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni and most of the roads that visitors want to explore being fully sealed, getting around in a rental car is often an easy-going experience. While the open road between towns is typically pretty quiet, most traffic you’ll experience is around large towns like Nadi, Lautoka and Suva, but even that feels like small-town driving than city chaos. Nevertheless, there are a few road rules that you might not be used to, as well as other factors that might make driving a little more challenging. We’ll go through it all, answering the question: is it easy to drive in Fiji?
For more driving tips, be sure to head over to How to Drive in Fiji.
Tips for Driving in Fiji
Fiji is an easy country to drive in as long as you follow these tips:
- Drive on the left side of the road
- Know how to use roundabouts, giving way to those approaching from the right
- Take it easy on the speed, the limit is 50km/h in villages and 80km/h outside of urban areas
- Hire a car you can handle
- Take care if venturing onto gravel or dirt roads.
For tips, take a look at the 10 Safety Tips for Driving in Fiji.
Road Rules in Fiji
There are a few road rules in Fiji that might be different from what you’re used to at home. We’ll go through some of those road rules here, as well as give you advice on how to stick to these rules with ease.
Drive on the Left
Traffic in Fiji moves on the left side of the road. For those who come from a country that drives on the right, this can be a little daunting at first. however, with the driver’s seat on the right side and using your left hand to manoeuvre the gear stick, your brain almost effortlessly picks up on driving on the left quickly. Nevertheless, it’s still important to keep reminding yourself to keep left, especially when pulling out of an intersection or after having a break from driving.
The Speed Limit
Fiji’s speed limit is 80km/h (50mph), which drops down to 60km/h (40mph) as you approach villages and urban areas, then is 50km/h (30mph) in villages and urban areas. There are obvious road signs for when the speed limit changes on the roads in Fiji. The Fijian authorities take speeding very seriously, with speed bumps at the entrance of villages, speed cameras in place around the main towns and Police cars parked on the edge of towns and villages. Don’t ruin your road trip by getting a speeding ticket.
Roundabouts are used in, which can throw off some of our American friends. When approaching a roundabout, give way to vehicles on the right.
Other Road Rules
Other quick road rules to mention include don’t drink and drive – the blood alcohol limit is 80mg. Don’t drive while using your phone unless you are using a hands-free device. Finally, only the front passenger and driver legally have to wear seatbelts in Fiji, but for obvious safety reasons, it’s recommended that everyone in a vehicle wears a seatbelt.
What are the Rental Cars Like in Fiji?
Rental cars in Fiji tend to be of good quality with regular maintenance and some relatively new fleets. How easy they are to drive depends on your experience driving different vehicles.
Many car rental companies in Fiji have a wide variety of cars to choose from, from easy-to-drive compact cars to large SUVs and 4WDs. You should choose a car that you are comfortable with driving.
There is a mix of cars with automatic and manual transmissions in Fiji. If you are not used to driving a manual, you will find it easier to hire a vehicle with automatic transmission, so be sure to request this when booking.
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 Is it Safe to Drive Around Fiji?