Western Australia is a vast state with contrasting road conditions from the south of the state to the north.
Make sure you plan your journey and educate yourself on the distances, conditions, and weather in the areas to which you will be travelling, so you can enjoy a safe and trouble-free drive in WA.
If you're planning a long road trip, make sure you check our fatigue information.
Choose the right vehicle
A conventional SUV, sedan or hatchback is suitable if you are travelling on sealed and well-maintained roads, such as the Perth metropolitan area and major towns and highways.
A four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle is the best option if you plan to visit regional or remote areas.
Be aware of animals on the road
Australian wildlife roam roadsides around WA and sometimes stray onto the road.
Animals such as kangaroos, cattle, camels and emus are unpredictable, so drive slowly and don’t try to swerve around an animal.
Animals under the control of people, such as horse riders and carriage drivers, may also be on or near the road. For a guide on how the road rules apply to horse riders or carriage drivers, visit our fact sheet Road rules for horse riders and animal-drawn vehicles.
Gravel and sand roads
Some roads outside urban areas and towns have gravel edges or consist of red dirt and small stones.
Gravel can act like ball-bearings under car tyres, while sand tracks often form pockets like snow drifts, so drive to the conditions.
Be aware that gravel and dirt roads also create dust clouds of dust that impede visibility, and loose stones can strike your windscreen.
Drivers can encounter bushfire smoke, fog and torrential rain while driving in WA, all of which reduce visibility.
In these conditions, slow down, switch on your headlights, use your windscreen wipers, allow extra braking distance and do not attempt to cross flooded roads.
If you are going to tow a caravan, trailer or boat, be sure you know the legal load limit for your vehicle and make sure your load is well secured.
Heavy or poorly secured loads can cause rollovers and accidents.
Driving on the left
If you are not used to driving on the left, tape a note on your dashboard to remind you to keep left and take extra care when approaching an intersection or making turns.
On multi-lane roads you may only drive in the right-hand lane if you are overtaking, the left lane is a special purpose lane (bus, cycle) or you’re avoiding an obstruction.
There are risks when overtaking other vehicles, so only overtake when it is safe to do so and you have a clear view of the road ahead. If you are not sure, wait.
You must not cross single continuous dividing lines or continuous dividing lines on your side of broken lines or double continuous dividing lines, to overtake another vehicle.
You must not exceed the speed limit to overtake.
WA is home to some of the largest trucks in the world known as ‘road trains’ (they can be up to 60m long), so be aware that it may take some time to overtake one.
See our overtaking page for more information.
Multilingual Guide to Driving on WA Roads Booklets
The Road Safety Commission’s Guide to Driving on WA Roads provides more road safety and road rules information for Visitors to WA in multiple languages.
International Driver’s Licence
You must carry your current overseas licence and a translation, or an International Drivers’ Permit (IDP) with you while driving.
The Department of Transport has more information on driver’s licence requirements if you intend to rent a vehicle in Western Australia.